Amidst what appears a significant squad overhaul this summer, Chelsea are keen to add a dominant midfielder to their ranks, with Everton enforcer Marouane Fellaini high on their wishlist.
Roman Abramovich has already brought in two midfielders this term, in the form of Werder Bremen’s Marko Marin, and Fellaini’s Belgian team-mate Eden Hazard.
With fees for those players totalling £40million, a soon-to-be-completed £38million deal for Hulk means that any move for Fellaini would likely take the Blues’ summer spending past the £100million mark.
That doesn’t appear to bother Abramovich however, who is willing to fund a £20million transfer for the Goodison Park cult hero, and add him to a squad which already includes four players of Belgian descent.
Everton defender Phil Jagielka this week outlined how difficult it will be for the Merseysiders to retain Fellaini’s services, though with a host of players linked with moves away from the Toffees, they would be determined to gain a substantial fee for the 24-year-old.
Fellaini has joined Leighton Baines and Tim Cahill on a list of wanted Goodison Park talent, and as three regular Everton starters, their collective exit from Everton could have a heavily detrimental effect on the club.
That is of little concern to Abramovich however, who is eager to add some further steel to his midfield as Chelsea prepare to defend their Champions League title for the first time.
It may be seen as somewhat ironic that Chelsea have been so active in this summer’s transfer market, given that they have still yet to appoint a full-time manager.
Abramovich is keen to continue sanctioning deals to strengthen the Blues’ playing squad however, and the bid for Fellaini could prove a prelude to a move for a top class right-back also.
Gregory Van der Wiel is a potential addition in that area, but Fellaini seems an initial priority signing, and he could become a Stamford Bridge player sooner rather than later.