Chelsea make move for £9m forward Moses

WIGAN last night accepted a £9m offer from Chelsea for Nigeria forward Victor Moses as the European Champions continue to strengthen their squad for a potential Premier League title tilt.

The bid, comprised of £7m up front and an additional £2m in add-ons, is the fifth that Chelsea have this summer made for Moses but in finally assembling one that for Wigan is acceptable, the west London club have brought closer one of the summer’s seemingly inevitable transfers.

“The club can confirm that after four unsuccessful bids from Chelsea for Victor Moses, a fifth bid has finally met the valuation and terms set by Wigan Athletic and been accepted,” read a club statement from Wigan, who had already recruited Arsenal’s Ryo Miyaichi on loan to be an apparent replacement for the man they stand to make a possible £6.5m profit on. “The player has been given permission to speak with Chelsea.”

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez had earlier yesterday admitted that Moses could be sold should their asking price be met while speaking of his pride in a player signed for £2.5m from Crystal Palace in January 2010, but the loss of a key player for significant money is not a sentiment with which he is unfamiliar. Since succeeding Steve Bruce as manager in 2009, Lee Cattermole, Luis Antonio Valencia and Charles N’Zogbia are just three of those who have been sold for a combined fee of around £31.5m.

“You will get all sorts of speculation, but the reality is every player has a valuation,” said Martinez. “If a club matches that valuation, then maybe you have to sit down with the player and there is a decision to be made.

“Victor is an incredible young man and I think the maturity he showed on Sunday [in the 2-0 defeat to Chelsea] is not normal in a 21-year-old. It has been a real joy to see him grow over the last few seasons.”

The arrival of Moses – in addition to those of fellow attacking widemen Edez Hazard, Marko Marin, Kevin de Bruyne and Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo’s acknowledgement of his hopes to sign another striker – would effectively place greater doubt on the already somewhat uncertain future of Daniel Sturridge.

The England international has been largely out of favour since Di Matteo’s appointment and may need to move to play first-team football.