Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia facing three-way transfer battle for Hakan Calhanoglu

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Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia is keen on signing AC Milan playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu on a free transfer in the summer window, with club chiefs already reaching out to his representatives, according to reports. The Turkish midfielder will be out of contract at the end of the season and appears unlikely to extend his stay with the San Siro giants as the business end of the campaign rapidly approaches.

Calhanoglu has featured in all but five of his side’s matches in Serie A this season, chipping in with two goals and nine assists to help maintain Il Rossoneri‘s faint hopes of beating rivals Inter to the league title.

Despite his influence in the middle of the park, Milan are facing a battle to retain his services into next season and beyond with negotiations over a new deal said to be at an impasse.

Chelsea have been linked with a move for the 27-year-old since the beginning of the campaign, and remain interested in his services ahead of the summer months.

Thomas Tuchel is said to be in the market for attacking reinforcements, with his side struggling to trouble opposing goalkeepers at times during the German manager’s short reign at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have already tabled a contract offer but could face stiff competition from Juventus and Arsenal, who have also reached out over the possibility of a move, according to Sky Sport Italy.

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The report claims that Calhanoglu is reluctant to accept Milan’s offer of a £3.3million annual salary, with the aim of holding out for closer to £4.2m.

The club are unwilling to relent and the player is not prepared to reach a compromise, with the stubbornness of both parties opening the door for a summer exit.

Chelsea are very much in the frame for Calhanoglu’s signature but Juventus are said to be leading the race, with the Italian side offering a lucrative package that could trump the proposals submitted by the Blues and Arsenal.

The midfielder has also been mentioned in connection with the likes of Manchester United and Galatasaray in recent months.

He has established himself as one of the finest creators that Serie A has to offer since joining Milan from Bayer Leverkusen in 2017, averaging an assist every three matches from 163 total appearances.

Milan boss Stefano Pioli suggested in December that he was hoping to keep hold of Calhanoglu for the foreseeable future, predicting that negotiations over a new contract would go smoothly and without a hitch.

“Calha is fantastic, he is intelligent, he can move well, he knows how to attack and he knows how to connect the game,” Pioli told reporters after the playmaker’s goal in Milan’s 3-2 win over Lazio.

“He sacrifices himself. I want him at this level, he is a top player. I don’t think there are problems.

“Calha is with us and with the club. I’m sure that his will is to stay, there is a negotiation.

“The club, technical area, the player and I want the same thing, he has reached important levels and can still grow. He’s a player to bet on.”

Calhanoglu is a regular in midfield for Turkey, with the Mannheim-born star racking up 55 caps for his country since making his senior international debut eight years ago.

It remains to be seen whether he will have a change of heart between now and the end of the season and commit his future to Milan, or pursue a move away in the summer transfer window in order to seek a fresh challenge.

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