Chelsea target Real Betis' midfield maestro

Chelsea are said to be eyeing up a move for Real Betis midfielder Beñat Etxebarria, who is available for €20million.

The 25 year-old’s contract is set to expire in 18 months, leading various suitors to believe he could be available for a cut-price deal.

The Betis boss has refuted such claims, insisting Beñat will not leave for less than his Beñat €20M minimum fee release clause. Pepe Mel said: “Benat’s clause is €20million and he will only leave for €20million.

“To sell him for anything less would be a disaster. The club must defend its position and Benat knows that. To be able to go the market and find a replacement, the only number is €20million.

“He has one more year left on his contract and he can fulfill that.”

That fee is not likely to deter either Chelsea or Manchester City, who are also linked with the Spaniard, away from the player’s signature.

Chelsea are willing to let Frank Lampard leave in the summer, and Roman Abramovich has been actively seeking his replacement. Lampard’s contract expires at the end of the season, and the 34 year-old is expected to continue playing for another 2-3 years.

Beñat has been outstanding for Betis since joining Betis, and has since earned his international call-up, having played four times for Spain. This feat is all the more interesting given the enormous amount of Spanish talent that exists in midfield. I see the 25 year-old as a very talented individual but to tout him as a Lampard replacement would be wrong. He could however bring a new edge to the Chelsea midfield, and I would like to see him made a Blue before next season.

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