Nightmare as Chelsea face Viktor Gyokeres transfer price hike

Nightmare as Chelsea face Viktor Gyokeres transfer price hike

All eyes will be on Chelsea in the summer transfer market as they bid to get back to challenging towards the top of the Premier League table. Despite Mauricio Pochettino guiding the Blues to the Carabao Cup final and potentially a place in the FA Cup final with a semi-final showdown against Man City on the agenda next weekend, it has been an extremely frustrating year for the west London club in the league.

As things stand, Chelsea are ninth in the Premier League table with eight games of the campaign still to go. Consistency has been a major issue for them, with last weekend’s 2-2 draw away at bottom club Sheffield United very much proving that point.

It doesn’t bear thinking about where the team would be in the standings if it wasn’t for Cole Palmer’s 25 goal contributions from his 27 league appearances. Nicolas Jackson was another summer incoming and he has chipped in with nine goals in the Premier League since his switch from Villarreal.

Chelsea do lack that free-scoring striker in the Premier League that they always used to have and all connected with the club will be hoping that a proven goalscorer is added to Pochettino’s squad before the start of the 2024/25 season. One striker who has been linked with a transfer to Stamford Bridge recently is Sporting CP ace Viktor Gyokeres.

Joining the Lisbon-based club last summer after excelling in the Championship for Coventry City, the Swede has enjoyed a remarkable debut campaign in Portugal where the goals have continued to flow at an incredible rate. In terms of the league, the Stockholm-born forward has 22 goals and nine assists from his 26 games.

Add in the domestic cup competitions and the Europa League, Gyokeres has plundered an astonishing 36 goals and 15 assists in his 42 appearances in all competitions.

It is no wonder the player has been linked with an immediate move to the Premier League. As well as talk over a move to Chelsea, Premier League title contenders Arsenal have also been mentioned in regards to the 25-year-old as Mikel Arteta searches for a proven goalscorer to take his exciting side up another level or two.

Gyokeres will find himself in the headlines over the course of the summer regarding a move away from Sporting CP. What could also potentially have an impact on his future is the possibility of Sporting boss Ruben Amorim taking over from Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool head coach.

Speaking this week to Portuguese publication Record, the player’s agent, Hasan Cetinkaya, issued an update on Gyokeres and indicated that Amorim’s future could have a say on what comes next for the Swedish star.

“I would say that at this stage it’s important to know about Sporting’s future and what will happen with Ruben Amorim because we came here for him. We have to know what Sporting’s plans are,” he explained.

“But we also have to respect Sporting because we chose them. They need to present us with their ideas but I can say that right now, there are a lot of clubs that want to sign him.

“We have not made any decision at the moment, nor are we going to make a decision on this or about staying. We’ll be focused on what’s left [of the season], there are eight games ahead and after that we’ll make a decision on his future but it also depends a lot on what will happen with Ruben Amorim and his future.”

He added: “Viktor is an unavoidable topic and has been for what he’s been doing at Sporting. Everything he has been doing is not normal in football so that’s why there is a lot of interest.

“There are a lot of people that want to speak to us and clubs that want to discuss the situation. He is a great player and it’s normal for that to be the case.”

Sporting’s signing of Gyokeres, which is believed to have cost them around the £20million mark, has proved to be a remarkable bit of business for the football club. Not only has the frontman put them on course to winning the Portuguese league title as they have a four-point advantage over city rivals Benfica with a game in hand still to play, Sporting stand to make an eye-watering profit if the ex-Brighton & Hove Albion man is to move on elsewhere.

Gyokeres’ contract at Estadio Jose Alvalade contains a release clause of €100million (£85million). Sporting will be keen to bring in that figure if the player is to depart, thus seeing them make a mammoth £65million profit if his release clause is to be activated.

Whether Chelsea do make a move for the Sweden international at the end of the campaign remains to be seen. While of course the focus will be on incomings at Stamford Bridge given their lowly league position and the millions they have spent under Todd Boehly previously, outgoings are going to be pivotal, both in terms overhauling the squad and also bringing in some money to help balance their financial books.

Gyokeres’ future will become clear in the months ahead, with the striker undoubtedly set to be in the headlines until his plans for the 2024/25 campaign are resolved one way or another. Going on his prolific form this season as well as the talk about a big-money move away from Portugal, it begs the question why no Premier League club made a move for the striker last summer?

The 25-year-old’s goalscoring exploits are not a one-off. Last season he was the Championship’s second highest goalscorer after hitting 21 goals for Coventry.

Gyokeres was a pivotal figure in the Sky Blues’ late run to the play-offs and the fact that they came within a whisker of returning to the Premier League for the first time in 22 years after losing in the final to Luton Town. The season before he contributed 17 league goals, which was a decent tally as Coventry finished the season in 12th.

Brighton were well aware of his talent as a youngster, signing him from IF Brommapojkarna in September 2017 before he officially joined them on New Year’s Day 2018. The Seagulls have been hailed for their incredible transfer success rate but Gyokeres is perhaps their only own goal going on what he has achieved since leaving for Coventry on a permanent basis in 2021.

Gyokeres is going to cost a club a pretty penny this summer after an astonishing debut campaign for Sporting CP. Whoever wins the race for his signature may end up paying an extra £65million, though, given what he could have been signed for in the summer of 2023.

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