Chelsea Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Luis Muriel and Dominic Solanke

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2017

GENOA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 12: Luis Muriel of Sampdoria celebrates after penalty 1-1 during the Serie A match between UC Sampdoria andv Bologna FC at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on February 12, 2017 in Genoa, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images)
Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

Chelsea reportedly remain in the hunt for Sampdoria forward Luis Muriel, with speculation that Inter Milan were close to completing a deal said to be wide of the mark.

That's according to Fabrizio Romano of Calciomercato, who has suggested that reports claiming a €35 million (£30 million) deal had been struck between the two Serie A clubs are incorrect. The Blues are said to still hold an interest in the Colombia international, along with Sevilla and Roma.

After a testing start, Muriel has found his form again in the Italian top flight this season, netting nine goals. Here is a look at some of his standout moments from the season so far:

During his time with Udinese, the forward was tipped to achieve big things. But he was never able to fully convert on his potential, and after a couple of loan moves, Muriel joined Sampdoria in January 2015.

After battling for his starting spot last term, he's become a key man for the Italian side this season, leading the line tremendously with his close control, clever movement and rapid acceleration.

Per David Amoyal of ESPN FC, the 25-year-old has showcased more composure in front of goal than ever too:

David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal

Muriel has now matched his highest goal total in a Serie A season, what a talent so happy he's getting career back on track https://t.co/Wq6bk5xzKi

For Chelsea, he'd be an intriguing option. Although manager Antonio Conte has used a 3-4-3 system to great effect this season, he's been a versatile coach in his previous roles and has often utilised two natural centre-forwards; Muriel's dynamism and ingenuity would potentially be a perfect foil for Diego Costa.

However, for the player himself, any upcoming move needs to be considered carefully. His recent renaissance has coincided with regular games at Sampdoria, and it's crucial he gets reassurance over his playing time if he is to depart.

Liverpool Not Keen on Dominic Solanke

LEIGH, GREATER MANCHESTER - AUGUST 28: Dominic Solanke of Chelsea during the Premier League 2 fixture between Manchester United and Chelsea at Leigh Sports Village on August 28, 2016 in Leigh, Greater Manchester. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Image
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

According to James Whaling of the Daily Mirror, Liverpool are 'playing down" talk they're interested in signing Chelsea youngster Dominic Solanke.

It's stated Solanke will not sign a new deal with the Blues as he's demanding a weekly salary of £50,000 from the Premier League leaders. The 19-year-old is said to currently take home in the region of £7,000-a-week as part of a contract that expires at the end of 2016-17.

Per the report, Conte admitted at his press conference on Friday that the forward may be on his way out of Stamford Bridge. "Is he leaving? I don't know. I think this is his will," said the Italian. "It is best to ask him [why]."

Bleacher Report's Gianni Verschueren has some sympathy with the player, given he's only made one senior appearance for the club so far:

Gianni Verschueren @ReverschPass

Easy to understand where Dominic Solanke is coming from, and a little ridiculous to see so many Chelsea fans slating him.

Gianni Verschueren @ReverschPass

Solanke is not getting any opportunities at Chelsea whatsoever. Might as well demand absurd wages or leave for a different club

As well as Liverpool, Arsenal are said to be keeping tabs on the forward, who has shone in the Chelsea academy setup down the years and was a member of England's 2016 UEFA European Under-19 Championship squad.

Solanke has played 17 minutes of senior football for the Blues.
Solanke has played 17 minutes of senior football for the Blues.Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

For the Blues, it'd be a huge shame to see a talent they've nurtured and refine walk away at the end of the campaign. But with the likes of Costa and Michy Batshuayi ahead of the teenager in the pecking order, perhaps it is the right time for him to try his hand elsewhere.

If he was to move to Anfield or the Emirates Stadium, Solanke would still have to be patient and wait for his opportunity. Evidently, he's got tired of having to do so at Stamford Bridge.


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