As Chelsea look to bolster an ageing squad in the summer, it is widely rumoured that Cheick Tiote, 25, and Tim Krul, 23, are high on Roman Abramovichs transfer list.
With the Londoners no closer to selecting a new manager, the Russian tycoon has reportedly lined up players that he would consider needed by his squad, and the Toon pair fit the bill.
Newcastle have had an excellent season, sitting in 6th place, with Tim Krul being outstanding between the posts, and is considered a viable long-term replacement for Petr Cech, who at 30, is still relatively young for a ‘keeper.
Midfielder Tiote has been one of the surprise packages in the Premier League this season, and with Essien and Lampard ageing, he could be a perfect solution. The Ivorian signed for Toon for just £3.5m in 2010, and his value has soared with some sensational performances, his only goal being a thunderbolt in the memorable 4-4 draw with Arsenal, whilst he also completed every single pass on his debut.
It is said that Abramovich is wanting to drastically reduce his squads age, with John Terry, Didier Drogba, and Ashley Cole all linked with moves away, whilst Frank lampard could stay another season as he wishes to see out his contract with the Londoners.
It could well become another expensive turnaround at Stamford Bridge, but Mr.Abramovich has made no secret that he will be happy to spend, should it result in another Premier League crown, although only time will tell who will have the task of guiding them to it.
Another player that could be on his way to the Bridge is Porto forward Hulk, who was on Andre Villas Boas’ radar when he was at the helm, but with the rumoured price of the want-away striker around £35 million, they could well still swoop for him this summer.
The Brazilian has made no secret that he could be persuaded to leave, telling A Bola, “I have a lot of affection for Porto, but who would not want to play for Barcelona with the quality they have? Barcelona or Real Madrid, I think I would say yes to playing for these teams.”
So, should Chelsea dig deep into their pockets this summer, they may well build a new team that could persuade Hulk to join, especially with neither of the Spanish giants desperate for a new striker, although Real Madrid could well part with Higuain in place of the Brazilian.
By Brad Smith