Chelsea are looking to get ahead of rivals Manchester United and Arsenal in the race for Inter Milan sensation Mauro Icardi, and are holding talks with the player’s agent in a bid to secure pole position.
That claim originates from Sky Italia, according to the Daily Express, and has been circulated since by transfer busybody Tancredi Palmeri, who suggested via Twitter that the Blues were indeed courting the 21-year-old forward. The Inter starlet has seen his future become a staple topic of discussion amongst the gossip columns, with an exit from Roberto Mancini’s fold supposedly on the cards.
A host of European outfits are currently monitoring the situation ahead of what is sure to be an intriguing race come the summer transfer window, and with Icardi valued at just £18 million - as per Metro - there’s not many teams going to be priced out of the race.
Therefore it can be presumed that the only way for a suitor to ensure they have the initiative is to begin negotiations as early as possible, which is exactly what Chelsea are trying to do.
As Palmeri confirms the Blues are looking to push their noses out in front, and with recent speculation inferring that Mourinho is looking to find a replacement for Didier Drogba this summer, the rumours aren’t all that daft.
Replacing a legend
Drogba, whose one-year deal with the Blues is up at the end of the season, could well either take his leave of the club for a second time or - perhaps more likely - become part of Mourinho’s coaching team, meaning there’s a hole up top to fill.
Diego Costa and Loic Remy are currently battling to see who leads the line for Chelsea - we’ll be the first to concede it’s a fairly one-sided battle in favour of the former - but a third striker who is willing to bide his time and steal minutes here and there is what Mourinho will be on the look out for.
The right man
A cheap option is obviously going to appeal to The Special One so as not to hinder his chances of landing more illustrious targets, and so in this respect Icardi could be the right candidate.
Although the youngster has 18 goals already for Inter this term - not a bad haul when it’s considered they’ve hardly been at the races all year - he’s still learning his craft, and a spell as a backup option would certainly aid his adaption to the English game were he to make a Premier League switch.
One man who will be hoping to stifle Mourinho's plans is Louis van Gaal. The Dutchman is said to have an interest in signing Icardi in the summer himself, and Red Devils scouts were present to watch him during his last Inter outing.
Chelsea fans, is Icardi the man to replace Drogba? Or is the money better served going elsewhere? Let us know in the comments box below...