CHELSEA have been warned they will have to spend big in January once again if they want to prise England youngster Jack Rodwell from Everton.
Toffees manager David Moyes yesterday dismissed suggestions of a £20m bid from Stamford Bridge for the 20-year-old midfielder, who won his first senior cap against world champions Spain last month.
Moyes did not rule out selling one of the club’s most valuable assets but insisted he would only do so if Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich exercised his considerable financial might.
“I have had no offers, no contact from Chelsea – there would not be any other words I could add to that. There is nothing from me. We’ve had no phone call,” he said.
“We’ve always said if anyone wants to bid for the players we can’t stop that happening but what we do do is sell expensively. If we are sellers we are always expensive sellers.”
Chelsea owner Abramovich sanctioned a £74m outlay on striker Fernando Torres and defender David Luiz last January in an attempt to revitalise their flagging title ambitions.
Despite seemingly being well-stocked in midfield, where England stalwart Frank Lampard is struggling to hold down a starting role, Rodwell (left) has emerged as a possible target for Blues manager Andre Villas-Boas.
Spanish youngster Oriol Romeu only arrived from Barcelona in the summer and has begun to make the midfield anchor role his own in recent weeks. Nigerian John Obi Mikel is also in contention for that position, while Ramires, Raul Meireles and Frank Lampard are fighting it out for the other two central slots.
Everton are beset by financial problems that proved influential in their decision to sell midfielder Mikel Arteta to Arsenal for £10m in the summer transfer window. Strikers Yakubu and Jermaine Beckford were also offloaded and Moyes admits he may have to loan players if no-one is sold.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are hoping captain John Terry recovers from an Achilles injury picked up in training on Monday in time for tomorrow’s top-four clash with Tottenham.