After Chelsea lost the FIFA Club World Cup final to Corinthians on Sunday, the Blues could also face disappointment in their reported pursuit of the Brazilian outfit’s midfielder Paulinho. With Oriol Romeu out for six months with injury and Frank Lampard set to depart at the end of the season, it is believed that a central midfielder is high on Chelsea’s list of priorities in the January transfer window.
And the Blues were thought to be taking a close look at Paulinho in Japan having reportedly tracked him for several months. However, Brazilian publication Esporte carries quotes from both the 24-year-old and Corinthians that claim he will be staying at the club for the foreseeable future.
Paulinho, a Brazil international, has also been linked with Inter Milan.
There may be better news for Chelsea should they pursue their much mooted interest in Everton’s Marouane Fellaini. The midfield powerhouse was involved in three separate altercations with Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross during a 1-1 draw on Saturday and has subsequently been handed a three match ban.
Everton boss David Moyes heavily criticized Fellaini after the match and, according to the Guardian, the chances have now increased that the Belgium international will be allowed to leave the club in the New Year.
While lately Fellaini has said that he is committed to Everton, earlier in the season he was reported to have said in an interview in Belgium that he would like to move onto a bigger club either in January or at the end of the season.
An offer of £30 million may be needed to pry the 25-year-old away from Goodison Park.
The Daily Mail reports that Lampard will be allowed to leave the club in January in a move that would intensify Chelsea’s search for a midfielder. High on the Blues’ list of targets to replace the veteran England international is Roma’s gifted Bosnian Miralem Pjanic, according to the Mail.
The 22-year-old arrived in the Italian capital from Lyon in the summer of 2011 and is now said to be valued at £14 million.
As well as Lampard, Chelsea’s policy of only offering players over the age of 30 one year deals is expected to bring about the exit of Ashley Cole. The 31-year-old has been widely linked with big-spending French outfit Paris Saint-Germain, who are managed by former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti.
According to the Daily Star, Chelsea are already make provisions should Cole depart and are keen on Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrao. The Portugal international only arrived at the Bernabeu in the summer of 2011 for a reported fee of £27 million. Yet, surprisingly, the Daily Star reports that Chelsea could secure the 24-year-old for just £12 million.
The story claims that Madrid are looking to sell players to fund their spending next summer. With Marcelo also at Madird, Coentrao is said to be one of the individuals that the club is looking to move on.
“If an interesting offer comes in, we will consider it,” the Daily Star reports a Madrid source as saying.