As we head into the final day of this summer’s transfer window, Chelsea continue to aim for English signings. Here, we assess the chances the Blues have of landing each of the four known home-grown targets.
The transfer window slams shut tomorrow at 11pm UK time meaning Antonio Conte’s Chelsea will have to knuckle down with the players they have if they fail to sign anyone on ‘Deadline Day’ as the Blues look to win consecutive Premier League titles. With there being a clear need to bolster squad depth in order to compete in multiple other competitions this year in addition to the league, supporters will be hoping there is still plenty of business to be made in this summer’s market.
Following the departures of many home-grown players in this window such as Nathaniel Chalobah, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ola Aini, Chelsea appear to have particular interest in English players as they look to fill their home-grown quota in order to comply with regulations. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Drinkwater, Ross Barkley and Danny Rose have all been linked with moves to Stamford Bridge, and below are the latest developments regarding Chelsea’s pursuit of each of them.
The versatile midfielder has made a name for himself throughout his six year stint at London rivals Arsenal making an impressive 132 appearances during his time at the Emirates. Chamberlain, who is still only 24, has predominantly been used as a winger during his time in North London but also made memorable performances last season in the centre of the park and as a defensive midfielder. It is this debate over Oxlade Chamberlain’s best position that has proved to be decisive over the last 24 hours, as the Arsenal man has rejected the chance to join Chelsea due to his belief that he would be used most often as a right wing back – a position is not happy playing in at his current club. The Englishman would instead prefer to move to Liverpool, and that transfer is expected to be made official tomorrow.
It has only been a couple of years since Danny Drinkwater began a season that saw him play a major role in the Leicester team that did the impossible and won the Premier League against all odds. Alongside now Chelsea player N’Golo Kante, Drinkwater was dubbed as one half of an unstoppable partnership that was Leicester’s backbone as they conquered England’s top flight. It has since become apparent that the pair could now reunite at Chelsea, as the twenty-seven year-old handed in a formal transfer request to his club yesterday.
“My understanding is that Leicester don’t need to sell and certainly don’t want to, so if Drinkwater is to move, Mr Abramovich is going to have to sign a big cheque.” – Ian Stringer [BBC]
Unfortunately for Chelsea, the central midfielder who is wanted by Antonio Conte only signed a five year deal with Leicester last year which should keep him at the King Power until 2021. Leicester’s rich owners are also not in need of cash and have rejected an offer of £23 million. Talks are set to extend into tomorrow’s Deadline Day.
Everton’s £45 million signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson has all but confirmed Ross Barkley will leave Goodison Park this summer despite the current injury the attacking midfielder is suffering from. Wayne Rooney, who has recently returned to Everton following his record-breaking time at Manchester United urged Barkley to stick with the Toffees earlier this summer but it appears the former England captain’s plea has fallen on death ears.
“With the ability that Ross has, of course we all want him to be a part of what we’re trying to achieve at Everton. He can help us get better but the decision about his future is down to him.” – Wayne Rooney
But time is running out for Barkley to achieve the move away from Merseyside he is looking for. The Englishman was directly involved in 13 league goals last season and was valued at £50 million by his club earlier in this window however it is believed the Toffees may accept a lower offer than that now as a result of the Sigurdsson signing and Barkley’s injury. That being said, Chelsea have had a £25 million offer for the player rejected today and may still face competition from Tottenham.
Tottenham’s Danny Rose is yet to be involved in a Premier League game this season due to injury as well as making some astonishing comments and jibes regarding his current club’s transfer policy in an unusually open newspaper interview:
“As with everyone else in my team, in my opinion, I am worth more than [the wages] I am getting. In any walk of life, if you think you are worth a certain amount, why settle for less? I am not that person.”
“If I get to the levels I reached last season — and this goes out to everybody — I will make sure I get what I am worth.”
Rose went on to question the signings Tottenham have made in recent years and is said to understandably have a fragile relationship with manager Mauricio Pochettino as a result. After missing out on Alex Sandro earlier this month, it is possible Chelsea may turn their attention to an ambitious move for Rose on the final day of the window to test Spurs’ resolve. The full back who is a naturally attacking player could easily move forward into the wing back role that exists in Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation, given the blistering pace and dribbling ability he possesses. Marcos Alonso is currently the only recognised left wing back at Chelsea meaning a move for an adequate alternative would make sense for the Blues in the next 24 hours.