Friday gossip: Chelsea close in on double striker deal, Arsenal chasing striker
Chelsea are closing in on the double signing of Stevan Jovetic and Lazar Markovic as Jose Mourinho steps up his recruitment drive.
The Special One made replenishing the striking armoury at Stamford Bridge his primary objective upon agreeing to return to west London as manager and is now homing in on two his main targets.
One of those is the much-coveted Jovetic, also pursued by Arsenal and Manchester City, who was identified by Mourinho as the man he believes can provide the goals that will fire the Blues to the Premier League title next season.
The 23-year-old Montenegrin has forged an excellent reputation as a regular goal scorer in his five years at Fiorentina and it is expected to cost owner Roman Abramovich £28 million to prise him away from the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Mourinho won’t stop with just one forward though according to reports with Partizan Belgrade’s Lazar Markovic reportedly on the verge moving to Chelsea in a surprise £8m switch.
The 19-year-old Serbian international scored seven times in 19 Super Liga games for the Turkish giants last term and caught Mourinho’s attention with a series of outstanding performances in the group stage of this year’s Europa League, which Chelsea won.
However, it is understood Markovic is an investment for the future and won’t feature heavily in the first team during the forthcoming season and is more likely to be loaned out to gain further experience, especially after the club submitted a formal enquiry for Napoli hit man Edinson Cavani.
One player that could be heading out is club captain John Terry after 15-years of service. Big spending Monaco are a potential destination for the 32-year-old and theyare hoping to tempt the former England skipper across the channel with the promise of a £7.3m-per-year tax free salary.
Staying in the capital city, Arsenal chief Arsene Wenger wants to beef up his midfield with the signing of Marouane Fellaini from Everton.
Wenger will be handed a substantial transfer war chest to turn the Gunners back into title challengers and wants to Fellaini to provide a sturdy backbone in the middle of the park.
But with Chelsea and Manchester United also after the Belgian star the 63-year-old has been forced to put several contingencies in place and will bid for Victor Wanyama of Celtic and Tolouse enforcer Etienne Capoue if unsuccessful in his pursuit of Fellaini.
North London rivals Tottenham are also stepping up their recruitment of new attacking talent and a close source indicates deals for Brazilian stars Bernard and Leandro Damiao, of Atletico Miniero and Internacional respectively, are nearing completion.
Plus, with Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Scott Parker surplus to requirements, manager Andre Villas-Boas has set his sights on raiding Inter Milan for Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin and left back Alvaro Peirera.
Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is ready to streamline his squad this summer by letting Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Jonjo Shelvey leave Anfield. The futures of Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel are also unclear as Rodgers bids to revive his defence.