According to The Guardian, Chelsea could opt to pursue Southampton duo Morgan Schneiderlin and Nathaniel Clyne, who are both reportedly being monitored by Arsenal and Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho has suggested that “new faces” could be present in his squad next season, and this admission coincides with the news that the pair want to play in the Champions League.
However, Southampton have already rejected an approach made for Schneiderlin by Tottenham, and even if they were willing to sell the duo, it has been reported that Man United would be Clyne’s preferred destination.
Clyne will soon enter the final year of his contract at St Mary’s, and it is unsurprising that there could be a host of suitors for the 24-year-old. Clyne has not only established himself as England’s first-choice right-back, but he has also been integral to a Southampton defence which has only conceded 28 goals in the league this season.
Schneiderlin’s role as a holding midfielder in Ronald Koeman’s side has also seen him have a strong influence on this statistic, but his ability to retain possession is equally impressive.
The 25-year-old has recorded a pass completion rate of 89% in the league this season, which (at the time of writing) is superior to the rates achieved by fellow defensive midfielders Nemanja Matic and Daley Blind. Consequently, it is apparent that Schneiderlin is a well-rounded midfielder, while it is also clear why he would be attracting interest from clubs in the Premier League’s top strata.
However, out of the sides mentioned in the Guardian’s report, Arsenal would arguably be the most suitable destination for the Frenchman. Man United manager Louis van Gaal has suggested that he needs combative midfielders to provide his side with “balance”, and Schneiderlin would satisfy this demand, but he would also be in contention with Blind and Michael Carrick.
Chelsea certainly need to increase their options in central midfield, but while Schneiderlin’s passing ability and endeavour could be attractive to Mourinho, the London outfit require a goal-scoring central midfielder – which the 25-year-old is not – to serve as a replacement for Frank Lampard.
At Arsenal, Schneiderlin would provide Arsene Wenger’s side with industry and defensive rigidness in midfield, and while some may argue that Coquelin does this already, Schneiderlin would represent a more experienced option than his compatriot, with nine caps for the France national team.
It has been claimed that Man United is Clyne’s preferred destination, but it is certainly arguable that the Englishman would be better suited to Chelsea.
The 24-year-old has an highly impressive defensive record, which (also at the time of writing) includes winning more tackles (67) and achieving more interceptions (60) in the league this term than fellow right-backs Branislav Ivanovic (66/35) and Antonio Valencia (63/49), and such defensive prowess would be welcomed by the London club, as a replacement for Ivanovic – who will be 32 next season – will be needed sooner rather than later.
Arsene Wenger, on the other hand, does not need an overhaul in this position, as he can call upon Hector Bellerin (20) and Calum Chambers (20). At Old Trafford, Clyne would undoubtedly continue to demonstrate his ability, but Valencia’s statistics prove that he is also doing well, and at 29, he is not nearing the end of his career yet.
Ultimately, it is clear that Stamford Bridge would be the most suitable destination for Clyne.
What is more, it is also apparent that Arsenal would be strengthened with the signing of Schneiderlin.