Chelsea transfer news: Six possible replacements for Cesc Fabregas, including Barcelona ace Ivan Rakitic and Adrien Rabiot

8 Jan

With Cesc Fabregas now sold to Monaco Chelsea could sign a new midfielder in the coming days.

The Blues were reportedly attempting to land two players – Leandro Paredes and Nicolo Barella – as manager Maurizio Sarri hunted the ideal replacement for Fabregas, but the former has now joined Paris Saint-Germain.

Fabregas salutes the Chelsea fans on what looks to be his final appearance for the club against Nottingham Forest

Sarri clearly wants a talented playmaker who must have fine technique and otherworldly vision to help progress the ball from tight areas?

It will be no mean feat replacing the Spaniard, who goes down as a Premier League legend after leaving for the south of France.

So who are the men who might be up to the task? Find out below…

Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona)

Chelsea don’t often sign older players but it seems they may make an exception for the Croatian star as his time at the Camp Nou nears its end.

With Ernesto Valverde landing Frenkie de Jong and Arthur, while have Carles Alena and Riqui Puig in reserve, Rakitic may make way in the summer.

If the 30-year-old does leaves then Sarri might feel it’s wise to sign a player of such a high standard.

Rakitic’s stunning volley against Tottenham Hotspur has been one of the goals of the season

His passing ability is superb, while talkSPORT.com’s man in Spain, Lee Roden, believe Rakitic remains one of the most underrated players in world football.

Meanwhile, he also has the required work rate to play a role in a Sarri side.

Amadou Diawara (Napoli)

Want an understudy to Jorginho? Why not sign the old understudy to Jorginho? Diawara should have succeeded the Brazilian in Naples but Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival has seen a change of formation and Marek Hamsik playing deeper, leading to a lack of minutes for the Guinea international.

Diawara is on the fringes in Napoli.

Positionally, he’s the ideal man for Chelsea given he knows the manager and the system required while he’s also continued to operate in the same style, despite a different role for Napoli.

You won’t catch him dribbling forward as he’s only intent on one thing, passing the ball forwards using the team-mates surrounding him.

At 21-years-old he would represent an excellent long-term purchase too but the chances of him moving for another backup role are low.

Adrien Rabiot (Paris Saint-Germain)

While he isn’t quite the playmaker Fabregas is, Rabiot would bolster the Blues in a position which no looks a little weak.

The midfielder is almost certain to leave PSG in one of the next two windows with Barcelona the club he has mostly been linked with in recent weeks.

Liverpool and Tottenham have also been credited with interest, which is understandable, given his impeccable passing and ability to move the ball forward under his own steam – a desperately needed talent in a modern midfielder.

Rabiot is in with an outside chance of joining Chelsea

Nicolo Barella (Cagliari)

The Italy international is certainly a versatile midfielder given his talents both offensively and defensively.
He’s technically excellent, which at 21-years-old is impressive, but is a lot more box-to-box in style than perhaps a replacement for Fabregas needs to be but his ability to play in a high-tempo side should help him adapt if Sarri is to alter his role.

Barella appears to be a top target for Sarri.

It feels like a risk if he is to compete with Jorginho whereas he could be a long-term replacement for the on-loan Matteo Kovacic and a competitor for N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

It’s likely Cagliari would want a fee of around £45million for his services.

Remo Freuler (Atalanta)

A competent ball progressor and blessed with excellent vision, it seems odd the 26-year-old hasn’t been heavily linked with many Premier League sides.
He’s a core part of the impressive Serie A side, under the tutelage of Gian Piero Gasperini, but it is perhaps the surrounding formation – a 3-4-3 which puts off potential suitors.

The Swiss star can just as easily switch play with cross-field pass as he can play through the lines of an opponents with neat one-twos.

Freuler is an under the radar possibility for Chelsea.

His defensive output is also pretty similar to Jorginho in terms of interceptions and tackles completed, but whether he has the discipline to hold position is another query given he’s used to playing alongside Marten de Roon.

Stefano Sensi (Sassuolo)

Currently wanted by AC Milan, the 23-year-old Italian international sometimes looks a touch raw but is still impressing in a deep-lying midfield role.

At only 5ft 6in, Sensi wouldn’t be the most imposing midfielder the Premier League has seen but he’s happy to get stuck in as well as move the ball on to team-mates.

Could Chelsea nab Sensi ahead of AC Milan?

Fond of playing longer passes down the wings to team-mates as well as moving the ball through the lines, it’s easy to see why he will be moving up the food chain soon.

He’s not making the same amount of passes per 90 minutes as someone like Jorginho but he is unerringly accurate most of the time.

Newcastle transfer news: Magpies linked with Sassuolo midfielder Stefano Sensi with both Inter and AC Milan tracking him

26 Nov

Newcastle United are hoping to bolster their squad and have been keeping tabs on Sassuolo midfielder Stefano Sensi, according to reports.

The diminutive attacker has impressed this season, turning in a number of eye-catching displays in Serie A, which earned him a call-up to the Italian national team.

Stefano Sensi’s performances for Sassuolo have seen him linked with a move to Newcastle

After starring in the 1-0 win over the USA, Italy manger Roberto Mancini praised Sensi’s performance.

“He is technical player but also fast. I liked Sensi for a while and he will become a strong personality,” Mancini said.

Sensi is also a target for both Milan clubs, as well as Newcastle reports the Chronicle Live, with his club slapping a €25m price tag on the 23-year-old.

Arriving at Sassuolo from Cesena in 2016, Sensi has made 40 appearances and scored six times in all competitions.

Sensi made his debut for Italy against USA

It has been a difficult start to the campaign for Rafa Benitez’s side who are currently 15th after winning just two of their 12 Premier League matches.

While the club have a number of midfielders, they could be about to part ways with Issac Hayden who already tried to exit Newcastle in the summer for personal reasons.