Chelsea Transfer News: Stephan Lichtsteiner, Miralem Pjanic, Fresh Blues Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 1, 2016

TURIN, ITALY - MAY 14:  Stephan Lichtsteiner of Juventus FC in action during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and UC Sampdoria at Juventus Arena on May 14, 2016 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Chelsea will reportedly miss out on Juventus wing-back Stephan Lichtsteiner, with the 32-year-old said to be keen to fight for his place at the club.

That's according to Nizaar Kinsella and Romeo Agresti of Goal, who report that, despite the possible arrival of Dani Alves from Barcelona, Lichtsteiner wants to stay with the Italian champions. It’s suggested the player’s former manager with the Bianconeri, Antonio Conte, is keen on a reunion next season.

"Goal understands that Chelsea will now pursue other targets, with Antonio Rudiger, who could well make the switch to Stamford Bridge despite having agreed a permanent move to Roma on Monday, and Kostas Manolas two potential options," continued the piece.

Lichtsteiner has been one of the most understated factors in Juventus’ recent domestic dominance, having joined the club in 2011. Here is a look at the kind of qualities he brings to the team:

For Conte’s Juventus sides, often set up in a 3-5-2 system, the Swiss was a key man. Playing wing-back is a role plenty of full-backs find difficult, but Lichtsteiner excelled in the position. His tremendous energy allowed him to frequently foray on the right flank, able to get forward to make attacking contributions and cover defensively.

Former snooker world champion Neil Robertson was excited about the prospect of the Swiss international joining the Blues:

Neil Robertson🌱 @nr147

Would be a good signing. Rampages up and down the flanks non stop. #massiveengine 💪 https://t.co/o1b6bLCUFA

Should Alves end up moving to Juventus, then Lichtsteiner’s spot in the side would obviously come under major scrutiny. As good as the Bianconeri man has been, the Brazilian is one of the best ever in this role, and while a little past his best, he is still a world-class operator.

Alves' arrival could push Lichtsteiner down the pecking order.
Alves' arrival could push Lichtsteiner down the pecking order.JOSEP LAGO/Getty Images

Lichtsteiner will surely be aware of that fact and will have to consider his options should Alves eventually become a Juventus player. So while he may be intent on staying put for now, should the Blues and his ex-boss come in with a lucrative offer supplemented by the chance to play more regular football, then that would surely be tough to turn down.

Manchester United to Join Miralem Pjanic Race

ROME, ITALY - MAY 08:  Miralem Pjanic of AS Roma celebrates after scoring the team's third goal during the Serie A match between AS Roma and AC Chievo Verona at Stadio Olimpico on May 8, 2016 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Alex Harris of the Daily Star), Manchester United are ready to rival Chelsea in the pursuit of Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic.

It’s suggested in the piece that while the two Premier League teams have eyes for the Bosnia-Herzegovina international, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus also want to land the 26-year-old.

An offer of £29 million will be reportedly be enough to convince Roma to sell, although Pjanic’s contract will have a release clause of £21 million next summer.

The Giallorossi star has long been one of the best midfielders in Italian football and excelled during the 2015-16 season. These are some of his standout moments:

It’d be no surprise if all the aforementioned sides were interested in bringing Pjanic in, as he’s a wonderfully gifted player.

The Roma man can influence the game in so many different ways. At times he’s been dropped into a deeper position in the Italian capital, picking the ball up and starting attacks with his incisive passing. But he’s been equally as effective when pushed forward, using his excellent control and vision to create chances for team-mates.

These numbers from WhoScored.com illustrate just how much of a threat Pjanic can be with the ball at his feet:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Miralem Pjanic: Has played more accurate through balls (25) than any other player in the last 3 Serie A seasons; Paul Pogba second (22)

The Blues have similar players in the mould of Cesc Fabregas and Oscar, but the Bosnia star has a swagger about his football at the moment. If he were to force his way into the team at Stamford Bridge, then his would be a refreshing new presence and a statement that the club is chasing the continent’s top talent.

What will count against Chelsea is going up against the names aforementioned. United aside, the clubs said to be chasing Pjanic all have UEFA Champions League football to offer any new signings, and while the Blues have a potential for a bright future, it’s not been realised yet.  


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