Chelsea remain in the hunt for Juventus star Paul Pogba, but with plenty of suitors lining up for the Frenchman, they are also considering more realistic targets, such as Porto and Red Star Belgrade youngsters Ruben Neves and Marko Grujic.
That’s according to the MailOnline’s Simon Jones, who noted the Blues have scouted both young players in the wake of strong interest in Pogba from Barcelona as well as Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
Chelsea have struggled in the Premier League this season and are currently languishing in 17th place after five games. The Blues have looked poor all over the pitch, with central midfield duo Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas among those falling well short of the standards they set themselves last year.
Pogba’s arrival would significantly strengthen their options, as the squad is fairly light beyond the Serb and the Spaniard. WhoScored.com demonstrates two of Pogba’s myriad strengths—his goal threat from distance and his sublime dribbling:
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 22, 2015
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 11, 2015
B/R’s own Graham Ruthven explained what makes Pogba so good but also believes Barcelona to be his most likely destination:
While Chelsea are one of the few clubs who can afford the 22-year-old, the Camp Nou’s virtually irresistible pulling power will likely win out, so the Blues are wise to prepare other targets.
Neves is such a target.
As Squawka demonstrates, the defensive midfielder struggled to make an impact in his seven Champions League appearances last term, winning just four tackles from 13 attempts and no headed duels.
However, Neves should be forgiven that given he only turned 18 in March this year.
The Mirror’s Tom Kundert believes that “his excellent ball retention, neat and accurate passing, intelligent positioning, two-footedness, and above all a calm head on young shoulders, even in pressure situations, augurs for a brilliant future.”
Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press
Another option is Belgrade’s Grujic, who as Jones reported recently won the under-20 World Cup with Serbia and “has captained the club at various age groups and is a firm favourite with supporters.”
The pair would continue Chelsea’s tactic to hoover up the best young talent football has to offer but would likely also carry on their trend of loaning out a huge number of those in their youth ranks.
Both Neves and Grujic have tremendous potential, but at just 18 and 19 neither are ready to feature in Chelsea’s senior team regardless of their midfielders’ struggles.
Their development would likely benefit the most from them staying where they are for the time being as they are beginning to enjoy more regular first-team football. If they do move to Stamford Bridge, expect subsequent loan moves for both.
– Bleacher Report
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