New contract for Loftus-Cheek and Willian to Barcelona? Chelsea Rumour Round-Up

As another host of Chelsea related rumours sweep the back pages, we’re back to bring you another rumour round-up which includes our rating on each particular story, based on reliability and if we think it’ll happen.

Multiple reports have broken, from The Sun and The Metro, which suggest Barcelona are set to revamp their interest in Chelsea winger Willian this summer, with a bid worth around £30M. The Brazilian signed for Chelsea six years ago from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala and has been an ever-present in the Chelsea side since. The winger was strongly linked with both Barcelona and PSG in January and the Catalonian side look set to come back in the summer, with Willian having just one year left of his current deal. Chelsea famously only offer over-30s one year deals but the Brazilian wants a longer extension, which he’s unlikely to get. As a result Chelsea may decide to cash in on Willian, despite the cut price, so that there’s no risk of losing him for free next summer.

Our rumour rating – 3/5. The sources currently reporting this aren’t always reliable, however we know that Barcelona tried to sign Willian in the last two windows for almost double the price reported here. They’re definitely interested and his contact situation may force the Blues to sell. Wether he’ll leave or not, we don’t know but it seems likely Barcelona will attempt to sign him.

Willian could be set to leave Chelsea this summer, after six years with the club. (Image source – Sky News)

Chelsea are set to miss out on Serbian star Luka Jovic this summer with the forward agreeing terms with Real Madrid, according to AS. It is being reported that the Spanish giants will pay £51M for the striker, who scored a brilliant header against Chelsea on Thursday, with £40.8M going to Eintracht Frankfurt and £10.2M to his former club Benfica. Despite previous reports that Chelsea were a favoured location for the striker, it seems the potential transfer ban has prevented the Blues from securing any kind of deal while they make an appeal to FIFA. The Spanish outlet have claimed that Jovic has ‘known for weeks’ that he would be moving to Real Madrid which is disappointing news for Chelsea fans.

Our rumour rating – 3.5/5. AS are not always reliable, but other outlets have also reported similar stories. Jovic has been on fire this season and to be honest, it’s seems inevitable that he’s going to Real Madrid. It’s unfortunate as without the ongoing transfer appeal we may have been able to secure his signature, but we reckon he probably will sign for Los Blancos.

Luka Jovic has had a breakthrough season with Eintracht Frankfurt. (Image source – racingpost.com)

Chelsea are lining up fresh contract talks with Ruben Loftus-Cheek this summer, with the midfielder set to sign a long term deal. According to The Sun, Marina Granovskaia wants to sit down with the player and look to his extend his current £35K-per-week deal which has two years remaining. The 23-year-old has been excellent for Chelsea this season and has become a regular starter in the second half of the season, putting in key performances including a man of the match display against Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday. Chelsea want to avoid a contract saga similar to that with Hudson-Odoi and will offer Loftus-Cheek a long term deal, which he thoroughly deserves. The player cut short his summer break after the World Cup to get back to Cobham early and force his way into the Chelsea team and with some patience he has finally achieved that. Back injuries looked to hamper his season but they seem to be behind the Englishman now, and he is set to be a regular for Chelsea.

Our rumour rating – 5/5. Loftus-Cheek is a fan favourite and academy graduate. It is almost certain that the Chelsea board will look to extend his stay at the bridge and secure his future at the club. Marina and the likes have hopefully learnt from the Hudson-Odoi saga and will tie down Ruben with a long term deal and a pay rise. Plus, his playing time towards the end of the season will probably tempt him to stay. He loves the club.

Loftus-Cheek was man of the match in the first leg of the Europa League semi final. (Image source – Goal.com)

Spanish outlet MARCA claim that Chelsea are interested in signing Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez. It is reported that Zidane is not keen on bringing James back into the squad next season following his loan at Bayern Munich and the Colombian may be available at a cut price of £36M. The German champions will be given first refusal on signing the player this summer, but look unlikely to make the move, Rodriguez has only made 20 appearances in the league this season many of which are off the bench. The 27-year-old is likely to make Champions League football a priority next season, with Manchester United also showing interest. Chelsea currently look likely to finish in the top four and are favourites for the Europa League whereas it will take a miracle for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United side to reach the Champions League next season, giving Chelsea the edge in securing James’ signature. If both clubs agree to match Madrid’s asking price then the decision will be given to the player and the style of football as well as playing position and minutes could influence his choice.

Our rumour rating – 1.5/5. MARCA have a very mixed history in terms of reliability and despite the cut price we doubt Chelsea will have any serious interest in James Rodriguez. His best position is the number 10 role which does not suit Maurizio Sarri’s system, the Colombian hasn’t been hugely impressive in years and may still slightly be living off the reputation of his 2014 World Cup heroics. Good player, but probably not a priority for Chelsea.

Rodriguez has endured a mixed two years with Bayern Munich. (Image source – Goal.com)

RMC have reported that Chelsea are considering appointing Thomas Tuchel if they decide to part ways with Maurizio Sarri at the end of the season. The German is currently in charge at PSG and has secured the French Ligue 1 title already but his future is in question after another disappointing Champions League campaign for the french side, who also lost the domestic cup final against Rennes. It is reported that Chelsea previously made contact with the German prior to him signing a contract extension with PSG that keeps him there until 2021 and may return depending on the club’s situation at the end of the season. It is understood that Chelsea aren’t likely to sack Maurizio Sarri as long as the club are in the Champions League next season – something that is looking increasingly likely but fan divide and board frustration over performances and playing time of academy graduates Hudson-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek could lead to the Italian parting ways with Chelsea.

Our rumour rating – 1.5/5. This looks very unlikely, despite poor displays in the Champions League we doubt that Paris will look to sack Tuchel and therefore Chelsea would have to pay compensation and that’s only if the German actually wanted the move to the club. Maurizio Sarri has also somewhat improved his reputation at Chelsea recently with the club looking likely to secure Champions League football so he probably will still be in charge next year.

Thomas Tuchel’s side have already secured another Ligue 1 title. (Image source – Paris Saint-German)

That’s all for this edition of The Chelsea Echo Rumour Round-up. Another few weeks where there has been a host of stories, some of which we think are pretty likely to happen. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these rumours and our ratings in the comments or on twitter – @TheChelseaEcho

Chelsea take on Watford on Sunday in a crucial game where a win may all but confirm a top four spot for the Blues, find our match preview HERE

Written by Dan Barker | @danbarkzr

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