ESPN Soccernet is reporting that Javier Pastore’s agent Marcelo Simonian will meet Chelsea representatives today. The Palermo playmaker has been subject to interest from both Chelsea and Paris St Germain, with the two clubs each reported to have bid between €40-50 million.
Qatari backed PSG were understood to have been close to capturing Pastore’s signature but this has subsequently been denied by Palermo president, Maurizio Zamparini. What appears clear is that Pastore will leave the Sicilian club in the next few days, with either the French or England capital the destination with the president saying: “The only thing that is certain is that he is going abroad. We are in the decisive days now and I think Pastore is just one of a few world-class players.”
Chelsea’s interest in Pastore – who scored 11 goals and had five assists in Serie A last season – became firmer with the continued refusal of Tottenham Hotspur to contemplate the sale of Chelsea’s prime summer target Luka Modric.
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Dann on standby for Rajkovic decision.
According to reports in the Mail Online, Chelsea appears concerned that their Serbian defender Slobodan Rajkovic may not get the necessary work permit to play in England.
Despite signing for Chelsea six years ago, the 22 year old is still not eligible for a work permit or an EU passport and consequently cannot play matches in public in England and the central defender only made his debut in the recent pre-season friendly against a Malaysian XI.
If the work permit is not granted, Chelsea may turn their attention to Birmingham defender Scott Dann. Dann was acknowledged to have been outstanding last season until an injury in January curtailed Birmingham are also under pressure to sell players after owner Carson Yeung financial problems following Money Laundering allegations. Consequently, Dann may represent a relatively cheap and available option if Rajkovic has to go out on loan again.
Desailly Villas-Boas verdict.
Widely reported in the media, including the Telegraph, are the comments from Marcel Desailly.
The former Chelsea captain believes Andre Villas-Boas may have problems within the dressing-room if Chelsea do not get off to a strong start, especially considering the new manager’s age and lack of experience and the strong characters in the squad: “All the pressure is all on the shoulders of the coach, it’s all up to him. The Chelsea players are really established players. This is the challenge. It’s a big consideration for me, given the young age that he is. His first few weeks could be vital. It’s vital in that if they don’t perform, the players and their consideration will change.”
Desailly still retains strong links to some players, and there may be suggestions that the Frenchman is acting as an “anonymous” spokesman for some in the dressing room.
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