Chelsea consider £40m bid for Villa

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The Independent Football

Chelsea were last night weighing up a bid for David Villa after preliminary enquiries had told them that the Valencia striker would cost an English transfer record fee of £40m. Valencia expect Chelsea to come back in the next few days with a firm bid.

The Spain international is one of the obvious targets following the failure of Chelsea's attempt to buy Ricardo Kaka from Milan earlier this week. Crucially, Villa (right) is available with Valencia struggling under debts estimated to be around £400m. He would go some way to fitting the bill of the big-name star that Roman Abramovich wants to bring to the club, although not quite in Kaka's league.

Villa scored 28 goals for Valencia last season, a total that placed him third in the Spanish league's goalscoring chart behind Diego Forlan and Samuel Eto'o. He did so playing in a Valencia team that finished sixth in its division, 25 points behind winners Barcelona, and has failed to qualify for the Champions League or Europa League next season.

Villa was one of two players, along with Franck Ribéry, who was named by John Terry in the aftermath of the FA Cup final as the kind of signing that the club should be targeting this summer. Yesterday, Terry said that he was confident Chelsea would back his own ambitions by spending in the transfer market.

He said: "We're being linked with players who can take us to that next level. I'm happy and delighted that we're back in for this kind of players. We haven't done it for a few years. But we're being linked with some of the best players in the world again at the moment.

"I feel our best chance [of winning the Champions League] is with keeping certain players under contract and keeping this side together – as well as bringing a few big players in – this could be the moment we take that extra step. Especially with the new manager coming in. He might bring a bit extra."