Chelsea will make a £35m bid for Edinson Cavani, according to The Sun. Cavani himself has already stated that he would not be leaving Napoli this summer but Roberto Di Matteo is determined to purchase another striker before the end of the transfer window. The Chelsea boss rates Cavani higher than previously linked Porto forward Hulk but should a bid for the Uruguayan stall, he will turn his attentions to the Brazilian.
The Daily Star is reporting that Chelsea will be successful with a £23.5m bid for Bayern Leverkusen forward Andre Schurrle. Chelsea have already seen a £16m bid rejected and the rumours come despite Leverkusen chief executive Wolfgang Holzhauser stating that the 21-year-old German international would not be sold this summer.
It appears Cesar Azpilicueta has played his last game for Marseille after the right-back was left out of the squad for the French team’s Europa League tie with FC Sheriff Tiraspol tomorrow night. Chelsea and Marseille are in advanced negotiations and the deal could also see Gael Kakuta go the other way joining on a permanent or temporary basis.
Chelsea face Reading tonight and Marko Marin remains sidelined with a hamstring injury although Ramires has recovered from the illness that ruled him out of the game with Wigan on Sunday. Roberto Di Matteo hinted at some changes in the starting line-up: “Sometimes, you look at it and think, "Don't change a winning team", but it doesn't always work this way.” Oscar will again play a role, having come on as a substitute against Wigan, but Di Matteo is careful to integrate the 20-year-old slowly with the player having only joined the Chelsea set-up last Thursday after international duty. David Luiz has been sidelined with injury, so Gary Cahill is primed to step in and take his place.
Provisional Chelsea squad: Cech, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Luiz, Cole, Bertrand, Mikel, Meireles, Malouda, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Hazard, Oscar, Piazon, Torres, Sturridge, Turnbull.
John Terry has urged his teammates to not lose ground in the title race this season. Terry believes a poor start to the season last year under Andre Villas-Boas, after which Chelsea were several points behind the leaders, was costly and has told them that the club cannot afford to make the same mistakes again this season.
Brian McDermott, manager of tonight’s opponents Reading, revealed that he scouted Eden Hazard five years ago. McDermott long served Reading as scout and saw Hazard play as a 16-year-old in one of his scouting trips to France and already at that age, McDermott recognised Hazard’s elevated potential. Additionally, Chelsea boss Di Matteo has compared Hazard to Gianfranco Zola for his artistry on the ball.
Roberto Di Matteo refused to divulge information on the futures of Florent Malouda and Yossi Benayoun. The pair want to stay at Chelsea but have been linked with moves away from the club and Di Matteo has urged them to fight for a place whilst they remain Chelsea players. Neither Malouda nor Benayoun have been selected in any of Di Matteo’s match day squads so far.
image: © Tom Cuppens