The summer transfer window has so far been eventful for Chelsea FC and their remake continues forward. Having lost David Luiz and Ashley Cole to Paris Saint-Germain and Roma, respectively, Manager Jose Mourinho has been actively working to improve the side. Mourinho has already secured the transfers of Spanish midfielder Cesc Febregas and Serbian defensive mid-fielder Nemanja Matic. Reports also indicate that Chelsea have come to terms with Atletico Madrid for a £33.4 million transfer deal involving Spanish striker Diego Costa. Mourinho’s work is not yet done as he moves to lock down at least one more creative midfielder and a defender.
Mourinho appears to have locked onto Frenchman Paul Pogba as a primary transfer target. The Juventus midfielder is reportedly in play along with Chilean Arturo Vidal. The Italian club needs to reshuffle its payroll after the expensive signings of Alvaro Morata and Patrice Evra and clearing either Pogba or Vidal from their books by a sale to the highest bidder appears to be the preferred strategy. Pogba is reported to be a favored target of Louis van Gaal and Manchester United, who have not dipped much into their huge transfer war chest somewhere in excess of £150 million. Reports indicate that acquiring the services of Pogba will require a transfer fee of about £60 million, which could increase if United is desperate enough. Chelsea also could sweeten the deal by adding Brazilian midfielder Ramirez to the deal, which is thought to be a possibility. If Juventus wants Ramirez enough, Chelsea could ace out United and nab Pogba without having to unload more of owner Roman Abramovich’s money.
Chelsea also continues to work another deal with Atletico Madrid for the acquisition of Brazilian defender Filipe Luis in order to replace Cole. Reports indicate that the Madrid club rebuffed a £12 million offer for the 28-year-old, and after months of negotiation Mourinho has finally caved in and agreed to the full asking price of £20 million. Chelsea have also been linked to Sporting Lisbon’s Marcos Rojo as a Plan B if they Luis deal could not be finalized, but it appears as if the Fulham club finally acquiesced to the price Atletico demanded.
To add more youth to the side, Mourinho also signed Croatian Mario Pasalic. The 19-year-old midfielder moves to Stamford Bridge from the Croatian side Hajduk Split for £3 million. The youngster should gain valuable experience playing with the likes of Febregas and possibly Pogba. He was being pursued by several clubs but apparently always had a preference for Chelsea.
With the moves made by Mourinho so far, the addition of Pogba to the side could cap off an eventful summer for the Stamford Bridge club. They could miss Luiz and Cole, but the additions of Febregas and Matic, as well as the reported completed deals for Costa and Luis, should keep the Blues in Premier League contention. Given the ambitions of Mourinho and Abramovich, they could have more tricks up their sleeves before the transfer window closes. With deals already made and the hopeful addition of Pogba, Fulham fans should be looking forward to the upcoming season.
Commentary by William Costolo