Blackburn Rovers defender Martin Olsson is a reported £1.5 million target for Champions League winners Chelsea as the Blues look to find a reinforcement for the ageing left-back Ashley Cole before the start of the coming season. With the England defender now 31 years old and heading into the last year of his contract at Stamford Bridge, Blackburn’s Olsson has been identified as a suitable back up, and a relatively cheap one at that, should the West London outfit manage to prise him away from Ewood Park, as Roberto Di Matteo looks to bring in more young players to rejuvenate an experienced side and add to the additions of Oscar, Marin and the Hazard brothers.
Although Chelsea already have Team GBs Ryan Bertrand on their books, they remain keen on bringing in the 24 year old to add depth to the squad which completed the FA Cup and European Cup double last season. The signing of Olsson would allow Di Matteo to play Bertrand further up the field as that is where the Chelsea manager believes Bertrand is best suited. Meanwhile, Olsson has made no secret of his desire to leave recently relegated Blackburn this summer, with his agent declaring that his client “will not play in the Championship”. Add to this the transfer request handed in by the Swedish man himself, and it seems almost certain he will leave Rovers in this window.
However Chelsea are not the only ones who have enquired about Olsson, according to The Daily Mail, who say Southampton, West Ham, Sunderland and Stoke too have all been interested in signing the full back, who played for Sweden during Euro 2012 this summer. Rovers are reportedly holding out for somewhere in the region of £4 million but, potential suitors feel they are in a stronger bargaining position given that Olsson himself does not want to stay, and with Blackburn finding themselves no longer playing Premier League football.
But it appears Rovers manager Steve Kean is not going to let Olsson go without a fight and today rejected any talk of Olsson leaving, explaining that any inquiries have been met with short shrift. Speaking earlier today Kean said, “I think there were clubs who enquired and we said ‘not for sale’”, however this may be a ploy to try and drive up the price for clubs looking for a bargain.
Olsson has not been the only one attracting attention from other clubs this summer, with team mate Scott Dann also a target for Southampton, raising questions on the abilities of Kean and the directors to keep their best players before the end of the transfer window.
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