Chelsea have entered the chase for Miralem Pjanic and are reportedly set to rival Barcelona in pursuit of the Juventus midfielder.

Italian publication Corriere dello Sport are speculating that Miralem Pjanic’s suitors have seen an increment in number. Chelsea have entered the chase for the Bosnian and will rival Barcelona for the signature of the Juventus midfielder, who is thought to be available at around €70 million.

Miralem Pjanic has seen his career take flight in Serie A itself, after joining AS Roma from Lyon in 2011. The Bosnian has since grown in stature, in his role as a hybrid box-to-box midfielder. His performances earned him a move to Juventus in 2016 and his graph’s upward trajectory has accentuated ever since.

A good season. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

A good season. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

The 2017-18 season was a success at club level for Pjanic as he completed the campaign with 7 goals and 14 assists to his name. The midfielder did suffer a mild disappointment, with Bosnia & Herzegovina not making it to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. But, this could prove to be a blessing in disguise, with the player being linked to Barcelona and Chelsea.

Barcelona have been looking to strengthen their midfield department for a while now. Andre Gomes and Denis Suarez have failed to have the desired impact while Paulinho’s form has also petered out to an extent. Club these with Andres Iniesta’s departure and there is no shred of doubt that midfield reinforcements will be Barcelona’s priority for the upcoming season.

The Catalans do reserve interest in Thiago Alcantara. But, the former Barcelona man seems to be edging towards a move to arch-rivals Real Madrid. There exists interest in Frenkie De Jong, but the youngster could still arrive as a squad player, in addition to signing a cultured midfielder.

Chelsea, on the other hand, are yet to find an able partner for N’Golo Kante after the departure of Nemanja Matic. Tiemoue Bakayoko looked nothing like his AS Monaco form and while Cesc Fabregas is quality going forward, his presence in a midfield two will create problems.

The Blues are thought to be close to confirming the appointment of Maurizio Sarri as their new manager. Sarri will be aware of Pjanic’s quality, having observed him closely in Serie A. Chelsea’s recent transfer links show an affinity towards targeting players from Serie A, perhaps owing to Sarri.

Pjanic will add quality to any squad he ends up in. At Barcelona, he can be the cultured and experienced midfield partner to Sergio Busquets in a midfield two, with Ernesto Valverde opting to field a 4-4-2. At Chelsea, he could form a part of the Sarri-ball that the Blues faithfuls will hope their team will display in the upcoming season.

Juventus have been in talks over an extension for Pjanic. And while the Italian champions do intend to retain the services of the Bosnian, they have reportedly slapped a €70 million price tag on the midfielder.

But, in the end, Juventus will leave it to Pjanic to decide whether he wants to leave for Barcelona or Chelsea, if the teams do come in with the desired offer.

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