Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Higuain and Nainggolan in, Falcao and Remy out: Chelsea's summer transfer plans

Higuain and Nainggolan in, Falcao and Remy out: Chelsea's summer transfer plans

New manager Antonio Conte is yet to arrive at Stamford Bridge but key targets have already been identified as the Blues seek to recover from a dismal season in 2015-16
Chelsea recorded the worst title defence in Premier League history in 2015-16, with manager Jose Mourinho, now, of course, at Manchester United, sacked in December. The club eventually finished 31 points behind champions Leicester City, as they missed out on European qualification and, despite Guus Hiddink steadying the ship, Antonio Conte must overhaul an ageing squad.
Last season's transfer window was a disaster for the club, following the signings of Pedro, Asmir Begovic and Radamel Falcao but the club will again look to splash the cash; Conte is set to be given around £75 million and more funds could be raised from player sales.





There are no current confirmed transfers at Stamford Bridge, but John Terry's contract renewal has dominated discussion around the club. The centre-back accepted a reported pay cut of £150,000-per-week, accepting a weekly deal worth £60,000, and also rejected a huge offer from the Chinese Premier League.
Conte was consulted before Terry penned his new deal, and will continue to be kept in the loop from afar prior to his arrival following Euro 2016.
Chelsea met with Roma officials on April 8 and finalised the sale of Mohamed Salah for a fee of £11.25m, and also reportedly discussed signing midfielder Radja Nainggolan and centre-back Kostas Manolas.
Meanwhile, the Blues will not exercise their option to purchase Monaco forward Radamel Falcao after an unsuccessful loan spell at the club that saw him score just one Premier League goal.

Goal understands Chelsea are also in the process of analysing their huge list of loan players, meaning the likes of Juan Cuadrado, Lewis Baker and Nathan Ake could return to Stamford Bridge for the 2016-17 season.







Roma's Nainggolan is understood to be in talks with Chelsea officials, despite his public claims that he does not want to leave the Serie A club, and the Blues are determined to push the deal through.
The Belgium international will first focus on his side's Euro 2016 campaign, but his transfer fee is likely to exceed £30m, and any move would give him a huge pay rise.
Goal understands that Conte is keen to sign a striker this summer and has given the club a shortlist of potential acquisitions, including Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain, Juventus's Alvaro Morata and Everton's Romelu Lukaku.
Edinson Cavani, of PSG, was also previously a target, but the Uruguay international is unlikely to leave the French treble winners with Zlatan Ibrahimovic confirming his departure.
Chelsea sold Lukaku to Everton for a fee of £28m in 2014 but he wants to leave Goodison Park after the club's poor season - they finished 11th in the Premier League - though Everton will want a significantly higher fee than what they paid for him.
Meanwhile, Morata's Juventus future is in doubt with Real Madrid ready to exercise their buy-back clause of £23.6m and immediately sell him on for a profit, with Chelsea one of many Premier League clubs interested in securing the Spaniard's signature.
Juve have also expressed their desire to keep the 23-year-old in Turin, but Real hold the key to his future.
Napoli's Higuain has a £74m release clause in his contract and Conte is understood to have made him his primary target, though the Italian club have asked for a British record sum for his signature.
Chelsea will also look to reinforce their defence and are leading the race to sign Manolas from Roma, while they have also been linked with Kalidou Koulibaly and Leonardo Bonucci. The club may also wish to reignite their interest in Everton's John Stones, Mourinho's primary target last summer.



Falcao's exit has been confirmed but Goal understands that Alexandre Pato is still in the dark on his future after only two appearances and one goal for Chelsea.
Pato's deal expires on June 30 and he has a buyout clause in his contract, with only a further six months left on his contract with Brazilian club Corinthians.
Loic Remy suffered an injury against Aston Villa and started only five games in 2015-16, with his future in serious doubt due to Conte's wish to sign a new striker.
Diego Costa has been linked with a big money move to the Chinese Premier League, and is also reportedly wanted by former club Atletico Madrid, but Goal understands he is happy at Chelsea, with the club keen to retain his services.
Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Oscar all underwhelmed throughout the season but they are all set to remain at the club, though Nemanja Matic has yet to pledge his future to the club and has been linked with a move to Juventus.
Elsewhere, John Obi Mikel performed admirably under Hiddink, and he will seek assurances from Conte with regards to his position in the squad.
Academy player Kyle Scott has handed in a transfer request after growing satisfied with his current contract - ultimately being dropped from the FA Youth Cup final against Manchester City - while 18-year-old Dominic Solanke has asked for a £50,000-per-week contract as his current deal nears expiration.
Tomas Kalas, John Swift and Lucas Piazon all spent time on loan in the Championship in 2015-16 - with Middlesbrough, Brentford and Reading respectively - and will likely leave as free agents when their contracts expire on June 30.