Sunday 24 September 2017

Chelsea may use two big stars as bait for £74m Pogba

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba

Matt Law

Chelsea's interest in Paul Pogba has taken an intriguing twist after it emerged Juventus are interested in Oscar and Ramires.

Pogba, who has been valued by his agent at £74m, is one of Chelsea's top summer targets. Juventus are lining up moves for Oscar and Ramires with the cash they would receive for the midfielder. That gives Chelsea a boost in their attempt to land Pogba ahead of Manchester United, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. Barcelona are the latest club to show an interest in Pogba, but the Spaniards cannot make any signings until next year.

On interest in Pogba, Juve director Pavel Nedved said: "We know that Barca and other big clubs want him. But Pogba has a contract with us."

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho may be willing to part with one or both of Oscar and Ramires if it helps him land Pogba, 22, or another of his key summer objectives: Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke or Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane. Chelsea inquired about Koke last summer and are ready to make a new move if they cannot land Pogba.

Meanwhile, Diego Costa is hopeful of winning his race to face Stoke City at Stamford Bridge tomorrow. The striker withdrew from international duty with Spain after being forced out of Chelsea's victory over Hull City with a hamstring strain, but is desperate to face Stoke.

Costa continued his rehabilitation outside at Chelsea's Cobham training ground yesterday and hopes to prove his fitness to Mourinho. Mourinho admitted Costa's hamstring issues were a concern, but the 26-year-old wants to lead Chelsea to the title before taking an extended rest.

Spain will be watching developments over Costa with great interest, following past fallouts over his fitness and availability. Costa's last Spain appearances were against Slovakia and Luxembourg in October, after which Mourinho complained about the condition in which he returned. Costa and Cesc Fabregas pulled out of Spain's squad for the Belarus and Germany games in November.

Spain next play Belarus in Euro 2016 qualifying on June 14.

Costa has been warned that he will not be able to out-muscle Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross.

Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam said: "He's a strong centre-forward and a good player, but Ryan knows how to play against him and did well the last time he played against him." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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