Transfer Gossip: Chelsea aroused by prolific Prem forward ‘likely’ to move in summer; Everton striker offer revealed
A surprise striker signing has been under consideration by Chelsea, while Everton failed with their own attempt to bring in a familiar hitman in January and Aston Villa are already eyeing their first summer addition – all in the first edition of Transfer Gossip after deadline day.
MICHAIL ANTONIO ON CHELSEA RADAR
Chelsea have been showing a recent interest in West Ham goal-getter Michail Antonio, according to reports.
The Blues have been signing anyone and everyone since Todd Boehly became their owner. January was their second transfer window under his regime, although by then he had relinquished his sporting director duties.
Still, the chairman has been sanctioning some big-money deals for young talents and experienced players with pedigree.
Arriving at Stamford Bridge in January were Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana, Andrey Santos, Joao Felix, Mykhaylo Mudryk, Noni Madueke and Malo Gusto. If that wasn’t enough, they are finally getting their hands on Enzo Fernandez in a British record transfer, too.
Could there have been more business by the Blues, though? Of course there could.
According to The Athletic, another player who has been on their radar is Michail Antonio. West Ham’s all-time leading Premier League goalscorer is into the final six months of his contract at his current club.
It is claimed that Chelsea are among the clubs who became interested in the Jamaica international during January.
Although the move never came to fruition, it is now deemed to be “likely” that Antonio will change clubs at the end of the season.
Chelsea stance on summer swoop unclear
Whether that is to Chelsea or not is unclear as things stand. After all, he has also attracted the likes of Everton and Wolves.
Besides, Chelsea’s priorities may have changed by the summer. They needed a new striker now to cover for the injured Armando Broja. Any future move for Antonio or another striker could depend on his recovery and own future.
But it has been clear that Chelsea have been needing more goalscorers in their squad. They are the lowest scoring team in the top half of the Premier League at this moment in time.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is only a short-term solution. Antonio, at the age of 32, would be as well, but with 67 West Ham goals to his name, has also proven himself in English football.
In truth, this is a deal that Chelsea should be cautious about revisiting as they rebuild their squad next season. However, he might have been a sensible pick-up if they could have lured him across London in January.
EVERTON TERMS FOR GIROUD REVEALED
Another experienced striker who could have made a late move on deadline day was former Chelsea frontman Olivier Giroud.
The France international was the subject of interest from Everton, per reports. Sean Dyche did not see his new squad strengthened at all after his appointment a couple of days ago.
Currently in a relegation battle, Everton have had an even greater need for attacking cover. Hence, they became linked with Giroud, who is now at AC Milan.
According to Calciomercato, Everton offered him a salary worth €3.5million (£3.1m) up until the end of the season. They would then have given him a €2m (£1.8m) bonus if he helped them stay in the Premier League.
In turn, his salary for the 2023-24 season would have been worth €8.5m (£7.5m, or around £144,000 per week).
However, despite his Milan contract being in its final six months, Giroud did not want to entertain Everton.
Indeed, the former Arsenal man did not even discuss the proposal with his current employers.
Hence, Everton were left empty handed and will have to keep relying on Dominic Calvert-Lewin as their main striker in their battle against relegation.
SUMMER SWOOP TAKES SHAPE FOR ASTON VILLA
Aston Villa are already being tipped to revisit their interest in Matteo Guendouzi in the summer.
Guendouzi was one of Villa’s main targets last month in a move that would have reunited him with his former Arsenal coach, Unai Emery.
However, his current club Marseille refused to sell the midfielder in January. After all, they only converted his loan from Arsenal into a permanent deal in the summer just gone.
Hence, Villa shelved their pursuit of Guendouzi. But according to the Daily Mail, they will be back in the summer.
They are already considering whether to revive their pursuit of the Frenchman at the end of the season. His contract with Marseille is only due to run until 2025, so he may be more available in the summer.
For the time being, Emery will continue to rely on the likes of Douglas Luiz, Boubacar Kamara, John McGinn, Jacob Ramsey and Leander Dendoncker in his midfield.
But the Spanish tactician remains a major admirer of Guendouzi, who mutually appreciates his work too. Thus, he could be one to keep an eye on in the months ahead.