Chelsea are set to battle Barcelona for Atletico Madrid and Belgium star Yannick Carrasco, according to reports in the English media.
The Daily Mirror have claimed that Premier League giants Chelsea are interested in yet another Belgian in Atletico Madrid star Yannick Carrasco. The winger, who joined the Rojiblancos from AS Monaco, is in his second season at Atletico Madrid and has impressed with his consistent performances.
Yannick Carrasco has become an integral part of the club’s first-team setup while also establishing himself as a regular starter for the Belgium national team. The 23-year-old has featured in each of the club’s seven La Liga games this season, starting five of them.
Barcelona have been in pursuit of the attacker since the summer transfer window and it is rumoured that the Catalan giants still retain an interest that could translate into a concrete offer in the future. Carrasco signed a five-year deal with Atletico Madrid in 2015, but the Rojiblancos are still considering a renewal of the Belgian’s contract primarily because of the presence of a release clause of £35m.
Chelsea have now joined the race, with Antonio Conte wishing to add more options to an attack that is evidently lacking in creativity — evidenced by the Blues’ humiliating defeat at the Emirates.
Atletico Madrid are fully aware of interest in the player from the likes of Barcelona and Chelsea and are consequently attempting to renew the winger’s contract to ward off potential suitors by significantly increasing his release clause.
Carrasco is reportedly happy playing under Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid, but Chelsea does present a good opportunity for the player. The 23-year-old is unlikely to feel out of place at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea boasting a decent Belgian core.
The former Monaco attacker has already gained a reputation for being a big-match player, with goals in the Champions League final as well as a goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League group stage last month.
Chelsea have under performed in their ‘big’ games this season and the Italian manager would love to add a player like Carrasco to his roster. However, the transfer is unlikely to be easy as Atletico Madrid are one of the best sides in Europe and are currently playing at a much higher level than the Blues. Barcelona’s interest will also prove to be a hurdle.
Any significant movement in the deal is likely to be seen only next summer at the end of the 2016-17 season, with Atletico Madrid vying for another successful campaign this term both in domestic and European competitions.