X

Chelsea Transfer News: Matias Vecino Talks Reported in Latest Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 30, 2018

VERONA, ITALY - APRIL 22:  Matias Falero Vecino of Internazionale FC in action during the serie A match between AC Chievo Verona and FC Internazionale at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi on April 22, 2018 in Verona, Italy.  (Photo by Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images)
Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

Chelsea have reportedly entered into talks with Inter Milan over a move to sign Uruguay midfielder Matias Vecino before the Premier League transfer window closes on August 9. 

New Blues manager Maurizio Sarri has already signed one Serie A middle man after reuniting with former Napoli ace Jorginho, and the Evening Standard's Simon Johnson reported Vecino discussions are under way.

According to the report, Sarri sees Vecino as an asset who would help transition the club to his style of play, having previously worked with the Uruguay international during their time together at Empoli.

Vecino was sent on loan to Sarri's Empoli from Fiorentina in 2014-15, when the Italian tactician showed his admiration of the player by starting him in all 36 of his Serie A appearances that season.

However, author Mark Worrall has backed Chelsea's existing assets ahead of the Uruguayan, whom he believes would be something of an unnecessary expenditure for the southwest London club:

Mark Worrall @gate17marco

Vecino may have played a season on loan at Empoli under Sarri, but that isn't a good enough reason for Chelsea to sign him. Decent enough player, but not one to get excited about. Would rather see Barkley or Loftus-Cheek make up the Blues midfield trio alongside Kante & Jorginho.

According to Johnson, Chelsea used Saturday's International Champions Cup friendly against Inter—where the Blues won via penalty shootout—as a chance to discuss the possibility of signing Vecino, who is said to be valued at £31 million.

Milan Skriniar (62.6) and Borja Valero (55.9) were the only two Inter players to average more passes per game than Vecino's 55.1 last season, per WhoScored.com, as he featured in a box-to-box role.

What's more, Valero was the only regular Nerazzurri midfielder to finish the 2017-18 campaign with a higher passing percentage than the South American (88.3), giving some indication as to why Sarri is interested.

Vecino started in all five of Uruguay's matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup as they were ousted by eventual champions France in the quarter-finals. Goal's Nizaar Kinsella highlighted the 3-0 group-stage win over hosts Russia as one of his best displays:

Nizaar Kinsella @NizaarKinsella

Matias Vecino against Russia: 92.1% pass completion 42 passes in oppostion half (highest for #URU) 5 possession gained (Highest for #URU) 3 interceptions (joint-highest for #URU) #RUS #WorldCup #CFC

It's evident Sarri is looking to stamp his own image on this Chelsea squad, but the delay in appointing him as the successor to Antonio Conte has meant the club are behind in their recruitment drive.

That's combined with an earlier-than-usual Premier League transfer window deadline and many players still being on holiday after the World Cup, meaning late signings may be difficult to get over the line.

Inter finished fourth in Serie A last season and are able to offer UEFA Champions League football this coming season, while Chelsea will settle for a place in the UEFA Europa League after they ran to fifth in England's top flight.

The Nerazzurri only purchased Vecino from La Viola last summer and may wish to squeeze more value out of their midfield workhorse before cashing in, although Chelsea's determination to make late signings could yet force a deal.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.