Chelsea could launch a new attempt to sign Federico Chiesa in 2022, according to reports, despite being told €100m wasn’t enough in the summer.
Chiesa was one of the stars of Italy’s success at Euro 2020, catching the eye of many clubs along the way. The former Fiorentina winger joined Juventus last summer on a two-year loan with an obligation to buy. Halfway through that spell, rumours were already surfacing about his next step.
Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool were linked with Chiesa over the summer. Juventus would have had to buy him out of his loan one year early before selling him on for profit. But they were unwilling to do so, instead fending off his suitors.
Chelsea seemed the most keen and were reportedly ready to pay €100m. But even that wasn’t enough to tempt Juventus to prematurely sell someone who could be a key man for years to come.
Nevertheless, Chelsea could still try to deprive them of the 23-year-old in the coming months. According to Calciomercato, the Blues “will try” again to take Chiesa in 2022.
They may even have to break their transfer record for a third consecutive year to do so after splashing the cash on Kai Havertz in 2020 and Romelu Lukaku in 2021. Juventus’ stance over Chiesa is showing little sign of changing.
In fact, Calciomercato warn that Juventus plan to pay Fiorentina the required €40m for Chiesa’s permanent transfer at the end of the season. Then, they could top it up with €10m in bonuses.
Chiesa, who has one goal from his first four Serie A appearances of the current season, remains central to Juve’s plans. Therefore, they are unlikely to sanction a sale to Chelsea despite the prospect of doubling their money.
The Blues are not his only admirers, with the report claiming Liverpool and Bayern Munich also remain in the hunt. Liverpool need more depth in attack, with their front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all 29 years old. And with Salah and Mane set for African Cup of Nations duty mid-season, it is an area they could be left light in.
But Juventus class Chiesa as “absolutely untouchable” and interest from other clubs does not “scare” them, so all those suitors seem set for disappointment.
The report concludes with the remark that Juventus have put “Chiesa at the centre of the village”. That makes reference to a French proverb that became popularised in Italy during the past decade. Chiesa’s surname is the same as “church” in Italian, and “the church is at the centre of the village” means something is in its rightful place.
Therefore, it may take an offer of unimaginable proportion to make Juve change their minds. And in that regard, there may be better value-for-money options available.
Man City to rival Chelsea for winger
One cheaper alternative Chelsea could switch their focus to is Antony of Ajax.
A report from El Nacional recently revealed Chelsea are in a battle with Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid for the Brazilian.
The starlet notched nine goals and eight assists in 32 Eredivisie appearances last term. He already has two goals from five games in the Dutch top flight this term. There have been comparisons with compatriot Neymar.
Pep Guardiola is supposedly a big fan and would like to bring Antony to the Premier League with Man City. However, Chelsea are also viewing him as a potential replacement for Hakim Ziyech or Christian Pulisic.
Ziyech has not lived up to expectations since his 2020 transfer to Chelsea, also from Ajax. Meanwhile, Pulisic’s gametime has dropped under Thomas Tuchel, despite them previously working together at Borussia Dortmund.
Both are at risk of transfers away in 2022, which could pave the way for the big-spending Blues to reinvest.