Chelsea are unwavering in their pursuit of Juventus midfield powerhouse Paul Pogba and are determined to make a last-ditch effort to sign the French ace.
Italian news website Calciomercato claim the Blues want to add Pogba and Everton defence stalwart John Stones to their squad before next week. Club owner Roman Abramovich has reportedly sanctioned the acquisition of the two players for £100m, as he wants his club to retain the Premier League title and also win the Champions League under Jose Mourinho.
The Premier League champions are prepared to pay as much as £70m for Pogba’s services, while Stones has a £40m price tag. The England international defender has been publicly linked to Chelsea throughout the summer, with Everton snubbing three offers from the Blues’, and yesterday reports emanated that a fourth bid of around £40m has also been rejected, with the Toffees resolutely claiming Stones will not be sold, despite the former Barnsley defender handing in a transfer request a couple of days ago.
Stones was reduced to tears after Wednesday’s Capital One cup fixture against his former side as the Everton supporters booed and yelled at him, and reports claim the 21-year old has even left his home for a hotel. Chelsea boss is expected to be riled at the moment, and he will likely take some swipe at the Toffees boss Roberto Martinez and owner Bill Kenwright in his press conference schedule for Friday, ahead of Saturday’s match against Crystal Palace. We are in for a really interesting and swell time.
Pogba, on the other hand, is understood to have been handed the number 10 shirt vacated by Carlos Tevez, following the Argentine’s departure to Boca Juniors this summer, as Juventus do not want the France international midfielder to leave. But it is thought Chelsea will continue to pursue Pogba, and will do so determinedly until the end of the summer transfer.
Mourinho wants to make Pogba Chelsea’s marquee signing this summer, and the former Manchester United player will play alongside Nemanja Matic in the Blues midfield, provided he joins. Many have suggested the Portuguese boss could revert to a 4-4-3 formation – one which he operated during his first spell at Stamford Bridge, with Claude Makalele, Michael Essien and Frank Lampard forming the three in midfield.
Should Stones join Chelsea for £40m, the 21-year old will become the second most expensive English player, and also the costliest defender in the Premier League.