Chelsea have reportedly joined fellow Premier League side Everton in the race for Sporting CP midfielder William Carvalho.
According to the Daily Express, Chelsea and Everton are set to go head-to-head for the signing of £30 million-rated Portuguese midfielder William Carvalho. It is reported that the Toffees hold the upper hand in the chase, but given the financial muscle of Chelsea, landing a player of Carvalho’s calibre should not be much of a bother for them.
Despite adding destroyer N’Golo Kante to his side, Blues boss Antonio Conte is intent on adding strength to an already over-powered midfield. After failing to land AS Roma star Radja Nainggolan, and with Joao Mario set to move to Inter Milan, the Italian has reportedly made Carvalho his primary transfer target in the middle of the park.
The Portuguese midfielder’s ability has been indubitable ever since he broke out on the international scene in the U-21 European Championships, playing a pivotal role in his nation’s run to the title. Even for the senior side, Carvalho put in some tireless performances at the Euro 2016, en route to glory in France.
The 24-year-old is a strong and imposing presence and is also tidy with the ball at his feet. His ability to control things in the middle of the park has seen him grow into one of the most fearful midfielders in the Liga Sagres. Also, given his relatively young age, it would take him very little time to accustom himself to life in the Premier League.
Could Carvalho’s spell the end for Nemanja Matic’s career at Stamford Bridge?
Nemanja Matic endured a torrid 2015/16 season under Guus Hiddink. His poor performances were one of the main causes of Chelsea’s shambolic 10th placed run in their title-defending campaign. Ever since the end of May, the Serbian has been linked with a move away from the Stamford Bridge. Manchester United and Juventus were reportedly interested in signing the midfielder, but Antonio Conte has recently stated that Matic will remain at the club this summer.
“Matic is an important player for me, a very important player . In my idea of football he is an important player and he knows this,” said the Chelsea boss.
If Carvalho is brought to Stamford Bridge, he would join an overly flooded roster of midfielders including Cesc Fabregas, John Obi Mikel, Ruben Loftus Cheek, Oscar and Nemanja Matic. Fabregas and Matic were the undisputed first choice midfield pairing under Jose Mourinho, but given last season’s performances and the presence of a new man in charge, none of the players can be quite assured that they would be regular starters at the club.