English clubs have less time than ever before to work on transfers this summer, thanks to not only the World Cup taking up everyone’s attentions, but due to the transfer window itself closing earlier that ever. The newly shortened window will slam shut on August 9 — it always slams! — just before the opening weekend of the Premier League, instead of its usual finish at the end of August. Luckily for Chelsea, we have plenty of experience in recent years in how to arrange deals in the final hours of the window. (Ed.note: way to think positively!)
According to the London Evening Standard, Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia is busy working on several targets who have piqued the interest of the club. As is often the case in these sort of reports, the names are familiar already thanks to weeks, if not months of rumors. The report does confirm the (rejected) £35 million offer for Juventus centre-back Daniele Rugani, while Newcastle’s Jamaal Lascelles is mentioned again even though he’s made it clear some weeks ago that he does not want to leave his club.
For the midfield, the Standard only mention Nice’s Jean Michaël Seri, even though CSKA Moscow’s Aleksandr Golovin appears to be the likeliest summer signing at this point. In attack, Chelsea’s wishlist apparently still includes Manchester United’s Anthony Martial and Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey, though neither have featured greatly in the rumor mill as of late, especially Bailey.
The report also includes a note on striker Álvaro Morata. Despite the rumblings of crunch talks set to take place to discuss a potential exit from the club only one year after his arrival, the club still expect him to join pre-season preparations on July 9th without any incident. Morata himself has recently appeared to have recommitted himself to Chelsea. To be safe, Chelsea’s £65-70 million asking price is meant to price the 26-year-old out of the market.
In related news, perhaps the best news, Chelsea are apparently not interested in Gonzalo Higuaín despite (potential) new coach Maurizio Sarri’s interest in a reunion. Hooray!
It is unlikely that Chelsea, who have yet to complete any business this window, will be able to acquire all the names on this wishlist. But there is still a little over a month to go in the transfer window, so there’s still a chance that we manage to cobble together something good ... or at least better than last summer.