Nikola Maksimovic

Chelsea linked with new defender, midfielder committed his future to the Blues

Chelsea linked with new defender, midfielder committed his future to the Blues

Chelsea have identified Torino defender Nikola Maksimovic as a cheaper alternative to Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Daily Mirror.

The Blues recently lodged a £38m bid for the Senegal international, but the Napoli are said to be holding out for £45m for their star centre-back.

The report claims that the Blues have now turned their attention towards Maksimovic, who could be available for as low as £18m.

The Serbian international has been playing for the Turin club since arriving at the club from Red Star Belgrade in 2013.

Chelsea’s neighbours West Ham United are also said to be interested in the 24-year-old centre-back.

Maksimovic is a versatile player and is also capable of playing as a defensive midfielder.

Besides Koulibaly and Maksimovic, the West London club have also been linked with a move for Lazio centre-back Stefan de Vrij.

 

Meanwhile, Maksimovic’s compatriot, Nemanja Matic, has committed his future to the Blues.

The defensive midfielder, who was a standout player for the Blues during their double-winning 2014-15 season, struggled for his form last season and has been strongly linked with an exit from Stamford Bridge this summer.

The arrival of N’Golo Kante at Stamford Bridge from Leicester City further fuelled the rumours claiming that the 27-year-old is set to leave the Blues ahead of the next season.

Various reports have even claimed that Serie A giants Juventus have identified Matic as a replacement for Manchester United-bound Paul Pogba. He was also linked with a reunion with his former manager Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.

However, Matic has dismissed all the speculation regarding his future by claiming that he expects to play a part in Antonio Conte’s plans next season.

The Serbian international added that he has the trust of Conte, who recently made it clear that he wants the midfielder to stay at the club.

“What he said gave me a special feeling. Like every player here, I have a good relationship with the manager. I respect what he said about me and, of course, I liked what I heard,” Matic said to the Evening Standard.

“It was a strange year for all of us last season. Of course, I was not happy that we finished 10th in the table but there were many things that made it hard for me, yet I can’t speak about it.

“So it was important for me to know that I am a big part of his [Conte’s] plans. I have been at the club for two-and-a-half years and have always given my best every day. [As long as] I’m here, I will continue to give everything to the team.”

About the Author Moha

Hardcore fun of the beautiful game. Played soccer for different clubs in my country before hanging up my boots. Now writer for My Soccer HQ

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