Chelsea boss Andre-Villas Boas has identified French midfielder Yann M’Vila as the ideal replacement for the injury prone Michael Essien, as he looks to bolster his midfield by the start of the new season.
Essien has been ruled out of action for up to six months with a serious knee injury, and despite reports suggesting that an attempt to resign Scott Parker on loan was on the cards, The People claims it is the Rennes star man that is now top of Chelsea’s wish list.
At just 21, M’Vila has established himself as a key part of the Rennes set up and one of the most consistent midfielders in the French league. Chelsea are expected to complete the signing of Barcelona reserve Oriol Romeu for around £4.5m in the next day or so, however the French international is likely to cost the Blues at least £15m after signing a contract last year keeping him at the French club until 2015.
Chelsea have been relatively quiet in the transfer window so far, with Villas-Boas believed to have been keen on assessing the current crop fully before looking at players to bring in. With chief executive Ron Gourlay adamant the club will be making at least two signings over the next week or so, M’Vila has been identified as the ideal immediate replacement for Essien, as well as a player for the future at Chelsea.
Chelsea have lacked consistency in previous campaigns where Essien has been ruled out, with the likes of both Mikel and Ramires unable to fill the Ghanaian’s boots adequately when asked. Despite being relatively inexperienced at the top level, M’Vila has proven himself as one of the great young talents in Europe at the moment and is believed to have attracted attention from the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, and Tottenham.
With the signing of goalkeeper Thibaud Courtois complete and Remou awaiting his medical at the club, Chelsea are also reported to be interesting in signing Adnerlecht forward Romelu Lukaku. It seems that what has often been described as an ‘ageing’ Chelsea side are now looking to youth rather than experience in their attempt to challenge on all fronts and rectify the failures of the last campaign.
With the backing of Abramovich behind Chelsea, Rennes will undoubtedly be looking to push the transfer fee above £15m, but if M’Vila is able to replicate the kind of consistency and ability that he has demonstrated in Ligue 1 over in the Premier League, then this kind of fee would be far from outrageous and may even turn out to be a bargain for the West London outfit.