Chelsea transfer news: Mata latest, past Ribery bid, controversial gestures

All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge including the latest on Manchester United target.

Both the BBC and Sky Sports cite a £35m figure that Chelsea are allegedly holding out for when it comes to any negotiations regarding Spanish playmaker and two-time Blues player of the year Juan Mata, wanted by Manchester United.

While an early afternoon report on the BBC indicated that there had not yet been an official approach from the reigning Premier League champions for the attacker, it had been reported that under no circumstances would United manager David Moyes include striker Wayne Rooney in a player-swap deal.

If United were to bid for Mata, they would likely smash their previous highest transfer bid lodged - when they recruited Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham Hotspur for £30.75m.

As for imports, Chelsea - it has been suggested earlier today, Tuesday - were officially interested in acquiring Franck Ribery, currently of Bayern Munich and one of the stand-out players in the club's push for a five trophy year in 2013.

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said to TZ: 'Ribery is a hero with the fans and it's a good thing that we didn't give in when Real Madrid and a few more teams showed an interest in signing him in 2008. We solved everything like gentlemen with Madrid, although I must stress that there was no official offer. They made an enquiry and we closed the door on a move right away.

'We could have made a lot of money, because we also had an official offer from Chelsea that was utter madness. It was the right thing not to sell him, though.'

And finally, one former Blue and one current are both embroiled in a controversy. Nicolas Anelka's notorious 'quenelle' has caused outrage due to it's association with anti-semitism. The Frenchman was hit by an FA charge for gesturing in an indecent/abusive/offensive manner, but he has been defended by Romelu Lukaku, on loan at Everton, who told the club's official website: 'He was my idol since I was a kid and he still is.

'He shouldn’t have been banned for that. He just likes to support a stand-up comedian in France so we don’t have to make such a big deal about it. He’s an adult. For me, I hope he doesn’t get suspended because he’s a player people want to see on the pitch.'

For background on why the 'quenelle' gesture is so offensive, renowned French football expert and journalist Philippe Auclair has more in The Mirror.

image: © Wshjackson

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