Tammy Abraham to Aston Villa: Chelsea ‘make swap bid’, £40m demand, Jack Grealish connection
Tammy Abraham is expected to be on the move during the summer transfer window.
Abraham remains well thought of at Villa Park after his brilliant loan spell in the 2018/19 season that helped Dean Smith’s side win promotion back to the Premier League.
Smith and sporting director Johan Lange are considering bringing in competition for top scorer Ollie Watkins this summer and Abraham could be an option.
Reports in the Mirror recently claimed that Villa are ‘ready’ to make an offer in excess of £30million for Abraham as Chelsea look to raise funds for moves of their own this summer with the likes of Erling Haaland, Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku targets.
But Tuchel’s side could use him as a makeweight as part of a deal with Borussia Dortmund for Erling Haaland.
Chelsea are keen on the Norwegian superstar but know it would take a massive fee to sign him and the Telegraph recently reported Abraham could be used to sweeten the deal for the Bundesliga side.
Now, it is claimed Chelsea have moved ahead to make a formal offer to Dortmund.
Turkish journalist Ekrem Konur (via SI.com) is reporting Chelsea have tabled a bid worth around 70m euros (£60m) plus Abraham for Haaland.
The report adds that Dortmund are yet to respond to the offer.
Decision benefits Villa
Chelsea recently confirmed that striker Olivier Giroud will stay at Stamford Bridge next season amid links with a move away from the club.
The announcement could act as a major boost to Villa’s hopes of signing Abraham in the summer window.
Giroud was out of contract at the end of June and was heavily linked with a move to AC Milan on a free transfer next season.
With the future of Michy Batshuayi looking uncertain, securing Giroud for another season gives Tuchel more options in the striking area.
That could therefore make them more willing to part ways with Abraham should the right offer come in.
Abraham responds to Villa fans
Abraham was left out of Chelsea’s game at Villa Park on the final day of last season, and fans could be heard chanting his name.
He responded, writing on social media platform Twitter: “Villa fans, I appreciate you guys! Thank you and all the best in the future.”
Abraham’s time associated with Chelsea could indeed be coming to an end, something that has become more apparent since Tuchel succeeded Frank Lampard at the club.
In the final game of the legendary midfielder’s tenure, a 3-1 FA Cup win over Luton, he scored a hat-trick. Yet Tuchel’s arrival didn’t coincide with a continuation of Abraham in the side – the likes of Timo Werner and Giroud have both been ahead of him in the new order and there has been Kai Havertz to contend with too.
Indeed there were plenty of weeks where he didn’t even make the matchday squad.
It’s been claimed since that the Blues would be willing to listen to offers exceeding £40m this summer for Abraham, provided suitors are in a position to match that valuation and the player himself would be willing to take the plunge.
Abraham ‘very likely’ to leave Chelsea
A return to Villa Park – where Abraham still has admirers both on the pitch and off it after his brilliant stint in 2018/19 – would appear to be a natural next step.
According to ESPN, a return to Villa to reunite with Smith ‘appeals’ to the forward this summer.
Leicester City and West Ham United have both been linked too. Both can offer some form of European football next season while Villa cannot and in the case of the latter an option to remain in London.
Abraham, though, has a great connection with Villa, Smith, captain Jack Grealish and a host of players in the dressing room who were his teammates in the promotion campaign.
In another boost ahead of the transfer window, the Daily Mail have reported that Abraham is ‘resigned’ to leaving Chelsea this summer.
£40m is an ‘unbelievable’ potential fee
Former Premier League striker Marcus Bent believes Abraham should return to Villa if the option to do so arises.
But he added the £40m price tag quoted is “unbelievable” for a player lacking regular first-team football.
“He spent a little bit of time at Villa and done quite well. But the price tag they have put on his head is unbelievable for someone who isn’t playing,” Bent told the Transfer Tavern.
“But again, those price tags are getting thrown about everywhere. Of course, he wants to stay at Chelsea, but I think the best club for me would be Villa or West Ham.
“Villa, great stadium, great city and I think if he was to go there, he would be one of the key players for their stability and scoring goals.
“And that’s what players thrive on, and we know he can score a goal, he plays for his country, so Villa or West Ham for me.”
Smith’s a fan
Smith utilised Abraham to great effect as Villa roared to promotion in 2019. He remains a big admirer of the forward.
“Tammy did what I expected him to do,” Smith said before Villa played Chelsea last season. “Fortunately for Tammy, Frank Lampard and Jody Morris have gone in there and have shown the likes of him, [Fikayo] Tomori, Reece James and Mason Mount, a chance. Tammy has repaid them in the way that I thought he would.
“He’s a top player and a top person. We loved having him here and playing a part in his development and you know he’ll always have a strong affinity for Aston Villa.
“I think he is the real deal, everything about him. He sets standards and maintains them and tries to push them even more. To be a top drawer player you have to have those standards but you have to be driven.
“I think I have told that story before when I first saw him I had been on international duty. I’d had a game against him when he was on loan at Bristol City against Brentford and I saw something in his game I didn’t quite like.
“I told him about that when I met him again a Villa and he said: ‘That will never happen under your watch’. And it didn’t. He is a keen learner.”
Not that Smith would give anything away when asked directly about Abraham and a potential return.
“There’s always going to be a link to players who aren’t playing that have been with you before and have done well with you before,” Smith said. “He’s a Chelsea Football Club player and, as you know, I’m not going to talk about other players from other teams.”
Villa’s forward department
Much will rest on Villa’s pre-season and how the current crop of attackers at the club fare, Smith has indicated, in relation to whether they seek another addition for that department.
Ollie Watkins, a player vying for a place in the England squad for the European Championships in a similar way to Abraham, has enjoyed a successful season in Premier League football, but Villa haven’t had a wealth of options behind him this term and have relied on the Brentford signing to hit the ground running and maintain his fitness.
Wesley Moraes, a player who we hadn’t previously seen since New Year’s Day 2020 after an awful knee injury he suffered at Burnley, made his long awaited comeback off the bench in the dying minutes of Villa’s 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion in April. A big pre-season awaits the Brazilian, who it mustn’t be forgotten set Villa back a fair few quid in the summer of 2019.
Keinan Davis, who signed a new long-term contract earlier this season, scored his first top flight goal in the same game but there are a host of Championship sides who’d be interested in taking him on loan next term.
“We’ve seen Wesley come onto the pitch for the first time which is a big hurdle for him to get over. We’re starting to look at him as a Premier League player again, rather than a player returning from injury,” Smith told BirminghamLive.
“Over the next month will give us a big sign as to where Wesley will be for the start of next season.
“That’s going to be the key to moving forward and, obviously, Keinan getting his first goal will give him a big boost and we’ll look at his progression as well.
“We’ll have to add a few more to that squad to keep improving it. That’s what you have to do to be a force in the Premier League.
“Next year will be our third season in the Premier League and you’re playing catch up against the bigger clubs who have been there since the inception of the league and the finances they’ve had since then has allowed them to be stronger.”