Chelsea chase another Barcelona youngster after Romeu success

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Oriol Romeu has wasted little time settling into Chelsea and another promising Barcelona youngster may also arrive at Stamford Bridge in the near future.

Isaac Cuenca is the latest academy product to make inroads into the Barcelona first-team, following the likes of Sergio Busquets, Pedro and Thiago Alcantara up through the ranks.

He has already managed two La Liga goals after taking advantage of first-team opportunities in the wide positions following injuries to David Villa, Pedro, Alexis Sanchez and Ibrahim Afellay.

However, the 20-year-old’s present contract only runs until the end of the season and he has refused Barcelona’s first offer of an improvement.

Chelsea will almost certainly be one club interested in signing Cuenca and will hope that the success that Romeu has had will sway any decision in their favour.

Meanwhile, Chelsea also have Juan Manuel Mata and Fernando Torres in their ranks, which may additionally help Cuenca settle in faster and feel more at home.

It is a new wide player or two that is on the January shopping list of Andre Villas-Boas, particularly given that the eventual aim is to switch Daniel Sturridge into the central striker role.

Furthermore, Villas-Boas does not see Florent Malouda or Salomon Kalou has answers to his wing needs, while Mata must be considered more effective being creative in the middle of the park, rather than on the wing.

Malouda’s future has come into doubt in recent weeks and there is a strong possibility that he may be bought by French table-toppers Paris Saint-Germain in the transfer window to help their title push.

Some extra width would add a new dimension to Chelsea’s game and some January signings would substantially boost their chances of finishing in the top four, which can currently be backed at 1/2 in the Premier League odds.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.