Chelsea deal for German striker Andre Schurrle may mean move away for Daniel Sturridge
CHELSEA are planning a fresh bid for German international striker André Schürrle which could lead to the departure of Daniel Sturridge this summer.
It comes as Chelsea have agreed a fee of around £22 million for Oscar having hijacked Tottenham Hotspur’s attempts to sign the 20-year-old Brazilian international. A deal should be announced soon.
Schürrle’s club, Bayer Leverkusen, have already rejected an offer of £17 million for the 21 year-old and insisted that he would stay with them. But Chelsea are considering their next move with an improved offer of around £20 million.
Despite Leverkusen’s public stance, talks between the two clubs were scheduled to take place yesterday although it was unclear on Tuesday night whether they went ahead.
Schürrle was identified by former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas as a key signing as part of his brief to overhaul an ageing first team and the club have pressed ahead with their interest despite his sacking in March.
If Schürrle is signed he will join Oscar, Eden Hazard (£35.3 million from Lille) and Marko Marin (£6.5 million from Werder Bremen) as Chelsea’s summer arrivals – taking the club’s spending to already more than £80 million with more moves possible plus several other departures.
With Didier Drogba having left, at the end of his contract, along with Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa, Chelsea’s new permanent manager, Roberto Di Matteo, will have to balance his squad. Sturridge has made clear that he would like to play as a central striker but Fernando Torres is set to start the campaign as first choice and Chelsea also know that the England international is a player they could demand a big fee for.
The 22 year-old is recovering from viral meningitis, which has placed his participation in the Team GB Olympic squad in jeopardy, but has expressed his frustration at playing out of position at Chelsea as well as his lack of opportunities in the second half of last season.
Chelsea will also listen to offers for Michael Essien and Florent Malouda while there were fresh claims yesterday that Barcelona might exercise a supposed buy-back clause for midfielder Oriol Romeu.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is determined to create a “hungry, young team” and is targeting the attacking positions, in particular, adding more creativity and pace as he aims to challenge for the Premier League title next season and attempt to retain the Champions League.
The club already have a core of relatively young players such as Gary Cahill (26), David Luiz (25), Ramires (25) and Juan Mata (24) and have also bought emerging talents such as Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne, both of whom may go on loan to gain more experience, as has goalkeeper Thibault Courtois, who is returning to Atletico Madrid.
Oscar will be an exciting addition to the squad with one of his agents, Carlos Meinberg Neto, confirming the report in Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph that Chelsea were bidding. Neto claimed there was no agreement with Oscar’s club Internacional but, according to sources, that is not the case. “Tottenham also made an offer, but he should accept Chelsea’s offer as there is more exposure there,” Neto said.
Schürrle, who can play as a central striker or as a winger, was part of Germany’s Euro 2012 squad, where he made two substitute appearances, and while Leverkusen have stated that he wants to remain with the Bundesliga club, Chelsea have felt sufficient encouragement to re-enter talks.
The Premier League club do retain an interest in Hulk but are highly reluctant to deal with his club, Porto, and will not bid anywhere near the asking price of £60 million.
Porto are also hoping to negotiate the departure of midfielder Joao Moutinho whose most likely destination would appear to be Spurs. So far Porto have had no offers close to their asking price of £32 million.