Chelsea line up £15m Trezeguet

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The Independent Football

Chelsea are in talks with Juventus's French international striker David Trezeguet about a £15m move to Stamford Bridge. The club's chief executive, Peter Kenyon, met agents brokering the deal yesterday - with the permission of Juventus - and hopes to make Trezeguet one of several big-name buys this summer.

The club's owner, Roman Abramovich, has given Kenyon the go-ahead to line up deals, even if there is doubt about who the Chelsea manager will be, and Trezeguet is now one of their priorities. The Frenchman has been a regular scorer for Juventus in Italy's demanding top flight, but they are now willing to trade him, although Barcelona are also in the hunt. Chelsea would pay cash or even swap either Hernan Crespo or Adrian Mutu, their two disappointing Serie A recruits, in a part-exchange package.

Trezeguet's finishing is the kind of missing link Chelsea need. Claudio Ranieri has had to chop and change his forwards and rely on the old guard of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen. Such is Chelsea's spending power that Trezeguet is not expected to be their biggest deal and he is seen as the "second" striker in their forward planning.

Abramovich still wants a forward with a big reputation, with Ronaldo a possibility - and Thierry Henry still lodged in the petrobillionaire's wildest dreams. But the likely exits of Hasselbaink - and probably Crespo and Mutu - means that he is likely to be looking for two new strikers in the coming weeks.

Trezeguet has been an enigma throughout his career with a lazy style that frustrates coaches, but he has a knack of scoring for club and country that makes him a wanted man. Some may see him as a poor man's Thierry Henry in many ways, but Chelsea have had to accept that even Abramovich's money cannot get the very best.

Elsewhere, Youri Djorkaeff is planning on a final-season hurrah with Bolton - with the hope of playing alongside the Brazil international Rivaldo. There are not many who believed Djorkaeff would stay with Bolton beyond an initial loan spell when he joined the club in the January transfer window of the 2001-02 season from Kaiserslautern. But he said: "We are to have talks before the end of the season. If Bolton need me one more year, then I will stay. Why not?"

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