Chelsea switch sights to Monaco
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Ludovic Giuly and Fernando Morientes are the latest European stars being linked with a move to big-spending Chelsea.
Giuly, the Monaco captain, played superbly in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final against Claudio Ranieri's Londoners, with his intelligent probing a major feature of the Principality side's performance.
The classy attacking midfielder scored the crucial last minute winner against Marseille at the weekend to keep Monaco's Ligue 1 championship hopes alive, pouncing on a Fabien Barthez error, and his form has been consistently impressive.
Giuly also netted twice in the outstanding win over Real Madrid, confirming his status as one of Europe's brightest talents.
Some French sources claim Chelsea have already started negotiations with the 27-year-old with a three-year contract offer rumoured to be in the pipeline.
It has also been reported that Fernando Morientes is another player on Blues owner Roman Abramovich's seemingly endless list of summer targets.
The Champions League's top scorer this season struck a devastating blow to Chelsea's hopes in the competition when scoring in both legs of the semi-final and shone as a target man with real presence in the air and on the ground.
Morientes is on loan at Monaco from Real Madrid and it has been suggested that the Spanish giants will welcome him back to El Santiago Bernabeu following his outstanding campaign.
All of the speculation has centred around Abramovich being spotted in Monaco on Monday.
The successful businessman could even be considering a swoop for ASM coach Didier Deschamps, although the Frenchman has already been offered a contract extension at Stade Louis II.
This follows previous reports that Porto's Jose Mourinho has all been but confirmed as Claudio Ranieri's likely replacement, even though the Italian is still fighting to cling to his job.
Blues chief executive Peter Kenyon, who is due to address Chelsea supporters at a function on Tuesday night, left London for the south of France with Stamford Bridge board member Eugene Tenebaum this week, adding fuel to the latest flames of transfer talk.