Premier League • England

Abramovich tries to ‘steal’ dream signing for Chelsea amid contract update

Gavi acknowledging Barcelona teammate Sergi Roberto

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich would be willing to sanction a €50m move for a Barcelona prodigy who may have other ideas, according to a report.

Already one of the major financial forces in world football, Chelsea are in an even stronger position than usual to convince players while they are European champions. After big spends in each of the last two summers, they are ready to splash the cash again in future.

There are a number of areas that they could consider strengthening, despite already being successful. Defence is an area of concern due to a number of their starters having expiring contracts. But another priority is to reinforce their midfield.

Both N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are out of contract in 2023 and the latter will join the former in his 30s by the end of this year. They remain undisputed starters, but further competition is needed.

For example, Chelsea signed Saul Niguez on loan from Atletico Madrid in the summer. But the Spaniard has struggled to make any kind of impression and the Blues are already looking to replace him rather than sign him permanently.

One midfielder that is now on their radar, according to El Nacional, is Barcelona talent Gavi.

The 17-year-old has come into the Barca first team this season. Despite his young age, he has quickly risen to the challenge. He has been entrusted with 10 La Liga appearances, including seven starts, so far.

It has taken no time at all for Gavi to be linked with a transfer away from Barcelona. Amid their financial difficulties, any of their players face uncertain futures.

Therefore, El Nacional claim Chelsea are ready to make a €50m move for Gavi while his release clause of that price remains active. On such terms, he would be a “steal”, it is claimed.

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Abramovich is that enthralled by Gavi that he would be willing to make him one of Chelsea’s highest paid players. He sees him as a “dream” signing and is convinced he will become a “world star”.

However, the report adds that Chelsea’s window of opportunity to take Gavi may be about to close. Barcelona are trying to extend his contract beyond its 2023 expiry date.

Just like with Ansu Fati and Pedri, the La Liga giants want to protect their young talents, even if it means they have to shuffle their other financial plans somewhat.

What’s more, Gavi has made it his own “priority” to renew at Camp Nou. In doing so, he could sign terms until 2026 that would see his release clause doubled automatically.

Rodrigo De Paul trying to stop Gavi

That may not be the end of the story, either. Barcelona may elevate the clause further to the ridiculous €1bn mark, as they have with Fati and Pedri.

Gavi plans confirmed by expert

The report was followed by confirmation from Fabrizio Romano, who tweeted: “Barcelona are not worried by Chelsea rumours for Gavi, as things stand now.

“Talks are progressing in the last weeks in order to complete the contract extension soon.

“Barca board proposal is on the table for 5 years contract – negotiations ongoing with Gavi.”

Chelsea, then, may miss out on the attacking midfielder if everything goes to plan at Barcelona. But as the past year has shown, not everything has been.

As long as Gavi’s current terms remain intact, Barca will be at risk of losing him to the Blues or anyone else willing to pay.

Even so, the final decision would stand with the player himself. And it seems his intentions are to remain exactly where he is.

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