Chelsea reach agreement with Roma for Dzeko and Emerson

Chelsea and Roma have come to an agreement over the transfer of Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri, Goal understands.

The deal, which will see Roma reportedly land €50 million for the two players plus another €10m in incentives, will be finalized upon the Blues’ completion of personal terms with Dzeko.

Back-up Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi will not be included in the deal as it currently stands. Batshuayi has reportedly drawn interest from Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund during the January window.

Despite advancing to the Champions League knockout stages and finding themselves within three points of a top-four place in Serie A, Roma are now poised to cash in on two important players.

“Whatever will be will be,” Roma director of football Monchi said on Sunday. “I work every day to have players suitable to replace our players, my job is always to strengthen my club.

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“If [Dzeko] leaves Roma, we’ll buy another player.”

The former Wolfsburg and Manchester City striker has scored nine Serie A goals this season for the capital club, a year removed from a prolific 29-goal, nine-assist campaign in 2016-17. Despite the drop-off compared to last season, Dzeko still leads the club in league goals scored in 2017-18.

Emerson played in 24 Serie A games last season, but recovery from a cruciate ligament injury this season has limited him to just a single 15-minute appearance in the league.

However, his likely move to Chelsea looks to have freed up Kenedy for his much-awaited loan to Newcastle United. Antonio Conte previously had stated he would not let Kenedy leave without having adequate cover at the wide positions, but with Emerson set to arrive, a six-month temporary switch to the Magpies can now go through.

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A similar stance has been taken with Batshuayi, and Dzeko’s arrival may free him up to move elsewhere this month, even if Roma is not his eventual destination.

The 24-year-old Batshuayi has scored two Premier League goals this season in 12 appearances and only three starts for the Blues, though he has added another two goals in four matches in the Champions League.

Batshuayi completed a €39m move to Chelsea in the 2016 summer window, but has only scored seven Premier League goals in his Blues career as he has struggled to become a fixture in Conte’s plans, with the manager conceding he may leave this month.

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Roma vow to replace Dzeko as Chelsea close in

Roma have plans in place if Chelsea’s reported swoop for Edin Dzeko and Emerson comes to pass.

The Premier League club have been linked with a surprising selection of strikers over recent days, with former Wolfsburg and Manchester City man Dzeko one of the men understood to be in their sights .

Left-back Emerson has missed much of this season due to rehabilitation from a cruciate knee ligament injury but Dzeko’s departure would be immediately and keenly felt.

The 31-year-old Bosnia-Herzegovina international has scored 61 times in 117 appearances for Roma since joining on an initial loan from City in 2015.

Dzeko was named in the starting line-up for Sunday’s crunch clash against Inter , amid speculation it could be his Roma farewell, and director of football Monchi addressed the situation before kick-off.

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Asked whether Dzeko and Emerson might join Chelsea, the one-time Sevilla mastermind told reporters: “Whatever will be will be.

“I work every day to have players suitable to replace our players, my job is always to strengthen my club.

“If [Dzeko] leaves Roma, we’ll buy another player.”

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Conte likes Dzeko but Chelsea have made no offer, says agent

Chelsea have not made an offer for Edin Dzeko but boss Antonio Conte is a keen admirer of the Roma striker, his agent has said.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international, who scored twice in the 3-3 Champions League draw with the Blues at Stamford Bridge in October, is among a handful of powerful centre-forwards to have been linked with a January move to the club.

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Dzeko’s representative, Irfan Redzepagic, claims Conte is a fan of the former Manchester City man’s qualities but insists there has been no approach.

“No, I don’t know anything about this. I’ve no information to that effect,” he told romagiallorossa.it when asked about the reported interest.

“Dzeko is a Roma player. You know that well.

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“Every time you talk about Dzeko, clubs like Chelsea, Chinese clubs, even Mexican clubs crop up. They’re only rumours. The truth is that Dzeko wants to stay at Roma.

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“My role is not to reveal certain dynamics of the market. All I can say is that Conte likes Dzeko. But who doesn’t like Edin?”

Conte is said to be keen to sign a striker who poses a strong aerial threat, having seen Fernando Llorente join Tottenham over Chelsea in the previous transfer window.

Surprise moves for West Ham’s Andy Carroll and Stoke City veteran Peter Crouch have also been mooted.

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Di Francesco backs Dzeko to rediscover goalscoring form against Juventus

Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco has backed striker Edin Dzeko to rediscover top form after a barren spell in front of goal.

Dzeko has hit eight league goals in Serie A this season, but the 31-year-old has found the net only once since October, in a 3-1 victory over SPAL on December 1.

Saturday’s trip to Serie A champions Juventus would be an ideal time for Dzeko to end his dry spell, with Roma fourth in the table, three points behind Massimiliano Allegri’s side.

Di Francesco feels it is only a matter of time until Dzeko is back among the goals, although Patrik Schick is an appealing attacking alternative.

“He is living with a great desire to score, with great positivity, and with great desire to make himself helpful to the team,” the Roma coach told a pre-match news conference.

“He does not have anxiety and anguish about the lack of goals, which I am sure will come, because he has the talent.

“Schick — you have seen him, he is growing from all points of view. To help him improve I have to put him on the pitch and get him to score goals. He has a physical talent, not just a technical one. Let’s let him mature and grow, but he is not yet a champion.”

Roma will come up against a number of familiar faces when they visit Juve, with Allegri confirming Wojciech Szczesny will deputise for injured goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and Mehdi Benatia will line up in defence, while former Giallorossi midfielder Miralem Pjanic is likely to feature in midfield.

Italian media outlets have made much of Juve featuring a cluster of former Roma stars in their ranks, but Di Francesco does not believe it is relevant.

“What influences the thinking of players is not of interest — when I chose to come to Rome as a player I created a special bond with the people that were here,” Di Francesco said. “I can say that I also had the chance to go and play for Juventus but chose Roma.

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“Juventus are a huge club but for me it would be wonderful to achieve something with Roma. I’m not interested in what other people think — I’ll just focus on my own thoughts.

“I’d like to change people’s mentality, of making premature judgements, and to improve the environment we have here — it’s something that can easily be blamed for shortcomings.

“We have to improve a great deal. Juventus should be an example of how to become a great club, but it’s so great to do that here, where the sun shines and we have wonderful supporters.”

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Bale, Mane or Dzeko? Vote for the UEFA Champions League Goal of the Group Stage, presented by Nissan!

Gareth Bale’s screaming volley verses Borussia Dortmund has been nominated for the UEFA Champions League Goal of the Group Stage, presented by Nissan!

The Real Madrid man struck during his side’s emphatic 3-1 defeat of BVB in Germany, sending his first-time volley flying past a helpless Roman Burki and into the top corner.

But the Wales international wasn’t the only one to hit an impressive volley during the group stage, and faces some stiff competition for the prize.

Sadio Mane will no doubt believe he has a strong claim to take the award following his acrobatic effort in Liverpool’s 7-0 destruction of Spartak Moscow.

And so too will Roma’s Edin Dzeko, who took the Goal of the Week prize on Matchday Three for his impressive volley in a dramatic 3-3 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Dzeko’s Roma colleague Stephan El Shaarawy is also in contention, after hitting a brilliant curling effort in the return match, as is Besiktas star Cenk Tosun thanks to his thumping strike against Porto.

Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann rounds out the nominations with a flying volley of his own during his side’s 2-0 defeat of Roma that won the award on Matchday Five.

Click here to watch the contenders and vote for the UEFA Champions League Goal of the Week, presented by Nissan!

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