Chelsea will reportedly miss out on Paris Saint-Germain forward Ezequiel Lavezzi, with the Argentina international said to be close to signing for Chinese Super League side Guoan Beijing.
Peter O’Rourke of ESPN FC claims there are a number of clubs across Europe, including the Blues, that are intent on landing the PSG man in the summer, with his contract due to expire at the end of the campaign. However, it seems as though the lucrative appeal of a challenge in a different continent appeals most to Lavezzi.
“Guoan Beijing are hoping to lure Lavezzi to China before their transfer window closes later this month as the Chinese Super League looks to flex its financial muscles,” writes O’Rourke. Indeed, the moves of Jackson Martinez and Ramires to Guangzhou Evergrande and Jiangsu Suning, respectively, in recent weeks is testament to the division’s pulling power.
Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones thinks the transfer is now likely to go through too, citing Chelsea and Inter as previous potential suitors:
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It’d be no surprise if Chelsea were interested in the forward, despite him being a little past his peak. After all, there are question marks over all their options at the point of the attack currently.
Diego Costa is being targeted by Atletico Madrid, according to the club president, per COPE (h/t Will Giles of Metro), while Alexandre Pato is only on loan at Stamford Bridge until the end of the season. Neither Radamel Falcao nor Loic Remy can be relied upon to deliver consistently, either.
Lavezzi’s bustling style at the point of the attack would have given Chelsea a boost, even if he was to be used as a potential impact substitute or in a wide area. On a free, he would have been a relatively risk-free capture too.
Nevertheless, as he approaches the final knockings of his career, it’d be no surprise to see the 30-year-old pursue a different challenge he’ll be handsomely paid for.
Massimiliano Allegri Rumours
Contrasting stories have surfaced in respect of Chelsea’s reported interest in appointing Massimiliano Allegri as the club’s next manager.
David Woods of the Daily Star has denied reports from Italy that the Blues have earmarked the Juventus boss as the man to take over from Guus Hiddink at the end of the campaign. A source who is cited in the piece as “one of Blues owners Roman Abramovich’s closest advisers” is quoted as saying “that is not true. He is only an option.”
Allegri has done a tremendous job with Juventus, steering the team to a league and cup double last season, as well as the final of the Champions League. This term, after losing key players in the summer, the manager has had to work hard to rebuild the side, and although they began slowly, now the Bianconeri are the form team in European football.
As noted here by WhoScored.com, their recent performances have been frightening and testament to the managerial pedigree of Allegri:
There will need to be a similar rebuilding job done at Stamford Bridge in the summer, with a key man in John Terry set to leave. Allegri’s unflappable style, enterprising style of football and ability to nurture young players may be exactly what the club needs after the frantic stint they endured earlier in the campaign under Jose Mourinho.
Nevertheless, there’s no guarantee Allegri will up sticks and leave Juventus at the first chance anyway. In Turin, he’s got some of the most exciting young players in the world at his disposal in Paul Pogba and Paulo Dybala, not to mention a guarantee of challenging for major titles both domestically and in Europe too.