Chelsea have had a shock loan move for Michail Antonio rejected by West Ham United as the club’s new ownership continues their chaotic approach to recruitment.
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The west London club have already made three permanent signings this month, bringing in Benoit Badiashile from Monaco in a £35million transfer as well as securing deals for youngsters David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos.
In the midst of an injury crisis and severe lack of goals, they also spent around £10m to sign Joao Felix on loan until the end of the season from Atletico Madrid, as well as paying another £5m to cover his wages.
But, with the Portuguese forward suspended for three matches, Chelsea feel they need even more reinforcements particularly in the attacking positions.
As a result, they have agreed to pay €110m (£97.5m) to sign Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhailo Mudryk, swooping in at the last minute to hijack Arsenal’s deal for the 22-year-old.
But they still want to add a more orthodox forward to their ranks – particularly with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having only netted once in the Premier League this season – and made a rather bizarre attempt to sign Antonio.
According to The Guardian, Chelsea’s injury crisis saw them enquire about the possibility of taking the West Ham forward on a cheap loan until the end of the season.
The offer was rejected by the east London club who have no intention of loaning out the 32-year-old, though they would be prepared to cash in on him on a permanent transfer.
Manager David Moyes recently played down suggestions that Wolves were working on a deal for Antonio, with suggestions that the Hammers would bring in Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri as a replacement.
‘We’ve had no offer and no enquiry so I don’t know where that’s grown legs from,’ said Moyes last week when asked about the Wolves links.
‘Nevertheless, Mick’s really important for us. I think he’s got a two-year contract so he’s here for a while.’
Chelsea’s enquiry for Antonio suggests the west London club’s new ownership are continuing to operate in a very scattergun manner despite making a host of appointments in their recruitment department, with Todd Boehly & Co having spent around £250m last summer on 13 players.
Their move for Mudryk is also believed to have ruffled a few feathers at Arsenal, with the Gunners having been working on a deal for months.
Arsenal were not prepared to pay Shakhtar’s mammoth asking price, but Chelsea have agreed to pay €70m (£62m) now, with a further €40m (£35m) in add-ons, making it the club’s most expensive transfer ever on a player who has only played 29 times in the Ukrainian top flight for Shakhtar.
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