New Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has contacted Real Madrid over the possibility of signing two of the Spanish club’s midfield talents, Angel di Maria and Pepe.
Madrid manager Jose Mourino however is unlikely to sell either of these players cheaply.
Di Maria only joined Madrid last summer after excelling for Benfica. Playing on either wing, he has taken to life at the Bernabeu easily, scoring nine goals and assisting 15 last term – a fantastic return for a debut season. He has however recently angered Real officials by demanding a new contract, only one year into a five-year deal.
The forward-thinking Fabio Coentrao who has signed for £27m from Benfica, may be forced into a more advanced position to accommodate vice-captain Marcelo. Or vice versa. This gives Real cover on the left-hand side and may make them more open to a transfer.
Such is the reputation of di Maria, and the prestige of the club, that Real will not let the player go for anything near the price they bought him. And why would they? He has added a lot more value to the £20.3m Real paid for him. Chelsea therefore will have to stump up something far closer to £30m, at least £25-27m.
Pepe however has only a year left on his contract with Real and Mourinho may wish to cash in on a player who could leave for free next summer. Pepe flexibility in terms of playing centre-back or defensive midfield aids Madrid of course but it prevents the player from holding down a regular spot.
It would however represent a great bit of business for Chelsea however, who need strengthening in both of these areas. A fee of around £8m should be enough.