Chelsea and Spurs to lock horns over Mattia Destro

Chelsea are ready to rival Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur for AS Roma striker Mattia Destro before the summer transfer window closes, according to reports in the Italian media

The 23-year-old has been said to be edging closer to a move to Tottenham Hotspur in the past few weeks but Pochettino might have to work extra hard as Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has shown interest in the talented player.

According to Il Messaggero, Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini, who recently made a trip to England to hold a meeting with Manchester United regarding a possible Mehdi Benatia transfer, also met with Chelsea to speak about a potential swap deal involving Destro and struggling Blues striker Fernando Torres.

Jose Mourinho knows the player from his time with Inter Milan as Destro was in the youth ranks at the time. Even though the striker didn’t make any senior appearances for the club and left for Genoa in 2010, where he got first-team action, he was included in the Champions League list as one of the under-21 youth products in the B list since the 2008–09 edition of the tournament with Inter and eventually won the trophy in 2009-10 with the club as the Nerazzurri beat Bayern in the final 2-0 and won the tournament. Destro was bought by Roma, after it agreed a deal both with Genoa and Siena for the player, in 2012 to replace the Liverpool-bound striker Fabio Borini.

Last season, he was initially sidelined due to injury. But at the end, he went on to score 13 goals and grab two assists in 20 appearances in the league (six of them were from the bench).  His record of a goal per 95 minutes ratio is quite commendable.

Mourinho knows the capabilities of the 23 year old and knows he can do well in the Premier League. Destro would be a good back-up to Diego Costa. The reports of suggesting a swap deal is on the cards with Fernando Torres is encouraging for Chelsea fans as they’re getting rid of dead wood and getting a bright player within their ranks. Drogba is of an age and won’t be the best back-up for Costa as Chelsea compete in four competitions.

Tottenham too, are trying hard and they also understand the value of bringing in the Italian. At present, their strike options are Emmanuel Adebayor who is good but very erratic; Roberto Soldado, who enjoyed a torrid season last time; Harry Kane, the youngster impressed but seems far from a first choice for Pochettino. Hence, Spurs need another player in their squad- someone who has the skills to fit in the starting line-up straight away or provide enough competition to keep the present strikers on their toes.

Top Image Courtesy: www.repubblica.it