Chelsea Close In On Dutch Defender
Chelsea look set to sign Ajax defender Gregory van der Wiel in a deal worth around £8million.
The Holland international was linked with interest from Stamford Bridge last summer when one outlet reported that a deal worth £27million was about to be done. But reports at the time were wide of the mark and van der Wiel was linked with interest from Spanish side Valencia early this year. The two parties looked set to come to an agreement that would have seen van der Wiel move to Spain in January in a deal worth around 7-8million euro (£6-7million); however, the deal collapsed and that has led to rumours of a Chelsea bid being revived.
After the departure of Jose Bosingwa and constant speculation linking Branislav Ivanovic with interest from Real Madrid, the Blues may finally be about to make a move for the 24-year-old, who has spent all his professional career with Ajax.
Sturridge Linked With Exit
Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge could be on his way out of the club if Roberto di Matteo gets the Stamford Bridge job on a full-time basis. According to newspaper speculation the 22-year-old is frustrated at being largely sidelined since the Italian succeeded Andre Villas-Boas.
Sturridge scored 13 times for the Blues this season in 45 appearances for the club but he often found himself on the substitutes’ bench and played no part in Chelsea’s triumphs in both the FA Cup and the Champions League finals earlier this month. The striker also found himself overlooked for Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad although he may be called up if Danny Welbeck’s fitness rules him out.
Sturridge’s old club Manchester City have been linked with interest as his frustrations have become apparent this season and The People newspaper claims a return to the Etihad could be on the cards. Sturridge left City for Chelsea in a £3.5million deal in 2009 after a dispute over his contract.
However, that was before Roberto Mancini became City boss and he is said to be an admirer of Sturridge.
Hulk Impressive In Brazil Win
Porto striker Hulk did his prospects of a move to Chelsea no harm when he scored twice for Brazil in their 3-1 victory over Denmark yesterday.
The 25-year-old has been linked with interest from Chelsea and is said to be keen on a move to a Premier League club.
“For sure Hulk will only leave Porto for a big club and a big league and I can say that we like the Premier League a lot,” his agent Teodoro Fonseca said earlier this week.
“At the moment, Chelsea is a club which is more interesting than ever, because they’ve become European champions and are without doubt one of the biggest in Europe.”
Fonseca is believed to have been a guest of Chelsea at last weekend’s Champions League Final in Munich.
Hulk beat Denmark keeper Thomas Sorensen with a 25-yard strike in the eighth minute and then beat defender Simon Kjaer before slotting past substitute keeper Stephan Andersen just before half-time.
Hulk has a 100million euro (£80million) release clause in his contract with Porto but the Portugese champions need to raise some cash and may settle for less. French big-spenders Paris Saint-Germain are also interested.
New Deal for Cech
Chelsea keeper Petr Cech looks set to sign a new deal which could keep him at the club until he is 34.
The 30-year-old keeper has a year left on his current deal at Stamford Bridge but he is in talks over an extension which will keep him at the club until 2016.
The news means that young keeper Thibaut Courtois will spend another season on loan at Atletico Madrid. The 20-year-old has had an impressive season with the Spanish giants which he capped with a shut-out in the side’s 3-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League Final earlier this month.
Courtois moved from Belgian side Genk in a £6.9million deal last summer.