Did Roman Abramovich’s New Citizenship Spark Chelsea’s Hunt for Portuguese Players?

© AP Photo / Peter MorrisonChelsea's goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga celebrates with team mates after the penalty shootout of the UEFA Super Cup soccer match between Chelsea and Villarreal at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021
Chelsea's goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga celebrates with team mates after the penalty shootout of the UEFA Super Cup soccer match between Chelsea and Villarreal at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.12.2021
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The Blues, which won UEFA Champions League (UCL) last season, had a successful start in the Premier League, before losing their advantage to Manchester City. Reports suggest manager Thomas Tuchel wants to sign new players so that the club will be able to compete for gold medals both in UCL and Premier League.
It seems that after Roman Abramovich became a citizen of Portugal, the billionaire decided his club simply must sign some of his prominent new "compatriots". According to Fichajes, the Blues are now eyeing Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Ruben Neves, who has been displaying an immaculate performance this season. The outlet notes that Chelsea needs another top midfielder to bolster its positions both in the Premier League, where it is currently ranked second, and in the UEFA Champions League.

Another Portuguese athlete who could join Chelsea during the winter transfer window is Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix. The club is ready to spend $84 million on the 22-year-old striker alone, Fichajes writes. However, the Blues are not the only ones who want to sign the Portuguese player. Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Newcastle are said to have expressed interest in Felix too.

Injuries have been haunting the forward for the past two years, with Spanish outlets writing that Atletico Madrid’s manager Diego Simeone is willing to part ways with the young man. Other media suggest that the club is unlikely to sell the Portuguese footballer this season, and if it does, Chelsea would have to shell more than the $84 million as Atletico spent a record $142 million on the athlete in 2019 when it purchased Felix from Benfica.

The Portuguese player will be a significant reinforcement for Chelsea, who already have such powerhouses as Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner. The Blues now share second place with Liverpool (41 points), but the Reds have played one game less. Chelsea also lags six points behind leaders Manchester City.
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