|CHELSEA READY TO SWOOP FOR BRAZILIAN FULL-BACK
Ladbrokes: 4 July 2012
Reproduced with permission from Ladbrokes.com
With right-back a priority position for Roberto Di Matteo to strengthen this summer, the Chelsea boss has identified his favoured target, with Inter Milan's Maicon set for talks in London.
The right-back berth has become somewhat of a problematic one for Chelsea this summer, with the ageing Paolo Ferreira transfer listed in the aftermath of Jose Bosingwa's exit on a free transfer.
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Di Matteo was thought to have drawn up a list of potential recruits who can operate in this position, including Dortmund's Lukasz Piszczek and Ajax's Gregory van der Wiel amongst others.
Maicon has now emerged as his leading target though, with a £6m deal thought to have been agreed between the Blues and Inter Milan.
30-year-old Maicon, capped 66 times by Brazil, looks primed to finalise the deal later this week, when his agent is expected to travel to London to complete negotiations.
He is expected to sign a three-year contract at Stamford Bridge, with wages of around £80,000 per week enough to persuade the athletic full-back to snub interest from long-term admirers Real Madrid.
Widely regarded as one of the world's finest modern full-backs, Maicon's wealthy European experience has proved encouraging for Di Matteo, who is hopeful of successfully defending Chelsea's first ever Champions League crown.
Chelsea's Italian chief is also hopeful that Maicon's vast top-level playing experience will aid the development of young full-backs Ryan Bertrand, and Luke Shaw, who is expected to arrive from Southampton shortly.
In contrast to Maicon, Shaw will join the club as a vastly inexperienced performer, though his commandment of a £4m fee shows just how highly-rated the 16-year-old is.
Despite his tender age, Shaw has already made his professional debut for Southampton, and after previously attracting interest from Arsenal, now looks ready to follow Maicon in completing a move to the Blues.
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