Chelsea plot £20m capture of Juventus star Arturo Vidal
Chelsea, who go into their title-deciding clash with Liverpool as 25/1 outsiders to win the Premier League, are eyeing a summer swoop for Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal.
Tabloid reports claims that Blues boss Jose Mourinho has identified the box-to-box Chile international as the perfect replacement for long-serving Stamford Bridge star Frank Lampard.
Vidal, who turns 27 before the World Cup, has been scouted by Chelsea and the glowing reports sent back to west London have convinced ‘the Special One’ to make a move this summer.
It is understood that Vidal is prepared to consider leaving Turin giants Juve, as he is on the verge of winning a third successive Serie A title.
Antonio Conte’s Old Lady could also add the Europa League (5/4 to win it) to the list of honours former Bayer Leverkusen man Vidal has won whilst in Italy.
Enjoying his best scoring season to date, he has netted 18 goals in 43 outings in all competitions, including an impressive five in six during the Champions League group stage.
Juventus are believed to value Vidal at around £20m, but the Blues could possibly pull off a swap deal involving Brazilian counterpart Ramires. The 27-year-old, who joined from Benfica in 2010, must spend the rest of the Premier League season sidelined because of a ban.
Ramires has attracted reported interest from both Juve and Spanish La Liga heavyweights Barcelona – now that their transfer ban has been lifted pending appeal.
Vidal is one of the South American stars to watch out for at the World Cup in Brazil. He scored five times in 11 outings in qualifying to help Chile reach their second successive finals.
Jorge Sampaoli’s side face a tough challenge to qualify from Group B, which contains holders Spain and the team they beat to win the previous tournament, the Netherlands. Australia complete this pool.
Chile are 9/2 to top their group, 11/10 to qualify for the knockout phase from it, and 33/1 to lift the trophy. They kick their tournament off against the Socceroos and are odds-on at 8/15 to beat them with Coral.