Chelsea linked to Malinovskyi after Makelele impressed by Ukrainian midfielder
Chelsea have been linked with a future move for Atalanta midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi after Claude Makelele saw him impress for Ukraine against Portugal.
Makelele, the former Blues midfielder who returned to the club in a new coaching role over the summer, reportedly made very positive comments about the 26-year-old Ukraine star Malinovskyi after his side’s Euro 2020 qualifying win over Portugal and even said he would recommend him to Chelsea boss Frank Lampard.
Makelele was over in Kiev to open two sports and social schools on behalf of his former club Real Madrid, whose Foundation have already opened 900 projects worldwide to teach children ‘the social activities of Real Madrid FC’.
His host for the ambassadorial trip was Ukrainian football federation official Taras Gerega and he is the source of the gossip that will no doubt be doing the rounds of the Sunday papers in the lead up to the January transfer window.
Gerega told online YouTube channel ‘Bombardir’ in quotes picked up by SportArena: “Makelele marvelled at the match between Ukraine and Portugal and said that he would like to call Chelsea to take a closer look at Malinovskyi. Claude said ‘I will speak to Frank Lampard. I am buzzing about the sound of a central midfield of of Kante-Jorginho-Malinovskyi.”
The comments, made after 15 minutes of the video shown above, could just reflect Makelele’s politeness in praising a player from the in-form Ukraine side that deservedly beat the defending European champions on Monday night.
Atalanta paid Racing Genk £13million for Malinovskyi when they signed him in the summer, but the 26-year-old has not yet established himself as a regular in Gian Piero Gasperini’s side.
However, his performances for his country have been outstanding in qualifying and Makelele may not be the only ex-Chelsea player ready to give a good reference on the player to Lampard with Ukraine currently coached by Andriy Shevchenko.
Shevchenko even called Makelele up midway through his own interview with ‘Bombardir’ earlier in the Youtube video.
Simon Barlow has a wealth of journalism experience and in-depth knowledge in a number of sports. As well as his extensive football knowledge, Simon is also well versed on cricket, tennis, American Football and cycling amongst others.