Chelsea face competition from Arsenal & Juventus for Calhanoglu

James Shearman Updated: 19 May 2021 16:43 CEST 4 min read
Chelsea face competition from Arsenal & Juventus for Calhanoglu

AC Milan playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu is subject to interest from Chelsea, Arsenal and Juventus, according to reports.

The midfielder is in the final year of his contract at San Siro, so can leave on a free transfer this summer should he choose to reject a contract extension.

The 27-year-old has only missed five games in Serie A this season, registering two goals and nine assists in helping Milan to second place with nine games to go.

Calhanoglu is clearly a key member of Stefano Pioli’s side, but it will take great efforts to keep him at the club given the interest from elsewhere.

Calhanoglu to Chelsea?

Chelsea have been linked to the player before and renewed interest certainly makes sense as they struggle to create chances under new manager Thomas Tuchel.

The German boss has shored up the defence – besides the recent 5-2 loss to West Brom – but has failed to maintain the attacking fluidity that the Blues enjoyed under Frank Lampard. Calhanoglu is one of many players the club could look to for attacking reinforcements in the transfer window.

And according to Sky Italia, Chelsea have already made a contract offer for the Turkish international, in an attempt to beat competition from Juventus and Arsenal.

The reports claim that the player is unwilling to accept Milan’s offer of £3.3m per year, instead holding out for closer to £4.2m. The stubbornness from both parties has led to the speculation of his departure.

But while Chelsea are very much in the frame for the signing, Juventus are said to be leading the race due to the lucrative package they could be willing to offer.

Calhanoglu might also prefer Juventus as he can stay in Serie A where he’s averaged an assist every three matches since joining from German club Bayer Leverkusen in 2017.

Milan boss Pioli, however, is keen to hold on to one of his key men, commenting on his importance to the team after a 3-2 win over Lazio in December.

“Calha is fantastic, he is intelligent, he can move well, he knows how to attack and he knows how to connect the game,” Pioli told reporters after Milan’s 3-2 win over Lazio.

“He sacrifices himself. I want him at this level, he is a top player. I don’t think there are problems.

“Calha is with us and with the club. I’m sure that his will is to stay, there is a negotiation.

“The club, technical area, the player and I want the same thing, he has reached important levels and can still grow. He’s a player to bet on.”