Three is the magic number.
Rudiger, Bakayoko and Morata. We needed five at the start of the summer and we have three. Three potential world class players and certain upgrades on what we already have. With Matic and Costa due to go, there could be another 70-80m coming into the coffers to spend on wingbacks! We certainly shouldn’t be losing out to Man City for the sake of 5m quid. With the three main men in place now, the rumours may start to quieten down as teams who haven’t done their business yet *cough* Man Utd *cough* scramble around, trying to sign our rejects.
Rumour Rating – 6
We certainly need cover at centre forward if Costa is to go, with Remy sure to follow on either a loan or a permanent deal. Max Kruse is adept at playing as either one of a partnership or on his own. Technically proficient and with decent experience, he wouldn’t cost an overload. He would certainly take a back up position at Chelsea and the pay rise that would come with it, compared to slogging in the lower half of the Bundesliga. Werder Bremen chief Frank Baumann has stated he wouldn’t stand in his way should a big club come in for him, leaving the door open. Now it is up to Conte to decide if he wants him. For me, whilst a decent backup choice, Conte looks to favour Fernando Llorente.
Rumour Rating – 8
Conte is known to be a big fan of the big Spaniard and it’s easy to see why. Scorer of 15 goals last season for relegation threatened Swansea and more than comfortable being a focal point of attack. It would give us another dimension up top if we are chasing a game. We have players capable of whipping the ball in and Llorente, if coupled with Morata, would be enough to frighten any tired defence. There were rumours back in Jan we were after Llorente and they’ve never stopped. It seems likely that he will join as soon as Swansea find a replacement. Remy?
Rumour Rating – 3
A bit of a strange one this. Barkley is clearly looking to move and Everton don’t seem fussed about keeping him. The issue would be his price tag. For an English player with all the potential in the world, you’re looking at 40m at least. Reports this morning link both Chelsea and United with Barkley after Tottenham have spent the majority of the summer so far flirting with him. He’s no doubt got massive potential but there are also major concerns about his work ethic and attitude. This may fly at United after they showed they don’t care about attitude by signing Lukaku but Conte won’t let that fly. On top of that, where would he play? We have four of the two central midfielder positions at the moment and we could add to that with a loan towards the end of summer. Barkley has never played as part of a two in the centre of the park before which is a worry. He could play further forward but Hazard has the free role sorted, which would leave him battling with both Pedro and Willian for the other attacking birth. For me, it’s a no go.
A bit of a mixed bag, now that Morata seems to be a done deal and with Bakayoko and Rudiger in the bag, it has certainly gone quiet on the Chelsea front, which isn’t a bad thing. Danilo going to City is disappointing. Hopefully, once Morata is in the bag, we can turn our focus to the wingback position and get this sorted before the season kicks off.