Chelsea transfer news and rumours: Blues contact Lionel Messi's dad; linked with the 'new Paul Pogba'; Roma push on with Petr Cech deal

A look at the latest gossip in and around Old Trafford

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The Independent Football

CHELSEA BOUND...

Lionel Messi couldn't really leave Barcelona, could he?

After fueling speculation on Tuesday by following Chelsea and Manchester City on Instagram, the Blues, like an intoxicated man on the dance floor of an Oceana nightclub, have now made the first move.

Spanish radio station RAC1 report that Chelsea have contacted the superstar's father, Jorge, and Messi's representatives to find out the 27-year-old's true feeling on Luis Enrique and a potential exit. Messi has a €250million release clause which Spanish newspaper Sport claim Roman Abramovich will be happy to meet, Financial Fair Play be damned.

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane continues to be linked with a £20m move to Stamford Bridge and Manchester United, though reports this morning seem to be re-hashed versions of yesterday's stories.

Somewhat improbably, the Daily Express have managed to link Chelsea with the 'new Paul Pogba' (has Pogba done enough to deserve a 'new' version of himself?). Rayan Souici is a highly-rated teenager in the St Etienne Under-16s, who is also being monitored by the usual suspects, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and others.

Chelsea also remain linked with the 'old Paul Pogba', Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba.

STAYING PUT...

The Independent's Sam Wallace revealed that Jose Mourinho will give Chelsea misfits Mohamed Salah and Andre Schurrle a chance to prove themselves until the end of the season. The pair of wingers have struggled for game time this season and not impressed when they have played.

Ramires has told the Evening Standard he has no desire to leave Stamford Bridge despite speculation linking him to Real Madrid and Juventus.

ON THE WAY OUT...

Reports in Italy suggest Roma will press ahead with a move for Petr Cech despite Jose Mourinho already saying he has no interest in selling the goalkeeper in this window. With Mark Schwarzer now at Leicester, selling Cech would leave Jamal Blackman as Thibaut Courtois' back-up - not a likely scenario for a team chasing four trophies.

Chelsea youngsters Nathaniel Chalobah and Todd Kane are close to loan moves as they look for first-team football. Chalobah could move to Ligue 1 with Bordeaux, according to the Daily Mail, while Kane is on his way to Nottingham Forest, report the Nottingham Post.

THE DEAL'S OFF...

Leicester should announce the deal for Andrej Kramaric at some point this week, after he chose the Foxes over Chelsea.

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