Antonio Conte’s rebuilding at Chelsea has hit a brick wall with Valencia rejecting the Blues £40m bid for Andre Gomes, 22.
The midfielder has been a key member of the Portuguese squad at Euro 2016 where they face Wales this evening, in the first semi-final. Juventus had been favourites to land the young maestro, who is expected to leave the Mestalla once the tournament is over.
Chelsea, however, are the first club to lodge an official bid but face stiff competition from Real Madrid and Barcelona. Valencia though are well aware of the money Juventus will secure when they sell Paul Pogba, 23, and believe the Italians will be willing to spend up to half of that on a player who is very similar in playing style.
Conte is determined the Blues will replicate the fast and furious element of the playing style his Italian squad displayed this summer. Gomes is an archetypal box-to-box midfielder but has the technique to fit into wider positions.
Real Madrid’s interest in Gomes signals an admission of defeat in their pursuit of Pogba. The club met with the player’s representatives but news of a similar meeting with Manchester United’s CEO, Ed Woodward, suggests a return to Old Trafford is more likely.
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