Chelsea have been linked with a top European defender, but will need to splash the cash to get the deal done, writes Dan O’Mahony.
Chelsea look to have all their shopping done for this transfer window, and Jose Mourinho has repeatedly denied he is looking for more players yet the rumours still persist. Morocoon international Mehdi Benatia is one possible signing while the goalkeeping back up to Thibaut Courtois is yet to be finalised.
With reports indicating that Olympiakos defender Konstantinos Manolas is set to join Roma the club’s current centre back, Moroccan international Mehdi Benatia, may become surplus to requirements at the Serie A side, according to The Express.
The North African won’t be acquired on the cheap however with Roma boss Rudi Garcia insisting on a hefty £30 million price tag, and with four years left on the player’s contract the Italians won’t be susceptible to any pressure to reduce their valuation.
That said a move to the Premier League is a distinct possibility for the 27-year-old with cash rich clubs Chelsea and Manchester United the frontrunners to land the Roma man. With Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidić departed Manchester United may need the signing more. In addition, the fact that Chelsea have moved to bring in Filipe Luis may dissuade Jose Mourinho from pursuing his interest.
With Thibaut Courtois’ return to the Bridge after a hugely impressive loan spell at Atletico Madrid, he will be clear favourite to take the goalkeeping jersey from long time Chelsea servant Peter Cech. The Czech net minder is likely to depart, unwilling to accept the role as a back up squad player.
This scenario would leave Mourinho looking for a goalkeeping signing and Real Madrid’s Diego Lopez could be the answer according to The Express. The Los Blancos keeper made the jersey his own last term but is believed to be unsettled by the arrival of Costa Rican star Keylor Navas, and with veteran Iker Casillas still on the scene Lopez may find himself fall down the pecking order.
Real Madrid’s £16 million valuation would probably prove too much for the Blues to splash out for what would be a reserve keeper, leaving Serie A outfit AC Milan as frontrunners to land the Spanish No.1.
Dan O’Mahony, Pundit Arena.