There has already been plenty of fallout from Chelsea’s disappointing start to their Premier League title defense in a home draw with Swansea. The most talked about has been manager Jose Mourinho’s public criticism of club doctor Eva Carneiro and her subsequent demotion from the Chelsea bench, but there could also be some changes to the squad before Sunday’s trip to take on expected title rivals Manchester City.
Chelsea’s activity in the transfer market so far this summer has been unusually low key, simply replacing departed backup squad players. And that looks to be the case with Chelsea’s next piece of business, too, as they reportedly close in on Augsburg left-back Baba Rahman. The Ghana international is set to replace Filipe Luis, who returned to Atlético Madrid last month after failing to displace Cesar Azpilicueta during his single season at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have been in negotiations with the Bundesliga club for some time and, according to The Guardian, a deal has now been struck for an initial £14 million, with a further £6 million subject to performance-related clauses. Rahman, 21, has enjoyed a rapid rise since joining Augsburg from German second tier side Greuther Fürth last summer.
While Rahman looks poised to arrive, there appears to be no further progress in Chelsea’s pursuit of Everton center-back John Stones. The Blues have already had a £26 million bid knocked back for the 21-year-old England international, with Everton manager Roberto Martinez reacting angrily to Chelsea’s public pursuit of one of his club’s key assets.
Chelsea’s chase of Stones is set to continue, though, with widespread reports that a £30 million bid will be forthcoming from Stamford Bridge. Yet, according to ESPN, Everton will again reject the offer. Despite their frustration with Chelsea’s approach, Everton have not completely ruled out the prospect of Stones leaving. Still, it could be that it takes Stones to agitate for a move in order for it to happen.
Chelsea were vulnerable defensively against Swansea, not least Branislav Ivanovic, who was given a torrid time by opposing winger Jefferson Montero. There is little suggestion of Ivanovic, who has been among the Premier League’s best right-backs for several seasons, being moved aside, although there have been reports that Chelsea made an approach for another international in his position.
Gregory van der Wiel is the man thought to have been the subject of interest from the Blues, but, according to Le Parisien, the Dutchman is now set to extend his contract with the French champions. The 27-year-old joined PSG from Ajax three years ago, but found himself on the bench behind Serge Aurier for the opening match of the season.
In other Chelsea transfer news, speculation has reemerged linking Ramires with a move away from the club. The London Evening Standard reports that Italian champions Juventus are attempting to sign the industrious Brazilian midfielder, either on a permanent deal or on loan, before the close of the window. Yet, given that Chelsea have failed to bolster their midfield options this summer, there looks little prospect of Ramires leaving, especially as he has been used both centrally and out wide by Mourinho.
One midfielder has left Chelsea, though, with Oriol Romeu completing a transfer to Southampton for a fee of £5 million on Wednesday. Romeu joined the Blues from Barcelona four years ago, but spent the last two seasons on loan, at Valencia and Stuttgart.