Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chelsea Will Break Their Rule on Over-30s to Secure Dzeko Deal

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chelsea Will Break Their Rule on Over-30s to Secure Dzeko Deal

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson Football Correspondent

CHELSEA are ready to abandon their contract policy for players over 30 to finalise the transfer of Edin Dzeko today.

Standard Sport understands Chelsea are prepared to offer the 31-year-old a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Chelsea introduced a standard practice in recent seasons of only offering one-year extensions to players once they reach 30.

Dzeko was not prepared to sign for the short term and as the Blues are so keen on the Roma striker, they are willing to give him a longer deal.

It could lead to issues should extensions be discussed with Pedro, David Luiz and Cesc Fabregas. They are all over 30 and have just one year left on their contracts.

As reported yesterday, Dzeko asked for assurances he will not be a fringe player and he has since been told he will be given every opportunity to compete for a first-team spot with Alvaro Morata.

Dzeko's contract at Roma is worth PS76,000 a week and expires in 2020 but it is believed Chelsea will offer him the security of one extra year and wages of up to PS101,000 a week.

However, a double deal for Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri is still in the balance because a fee for both players has yet to be agreed with Roma.

The Serie A club want PS44m plus PS13.2m in add-ons for the pair, although interest in taking Michy Batshuayi on loan as part of the transfer has cooled.

Emerson has accepted terms on a four-and-a-half year deal worth PS42,000 a week and the move will go through for around PS20m even if the Dzeko sale is not agreed.

Chelsea are determined to include the striker in the transfer and sources in Italy say that Dzeko's main representative, Irfan Redzepagic, is in London to conclude negotiations. Aide Silvano Martina, who helps Redzepagic with his Italian-based players, spent yesterday afternoon talking with Dzeko at Roma's team hotel, where they are training ahead of tomorrow's match at Sampdoria. …

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