Chelsea close in on Traore signing

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Chelsea are trying to beat West Ham to the signing of Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore in what could be one of the shock signings of the summer, according to reports.

Spanish newspaper SPORT claim that the Premier League champions are keen to land the speed machine, 21, after tracking him for a number of weeks.

This comes after the print edition of the Evening Standard reported last week that Traore was set to sign for West Ham after holding talks with the club’s owner David Sullivan on Friday.

The Standard stated that the Hammers’ signing of Traore was virtually done for a fee in the region of £8million.

But Chelsea’s reported desire to hijack the move will prompt concern at the London Stadium given the spending power and prestige of the 2016-17 title winners.

The interest of Antonio Conte’s side is a surprise given the mercurial abilities of Traore, 21, who has struggled to make an impact in England since quitting Barcelona two years ago.

He joined Aston Villa in the summer of 2015 for £8million and then moved to Middlesbrough 12 months later for a fee of £7million.

The Spaniard made 31 appearances in all competitions for Boro last season as they were relegated from the Premier League but his lack of end product infuriated supporters and it is understandable why SPORT categorise him joining Chelsea as a possible ‘surprise signing of the summer’.

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