Chelsea target Zapata opens door to rivals after admitting he’s a fan

Date published: Thursday 1st April 2021 9:53 - James Marshment

Duvan Zapata, Atalanta striker

Duvan Zapata appears to be open to the possibility of moving to the Premier League – but the Atalanta striker may have soured his name with leading suitors Chelsea.

The Colombia marksman has enjoyed another prolific season for La Dea. Zapata has scored 14 goals and laid on eight assists in 38 appearances this season. It brings his tally to an impressive 61 goals in 119 appearances for the Serie A side.

That form has often seen him linked with a move to the Premier League. Indeed, the 29-year-old has recently been mentioned as a possible target for Chelsea as Thomas Tuchel looks to add more of a cutting edge to his side. Liverpool have also been mentioned as possible suitors for Zapata, who carries a reported €60m asking price.

The Blues have been in brilliant form since Tuchel replaced Lampard in January. They are unbeaten in 14 games since the German’s appointment, having only conceded an incredible two goals in that time.

However, they are yet to score more than two goals in a match since his arrival. The form of costly signing Timo Werner has been a concern and there are growing reports the German could be allowed to move on this summer.

The Blues have been linked with the likes of Romelu Lukaku and, more ambitiously, Erling Haaland. However, Zapata could represent a more affordable option, with Tuchel thought to be a fan.

While he wouldn’t come cheap, the Colombian admits he’s keen to test himself in the Premier League. However, to Chelsea’s chagrin, he’s confessed to being a fan of their London rivals Arsenal.

“My future in the Premier League? Never say never in football,” Zapata told il Gazzetta dello Sport.

Arsenal have also been mentioned as possible suitors for Zapata. Those links will likely increase amid doubts surrounding Alexandre Lacazette and, more surprisingly Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Opening the door to a possible switch to the Gunners, Zapata has explained his love for Arsenal.

“When I was a kid I was always watching the Premier League – I was an Arsenal fan! I got up early every weekend to watch their games.

“I was in love with Thierry Henry’s Arsenal. In Colombia we love the Premier League. Who knows, one day I could play there.”


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Aubameyang tipped for surprise exit

Arsenal’s path to Zapata could become clearer amid claims they could listen to offers for Aubameyang this summer.

Aubameyang’s future was very much in doubt last summer, when only one year remained on his contract. After helping Arsenal win the FA Cup and Community Shield, he eventually decided to stay in north London – but at a large cost to his club.

The Gabon striker’s new deal sees him earn wages of more than £300,000 per week. That sum eclipses any of his teammates’ salaries.

However, his status as Arsenal’s highest earner has not been reflected on the pitch this season. He scored nine goals from 24 Premier League appearances up until the March international break.

His form has not been as strong as it was a few years ago. Once a Golden Boot winner, he is not even in the top 10 scorers in this season’s English top flight.

Now it’s claimed he could be moved on if a sizeable offer came in for the club captain.

READ MOREArsenal hope to lure Odegaard by pairing him with classy Leipzig star

 

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