Chelsea agree fee to complete £66m South American signing: Blues look to bring in club record additionPublished August 22, 2016
Chelsea are set to complete the signing of Real Madrid attacker James Rodriguez for a club record fee of £66m.
Antonio Conte has been handed significant transfer funds to invest in his squad before the transfer window closes and having seen Manchester United fork out a world-record fee for midfielder Paul Pogba, Blues owner Roman Abramovich will look to issue a statement of intent with a club record capture of 25-year-old Bernabeu star James Rodriguez.
Chelsea had been looking to re-sign Everton forward Romelu Lukaku but have been scared off by the Toffees asking price and this coupled with the good early season form shown by Diego Costa will lead the West London side to Rodriguez.
The cultured attacker will offer additional guile in the final third and provide a key connection between Chelsea’s midfield and their lead marksman.
Rodriguez has proven a moderate success at Real Madrid, impressing in his first season before spending much of last term on the bench.
The Colombian international didn’t even make Zinedine Zidane’s starting eleven for Real Madrid’s opening La Liga clash with Real Sociedad, this despite the absences of both Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo and this is thought to have been the final straw for Rodriguez.
Though there has been talk of a contentious move for Cesc Fabregas to Real Madrid, speculation of just such a move has been rife of late, Conte has no intention of selling the Spaniard and as such will not use the former Barcelona man as part of any offer for Rodriguez.
However he may be open to subsidising any bid with inclusion of other players that he may not feel are crucial to his Stamford Bridge plans.
Rodriguez left AS Monaco for Real Madrid two years ago and racked up 13 goals and 13 assists in La Liga action in his first campaign with the Spanish giants but then made just 17 starts in the top tier last season.
Zidane’s decision to field Marco Asensio over Rodriguez on Sunday evening is one that will surely leave Rodriguez hurting, not least as the impressive 20-year-old netted on what was his league debut for the club.
Asensio also netted during Real Madrid’s Super Cup win over Sevilla and his emergence could be the death knell to Rodriguez’s time at the club.
The potential £66m fee Chelsea are ready to pay for Rodriguez would be well in excess of the club’s current transfer record fee, that being the £50m spent on Fernando Torres in 2011.