Chelsea move ahead of Ajax in the race to sign Vitesse Arnhem’s Dutch midfielder Marco van Ginkel

The Mirror reports that Chelsea are on the verge of signing the talented Dutch midfielder Marco van Ginkel from Eredivisie side Vitesse Arnhem, after Ajax pulled out of the race for financial reasons.

Ajax were very interested in Van Ginkel and we were willing to go quite far. But if we have to compete with one of the big clubs from England it is always going to be difficult for us. We cannot beat Chelsea’s financial resources“, said Ajax Director of Football Marc Overmars.

The 20 year old midfielder, Van Ginkel, was instrumental last season, winning the ‘Dutch Talent of the Year’ award. He has already been called for the senior national team, with manager Louis van Gaal handing him his debut against Germany last November.

THT Verdict: Very likely. Vitesse shares a very close working relationship with Chelsea, with the London club sending as many as 3-4 youngsters to gain some valuable experience every season, thereby also helping Vitesse along the way. Furthermore, Chelsea also extend their help in advising Vitesse on various aspects of club administration. So, even if Chelsea wasn’t in a position to financially beat the likes of Ajax, Chelsea would have been the preferred choice of the Eredivisie club, in all likelihood.

As far as the player is concerned, he has a range of skills Chelsea are presently short of in central midfield and his age (20) and potential make his just the right kind of player that the West London club, under Michael Emenalo, have looked to add over the past few seasons. He is technically complete, is comfortable on the ball, has good passing range and is not shy of covering ground in midfield. Furthermore, he likes to occasionally join in the attacks, making runs from the deep and chipping in with goals. At 6’1”, he is tall enough to be a threat in the air and once he adds up a few pounds, his physical presence will also become reasonably effective. At €10m, he is a steal and Chelsea should complete the deal as soon as the under-21 championships come to an end.

Marseille want to add Arsenal forward Gervinho to their ranks for next season

According to the Independent, the Ivory Coast international is very close to leaving Arsenal, after Marseille confirmed their interest in the player. “This is a profile that interests us, yes. We want flank players, with dribbling, passing and scoring and Gervinho has this profile“, said Marseille’s assistant coach Franck Passi.

Gervinho, since his move from Lille, has failed to live up to the high expectations at Arsenal, scoring only 11 goals and with his place in the starting line-up looking unsure by the day, he may look to move back to France to ensure more playing time. Moreover, as Marseille finished second behind PGS in Ligue 1, they have qualified for the Champions League, so the forward will also be able to continue competing in Europe.

THT Verdict: Likely. With Arsene Wenger looking at players such as Steven Jovetic and Gonzalo Higuain to bolster his firepower upfront, and with the emergence of talents such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, it’s highly unlikely that Gervinho will be a preference come next season. So Arsenal may look for offers and if a right one comes from Marseille, they are expected to offload the 26 year old Ivory Coast  international. The move will be in the interest of all three parties – Arsenal, Marseille and the player himself.