Chelsea Transfer News and Rumours Thursday 7 March

Blues Keen On Benfica Defender

Chelsea will challenge Manchester United for Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay according to reports from Portgual.

United have been watching the Argentina international for much of the season and reports from Portugal at the end of January claimed the Old Trafford side lodged a bid of 15million euro – around £12million the 26-year-old. However, Benfica rate Garay at 30million euro (£24million).

Now, Portugese newspaper O Jogo claims that Chelsea are looking at Garay as a long-term replacement for John Terry who is out of contract at the end of next season, while there are also concerns over any interest from Barcelona in David Luiz. The paper adds that Chelsea have already made informal contacts, which sounds as though they have sounded out his agent about a move.

Benfica are likely to stick to their guns over the size of a fee. They signed Garay from Real Madrid for 5.5million euro (around £4.5million at the time) in July 2011. However, Real are entitled to 50percent of any transfer proceeds received by Benfica while a further 10percent of his rights are owned by the Benfica Stars Fund. That means Benfica would have to bring in over 14million euro in order to make a profit on the deal.

Russian Interest In Benayoun

Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun is set to leave Stamford Bridge this summer and his agent claims there is interest from a number of Russian clubs.

The 32-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with interest from Rubin Kazan and Lokomotiv Moscow.

“The player is concentrating on this season and he is committed at Chelsea,” his agent Ronen Katsav told Russian newspaper Izvestia.

“He will be released at the end of the season and, being a good player, it is normal that there is interest from several clubs.

“Before the expiry of his contract we will consider all offers.”

Benayoun has made just one Premier League start since moving to Stamford Bridge in 2010.

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