Despite already upsetting the Tottenham board with an attempt to sign playmaker Luka Modric, according to the Daily Mail, Chelsea are now chasing Alan Gatagov, the Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder who is believed to have been on the Spurs radar for quite some time.
Although it has been suggested that Gatagov is being lined up as a back-up to Modric, should a deal not take place, this seems to be somewhat implausible due to the fact that the 20-year-old is simply not in the same bracket as the Tottenham man, at least not yet any way.
Gatagov is reportedly valued at around £7m by the Russian outfit, a price that is far more likely to appeal to Chelsea than Tottenham, particularly as Redknapp has been told he must fund any signings with the sale of players already at the club.
Redknapp is believed to have sent representatives of the club to meet with Gatagov when Lokomotiv came over to Bournemouth for a pre-season friendly last week, but with no deal in place, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich looks set to hijack any possible movement by the player by offering both Champions League football and a higher salary to help sway his decision.
So far Chelsea have been relatively quiet in the transfer window, however they will be looking to bolster their midfield after Michael Essien was ruled out for up to six months with a knee injury earlier in the month.
Whilst we are led to believe that Modric remains top of the Chelsea wish list, Gatagov could certainly bring some freshness to what has often been described as an ageing Chelsea side, and would undoubtedly relish a move to West London where the prospect of silverware Champions League football can be realised at such a young age.
We have seen throughout this window the kind of money clubs are willing to spend on young English players, and if Gatagov is able to play at the same level as these players, then £7m could well turn out to be a steal for either Spurs or Chelsea. It seems fair to assume that should a bidding war arise between the two clubs then Chelsea will be clear favourites so sign the youngster, and with the Modric saga still far from resolved, an improved relationship between Levy and Abramovich looks set to be put on hold a little while longer.
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