Chelsea are understood to be considering making a world record bid for Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta, with Blues boss Luiz Felipe Scolari keen to lure the Spanish International away from the Nou Camp, according to Catalan newspaper Sport.
24-year-old Iniesta has been identified by the Premier League club as the player to turn around, what has been a disappointing first season in charge at Stamford Bridge for former Portugal and Brazil coach Scolari. Chelsea are 2nd in the Premiership, but have performed poorly against other teams of the ‘big four’, which was highlighted in their 3-0 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Chelsea reportedly made an offer of £42million two-years ago to bring Iniesta to England and are now set to reignite their interest in the EURO 2008 winner in a bid to get their faltering season back on track.
Barca allowed Deco to leave the Blaugrana last summer for Chelsea, with Iniesta, who has been at Barca since 1996, proving a more than adequate replacement for the Portuguese International. Deco has struggled to regain his early season form at Stamford Bridge, which has led Scolari to Iniesta, with it remaining to be seen if Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic will bankroll the purchase of Spaniard after refusing to go above a certain point with both Robinho and Dani Alves last summer.
Sport claims that Chelsea are preparing an offer for Iniesta, with it also understood that should Barcelona allow the midfielder to leave. They would expect a fee in excess of the £46million that Real Madrid paid for Zinedine Zidane from Juventus in 2001.