Returning boss Jose Mourinho quickly made his presence felt at Chelsea this summer. "The Special One" strengthened his attack with Cristian Cuevas, Marco van Ginkel, and Andre Schurrle, and provided some depth at keeper with Mark Schwarzer.
But his crowning move is supposed to come by adding the spear to his offense with a powerful, well-known striker. It appears Mourinho will either go with two of the most decorated players of the last decade, or wrangle a young player for the future.
Chelsea and Mourinho have said for the last month that Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney was their absolute priority. Questions about his fitness and a perceived public rift with old United boss Alex Ferguson and his replacement David Moyes have reportedly led to Rooney’s desire to leave storied Old Trafford for a new opportunity.
The 27-year-old with 141 goals and five Premier League titles has been linked to the Blues once again, and the club is prepared to up their bid from £25 million to £28 million, according to The Express. Both amounts are well below Rooney’s reported market value of £45 million, but perhaps there is hope from Chelsea that they can capitalize on United’s stressful situation.
Should that bid fail like the two before, Chelsea will turn to 32-year-old Anzhi Makhachkala striker Samuel Eto’o, who will only cost about £5 million, according to The Express. Again, the price tag is well under the perceived £20 million valuation. Recognizing his career is winding down, Eto’o wants to win championships and his Russian club is paring down costs at a rapid rate. That kind of desperation could mean the Cameroon star will agree to a significant pay cut from the roughly £19 million he earns with Anzhi.
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Last week, Serie A clubs Inter Milan and Napoli were interested in Eto’o, and Metro reports United have now targeted him as well. In his 16-year senior career, Eto’o has 224 goals with seven different clubs, but has never made his way to the Premier League.
If Mourinho instead chooses youth, the Blues face some serious competition for Belgian-born striker Zakaria Bakkali of PSV Eindhoven. The Express reports that Manchester City scouted the 17-year-old earlier this week after he became the youngest player to record a hat trick in the Eredivisie. Arsenal, another team searching for a splash move, are also reportedly interested in Bakkali.
Bakkali is just four games into his senior career, but has already notched five goals. He’s made his name working up the Belgium youth system, with four caps and one goal for the under-21 squad.