Sunday 19 November 2017

Chelsea poised to fight Arsenal for Schneiderlin

Schneiderlin: In demand
Schneiderlin: In demand

Matt Law

Chelsea are considering whether to rival Arsenal for the signing of Morgan Schneiderlin after checking on the Southampton player last weekend. The Blues sent scouts to watch Southampton's defeat at Everton, with Schneiderlin and the Manchester United target Nathaniel Clyne understood to be the two players they were primarily watching.

Jose Mourinho has highlighted his midfield as an area to strengthen this summer and has identified Paul Pogba and Koke as two top targets.

However, Chelsea face stern competition for the £74million-rated Juventus star Pogba from Europe's biggest clubs, while Atletico Madrid's Koke has told friends that his preference would be to stay in Spain.

Arsenal are confident of signing Schneiderlin in the summer and are sure to make a bid, but having watched the midfielder, 25, play at Goodison Park, Chelsea are weighing up whether to make a rival offer.

Southampton are aware they are unlikely to keep him with Champions League qualification looking unlikely, and are set to demand around £25m for the midfielder.

Mourinho also wants to sign at least one new defender, with Real Madrid's Raphael Varane at the top of his list, and is also interested in Clyne. The right-back's Southampton contract has just over a year to run.

Chelsea expect to receive up to £18m for Mohamed Salah. Having signed Salah on loan in January, Fiorentina have triggered their option to keep the Egyptian for next season, costing the Italian club £1.5m. Fiorentina then have the option to sign Salah permanently at the end of next season, when Chelsea believe they will make another big profit.

Although the final fee for Salah had been quoted as £9.5m, Chelsea insiders insist that is nowhere near the figure they are on course to get from Fiorentina. Chelsea claim they will actually end up receiving around £18m in total for Salah, who they signed for £11m from Basel in January of last year. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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