It’s been a few weeks since our last rumour roundup, and since then another host of transfer rumours have hit the headlines, some more ridiculous than others. With Hazard set to leave, Hudson-Odoi set for a long term lay-off through injury and key areas of the squad looking weak it may be make or break for Chelsea this summer- reliant on the transfer ban being frozen. So here’s our rumour roundup and our rating on each story:
Multiple reports have come out today that suggest Barcelona playmaker Phillipe Coutinho could be on his way to Stamford Bridge to replace Madrid bound Eden Hazard. The Sun, Mail Online and TalkSport have all suggested that Chelsea could turn to the Brazil star following a relatively disappointing season for the Catalonians. The 26-year-old has managed 11 goals and 5 assists this season including a beauty against Manchester United in the recent quarter finals of the Champions League. While these numbers are no where near those of Belgium superstar Eden Hazard, the former Liverpool man is premier league proven and could be a great option for the Blues. It is not yet clear what kind of fee Barcelona would demand, but having paid over £140M for him barely two years ago, he certainly won’t come cheap.
Our rumour rating: 2/5. The sources reporting this have a flaky history in terms of reliability and with Coutinho having an average season at best, there may be better options out there for the price tag. Could happen though, but very unlikely.
In the same breath, according to CalcioMercato, Chelsea will go after LOSC Lille star Nicholas Pepe this summer, should they decide against Coutinho. The Ivorian has shot to prominence this season having a sensational year in the French Ligue 1, racking up 19 goals and 11 assists in the league – mainly from the right wing position. It’s reported that Lille would demand around £70M for his signature and with the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Bayern Munich all apparently interested Chelsea face tough competition. Pepe has however previously stated that a Chelsea move would be a ‘dream’ in an old interview which recently re-surfaced and claimed The Blues are the only English club he’d sign for. At 23 years of age Nicholas Pepe still has a bright future and would be a great option for Chelsea – who have lacked another goalscorer in their side.
Our rumour rating: 3.5/5. This is a transfer that has been brewing for a long time now, with rumours popping up since January. Despite CalcioMercato being unreliable, others are reporting it too. The old quotes from the player are encouraging and despite no super reliable outlets yet reporting much, we think this could happen. At £70M or less, he’s a much cheaper option than the likes of Coutinho, and actually probably a better option too.
Manchester United are tracking the progress of Chelsea wonderkid & right-back Reece James, according to The Independent and Mail Online. The 19-year-old has been in immense form all season for championship side Wigan, regularly being awarded player of the month and looks set to win the clubs player of the year award too. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has prioritised signing a new right back, with Ashley Young looking way past his best in recent months and Antonio Valencia leaving the club at the end of the season. James recently signed a new 4 year deal with Chelsea but United are hopeful that reuniting the player with his sister, Lauren, who plays for the Manchester United ladies team could aid their pursuit. It is known that the Chelsea board like Reece James, however, and look set to make him part of the first team next season as an understudy to captain Cesar Azpilicueta, with Davide Zappacosta set to depart.
Our rumour rating – 0/5. We like to think we are thinking with our heads rather than hearts here, but it may be a bit of both. There is surely no way that Chelsea sanction this move, especially to a rival. We know the club like him and are impressed with his spell at Wigan, we think he’ll be on the pitch for Chelsea next season. United – hands off!
Spanish outlet AS have reported that Chelsea may look back to Alvaro Morata if the club’s transfer ban is active this summer. The Spain striker signed in the summer of 2017 for around £58M and despite a bright start failed to produce regular goals or performances for The Blues. Morata was shipped out on loan to Atletico Madrid in January in a deal which would keep him there until the end of the 19/20 campaign, however Chelsea may be forced to bring him back early. With Higuain struggling for consistency and looking off-pace in the premier league and the club being banned from signings, it looks like Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi would be the club’s only other choices next season. However, Giroud has admitted he is unhappy at the club and may look to force an exit and it’s not clear if Batshuayi is at the level to play for Chelsea, so the club may be forced to hand the number 9 shirt back to Alvaro Morata.
Our rumour rating – 1.5/5. This is highly unlikely, Morata hasn’t actually been bad for Atletico since signing so they probably would be against us trying to have him back early anyway. Despite better performances in Spain, clearly Morata isn’t the right man for Chelsea and we think even with a transfer ban the club will cut their losses with the player and are more likely to bring Tammy Abraham into the picture, alongside Giroud and Batshuayi – or even keep Higuain if that’s possible.
It is also reported that Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is set for a long spell on the sidelines with an Achilles injury, is to be offered a new deal and looks likely to sign it! Read more on this HERE
That’s all for today’s rumour roundup, we’ll be back with another edition soon as rumours continue to gain traction with the summer transfer window looming, let’s just hope Chelsea can actually make use of it and have the ban delayed.
Written by Dan Barker | @danbarkzr