Early Doors

Schuerrle you can’t be serious?

Early Doors

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He is serious, and do call him Schuerrle

These are topsy-turvy times to be a Chelsea fan.

The Blues - much like the rest of the footballing world - are still adjusting to life in a world in which they are European champions, but the talismanic striker who fired them to glory has since left the club.

The Stamford Bridge faithful excitedly await their first opportunity to catch a glimpse of the much-hyped, big-money new addition Eden Hazard, but they also face an anxious week as their captain, John Terry, today begins his five-day trial for allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, a charge he denies.

And only yesterday they showed they still have both ambition and money to spend when they tabled a £16 million bid for Germany forward Andre Schuerrle, only to have it rejected by Bayer Leverkusen.

"We were presented with a very concrete offer from Chelsea for Andre of beyond the 20 million euro mark," Leverkusen chief executive Wolfgang Holzhauser was quoted as saying by German news agency SID "The sum was pushed back and forth between the two clubs. We ultimately chose Andre.

"Andre is very valuable for us. He has also made it clear he would like to stay with us."

What the 21-year-old must think about the fact there were significant negotiations over the fee before his club "chose" him is anyone's guess. If the European champions are really determined to get him, it remains to be seen how strong the lure of remaining at Germany's fifth-best club really is. The Europa League is a fine competition, of course, but it suddenly becomes a lot less appealing when a genuine assault on the biggest silverware is on offer. Well, for everyone except Jan Vertonghen, it seems.

There is little surprise that the former Mainz player has attracted attention, though. As a young attacking player from Germany he could hardly be more in vogue.

In his only start at Euro 2012 - as Joachim Loew showed off the depth of his squad by changing his entire front three for Germany's quarter-final - Schuerrle was unfortunate not to score as he rained six shots on the Greek goal in little over an hour on the pitch as Germany won 4-2.

With Drogba gone and Frank Lampard seemingly settling into the deeper midfield role that worked so well towards the end of last season, the Blues could do with another player who is not afraid to have a pop at goal. After all, David Luiz needs no further encouragement to rampage up the field any more than he does already.

Schuerrle only netted nine goals and set up another three in his first year at Leverkusen, but his ability to play high up the pitch in wide positions on either side as well as centrally proved highly valuable for his team and would clearly suit Roberto Di Matteo's Chelsea well.

Signing Schuerrle would give Fernando Torres a trio of swift schemers - along with Juan Mata and Hazard - to eagerly buzz around him and tee him up for chance after chance. The Spaniard may have become a Champions League winner and a European Championship Golden Boot almost by the back door this year, but he could not ask for anything more as he prepares for life as the main man in Chelsea's attack.

There are many reasons for Chelsea to persist with their pursuit of Schuerrle. He is one of Germany's hip young gunslingers. He has two Rs in his name in a place any lesser person would only have one. Anything he does of note would surely be reported with a slew of Airplane-inspired puns.

But, most of all, he would be yet another young and high-quality attacking talent who would help drive Chelsea back towards the top of the Premier League.

- - -

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I've read one or two articles over the last week or so on how football within the Olympics should be taken as a bit of fun. I personally take that as a bit of an insult because I've always lived my life as professional sportsman to try and give my best. We've trained for excellence, and we'll enter and prepare this team to win gold." - Team GB football coach Stuart Pearce is not in the mood for messing about as he announces that Ryan Giggs will captain the side at London 2012.

FOREIGN VIEW: "Didier Deschamps is obviously the man of the moment. The French team needs in this difficult context, a man of his stamp and experience. He can naturally count on the support without fail of the professional football world in France." - Frederic Thiriez, president of the French Professional League, welcomes the appointment of the man who led Marseille to 10th in Ligue 1 last season as the new France coach.

COMING UP: Eurobot is fired up and ready to dispense the latest transfer news and gossip throughout the day, while Paul Parker will be filing his latest column at 1 pm.

Away from football, Britain's Bradley Wiggins remains the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. See if he can stay so as stage nine of the race gets underway.

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