Essien’s injury will intensify the Blues search for midfield replacements, with Tottenham’s Luka Modric still a priority.
New manager Andre Villas-Boas had promised to give his first team squad a chance to impress in pre-season, but changes are still imminent with the centre of midfield in need of replenishment.
The Blues will test Daniel Levy’s resolve to keep hold of the Croatian schemer by returning with a bid of £30m after their opening enquiry of £22m was declined, according to the Daily Mail.
However, Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini has suggested that Chelsea are also ready to come up with the coffers to lure their man Javier Pastore away from Serie A.
The Argentinian ace is valued at about €40m with Zamparini adding, “At the moment it looks like he will move abroad. Chelsea and Real Madrid lead the race.”
Scroll down for rest of article
Essien injury extent unclear.
Chelsea officials are keeping coy about the extent of Michael Essien’s knee injury.
The Ghanaian midfielder sustained an as yet undisclosed knee problem during the Blues return to pre-season training this week.
Precious little information has been released by Chelsea’s medical team who have been assessing the injury.
A club statement shed no light on the matter, confirming, “He will undergo tests over the next few days to determine the extent of that injury. Until we have the full results of those tests we will not be commenting further.”
The 28-year-old missed the majority of his team’s 2009/10 double winning season with an anterior cruciate ligament problem, but it is unknown whether the new injury is in any way related to the old.
Courtois wants Blues move.
Genk ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois has spoken about his desires to move to Stamford Bridge.
The Belgian champions have already rejected a €4m bid for the Jupiler pro league Goalkeeper of the Season, but Chelsea are set to return with an improved offer.
Chelsea have long been in the hunt for a number two keeper to provide last season’s fans and players player of the year Petr Cech with some competition.
An offer of around €10m could land Courtois signature, with a loan move back to Genk a viable option for both clubs.
Quoted on Inside Futbol, Courtois said, “Chelsea has a nice sporting plan ready where I can ease into the position of first choice goalkeeper and can grow within a few years.”
Can Chelsea win the Premier League next season? OLBG.com lists them at 15/4 to take home the title. Click the highlighted link for the latest odds and pick up a free bet while you’re at it!
Don’t forget to check out the Chelsea page, updated daily here at A Different League for the latest in-depth analysis.