Some interesting news coming out of the Duncan Castles camp today - yes, I know, Duncan Castles - that Chelsea are going to sign Marco van Ginkel as their summer transfer plans get underway.
Chelsea are set to make Marco van Ginkel the first signing of Jose Mourinho's second spell at Stamford Bridge.
A deal has already been put in place to bring the Netherlands Under-21s international, one of the finest emerging talents in Dutch football, from Vitesse this summer to strengthen the Blues' midfield.
This news has come right out of left-field, but it is not entirely surprising - Van Ginkel currently plys his trade at Vitesse, which of course has become known not only as one of the top sides in Dutch football, but also as a farm for Chelsea talent. This season has seen Gael Kakuta, Patrick van Aanholt and Tomas Kalas all spend some time on loan in the Netherlands, and so it is not too much of a leap to see where this move has come from. Chelsea's history with the Dutch side is clearly a factor here, as Castles hints at in the piece linked above.
Van Ginkel is a 20 year old Dutchman who has both featured for the U21 and senior squad at international level and features as a midfielder capable of playing both advanced and deep roles. We'll bring you a more advanced scouting report in the coming days, but broadly speaking, Van Ginkel is a clever, technical player who is comfortable playing multiple midfield positions - important, as Vitesse have switched formations on a number of occasions this season.
He's even been used in a largely unsuccessful experiment in a centre forward role, but I personally believe his best role is as a ‘second function' midfielder, which gives him more freedom to support attacks through forward runs. That, of course, makes him a good option in the pivot of Chelsea's preferred 4-2-3-1, or he can easily fill any of the three midfield spots in Mourinho's 4-3-3.
This season, Van Ginkel scored eight goals in thirty-three appearances, having made a rather remarkable 97 appearances in his short career so far. There's not much substance to this story so far - and as for price, the report says he is rated at €10m euros - but the relative obscurity of the link, and the fact that with his age and skills, he fits right into the club's transfer policy and fulfils a position of need, means we must give this rumour some credence.
Then again, it's Duncan Castles...