GEREMI WOULD CONSIDER BLUES SWITCH
By Peter O`Rourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The 22-year-old right-sided defender, who can also play further forward on the right of midfield, has failed to establish himself as a regular in the star-studded Madrid line-up and has found his chances of playing blocked by the form of Spanish international full back Michel Salgado.
Geremi could also be seen as an ideal replacement for Albert Ferrer, who has been linked with a return to Spain.
Arsenal were also interested in the powerful African as a possible long-term replacement for veteran Lee Dixon but the Cameroon international has revealed that he is close to sealing a £6.6 million move to Stamford Bridge later this week.
"I am not a regular here and Chelsea are more than a good team," Geremi told onefootball.com.
Geremi, who helped The Indomitable Lions to Olympic and African Nations Cup success, admitted that the main reason for his possible departure from the Santiago Bernabeu was his frustration at not playing regularly.
"I have a contract with Real Madrid and they can sell me if they want, but they have to ask me first. I am happy here but I am not a regular," he admitted.
Madrid are said to be keen to push through a deal to raise some funds for their expected massive summer spending spree.
Chelsea originally offered £5.8 million for the player, which Real rejected holding out for a fee of around £7 million, but both sides have reached a compromise for a fee of £6.6 million.
Geremi was a relative unknown when he was brought to Madrid by former Real coach John Toshack in 1999 from Turkish outfit Gencelerbiligi, where he won Turkish Player of the Year in 1999, but he has now established himself as one of Europe's most promising attacking defenders.
Should Geremi complete his deal to the West London outfit he will become Chelsea's second major signing of the summer following William Gallas's £6.2 million move from Marseille last month, with possibly West Ham's Frank Lampard to follow.
It is not known where Blues boss Claudio Ranieri will employ the versatile Geremi in his new look side next season as he has the option of using him in the right side of midfield where Dennis Wise was forced to play there for most of last term.
Ranieri is keen to stamp his mark on the side as he tries to improve on a disappointing campaign last term and he has targeted the defence as the area he is most keen to improve.