Chelsea appear to have been beaten in the race to sign Aleksandr Golovin by AS Monaco, following the intervention of a former Blues employee.
Michael Emenalo, who is a former technical director at Chelsea and now a sporting director at the French club, has reportedly managed to persuade Russian sensation Golovin to move to Ligue 1.
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The Evening Standard reports that Chelsea had been favourites to secure the 22-year-old’s signature in a £26.7m deal, but Emenalo has struck a decisive blow to his former employers as they look set to be forced to consider alternative targets.
Golovin was fantastic at the World Cup with the host nation, leading by example in midfield as Russia advanced to an unexpected quarter-final showdown with Croatia. His stock is at an all-time high after proving he has the technical ability and composure to perform at the highest level.
The Evening Standard states that the young starlet has agreed on a five-year deal with the French outfit and will complete a medical with the club this Thursday.
They also report that Monaco vice-President Vadim Vasilyev addressed the media to talk about the transfer, expressing his belief that Golovin will be joining the club to increase his chances of first-team football.
“However, our main competitor was Chelsea. I believe that Monaco offered more favourable conditions for the club and a more understandable project for the player.’ said Vasilyev.
“Chelsea is a top club, who I treat with great respect, but the midfield is overloaded. In my opinion, Aleksandr can definitely play in any of the leading clubs in the world. But it will take him some more time, he is in a transition stage.”
It’s an important point in truth, as the talented youngster will need regular playing time and a prominent role to continue his development in the coming years at a crucial stage in his career.