After eight years of sterling service to Chelsea, Ashley Cole was released by the club following the conclusion of the current campaign. While the writing seemed to be on the wall for the England centurion after he lost his regular left-back spot to Cesar Azpilicueta, the departure of Cole will undoubtedly be a big loss for the Blues.
Ever since Cole leaving Chelsea had been made certain, there have been a host of left backs linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, with Southampton wonderkid Luke Shaw believed to be the club’s main transfer target.
However, after being priced out of the move for the 19-year old by Manchester United, Chelsea have been forced to look elsewhere and now Winner Sports can exclusively reveal that the Blues are eyeing a surprise swoop for Çaykur Rizespor star Ali Adnan as a long term replacement for Cole.
20-year old Adnan has been hailed as the Asia’s Gareth Bale and has also drawn comparisons with Ian Harte. A quick player who is dangerous from dead ball situations, Adnan has been earning rave reviews for his performances for Turkish side Çaykur Rizespor over the last year or so.
Initially rising to prominence after impressing at the U-20 World Cup, Adnan had grabbed the attention of Arsenal, Galatasaray and Sevilla. However, in a surprise move, the young man made a switch to Turkish minnows Rizespor instead.
Adnan has since been in sensational form for Rizespor over the course of the campaign, scoring 3 goals as well as providing 9 assists, and the Iraqi international’s performances helped his side earn a respectable mid-table finish in the Turkish Super Lig.
As a result, Adnan’s stock has risen even further and it can be revealed that Chelsea are now interested in making a swoop for the young man.
Sources close to the Blues have told that Chelsea are looking to groom a young player to take over the mantle left by Cole and have identified Adnan as an attractive option.
While Cesar Azpilicueta looks set to continue at left-back for the time being after enjoying a fine campaign, Adnan has been seen as a long-term solution who will gradually be integrated into the first team.
Solid at the back as well as potent going forward, Adnan is certainly a very talented young player and could prove to be an astute acquisition for Chelsea. A fee of around £8million has been touted as sufficient enough to tempt Rizespor to part with their star defender.
However, Chelsea are not alone in their interest of Adnan, as Galatasaray and Roma are also said to be admirers of the young defender and will surely be looking to rival the Blues in an attempt to secure the 20-year old’s signature.