Chelsea transfer focus - Wingers signed, now strikers name of the game for Di Matteo
Chelsea’s attempts to add another talented young forward to their growing list at Stamford Bridge have failed, as Bayer Leverkusen opt to keep hold of German winger Andre Schurrle. Roberto di Matteo is looking to imprint his own mark on the Blues and has already signed Eden Hazard from Lille and Marko Marin from Werder Bremen, who are both equally capable of playing wide.
German newspaper Express reported that the Blues had offered in excess of £16m for the 21 year old, who showcased his quality as Germany reached the semi-finals of Euro 2012. Schurrle only joined Leverkusen from Mainz last year and already has 16 caps for Germany, his most notable coming against Greece in the quarter-finals of the Euros.
Leverkusen chief executive Wolfgang Holzhauser has been quoted in German news agency SID as saying: “We were presented with a very concrete offer from Chelsea for Andre of beyond the 20 million Euro mark. The sum was pushed back and forth between the two clubs. We ultimately chose Andre. Andre is very valuable for us. He has also made it clear he would like to stay with us.”
Di Matteo seems keen to add to his attacking talent and with the influx of wingers at the club, Juan Mata included with Hazard and Marin, it seems that Daniel Sturridge will get his chance to play as a central striker. Sturridge may encounter more competition still though if Chelsea can bring in Robert Lewandowski, who they have earmarked as a long-term replacement for Didier Drogba.
The Blues lost Drogba this summer on a free transfer to Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua and want the Borussia Dortmund striker to replace him as their central striker. Di Matteo has Fernando Torres also at his disposal, but Lewandowski scored 22 goals as Dortmund won their second successive title and Chelsea are firmly interested.
Lewandowski is valued at £20m by the German side and Chelsea will have to fight off interest from Manchester United and Tottenham, who are managed by former Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas. At 23, the Polish international could be the Blues main target man for the best part of a decade and Di Matteo is looking to build a host of young attacking talent to fire Chelsea back to the top four.
When the striker was linked with a move to Bayern Munich, Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp reacted angrily to the news, saying: “Robert Lewandowski is simply not for sale. What is this gossip about? Bayern Munich coming up, asking if Lewi’ would be keen to play for them when Mario Gomez is just out for one match? This is pure nonsense. This is impossible.”
It remains to be seen if Lewandowski could be interested in a move to the Premier League despite the insistence from the German champions that he will not be leaving, but Chelsea may not be the best option due to the highly competitive forward line at Stamford Bridge. However, the Blues have built for a good season and there is still unfinished business for Di Matteo as long as the market remains open.
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