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Chelsea braced for Barcelona competition in Golovin pursuit — report

Here come the masters of stealing your transfer target

Russia v Egypt: Group A - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Chelsea’s chances of landing Aleksandr Golovin are set to take a hit if the report by Fernando Polo of Mundo Deportivo is to be believed. According to the Barcelona-based outlet, fresh off of Griezmann’s rejection, Barcelona are changing their focus to Golovin as they look to strengthen their midfield.

One would’ve assumed that after signing Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool for a club record €120 million in January, Barcelona’s hunger to fortify their midfield would have been satisfied but that’s not the sort of mentality that makes you a European giant and that’s certainly not the mentality that Barcelona have.

According to the report, Barca’s shortlist of midfield reinforcements includes Golovin, Christian Eriksen and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. Unfortunately for Barcelona, both Eriksen and Milinkovic-Savic would cost around the same hefty price as paid for Coutinho, if not more.

Thus, the interest in Golovin makes a whole lot of sense as the Russian World Cup star’s reported €25 million valuation and high potential is a great combination for any team looking for a midfielder. Plus, Barcelona have already signed the highly promising Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo for €30 million plus €9 million in added variables back in March, and hence can afford to take a gamble on Golovin.

Does this mean Chelsea have lost yet another target in the transfer market? Not really. At least not yet!

Chelsea’s Russian links through Abramovich and the lack of good midfield options outside of one two N’Golo Kantes should still give us an edge as he would have an easier path to getting playing time here than Barcelona. And lest we forget, Golovin has supposedly started learning English, not Spanish.

His former teammate, Roman Shirokov, certainly seems to believe that Chelsea are the front-runners in the race for the 22-year-old.

“I know there’s been contact between the player and Juventus, but we’ll have to see what CSKA think of it. There’s no deadline for Golovin, and the CSKA president knows how to manage the market, both for arrivals and departures.

“With this World Cup, Golovin’s value is increasing, and there could be a real auction for him. In this case, I see the English teams as favourites, especially Chelsea.”

-Roman Shirokov; Source: Sports Witness

While that sounds pretty good, it does still require Chelsea to actually wake up out of this deep summer slumber and get to work, and quickly. Golovin is young, relatively cheap, and Sarri’s supposedly a big fan. Bonus: We get to beat Barcelona and Juventus to his signature. Sign him up!

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