Fernando Torres may have scored a fine opening goal in Wednesday’s Europa League final, but Chelsea are set to push ahead with their plans to sign a top-class striker this summer. The Spaniard has failed to recapture the form that persuaded the Blues to splash out £50 million on him over two years ago and several big names have been linked as his replacement.
While for several months Radamel Falcao has appeared to be the leading target, the Blues now look set to turn their attentions toward Napoli front man Edinson Cavani. There have been reports in recent days that Falcao was set to be poached by Monaco and now their goalkeeper, Danijel Subasic, has claimed that there is a “90 percent” chance that the Atletico Madrid striker will be plying his trade for the newly promoted Ligue 1 side next season.
Falcao, though, has given Chelsea some hope with his latest comments playing down speculation of a move to Monaco.
“I do not know anything about that," Falcao said, according to ESPN. "I am just thinking about Atletico Madrid. I am on the margin of all this speculation. The media have linked me with half of Europe -- Manchester United, Real Madrid... Since I arrived here they have been sending me away."
According to several reports, Chelsea are already making serous contingency plans should they miss out on the Colombia international. The Daily Mirror has reported that Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis was recently in London, where one of his items of business was to discuss a potential transfer for his leading marksman Cavani to Stamford Bridge. Any deal for the Uruguay international is unlikely to come easily, however. The 26-year-old has a massive buyout clause of €63 million (£53m), inserted into the player’s contract after Napoli rejected an offer of €55 million (£46m) last summer. There is also likely to be strong competition for Cavani’s signature, with Manchester City among the clubs said to maintain a strong interest.
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Chelsea could have another high-profile player currently plying his trade in Italy in their sights with claims that there is strong interest in Roma’s Daniele De Rossi. Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that the commanding midfielder could be allowed to leave for as little as €12 million (£10.1m) after a difficult season in Rome.
After a move to Manchester City was rejected last summer, De Rossi fell out with former coach Zdenek Zeman and found himself out of the side on occasion. The 29-year-old Italy international is said to be keen to work with the man expected to become Chelsea’s new manager, Jose Mourinho, although big-spending Paris Saint-Germain could also make a move.
Meanwhile, there continues to be no confirmation on what was expected to be Chelsea’s first signing of the summer. Bayer Leverkusen’s Andre Schurrle has long appeared on the verge of completing his move to Stamford Bridge, but the Bundesliga side have yet to sign off on the deal.
Initially Chelsea midfielder Kevin de Bruyne was expected to form part of the deal by travelling to Leverkusen on a season-long loan. But the young Belgian now appears set for a permanent move to Borussia Dortmund and, as reported by Bild, Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller has revealed that nothing will happen with Schurrle until the club finds a suitable alternative.