Chelsea Transfer News/Rumours Update – 7 August 2013
1. Official Barca bid for Luiz coming?:
If Chelsea, however, did eventually sell Luiz it is likely that they would turn to France international Eliaquim Mangala, but only if Porto drop their asking price of €50 million (£42 million) – the release clause for the 22-year-old central defender who featured for his club in last weekend’s Emirates Cup at Arsenal.
Chelsea would want to pay no more than half that and the latest indications are that Porto might be willing to negotiate.
It is understood that Barcelona made contact with Chelsea on Tuesday and representatives have been in London to signal their intention of bidding for Luiz and may even have finally submitted a formal offer — although it is likely that they will offer just under £34.5 million.
Chelsea will reject a bid of that scale, having indicated to Bayern Munich, who had previously made an inquiry – though not a formal offer – that they would only entertain a deal of €60 million (£52 million).
Barcelona know that although Luiz is not agitating to leave Chelsea, he would like to play for them if the opportunity is presented to him.
If Luiz was to leave Stamford Bridge he has no intention of playing for another Premier League club.
There were suggestions earlier this summer that Luiz might not fit into Mourinho’s plans but this has been strongly refuted by the new manager and Chelsea.
The player is in the United States on Chelsea’s second pre-season tour, having missed the Far East tour because he played in the Confederations Cup, and has held talks with Mourinho over his future.
Mourinho has publicly and privately stated that there is “no chance” that he will sell Luiz, who signed a new long-term contract at Chelsea last year and has become a key figure at the club having arrived from Benfica in January 2011 for £21.5 million plus the midfielder Nemanja Matic.
Barca have decided the recruitment of a central defender is a priority for them this summer and Luiz is their primary target.
It may be a saga that runs throughout the remainder of the month especially as the Barca are not prepared to go close, initially, to an offer that could tempt Chelsea who will remain in the United States until Saturday.
2. Mata happy and committed to Chelsea:
The Spanish playmaker, who has been named Stamford Bridge’s player of the season for the past two years, was the subject of transfer speculation after Mourinho’s appointment.
Mata has revealed he held a meeting with Mourinho to clarify his status at the club, and the 25-year-old is now fully committed to playing for the Portuguese manager.
Asked if he was surprised about the speculation over his future, Mata said: “No, I was so relaxed about it. I spoke to the club and spoke to the manager who said I was very important to them. It was very good to hear.
“Everyone wants to feel they are important. So I’m very happy. I’m training with the new manager and we want to improve on last season.
“I’m really looking forward to starting the season with him, we’re really excited. Jose did a great job here a few years ago and I think we can do it again.
“Every manager is different and has his own kind of work. But in terms of intensity, the training sessions are so high. And the plan is to put that level of intensity into the games as well.
“Last season I didn’t have a pre-season. So for me I think the intensity is very high and it’s good to make the team competitive.”
Mata’s desire to remain in west London is a huge boost for Chelsea, who are also confident David Luiz will remain at the club.
3. Chelsea to miss out of Xabi Alonso:
Alonso is entering the final year of his contract at Real Madrid, and speculation has arose that he could be set to return to the Premier League next summer.
Former Real coach Jose Mourinho has been tipped to take the Spaniard to Chelsea, while Liverpool are also reportedly interested in bringing the central midfielder back to Anfield.
However, according to Spanish sports paper AS, Alonso is set to sign a new deal at the Bernabeu.
Alonso’s agent Inaki Ibanez met with Real officials in May where the option of a one-year contract was made, which has only been held up due to the player’s groin injury.
Alonso had an operation in Munich on June 7, and is still recovering in pre-season to get back to full fitness.
But Madrid are optimistic that the decision not to renew as of yet is physical and not economic, and that the deep-lying playmaker will agree an extension to 2015.
“I think the new signings have been good for the team and the important things is that we have built a base,” said Alonso.
“I’m sure each new player will contribute and the more options the coach has, the better. I think we know each other well. We have been together for some time now.
“We are feeling very good about the season and have the highest of expectations.
“I have always admired him [Zidane] a lot. He is someone every footballer looks up to,” he continued. “I’m very motivated about working alongside him because of everything he has achieved and experienced.”