Chelsea have lost out on the chance to sign Croatian forward Andrej Kramaric due to their reluctance to introduce him immediately to the first-team squad, according to reports.
The Daily Express claim today that the 23-year-old had agreed terms with the Blues over a move that would see him become Jose Mourinho’s first transfer buy of the winter window, but then scoffed at the idea of being loaned out immediately.
Speculation over recent weeks has detailed how Chelsea were keen on landing Kramaric, who has scored 28 goals in 31 games this term, before shipping him out to Leicester City to continue his development. The player, however, had different ideas altogether.
It’s now believed that in an incredible twist the forward is being lined up to become Nigel Pearson’s big buy of the January window as The Foxes’ boss prepares to beat the drop. According to the Express Pearson has had a long-running interest in Kramaric but backed off once Chelsea’s interest was registered with formal contact as he believed they had won the day.
In England to negotiate
Yet he now has a very realistic chance of signing him, with the player currently in England to negotiate a deal. Chelsea find themselves still in the picture, but will have to chance their tact of keeping him as one for the future if they’re to have any chance of convincing him to opt for Stamford Bridge.
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Ceding to player demands isn’t something Mourinho has grown a reputation for, and so the likelihood of Kramaric calling west London home looks all but snaffled.
Leicester recruitment drive
That prospect will be music to Pearson’s ears as the under pressure boss looks to continue his January recruitment drive. Veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer coincidentally joined from Chelsea merely days ago, as confirmed by Mourinho yesterday, and attacking players such as Jermain Defoe, Danny Ings and Shaun Maloney have all been mooted as transfer targets.
As for Chelsea there’s little chance they’ll be adversely affected by Kramaric’s snub. Diego Costa is in fine form at the moment and has Loic Remy to back him up, whilst ageing striker Didier Drogba is more than capable of doing a job when called upon.