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Chelsea go Italian in their search for Essien replacement

| 13.07.2011

Scott Parker is not the only name on Chelsea’s shortlist to cover for the injured Michael Essien, with Andre Villas-Boas also mulling over making an £18m offer for Daniele De Rossi.

The appointment of Luis Enrique as Roma boss earlier this summer has brought the futures of some of their leading stars into question.

Marco Vucinic is one player to have requested a transfer, although director of sport Walter Sabatini insists that De Rossi and Marco Borrielo are not for sale.

De Rossi only has a year remaining on his current contract at the Stadio Olimpico, although the club are of the opinion that he wants to stay and will sign a new deal in the coming weeks.

However, Chelsea may manage to persuade Roma into selling the midfielder particularly if there are some doubts within the Roma camp that he will allow his contract to run down and leave for free next summer.

Meanwhile, Roma may also be willing to part with De Rossi for £18m to free up some funds to continue their chase for highly-rated Palermo playmaker Javier Pastore.

Essien’s third serious knee problem since 2008 has brought doubts about his future and surgery on his latest injury will definitely keep him sidelined for the next six months.

Even if Chelsea fail to land De Rossi, Parker or any other potential Essien replacement, they do have options within their current ranks.

One of these is to push David Luiz into a holding midfield position after question marks arose over the quality of his defending towards the end of last season.

A lack of depth within their squad certainly hindered Chelsea in their title charge last season and will be something that Villas-Boas is keen to correct ahead of the upcoming campaign.

Chelsea are 5/2 in the Premier League odds to win the title this season.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.