Friday 23 March 2018

€110k-a-week Loic Remy considers Chelsea future as Falcao set for Stamford Bridge

Chelsea striker Loic Remy
Chelsea striker Loic Remy

Matt Law

Chelsea have agreed the loan signing of Radamel Falcao from Monaco in a move that has left Loic Rémy considering his Stamford Bridge future.

Falcao will fill the space left by Didier Drogba as Chelsea’s back up to first-choice striker Diego Costa.

It is understood Chelsea will pay a loan fee of around £5m for Falcao with the option to buy him permanently next summer for £35m. Monaco also hope to take some of the Blues’ promising young players on loan.

Falcao is currently in Chile for the Copa America with Colombia, but is looking forward to returning to London as a Chelsea player even though he will take a substantial cut to his £265,000-a-week Monaco wages.

Remy had hoped Drogba’s departure would improve his playing prospects for next season, but manager Jose Mourinho’s decision to push through the decision to sign Falcao has arguably made competition even tougher.

Crystal Palace are interested in Remy and can offer the 28-year-old the chance to stay in London and reunite with manager Alan Pardew, who he worked under at Newcastle United.

Remy earns around £80,000-a-week at Chelsea and there is optimism Palace could offer him a competitive wage. But it remains to be seen how much the Blues would demand for Remy.

Due to a clause in his Queens Park Rangers contract, Chelsea signed Remy for just £10.5million and Mourinho would ideally like to keep him at the club. The Frenchman scored seven Premier League goals in just six starts this season, including crucial goals against Hull City and Stoke City.

Chelsea could, therefore, demand anywhere between £15m and £20m for Remy, which would create a stumbling block for Palace.

There is also foreign interest in Remy from Bordeaux and Lyon, whose 21-year-old defender Samuel Umtiti has hit the radar of Chelsea, along with Liverpool and Arsenal.

Umtiti can play either as a central defender or as a left-back, which, with Filipe Luis hoping to return to Atletico Madrid, could be attractive to the Blues.

Mourinho’s preferred option is to sign the far more experienced 30-year-old Joao Miranda from Atletico, but Chelsea face competition for him from Manchester United.

Remy is unlikely to create a problem for Mourinho or Chelsea, but simply wants to be confident that he will get an adequate chance to start a higher number of games next season.

With Euro 2016 approaching in his homeland, Remy also needs to be mindful of the need to play enough football to put him in contention for a place in the France squad.

Sanctioning Remy’s sale would give Mourinho a major headache in terms of trying to fill the third space in his squad for a forward. Chelsea are interested in Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann, who can play anywhere across a front three and could fill in as a main striker if needed. QPR’s Charlie Austin would be another option, but he would be wary of joining the Blues as third-choice – particularly as there is also strong interest from Newcastle and Southampton.

Patrick Bamford has spoken of his desire to be given a first-team chance at Stamford Bridge, but Chelsea appear more likely to loan him to a Premier League club next season.

Champions League runners up Juventus remain interested in Chelsea midfielder Oscar, but their £18m valuation is likely to be far less than any figure that would make the Blues consider selling the Brazilian.

Chelsea signed Oscar for £25m in 2012 and while the 23-year-old’s form has dipped in the second half of both of the last two seasons, Mourinho has spoken encouragingly about the player’s Stamford Bridge future.

Oscar has missed the Copa America to have a full summer of rest, which Mourinho believes can see the Brazilian reproduce his best form for an entire campaign.

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