London calling: Chelsea to hijack Spurs’ Destro deal?
Chelsea, 7/4 favourites for the Premier League title with Coral, could snatch Roma and Italy international striker Mattia Destro from under the noses of London rivals Tottenham, should Fernando Torres leave Stamford Bridge.
Reports from the continent claim Blues boss Jose Mourinho will move for Destro, 23, in the event of Spain’s Torres leaving, because he wants three first-team strikers to select from.
The Chelsea attack has already undergone a major overhaul this summer, with Demba Ba sold to Besiktas, Samuel Eto’o released and Victor Moses loaned out to Stoke City. Blues legend Didier Drogba has returned to the club, meanwhile, supplementing the big money signing of Diego Costa.
Destro built on his first season at Roma by scoring 13 goals in just 20 Serie A appearances last term. Spurs are also in the market for a striker as head coach Mauricio Pochettino only has two senior options, Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado, to choose from in that position.
Academy graduate Harry Kane gave Tottenham a boost in this area by signing a new five-year deal with the club prior to their season opener – a 1-0 victory over West Ham.
In other Spurs news, German midfielder Lewis Holtby is available for transfer, with fellow London clubs QPR and Crystal Palace reportedly still in the hunt. Hoops boss Harry Redknapp is closing in on Netherlands international and Norwich City player Leroy Fer, however.
Managerless Palace, meanwhile, will have put all transfer activity on hold until co-chairman Steve Parish names a new boss. If former Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood takes the reins at Selhurst Park, it is unlikely he would want Holtby, having loaned the 23-year-old out to Fulham in January.
Back across London at the Bridge, Mourinho may allow Championship club Middlesbrough, managed by his old assistant Aitor Karanka at Real Madrid, to take Chelsea youth product Patrick Bamford on loan. He enjoyed a similar spell at Derby County last term. The Blues are fourth-favourites at 10/1 to win the Champions League.