Chelsea hope to ease defensive crisis at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea tickets available from Telegraph Tickets
Bet on Chelsea with Sportingbet.com and get a free bet worth up to £50
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti – assuming he’s still there in January – has singled out Fulham defender Brede Hangeland as his top target to solve the Blues defensive shortage.
According to reports, the Italian is already making inquiries to persuade the giant centre-back to make the short trip to Stamford Bridge in the new year.
The Premier League champions fear England star and captain John Terry may be out of action until March because of a problematic nerve in his leg, which has forced him to see a specialist.
Hangeland has caught the eye at the heart of the Cottagers’ defence over the last 18 months – leading to firm interest from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
The Frenchman has so far been unable to persuade the Norwegian to make the move to north London, but Ancelotti – whose own future appears up in the air today after reports he is on the verge of quitting Stamford Bridge – is reportedly tracking Hangeland to solve his own defensive headache.
Injured defender Alex played through the pain barrier in the defeat at Birmingham on Saturday, but the Blues need a longer-term solution to their shortage of specialist central defenders.
Roma’s Philippe Mexes is also thought to be on Chelsea’s list, as his contract expires in the summer, while Everton’s Phil Jagielka and Bolton’s Gary Cahill are other options. (Metro)
Irrespective of the likelihood of this move, if it did happen at least Brede Hangeland wouldn’t have to move house.
In fact, if he began to daydream during his drive to Chelsea, he might accidentally find himself at the wrong ground.
In all seriousness though, it is difficult to see Arsenal signing this player, given that they have repeatedly denied interest.
Chelsea’s defensive problems at present have been well documented, and if John Terry is to be out of action for the foreseeable future, then perhaps Hangeland could be persuaded to move to Stamford Bridge.
The Norway international has proven his loyalty to the Cottagers, but with Fulham currently struggling dangerously close to the relegation zone under Mark Hughes, that loyalty may be tested.