The Guardian has reported today that Chelsea have intensified their approach for Porto’s left-sided Uruguayan Alvaro Pereira. While the player is relatively unknown in England, it comes as no surprise that the new Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas is keen to recruit his former player to increase his wide options following Yuri Zhirkov’s return to Russia with Anzhi Makhachkala, and speculation that Juventus may move for Florent Malouda.
Abramovich will sanction an improved offer for Pereira – who can play at both full-back and on the wing – after an initial bid of £16.6 million was rejected by the Portuguese champions. The Blues will have to make a bid closer to the Uruguayan’s £26 million release clause if Villas-Boas’s former employers are to part with their man, although the chance to work with his former manager and compete for the Champions League may prove too much for Pereira to resist.
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In the same Guardian article, it is also suggests that Florent Malouda may be the latest Chelsea player to be shown the exit door, following interest in Italy from Juventus. When on form the Frenchman is a formidable left winter, yet his desire to be rewarded with a contract until 2014 has been met with silence from his employers. This may be in part due to the difficulty the club has found in trying to move on members of their ageing squad; Nicolas Anelka, for example, has made a point of choosing to run down his lucrative contract this year and leave for nothing next summer.
At 31 years old, Malouda may be viewed as yet another player that the club cannot afford to reward with a long-term contract while the club switches focuses on a transitional period, especially as he would be 35 by the end of his desired contract, with little to no resale value.
With Juventus’ general director, Guiseppe Marotta declaring the Frenchman “an interesting player”, any prospective deal for Porto’s Pereira may mean the exit door for Malouda.
Redknapp sweats on Modric.
Meanwhile, Sky Sports has reported that Spurs Harry Redknapp fears that Luka Modric may not be in the right frame of mind to play for Tottenham after having his head turned by Chelsea’s interest. Although there is speculation that a final £30 million-plus-Yossi Benayoun deal may be on the cards, Redknapp’s insistence that chairman Daniel Levy’s stance has not changed means that the Croatian playmaker may have to remain at White Hart Lane this season. Redknapp said: “We can all sit here and say ‘he’ll be right’ but we don’t know what is in his head.
Who knows? None of us know how he is going to feel. That’s the risk you run.”
Although the Spurs boss would ideally like to keep his prized asset, his comments last week about being able to “…get four players and, in all honesty, have a better team” with the money from the sale of Modric suggest that Redknapp may be more open to the possibilities of a deal than Levy. Chelsea, however, will hope that Modric’s frame of mind, and a tantalising offer may be enough for Tottenham to eventually part with their midfielder before the transfer windows closes shut.