Di Matteo wants Newcastle pair to join Chelsea revolution
Chelsea’s improvement under Roberto Di Matteo have done no harm to his chances of landing the job permanently, and the Italian has now identified potential transfer targets in the form of Newcastle stars Tim Krul and Cheick Tiote.
The pair, integral in Newcastle’s charge for a European slot this season, would contribute to bringing the average age of the Blues squad down, which is the long-term goal of owner Roman Abramovich, who is desperate to re-establish the Londoners as Premier League challengers.
After four wins from four games under Di Matteo, Chelsea are now 5/4 to achieve a top four finish in the Premier League odds, and Champions League qualification would certainly enhance the attractiveness of the club to players like Krul and Tiote.
Ivory Coast international Tiote has won tremendous acclaim for his displays at the heart of Newcastle’s midfield this season, and the dynamic 25-year-old’s playing style would complement that of Ramires and Frank Lampard superbly, giving them added licence to get forward whenever possible.
Krul meanwhile, has emerged as one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers this campaign, showing a maturity in between the posts that belies his 23 years and makes him look an ideal candidate to succeed Petr Cech in the long term.
A combined fee of £30million would be demanded by the Magpies for two of their leading young talents, but with managing director Derek Lambias already indicating that they may struggle to keep hold of Tiote, he could be the first to move to Stamford Bridge for £20million.
Liverpool, long-time admirers of the midfielder, may dispute his signature, though it is unlikely that they could match Chelsea’s financial might in terms of the wages they could pay.
Champions League football looks unlikely at Anfield too, and so Chelsea appear to be firmly in the driving seat to snap up two of this season’s star Premier League performers.