GENOA ITALY - JANUARY 16: Alexis Sanchez of Udinese Calcio in action during the Serie A match between Genoa and Udinese at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on January 16 2011 in Genoa Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Chelsea's interest in Udinese superstar Alexis Sanchez have been confirmed by Giampaolo Pozzo, owner of the Serie A club, although he has reiterated that he does not want the 22 year old Chilean winger to leave during the January transfer window. Inter Milan have publicly dropped out of the bidding for Sanchez, who has notched four goals in the current campaign after starring for Chile during the 2010 World Cup, but Chelsea are apparently still in the thick of things after holding talks with Udinese.
Sanchez would represent a major threat to Nicolas Anelka's place as Carlo Ancelotti's starting right-sided attacker and would provide width and speed to a Chelsea side that's been sorely lacking both. Sanchez has been regarded as one of the finest young players in the game for a number of years now, and 2010 has been his breakout year, seeing him terrorise some of Italy's finest defences - and even causing Spain some issues in South Africa. Earlier, Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin said that Sanchez was 'destined' for a move to a top-tier side, but as it turns out, destiny doesn't come cheaply:
What is Sanchez's value? With Chelsea we talked about €30million. I want this figure, if not more. There was also interest from Inter Milan, which we decided to stop.
-Giampaolo Pozzo, Udinese owner. Source: Sky Italia, via Sky Sports.
Pozzo also said that he wasn't planning on letting Sanchez leave during this transfer window, but this is encouraging news as far as eventually getting him into Chelsea blue is concerned. There's interest from the team and Sanchez would come at a fairly reasonable cost, and once we get to the summer there'd be very little to get in the way of a move.
This isn't to say that Chelsea should still try to work out a transfer this winter, as Sanchez is exactly the sort of player they could use to break out of their current slump. I'm not buying Udinese's rhetoric of refusing to break up the team, so if I'm running the Blues I'm still going hard after him this January.