Chelsea back for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong
The summer transfer window is here, and there’s a lot of gossip swirling about who’s going where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, whereabouts and, of course, deals!
TOP STORY: Chelsea back for Aubameyang keen De Jong
Chelsea set to sit down with Barcelona over talks over double move for Frankie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyangaccording to The Telegraph.
The report adds that Chelsea could allocate up to £300million for summer transfers as new owner Todd Boehly continues to back manager Thomas Tuchel, and after ESPN revealed the Blues’ interest in Aubameyang and the FC Salzburg striker Benjamin Sesko earlier on Thursday, it seems as though they are now keen to resume the pursuit of De Jong.
The Blaugrana are looking to offload the 25-year-old midfielder this summer, having agreed a total fee of €85m with Manchester United, and they could have a much better chance of reaching a full deal with Chelsea. The Dutch international didn’t want to leave Camp Nou to join United but would be much more open to the idea of a move to Stamford Bridge due to Champions League football.
While Chelsea also continue the search for Romelu Lukaku’s replacement, Aubameyang appear to be top of their shortlist, with the 33-year-old leader impressing for Barcelona last season, scoring 11 goals in 17 La Liga appearances. Barça have already brought in Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha this summer, so the former Gabon international could be surplus to requirements.
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09:55 BST: Brazilian left-back Alex Telles spoke after joining Sevilla on a season-long loan from Manchester United.
“I’ve always seen Sevilla with very good eyes and when the opportunity came I didn’t think twice about it,” he said. “I think I’m in the right place to play my best football. I had no doubts. Sevilla coach [Julen Lopetegui] gave me confidence and it leaves you impatient, that’s why I’m here.
“My goal of playing the World Cup is very clear in my mind and Sevilla gave me the opportunity to do my job with confidence. That’s why I also want to compete, because it’s a very important. I also came here because it gives me the opportunity to play in the Champions League. La Liga looks like a very competitive and strong league. It’s different from other tournaments I’ve been to, but with the experience I have and everything I’ve been through Over the years, I think it’s going to be a difficult but productive year. I expect the best in La Liga.”
09:38 BST: Barcelona starlet Gavi turns 18 today, and the player is expected to sign a long-term contract with the club.
The Spain international has been one of the hottest prospects for the club’s youth academy in recent years and has caught the eye of some of Europe’s top sides.
Gavi, who is contracted with Barca until June 2023, made 47 appearances for Barca in his debut campaign last season.
Barca director of football Mateu Alemany was certain Gavi would continue at the club for the foreseeable future and said: “We are expecting him to turn 18 on August 5 so he can sign a three-plus-year contract. “We have small details to close. But we will solve it. 100% Gavi will continue at Barca.”
08:47 BST: Barcelona missed out on signing Cesar Azpilicueta but does not give up on his Chelsea teammate Marcos Alonso.
Barcelona target Azpilicueta signed a contract extension with Chelsea ahead of the start of the Premier League.
Mundo Deportivo report that Barca have focused on attracting Alonso at Camp Nou. Chelsea set to sign Brighton defender Marc Cucurellathe doors will be open to the Blues to negotiate the departure of Alonso.
Alonso, 31, is under contract with Chelsea for another season and the Spanish left-back is keen to join Barca. His agent, Fali Ramadani, met Barca officials last week to discuss his potential arrival.
08:00 BST: Antonio Conte said Tottenham were heading in the “right direction” after signing new players, but used Manchester United’s latest summer window as a warning to those expecting a Premier League title challenge.
Spurs have signed six new players so far for around £100million, including Richarlison, Yves Bissouma and Ivan Perisic, as they look to build on last season’s fourth place finish in the Premier League.
Conte has previously insisted he only joined Spurs – whose last top-flight title came in 1961 – only to challenge for the biggest prizes, but said United’s struggles are a great example of the difficulty of getting closer to Liverpool and Manchester City.
Asked how Spurs could close the gap to the league’s top two, Conte told a press conference on Thursday: “You forgot about Chelsea and that’s a big, big mistake. You talk about a team that won the Champions League two seasons ago. They are a really big team.
“Last season they won the Club World Cup. Why aren’t Chelsea in that group of top teams? For me, Chelsea are in that group. They want to stay there and deserve to be considered in that group. this position.
“And then there’s United. Football is not one, no more one, [equals] of them. United last season finished sixth despite a transfer market of [Jadon] Sancho, Cristiano Ronaldo and [Raphael] Varane. Two seasons ago they finished second.
“They did this transfer market to try to win the championship and they finished sixth. You have to be careful in my opinion with all these situations. We know that in England it is difficult to fight to win but we want to try to be competitive, to try to improve on last season and that’s our goal.”
Julien Laurens expresses his concerns over Chelsea and Man United’s chances of finishing in the top 4 this season.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Sport report that Barcelona are interested in landing Thomas Miller. After failing to acquire Cesar Azpilicuetawho signed a new two-year contract with Chelsea on Thursday, the Blaugrana are now stepping up their pursuit for the 30-year-old Borussia Dortmund wing-back. It is reported that Manchester United were also interested in him but the LaLiga outfit are now expected to push the talks forward, with Xavi Hernandez keen to land a player who can be deployed as an attacking right-back.
– Leicester City and Nottingham Forest are set to battle it out for the signing of Houssem Aouar, writes Foot Mercato. Lyon are reportedly seeking a fee of around €15million to part ways with the 24-year-old midfielder, who has also been on Real Betis and Arsenal’s radar. Aouar played 36 times in Ligue 1 last season and contributed to 10 goals.
– Maxwel Cornet is set to sign a deal with West Ham United, reports The Guardian. The versatile 25-year-old winger is believed to have a £17.5m release clause after Burnley were relegated from the Premier League last season. And, despite interest from Everton, it looks like the Hammers have won the race to land the Ivory Coast international.
– Juventus offered to sign Dries Mertens, explains Gianluca Di Marzio. The 35-year-old striker is currently a free agent after his contract with Napoli expired and the Bianconeri offered him a two-year deal to move to the Allianz Stadium. The Belgium international has also been on Galatasaray’s radar.
– Crystal Palace are looking to sign the ex-Barcelona midfielder Ilaix Moriba, writes Foot Mercato. It is understood Patrick Vieira has already made contact with the 19-year-old RB Leipzig star, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Valencia. The Bundesliga side could be ready to let him go, the outlet adds, after he played just 90 minutes of football for them in five substitute appearances.
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