Chelsea have entered the race to sign in-demand Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic, with Jose Mourinho determined to capture the gifted Montenegrin, according to the Times. Jovetic has been strongly linked with both Arsenal and Juventus and looks set to leave the Serie A side this summer. Fiorentina revealed that the 23-year-old wanted a “new experience” last week, although they have since claimed that he has not asked to leave and they will only allow him to do so for an agreed fee of €30 million(£25.5m).
Jovetic’s agent has also previously suggested that the player would prefer to remain in Italy, appearing to make Juventus the favorites to complete a deal. Yet, the Times reports that Chelsea have begun discussions with Fiorentina over a potential £23 million transfer. Jovetic has been coveted by many of Europe’s big clubs for some time and was persuaded to stay in Florence last season after an agreement was struck that he could leave this summer for the right price. He has since endured a difficult campaign, however, netting just 13 league goals.
The attempted signing of Jovetic appears to be one of Mourinho’s first pieces of business since his return to Stamford Bridge was confirmed this week. There have been reports that also on the Portuguese’s itinerary is getting back in contact with his former charge at Inter Milan Wesley Sneijder to persuade the Dutchman to join him at Chelsea. Such a move looks unlikely given that Sneijder moved to Galatasaray just a few months ago and bearing in mind Chelsea’s array of creative midfielders.
But, when questioned about the speculation, Sneijder certainly didn’t seem averse to the idea and revealed he has kept in touch with Mourinho.
"I have a great relationship with Jose Mourinho," Sneijder told SporX. "We have kept in contact since our days at Inter. Does Chelsea need a playmaker? I'm not sure. In soccer you can never be certain of what will happen next but I'm very happy in Turkey."
Even prior to Mourinho’s arrival, Chelsea have been linked with a big-money signing of Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. And the Daily Mirror has reported that the Blues are one of the clubs still eagerly monitoring developments over the 27-year-old, who Sir Alex Ferguson claimed asked to leave Old Trafford in the closing weeks of the season. That came after Rooney was forced down the pecking order and was required to play in central midfield in several appearances.
And the England international has insisted that he sees himself as a forward, which the tabloids are translating into a demand to play up front if he is to remain with United.
“No,” Rooney responded when asked if he wanted to continue in a midfield role. “In the years to come, that might be somewhere I could play, but, right now, I’m definitely a center-forward. I’m after more goals."
"When you play as a target man, you have to stay up front and help the team out by holding the ball up and waiting for support. That all comes with experience. It's a good role for me to play, and hopefully I can continue doing well there.”
Despite Chelsea being linked with a number of attackers, Mourinho is said to be keen to persuade Romelu Lukaku that his immediate future lays at Stamford Bridge. The young Belgian flourished in a loan spell with West Brom in the past this past season when he scored 17 Premier League goals and is keen to continue to get regular first-team action ahead of next year’s World Cup. Yet, Mourinho is a long-time fan of the 20-year-old and wants him at his disposal for the upcoming campaign, reports the Guardian.