LONDON: European champions Chelsea have yet to make a decision about whether holidaying Roberto Di Matteo continues as manager but that uncertainty is having no effect on their transfer strategy.
Owner Roman Abramovich is expected to sign off this week on a £36m deal for the Porto and Brazil striker Hulk to push his summer spending towards the £80m mark. This follows the purchases of Belgian starlet Eden Hazard from last year’s French champions Lille for £32m and Marko Marin for £8m.
Abramovich’s Manchester City-type spending has two purposes.
Firstly he knows that the squad needs significant investment if it is to have a chance of making history and making Chelsea the first club to retain the Champions League for a second successive season. Secondly, he hopes it will help present an irresistible temptation to out-of-work super-coach Pep Guardiola.
The former Barcelona boss has rejected t least three approaches after insisting that he wanted a year-long sabbatical. But Chelsea believe they can change his mind with a £12m-a-year package and big-money signings.
Hulk, real name Givanildo Vieira de Souza, would fill the attacking gap left by Didier Drogba. His style is expected to make him a more compatible attacking partner for Fernando Torres than the go-it-alone Ivorien.
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