Chelsea representatives are believed to be spreading out across Europe at the moment to try and close several transfer deals ahead of the new Premier League season, but one man they had earmarked as someone they would like to bring in has given them the cold shoulder in favour of signing for Ligue 1 outfit Monaco. Aleksandr Golovin has been heavily linked with relocation to Stamford Bridge since starring in Russia’s World Cup campaign on home soil, but the French Principality have won the race to sign the 22-year-old midfielder. Reports indicate that recent Chelsea signing Jorginho may have had an influence on Golovin’s decision to choose Ligue 1 over the Premier League, with game time seemingly becoming increasingly difficult in west London.
With an abundance of genuine talent available to new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri in midfield, Golovin is thought to have fancied his chances at first team football at Stade Louis II instead. This is of course a wonderful bit of business for Monaco, with one of the biggest hits of the World Cup now adorning the red and white of last season’s Ligue 1 runners-up. His arrival is as much a statement as anything – Monaco not only want to retain their place ahead of the likes of Lyon and Marseille, they would also rather like to close the gap on last season’s champions Paris Saint-Germain. Putting Golovin in amongst the likes of Rachid Ghezzal, Youri Tielemans, Boschilia and Adama Traoré will offer both healthy competition and a mutually beneficial playing relationship for all parties involved.
Golovin’s footballing education in Russia can bring a new perspective to his colleagues, just as their European and African stylings can help him to develop as well. With such a versatile set of players, if this works then Monaco could have a truly competitive midfield. Monaco chief Vadim Vasilyev confirmed the reports that the CSKA Moscow star is headed to France, saying: “Monaco and CSKA this afternoon finally agreed on the transfer of Golovin. [The negotiations] really were complicated.” He then continued, revealing that Monaco and Chelsea were not the only two clubs in for Golovin’s services: “In addition to Chelsea, there was Juventus for Golovin. In early May this year I heard from one the leaders of the Turin club that Aleksandr’s transfer to their team was a done deal.”
If Vasilyev’s Juventus claim is indeed true, then this signing appears to be an even larger coup than it had looked before. Not only have Monaco beaten competition from one former European champion – they have nipped in ahead of two of them, and with Golovin a good bet for plenty of action this season he could well help inspire his team-mates on to an improved Ligue 1 season. They missed out last time around by 13 points, and while that was far from the largest winning margin across Europe’s top leagues last season it was still big enough to indicate a clear dominance on the part of PSG. That is not something likely to sit well with Monaco, and so they will be going all out to try and beat their rivals to the post this time around.
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