Chelsea ready to raid Mestalla for Valencia midfielder Andre Gomes

Chelsea, odds-on with Coral at 1/16 to lift the Premier League, appear to have an eye on upgrading their attacking midfield options ahead of next season.

Reports suggest Jose Mourinho is interested in plundering Valencia for Portugal starlet Andre Gomes, and could offer as much as £26m to capture his compatriot.

Such a high fee seems steep for a 21-year-old with just two caps, but is still not expected to be enough to tempt Los Che into trading their prize asset, as the Spanish giants are said to value Gomes at around £36m.

Rumours of a buyout clause at that price may mean Mourinho has to dig deep into Roman Abramovich’s generous pockets to poach the exciting attacking midfielder.

Talented Gomes, who helped boyhood club Benfica reach a Europa League final last campaign, was not expected to be available, having only jumped ship to join the Bats in summer, but has seamlessly stepped up to the challenge of La Liga.

An orchestrator already capable of controlling games at such a young age, the ex-Eagles attacker could be just the edge Chelsea crave when Cesc Fabregas is off form.

Any Grab for Gomes, who has been influential with his 28 appearances and four goals across all competitions for the Mestalla men, would likely be met with much resistance. Especially as Los Che attempt to build on a successful season, at the heart of which has been the partnership of Gomes and playmaker Dani Parejo.

Guileful Gomes is said to have impressed the Blues boss with his mix of strength, intelligence, work rate, creativity and close control, and has emerged as one of Portugal’s most promising players.

While Gomes would certainly be a long-term project for tempestuous tactician Mourinho, he could also prove an able deputy to Fabregas and Oscar in the meantime.

The technically excellent Navigator is well on his way to becoming the kind of complete midfielder, able to contribute at both ends of the pitch, that the controversial coach adores.

Mercurial Mourinho shares the same agent, Jorge Mendes of Gestifute fame, as Gomes, so the Stamford Bridge side should feel confident of snapping up Valencia’s birghtest star ahead of apparent suitors Manchester United (odds-on at 2/7 for a top four finish).