Chelsea to tussle with Barcelona for £27m-rated attacker

Chelsea are reportedly in a two-horse race with Barcelona to pursue the signature of CSKA Moscow midfielder Aleksandr Golovin. The 22-year-old had come off a good season for CSKA with seven goals and six assists across all competitions and he has continued with the same vein of form at the World Cup, where he has contributed significantly to Russia’s progress to the quarter-finals.

According to Don Balon, the Blues are among the clubs interested in the highly-rated playmaker but they are likely to face competition from Barcelona with Lionel Messi keen to work alongside him. Nevertheless, CSKA are seeking to make the most of the interest and they have supposedly placed a £27m price tag on his head for the summer transfer window.

Since the close of the 2017/18 season, the Blues have largely placed their emphasis on the managerial situation and so far, they have not quite managed to find a successor to Antonio Conte, who has remained the club’s head coach.

Former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri has been highlighted as one of the prime candidates for the Blues job but the west London giants are yet to negotiate a compensation package to release him from his contract with the Serie A side.

As a result, the Capital outfit have remained relatively calm in terms of pursuing new recruits but the next few weeks should give a fair conclusion on whether they can lure the 59-year-old from Naples.

Meanwhile, Golovin has already made a genuine mark at the World Cup where he has contributed two assists and one goal to date but his efforts have of late been superseded by the team effort.

Against Spain, Russia were widely expected to be ousted from the tournament but they managed to produce a resolute defensive display which saw them secure a shock win on penalties after the scores were level at 1-1 after added extra-time.

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