Chelsea move ahead with pricey plans to revive their midfield

If there was an element of cloak and dagger to Chelsea’s capture of Barcelona winger Pedro from under the noses of Manchester United, the club’s rumoured next arrival wouldn’t be anywhere as surprising.

News that the Blues are looking to smash the record British transfer fee in order to sign Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba is making waves around the sport’s media on Tuesday, as a reported £72m bid is being readied by the London club.

A slow start to the Premier League campaign is thought to have been the catalyst for the flurry of activity in the transfer window, as the defending champions have fallen behind fast-starting Manchester City and are out to 10/3 to retain their crown.

It was suggested that Pedro’s arrival was the first of three new faces at Stamford Bridge, with Pogba and summer-long Blues target John Stones completing the target triangle.

The 22-year-old had been heavily linked with a move away from last season’s beaten Champions League finalists earlier in the summer, although that chatter had died down somewhat before this latest bombshell struck.

Juventus have already lost the Frenchman’s fellow starting midfield partners Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal ahead of the new campaign, and got off to a losing Serie A start against Udinese at the weekend.

Nonetheless, the Daily Express believes the Turin giants will not stand in the former Red Devil’s way should Chelsea come calling, indicating that Jose Mourinho’s side will move on to a £40m bid for Stones once they secure the Juventus marauder.

After claiming their first win of the season against West Bromwich Albion last time out, in which debutant Pedro scored the opener and laid on an assist for Diego Costa, Chelsea move on to hosting Crystal Palace next.

Ladbrokes make the west Londoners 4/11 favourites to topple their capital rivals, with the draw priced at 4/1 and Alan Pardew’s outfit handed 13/2 odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.