Chelsea playmaker target 'made available'

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Chelsea have been told they can sign Josep Ilicic, but only if they pay £21.5million.

 

The Stamford Bridge club had reportedly been eyeing up the Slovenian playmaker as Andre Villas-Boas’ next addition.

 

The Chelsea boss is keen to upgrade his squad in January, but Palermo’s sporting director says the Blues will have to stump up to get their man.

 

“We have no need to sell because it would weaken the team. The player will only be sold in January if Chelsea or another club pays the release clause,” said Luciano Cattani.

 

The release cause in question is thought to be worth £21.5million, a considerable fee for a relative unknown in European football and Chelsea would likely want to barter.

 

23-year-old Ilicic has been impressing many of Europe’s top clubs since he moved to Palermo from Slovenian club NK Maribor in 2010.

 

The left-footed midfielder predominantly plays in a wide position, but his impressive technical ability have led to him being deployed across the midfield in the past.

 

Cattani was speaking to Sicilian newspaper Il Giornale when he made the comments regarding Chelsea’s interest.

 

The Palermo official also claimed Ilicic was not interested in a move and tried to distance the player from reports he is heading for the Premier Leaguer in January.

 

"Josip does not want to move. We've spoken with him and he is very close to the club and the fans,” he added.

 

“At the moment I would say that Ilicic will stay at Palermo for a long time."

 

The Slovenia international has represented his country on 14 occasions and scored 10 goals in 45 appearances for Palermo.

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