As John Terry prepares to depart Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have decided that they will not continue the pursuit of the English defender they once considered his ideal successor.
One of the biggest transfer sagas of the summer in 2015 involved Chelsea and their prolonged interest in Everton’s young English centre-back John Stones. The Blues made three separate bids rising up to £36 million for Stones last summer, but the Merseyside club stood firm in the face of the big money on offer even as the defender himself reportedly handed in a transfer request. Stones remained at Everton and Chelsea were forced to make do without the 21-year-old.
The fact that Everton refused the huge Blues’ offer last time around is a clear indicator that they will only sell off one of their best young talents for an exorbitant transfer fee. Stones is contracted to Everton till 2019, which means that the club have enough time on their hands to negotiate a massive deal.
Stones has once again put in some classy performances for an otherwise poor Everton side and this, combined with the headline grabbing saga with Chelsea last summer, has made him a much more prominent name among the top European clubs. The likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and even Barcelona have been linked with Stones recently and he could end up leaving Goodison Park for a fee around £50 million.
All of these factors have contributed to Chelsea dropping their interest in the defender, according to the Daily Express. The report states that although incoming manager Antonio Conte is interested in Stones, the Italian is not willing to sanction the huge transfer fee such a move would demand.
Conte has his own list of players that he wants to bring to Stamford Bridge, and he is believed to be more willing to spend on a number of quality players rather than spending big money on one player.
Antonio Conte eyes deal for Southampton striker Graziano Pelle
Southampton forward Graziano Pelle has emerged as a surprise summer transfer target for Chelsea, according to the Sun. Italian national manager Antonio Conte is believed to be very impressed with the Azurri forward and wants to continue their working relationship at club level when he takes over at Chelsea next season.
Conte was the coach who handed Pelle his senior international debut for Italy, with the Southampton striker being capped 11 times in the past two years. The 30-year-old has scored 13 goals this season for the Saints, but has given way to Shane Long and Jay Rodriguez in recent times. If first team football is no longer viable with Southampton, then Pelle would definitely be eager to make the move to London.
The Italian has just one year left on his contract and Southampton would also be very keen to cash in on their ageing talent. Pelle is valued at £9 million by transfermarkt.com, and would represent an excellent budget buy for the Blues.
Chelsea are currently dependent on Spaniard Diego Costa to lead their front line and the former Atletico Madrid striker’s issues with injury and discipline mean that the Blues need a reliable backup. While there is definitely room for improvement for Costa under Conte, the likes of Radamel Falcao, Alexandre Pato and Loic Remy could see their time at Stamford Bridge come to an unceremonious end.
Pelle has all the abilities to be a powerful force off the bench for the Blues and this looks like a deal that could benefit all parties.