The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Di Matteo Wants Wanyama to Bolster Chelsea Midfield

Reigning European champions Chelsea and French side Rennes are the latest entrants to join a crowded number of clubs interested in securing the signature of Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama.

Chelsea, who have had a long standing interest in the player, made official contact with the players' representatives on Thursday morning after new manager Roberto di Matteo had been offered the Blues job on a permanent basis.

Wanyama's business and private matters are currently handled by Spanish-based agency Extra time Sports.

The 20-year-old, who is currently with the team Harambee Stars ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Togo tomorrow, was a subject of a 3 million pounds (Sh254m) bid from another English Premier League side, Swansea.

But things changed when the Welsh club boss Brendan Rodgers decamped to join Liverpool, and instructed the Anfield-based hierarchy side to acquire his services

Newcastle and QPR are the other English-based sides that retain a long standing interest in the former City Stars and Belgium side Beerschort midfielder, though but the teams are yet to make a concrete bid. Reports also suggest that French side Rennes, also see Wanyama as an ideal replacement for departing midfielder Yan M'Vila, while Italian side Juventus have asked to be briefed on the player's situation. Should any of the deals involving the EPL sides materialise, Wanyama will make history as the first ever East African player to feature in the popular English Premier League.

Wanyama, who is the younger brother to Inter Milan forward Macdonald Mariga, had an impressive outing with current Scottish champions Celtic, with whom he managed to score four times in 29 appearances' in his first full season. Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo, has described Kenyan midfielder as one of his potential targets to bolster his midfield.

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