Chelsea reportedly hijack Tottenham £40m target to solve attacking problems
Chelsea reportedly want to sign Sporting right-wing-back Pedro Porro, who is also attracting interest from Tottenham Hotspur.
The Blues have already been busy in the January transfer window, bringing in three fresh faces with several more expected to follow.
Todd Boehly has been more than willing to splash the cash since buying the club last summer.
He backed Thomas Tuchel with a £250million transfer kitty before sacking the German a month after the summer window closed.
Tuchel was replaced by Graham Potter, who will be backed this month.
After spending over £60m on Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos, Chelsea are expected to complete the loan signing of Joao Felix.
The Portuguese will join for the remainder of the season with Boehly coughing up an £11m loan fee as well as covering the player’s monstrous wages.
Chelsea have also been linked with Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk and Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
A deal to sign the former is probably dead in the water with Felix joining while the latter is likely to remain in Portugal with Benfica demanding £106m to let the Argentine leave.
Chelsea’s transfer business under Boehly and his new recruitment staff has been very interesting.
The word hijack has become synonymous with Chelsea over the last six months.
It all started with Raphinha in the summer transfer window when they trumped Arsenal’s bid for the then-Leeds United star.
Raphinha held out for Barcelona, however, and joined them despite Leeds accepting a bid from the Stamford Bridge club.
Barcelona once again proved to be a thorn in the Blues’ side when they stole Jules Kounde from them, signing the French defender from Sevilla.
Clearly addicted to the thrill of being involved in hijacked deals, this model has carried on into the January transfer window.
The Mudryk interest came out of nowhere and made Arsenal’s pursuit a lot more complicated, much to the annoyance of the Gunners’ supporters.
Fernandez first attracted interest from Liverpool, though the Blues’ bid to sign him was not exactly a hijack, with the Reds unlikely to make an offer this month.
Felix was another player who initially attracted interest from elsewhere, and having seen the news on Twitter, or perhaps even Football365, Boehly made the Portugal forward a target and is close to getting him through the door.
The hijacks just seem to keep coming. Whether or not it is a genuine hijack, whenever Chelsea get linked with a player who is a reported target of a Premier League rival, we will be claiming it is just that.
According to Ben Jacobs, a “hijack” from the Blues to sign Pedro Porro is “very possible”, with Spurs also keen.
“The other thing to watch, and I know we are going to hear this a lot, and sometimes it has to be taken with a pinch of salt, but a hijack from Chelsea is very possible,” Jacobs said on the Last Word on Spurs’ YouTube channel.
“Whereas Tottenham are 50/50 on whether it’s worth paying the release clause, I think Chelsea might be a bit more bullish, because they are looking for big, big movement.
“They know, Chelsea, that they need to think about the right-back, or wing-back, situation. Partly due to the volume of injuries and partly because Cesar Azpilicueta is looking a little exposed at right-back at the moment.
“And also because Graham Potter is toying with a range of different tactics at the moment to try and work out what’s best and Chelsea don’t have that identity yet. Pedro Porro fits into a lot of different systems.”
Both London clubs need a new right-wing-back, but for different reasons.
Potter is seeking more depth in that position with Reece James becoming pretty injury prone. The drop-off in quality whenever James is out is alarming.
Spurs, on the other hand, need a new right-wing-back who is ready to go straight into the starting XI.
Antonio Conte has Djed Spence, Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal available to him, but the position is definitely a weakness.
Porro reportedly has a £40m buyout clause, which is a decent fee in the modern market.
While it is a modest fee to pay, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is reluctant to trigger his release clause, with Sporting not wanting a penny less.
This sort of hesitation could see the north Londoners finish outside the top four, which will probably see Conte leave when his contract expires at the end of the season.