Shakhtar Donetsk could be willing to part with long-time Chelsea and Tottenham target Willian in this month’s transfer window, according to the Independent.
Shakhtar’s signing of Chelsea-target Taison earlier this month is thought to have paved the way for fellow attacking midfielder Willian to be allowed to leave for around £20 million.
The Independent reports that Chelsea are still interested in the 24-year-old and could offer a financial package to trump London rivals Tottenham. Willian, a Brazil international, would be giving up Champions League participation for the remainder of the season were he to move in January, with Shakhtar having qualified for the knockout phase at Chelsea’s expense. However, that is unlikely to prevent a move.
Despite recent reports, Chelsea have not yet made an official approach for Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas, according to Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague.
It has previously been suggested that Chelsea were willing to pay the highly-rated 25-year-old’s €10 million (£8.3m) release clause. Spanish publication AS, however, reports that it is Valencia that are the frontrunners for the player and have already agreed personal terms, but have not yet met the player’s release clause.
As Celta fight relegation from La Liga, the club has said that they are desperate to hang onto their top scorer this season. But, as manager Paco Herrera confirmed, they would be powerless to stand in Aspas’ way should his buyout clause be met.
"It seems that there is the possibility of a club emerging that are willing to pay the clause,” he said, according to Sky Sports.
"In that case, if the player wants to go, Celta will not be able to do anything."
Reading are prepared to meet the clause, although their plan to pay in installments has been rejected by Celta, according to Balague.
Chelsea may yet make a late move to secure Aspas.
Another striking vacancy may soon be opened up at Stamford Bridge, with reports claiming that Atletico Madrid are weighing up a season-long loan for their former idol Fernando Torres in the summer.
Torres’ inability to come anywhere near justifying his £50 million fee has become an audible source of frustration for Chelsea fans. It may be that the Blues decide to send Torres back to Atletico in order to try and regain his former glory.
The Sunday Express quotes a source from Atletico suggesting that they would welcome the Spain international back at the Vicente Calderon.
Chelsea could yet be in the running to sign one of the world’s top stars, with Brazil forward Neymar denying that he has already agreed a move to Barcelona. Neymar, 20, has been the subject of fervent speculation about when he would make his long-awaited move from Santos to Europe.
The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain have all been linked, although it had been reported recently that Barcelona had already made a down payment to take Neymar to the Camp Nou.
But Nemyar has rejected these suggestions and also again hinted that he would remain in his homeland until after the 2014 World Cup.
“I have no agreement with Barcelona or anyone else,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.
“The only thing I have signed is with Santos, and I’m happy. They’re a big club with whom I’m under contract until 2014.
“The most important thing is to be happy, and I’m with my family. My objective is to help Santos and Brazil, and the best will come with hard work.”