Chelsea will find it exceedingly difficult to land a former Tottenham attacker two trusted sources claim they’re targeting thanks in large part to Liverpool striking early in the window.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have plenty of issues this season, though their recruitment team remains as decisive as ever. The Reds moved quickly to snap up Luis Diaz one year ago amid strong interest from Tottenham. Liverpool pulled off a similar piece of business 12 months on when snatching Cody Gakpo from Man Utd’s grasp.
The Dutchman arrived from PSV Eindhoven in a deal worth an initial £37m. Hopes on Merseyside are high Gakpo can help fire the struggling Reds into the top four come season’s end.
To do so, Liverpool will have to step up their game and beat out at least three of the Premier League’s ‘big seven’. Newcastle are firmly in the mix having wasted little time thrusting themselves among the usual Champions League contenders.
Clubs like Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd and Tottenham are in serious danger of missing out on Europe’s top competition. At present, it’s Graham Potter’s Blues who are worst-placed, languishing all the way down in 10th.
Potter is feeling the heat with his position reportedly coming under the microscope just four months after taking charge. A highly thought of former Premier League manager is understood to be willing to take the reins if called.
However, Blues chief Todd Boehly will continue to splash the cash regardless of who leads the team.
Joao Felix is due to arrive on a six-month loan from Atletico Madrid, though the Athletic’s David Ornstein reported ‘more reinforcements’ will arrive.
The Times hinted at two possible targets, PSV’s Noni Madueke and Marcus Thuram of Borussia Monchengladbach.
Regarding ex-Spurs attacker Madueke – who was on the club’s books between 2014-18 – the Times claimed Boehly is considering a move.
Madueke can operate either in central areas or on the right wing and notched nine goals in each of his last two seasons in the Netherlands. Injuries have disrupted his campaign this time around, though he remains highly regarded nonetheless.
However, according to Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea’s chances of signing Madueke this month have been dealt a significant blow by Liverpool.
PSV batten down the hatches after selling Gakpo
Eindhoven have already been deprived of their finest attacker in Gakpo. Losing Madueke too would be crippling, especially as they’re in genuine contention to lift the Eredivisie. They’re just three points off table-toppers Feyenoord at present.
Romano told Caught Offside when addressing the Madueke to Chelsea speculation: “Chelsea follow really many players.
“Yes, Madueke is one of many players appreciated, but they also know PSV Eindhoven have already sold Gakpo and they will try to keep all their stars.
“Last summer, they were looking for more than €35m (approx. £31m) to sell Madueke.”
Of course, a summer move to Stamford Bridge could still be explored. But for the time being at least, it appears any Chelsea approaches this month will fall on deaf ears.
That news will be greeted warmly over at Anfield with Chelsea in desperate need of firepower if they’re to stand any chance of surging into the top four.
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