Chelsea are considering making a final improved offer for Bayer Leverkusen's Germany international André Schürrle ahead of the closure of the transfer window on Friday night in a move that, if successful, would take their summer outlay on new players close to £100m. The European champions have been lavish spenders in the market having already revamped their forward line with the additions of Eden Hazard (£32m), Oscar (£20m), Marko Marin (£7m) and Victor Moses (£9m). The Spanish right-back Cesar Azpilicueta has also signed from Marseille for around £7m and, while that heavy recruitment has caught the eye, Roberto di Matteo has made no secret of the lack of central striker options should Fernando Torres suffer an injury at Stamford Bridge.
The likes of Edinson Cavani, Radamel Falcao and Hulk had all been considered only for their respective clubs to resist Chelsea's interest. Leverkusen have maintained Schürrle, too, is not available and have already rejected the London club's initial £16m bid for his services. Yet, at 21, the versatile striker – who more normally operates wide but also potentially through the centre – fits Chelsea's criteria as they plan for the long-term to leave the Premier League club considering submitting a further bid before Friday's cut-off. Should that, too, be rejected they would aim to return when the market reopens.
Chelsea's European Cup winning forward, Didier Drogba, visited Cobham yesterday [TUES] while uncertainty surrounds his position at his new side, Shanghai Shenhua. The Chinese Premier League club's major shareholder and chairman, Zhu Jun, is seeking greater control having pumped more than £60m into Shenhua in the last five-and-a-half years. If that control is not forthcoming, he is now threatening to contribute only 28.5% - matching his stake in the club – of the running costs, including players' salaries. Both Drogba and Nicolas Anelka earn close to £250,000-a-week in Shanghai.
Regardless, the Ivorian could yet return to Cobham to train with his former Chelsea team-mates in November once the Chinese domestic season ends. There are six league games still to be played, the final round of matches due on 3 November, with Drogba – whose family are still based in Surrey – likely to seek to maintain his fitness ahead of his involvement with the Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations in the new year.
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image: © Jason Bagley