x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 September 2017

Chelsea set sights on Polish pair for Premier League

Club eye striker Robert Lewandowski and right-back Lukasz Piszczek.

Chelsea have made it a priority to sign a right-back following the exit of Jose Bosingwa, and Lukasz Piszczek, Dortmund's Polish recruit, could replace the Portuguese player at the London club. Leszek Szymanski / EPA
Chelsea have made it a priority to sign a right-back following the exit of Jose Bosingwa, and Lukasz Piszczek, Dortmund's Polish recruit, could replace the Portuguese player at the London club. Leszek Szymanski / EPA

Chelsea have included two key Poland national team players on their close-season recruitment list. The club are interested in both Robert Lewandowski and Lukasz Piszczek as Roman Abramovich continues his overhaul of the Champions League-winning squad.

Lewandowski, the scorer of Poland's first goal at the European Championship, is seen as an option to strengthen the attack should Radamel Falcao or Hulk prove too difficult to extract from Atletico Madrid, the Europa League winners, and Porto, the Portuguese champions.

The 23 year old was recently voted the Bundesliga's Player of the Season after scoring 22 times in 34 league appearances for Borussia Dortmund.

Piszczek, also a central component of Dortmund's German double-winning team, is a forward-minded right-back who combines pace with a strong 1.84m physique.

The 27 year old provided the cross for Lewandowski's finish against Greece and was an important creative force for Dortmund during his club's run to the Bundesliga title.

The signing of at least one new right-back is a priority for Chelsea. Jose Bosingwa was allowed to leave Stamford Bridge on freedom of contract last month, and the sparsely used Paulo Ferreira is again available for transfer.

An unsuccessful inquiry was placed with Manchester United last month as to the availability of Rafael da Silva.

The Dutch international Gregory van der Wiel, long monitored by Chelsea for the position, has been offered by Ajax for €10 million (Dh46m). The club's scouting department has also been tracking the performances of the Lille and France defender Mathieu Debuchy.

Dortmund have stated their intention to resist bids for either Lewandowski or Piszczek. The right-back is contracted to the club until 2016, and negotiations have been opened on extending the two season's remaining on their leading marksman's existing deal.

With Dortmund aiming to retain their German title and deliver a strong Champions League campaign, Hans-Joachim Watzke, the general manager, recently said he would limit the sale of first-choice players to Shinji Kagawa's transfer to Manchester United.

Abramovich, now in direct control of Chelsea's transfer policy, has also been working on the long-term pursuit of Bastian Schweinsteiger during the Euros. Last week he met the Bayern Munich midfielder at Germany's team hotel, ostensibly to commiserate with him for his Champions League final loss to Chelsea.

"Roman Abramovich paid us a visit and had a talk with Bastian," said Joachim Loew. "They were having a laugh with each other, and Bastian congratulated him with the Champions League win."

While the Germany coach said the meeting was unrelated to any transfer, Abramovich is an admirer of the player and would take advantage of any opportunity Bayern offered him to bid. Schweinsteiger's contract runs until 2016 and he is valued at over €60m.

Chelsea have already secured the Belgium internationals Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne for next season as well as German winger Marko Marin, who failed to make his nations European Championship squad. Abramovich also sanctioned the agreement of a two-year contract with Roberto Di Matteo as "manager and first-team coach".

Chelsea say the unusual title is intended to reflect Di Matteo's increased input in club matters.

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