Chelsea are prepared to offer winger Mohamed Salah to Atletico Madrid in order to sign the Spanish club’s France international Antoine Griezmann.
This is according to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, who understand Chelsea’s €50 million offer has not tempted Atleti into selling their prized asset. Instead, the 2013-14 La Liga champions want €65 million.
Rather than meeting Atletico’s hefty asking price, Chelsea are willing to offer Salah, who was one of Europe’s standout performers during the second half of last season.
The Egypt international, 23, joined Fiorentina on loan back in February and went on to score nine goals in 29 appearances for the Serie A outfit who would love to keep him for next season.
Interest in Salah is high after his impressive loan spell at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, with Serie A champions Juventus and Inter Milan both keen on bringing the talented winger to Italy on a permanent basis.
Salah: Another Kevin de Bruyne?
But the chance to move to Atletico, one of Spain’s biggest clubs who will be competing in next season’s Champions League campaign after finishing third in La Liga last term, might convince Salah to agree to being used as a bargaining chip by Chelsea.
By offloading Salah, though, Jose Mourinho runs the risk of making a transfer mistake similar to the one which has cost him the services of Kevin de Bruyne.
De Bruyne was handed few opportunities to shine at Stamford Bridge but, since leaving west London, has become one of European football’s most coveted wingers. Chelsea sold him for £16 million in January 2014 and there’s now talk of Manchester City buying him for £40 million.
Salah, who is a year younger than De Bruyne, has only played 19 times for Chelsea since being signed by Mourinho as De Bruyne’s replacement in January 2014. He never got the run of games he craved after joining the Premier League club from FC Basel, but has shown at Fiorentina that he has plenty to offer a top club.
Griezmann would be a sensational signing
Griezmann, though, would be an upgrade on the Egyptian. The 24-year-old was one of the best buys in world football last season, scoring 25 goals in 54 appearances in his debut campaign at the Vicente Calderon following his summer move from Real Sociedad.
That stat is made all the more impressive when you consider Griezmann is a winger; a winger who is magnificent with the ball at his feet and surprisingly brilliant in the air, too.
A front three comprised of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann would give Chelsea every chance of competing for both the Premier League and Champions League titles next season.
Chelsea fans: would you sell Mohamed Salah to make way for Antoine Griezmann? Have your say in the comments below!
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