x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Ajax's Gregory Van der Wiel offered to Chelsea

Stamford Bridge may finally be close to wresting the right-back away from Ajax, and Manchester United will have to stave off advances for Nani.

Gregory van der Wiel may finally be on his way out with Ajax and heading to Stamford Bridge to strengthen Chelsea's right side.
Gregory van der Wiel may finally be on his way out with Ajax and heading to Stamford Bridge to strengthen Chelsea's right side.
Chelsea have been offered the opportunity to finally acquire the Holland international Gregory van der Wiel as part of a summer restructure that is to go ahead regardless of their Uefa Champions League triumph over Bayern Munich.

Ajax are ready to sell the right-back for ?10 million (Dh47m) and strengthening the right side of the defence is a priority for Chelsea, who have declined to renew the contract of European and FA Cup double-winning defender Jose Bosingwa and would like to move on back-up right-back Paulo Ferreira.

The Premier League club are also aware of interest from Real Madrid in Branislav Ivanovic, who regularly started in the position last season.

Van der Wiel, 24, has been on Chelsea's radar for over two years, but is only now readily available.

Ajax operate a develop-to-sell model and elected to cash in on the youth-team product following Ricardo van Rhijn's emergence as an able deputy when Van der Wiel was sidelined by injury.

Ajax coach, Frank de Boer, has approved the Dutch champions' decision to sell.

Seeking to reduce both the wages and average age of their squad, Chelsea recently asked Manchester United to name a price for Rafael da Silva but were told that the Brazilian right-back was not available for sale.

The club's hierarchy - who are still considering whether to hand Roberto Di Matteo a long-term contract as manager next season - last week permitted Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou to exit Stamford Bridge as free agents without any fresh discussions on new contracts.

On the instructions of Roman Abramovich, a discontented Fernando Torres has been reassured of his position at Chelsea with the owner intent on seeing his £50m acquisition established as first-choice centre forward next season.

Financially, the club believes it can significantly improve its commercial income if Torres belatedly succeeds in the position.

Abramovich must also make a decision on his pursuit of Eden Hazard, as Manchester City have baulked at the wage demands of the Belgian attacking midfielder, who has also been pursued by United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Discussing Chelsea's transfer strategy last week, chief executive Ron Gourlay said they wanted "three to four" new players.

"You are always looking to introduce new players," Gourlay said.

"Will you see some new faces? Yes, you will, and you may see a couple of faces go. But at the end of the day, that's just normal end-of-the-season practice."


Manchester United must combat interest in Nani after Anzhi Makhachkala approached the Portugal international with a view to making him part of a three-year plan to establish themselves in the Uefa Champions League.

The Russian Premier League club, bankrolled by billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov, are operating with a ?300 million (Dh1.4 billion) transfer budget, jointly controlled by Guus Hiddink and Roberto Carlos, their coach and team director. Although Nani is unlikely to accept a switch to Russian football at this stage in his career, Anzhi's involvement could complicate United's efforts to renew the forward's contract.

The 25-year-old Portuguese has two seasons remaining on a deal worth a relatively modest ?2m per annum net; a salary typical of United's conservative wage policy.

Elsewhere, Queens Park Rangers are close to allowing Paddy Kenny, Shaun Derry and Tommy Smith to join former manager Neil Warnock at Leeds United. The goalkeeper, midfielder and winger, all in their 30s, are likely to be considered surplus to requirements as Mark Hughes seeks to rebuild a squad that only escaped relegation from the Premier League on the final day of the season.

Warnock, who led QPR to promotion in 2011 before being dismissed in January, was also interested in bringing Clint Hill and Jamie Mackie to Elland Road, but both have been offered new contracts at Loftus Road.


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