Chelsea are in prime position to secure the signing of Vitesse Arnhem’s prolific striker Wilfried Bony, according to the Sun.
The claim comes after West Ham were strongly linked to the Ivory Coast international in recent days, with their co-chairman David Sullivan believed to have met with one of Bony’s agents, Grancis Kacou, earlier this week.
But the Sun now reports that Kacou, along with Vitesse owner Merab Jordania and managing director Erwin Kasakowski, were at Stamford Bridge for Brazil’s friendly with Russia on Tuesday to discuss Bony’s move to Chelsea.
Bony, who is said to be valued at £12 million, has scored 26 goals in 24 appearances in the Eredivisie this season. He has previously spoken of his pleasure at being linked to Chelsea.
“If they want me, it would be a great honor,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “I would be glad to go to such a club.
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“I love English football and wouldn’t be afraid to play there. Chelsea are a top club.
“I know that Chelsea and Arnhem are close and some of the Chelsea lads are here on loan, including Tomas [Kalas]. I have discussed it with him many times already.”
Chelsea are widely expected to sign at least one forward this summer, with Radamel Falcao thought to be the leading target. But the Blues are also believed to be keeping tabs on several other targets, including St Etienne’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Having scored 16 goals in Ligue 1 this season the Gabon international is in high demand, as his father and representative has explained.
"My son is having a fantastic season in the French league," Pierre Aubame told Sky Sports. "He is happy and we are happy.
"There is interest in Germany, Italy and England. We have been invited by clubs. I will go to meet Fiorentina, who are interested and want the boy.”
"England has always been appealing, especially London, but there are also other clubs, it is not just the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham."
Another striker previously mentioned as a Chelsea target was Sevilla’s Alvaro Negredo. The Spain international was thought close to a move in January with Sevilla said to be eager to raise funds. The 27-year-old has revealed that offers were rejected then, but that he remains keen on a move to the Premier League.
"I have always said it, I have never hidden it," Negredo said, reports Sky Sports. "It is a league that I like.
"I do not know if it will be soon, or maybe further down the road, or tomorrow, but I will play there.
"The president [Jose Maria del Nido] received some offers, but he did not accept them. Nobody said anything directly to me, and it was not the right moment to leave.”
While there is likely to be serious investment at Stamford Bridge again this summer, doubts remain about several Chelsea players that are on-loan from the club this season. One of those, Belgian youngster Kevin de Bruyne, has said that he does not know what the future holds.
The 21-year-old midfielder has yet to play for Chelsea and has spent the campaign on loan at Werder Bremen.
“I wanted to show everybody at Chelsea that I can play there,” he said, according to the Sun.
“For the moment I don’t know what Chelsea want to do with me, so it’s difficult to say what’s going to happen with me in the next year or so. I’ll have to just wait.”