What a signing this would be for Chelsea!
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has problems in midfield – and is reportedly ready to spend big money in the transfer market in an attempt to fix the problem.
The Blues have been plagued by injuries in the middle of the park this term, with N’Golo Kante currently out and the likes of Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater also suffering knocks since the hasty sale of Nemanja Matic to rivals Manchester United over the summer.
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Chelsea transfer news
According to Don Balon, Chelsea could now be ready to strengthen in that area with a move for Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez, who is regarded as one of the best in Europe in his position.
Don Balon claim Chelsea have already tabled a bid of £71.5million to Atletico, though this will be turned down by manager Diego Simeone, who values the player highly.
The report also states that Atletico are highly unlikely to consider letting Saul go for anything less than his £134million release clause, which will surely prove too expensive for Chelsea.
Still, the Premier League champions could perhaps be well advised to invest in central midfield this winter after their unconvincing start to the season.
Matic has shone for rivals United since leaving Stamford Bridge, in a sale that has been widely criticised by pundits this term.
Former Chelsea player and coach Ray Wilkins has been particularly vocal in his criticism of the move, citing the Serbian’s key role in Chelsea winning the title last season.
‘You’ve got a guy here who was so paramount to Chelsea along with Kante in the middle of the pitch, winning the championship for Chelsea the year before and all of a sudden you’ve sold him to one of or the biggest rival we have,’ Wilkins was quoted on Sky Sports.
‘I just could not see why we would let Nemanja go there. He’s been outstanding for us and you’ve seen in the short period that he’s been there, how he’s allowed (Paul) Pogba to basically go and do what he wants.’
A signing like Saul could certainly help repair the damage, but it may be that Chelsea will have to look elsewhere or significantly up their offer for the 22-year-old Spain international.