Chelsea's pursuit of Edin Dzeko could indicate a significant change to club policy as they close on double signing
Chelsea are prepared to risk unsettling some of their veteran stars by handing Edin Dzeko a two-and-a-half year contract and sealing a £57m double deal for the Bosnian forward and Roma teammate Emerson Palmieri.
Palmieri, a left-back who will play at wing-back for the defending Premier League champions, has already agreed a £45,000 per week move to Stamford Bridge and is just awaiting formalities.
But the deal to sign Dzeko has been more complicated, with the former Manchester City man looking for assurances over playing time and a longer contract than the Blues are usually willing to give those over 30.
The 31-year-old striker has been offered a £100k per week deal until 2021, a two-and-a-half year contract where the club’s policy has always been to limit over 30s to one-year deals.
Jose Mourinho claimed in 2015, during his second spell as Chelsea manager, that the policy was to only extend veteran players by a year at a time to keep them hungry and this was set to be a significant issue with four Blues first-teamers shortly up for renewals.
Cesc Fabregas, Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Pedro are all 30 or older and have contracts expiring in 18 months’ time. Fabregas is a priority and will be 32 when his current deal is up but the Dzeko signing may signal a softening in that stance.
Should it not be applied for contract extensions then the Stamford Bridge club may struggle to tie down the ageing quartet, who would be able to negotiate Bosman deals with overseas clubs a year from now.