Leverkusen’s Schurrle agrees €23m move to Chelsea in the summer

Kevin de Bruyne may stay in Germany and move on loan to Bayer as part of the deal

Wed, Apr 17, 2013, 07:00

Chelsea’s summer strengthening is set to be sparked by the €23m arrival of Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen, with the club hopeful of announcing the signing of the Germany forward at the end of the season.

Talks are expected to resume with Leverkusen officials this week and the 22-year-old is apparently keen on the move, with a five-year deal agreed in principle. The transfer is likely to be a straight cash payment, though the idea of Chelsea’s Kevin de Bruyne moving to Bayer on loan has been mooted. The forward has impressed on loan at Werder Bremen and remains in Chelsea’s long-term plans but he would be open to remaining in the Bundesliga for a further year.

Schurrle, capped 22 times, can operate as a wide player or striker and has long been a transfer target for Chelsea, who had initially hoped to secure his services last summer before Leverkusen resisted.

His should be the first of an anticipated flurry of arrivals concerning central midfield and a back-up goalkeeper. A more conventional striker is also on the wish-list and interest is retained in Radamel Falcao of Atletico Madrid. Chelsea are pursuing targets despite not having a manager for next season and the hierarchy are well aware of the need to qualify for the Champions League to fulfil their ambitions.

The interim manager, Rafael Benitez, will resume that pursuit at Fulham this evening conscious that they need an immediate improvement in away form.

Chelsea’s recent run has been dominated by cup competitions, with only eight of their past 21 matches – and three of the past 10 – coming in the Premier League, but the reality is that they have lost their past three league games on the road and not won away since Stoke in mid-January.

John Terry and Frank Lampard are expected to return to the starting line-up and Fernando Torres, too, may begin the club’s 60th game of the season.

Martin Jol has laughed off any chance of Fulham signing Lampard ahead of the London derby. Jol was full of praise for the England international ahead of the match but dismissed suggestions he might make a summer approach.

“He is the most productive midfield player in England in the last 30 or 40 years,” the Dutchman said.

“Everyone would love to have him. He’s fit and is a good character.”
Guardian Service