Liverpool v Chelsea: Pictures
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Chelsea may not be discouraged by Lyon’s statement detailing that they are keen to retain the services of Malo Gusto, as it has emerged that it is their tried and tested negotiation tactic. The Blues have already had a verbal offer for the right-back knocked back this month but are desperate to get a deal over the line for the talented prospect.
Since the arrival of Todd Boehly, Chelsea have splashed the cash at every available opportunity. They invested heavily into their central defensive options over the summer, before pumping funds into their forward ranks recently.
However, the flurry of new arrivals at Stamford Bridge is not expected to end imminently, with Graham Potter looking to sign a right wing-back to provide cover for Reece James. Gusto has been identified as a top target following his impressive stints in the Ligue 1 for Lyon, though a statement made by their club president Jean-Michel Aulas would suggest a deal is not possible.
He told L’Equipe: “I can confirm that Malo [Gusto], a great hope for Lyon, will stay here at least until the end of the season.” The statement would suggest that the Ligue 1 are trying to deter interest, though history proves otherwise.
Aulas has released numerous statements over the years attempting to ‘squash’ rumours, though it has only spurred on negotiations – with many feeling that it is actually a tactic being deployed to negotiate a better deal.
Even last summer, the president released a statement claiming that no deal had been reached for the sale of Bruno Guimaraes to Newcastle and denied reports that it was on the cards. However, it was only a matter of time before the Brazil international was at St James’ Park donning the black and white strip.
Reports about Alexandre Lacazette wanting to leave Lyon were publicly denied before he joined Arsenal, as well as debunking stories claiming that Tottenham had agreed to sign Tanguy Ndombele prior to his move.
Thus, Chelsea certainly won’t put their pursuit of Gusto on pause due to a well-timed statement and will simply be aware that they need to increase their bid if they are to secure his services.
The 19-year-old has been in flying form for Lyon so far this season and his attacking output is seen as one of his greatest assets, with Chelsea believing he will thrive at the club as a result of how high Potter would like his wingbacks to push on.
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