Gossip: Lukaku, Mustafi, Williams, Icardi

Date published: Saturday 30th July 2016 11:03

Shkodran Mustafi

LUKAKU DETERMINED TO JOIN CHELSEA
Chelsea are closing in on the transfer of former striker Romelu Lukaku after the Toffees reportedly accepted the Belgium star wants to leave. That’s according to the Daily Mirror.

The 23-year-old has been a target for Chelsea all summer, but new Everton boss Ronald Koeman was hopeful he could persuade Lukaku to stay on Merseyside. Koeman though has now given up on that and, according to the Daily Mirror, the player is “determined” to return to Stamford Bridge.

We are told that Chelsea have so far offered £57m (not £40m?) for the player they sold to Everton for £28million two years ago but the asking price is believed to be closer to £75m. That’s an awful lot of money.

Antonio Conte has already added Lukaku’s Belgium team-mate Michy Batshuayi to his squad and is still confident of keeping Spain frontman Diego Costa, despite sustained interest from his former club Atletico Madrid. If Lukaku joins, Costa goes.

 

MUSTAFI WANTS £25M ARSENAL MOVE
There is no doubt that Arsene Wenger needs a new central defender, with Per Mertesacker ruled out for up to five months. There is also no doubt that Shkodran Mustafi is high on the list of possible targets. He is experienced, he has previously lived in England and he is still only 24.

He is also available. Reports suggest that, while Mustafi has a £41.7m release clause, Valencia would be prepared to sell to Arsenal for a fee of £25m. Sorry Gabriel Paulista, but Wenger just doesn’t fancy you.

According to the Daily Mirror, Mustafi is also up for the move. Darren Lewis writes that Mustafi is keen to work with Wenger and will push for a move to London. That would make it £67m spent on five defenders since June 2014. None of the other four are currently first choice.

 

EVERTON WANT WILLIAMS TO REPLACE STONES
With Everton increasingly resigned to losing John Stones to Manchester City (Oh hey, who wants to read a piece about John Stones?), thoughts now turn to his replacement. We’ve heard plenty about interest in Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, and now we’re hearing about Ashley Williams.

Williams is part of the furniture at Swansea, but you do wonder whether he would like a fresh challenge somewhere. Swansea City have failed to strengthen their squad so far this summer, and after Williams’ performances at Euro 2016 his reputation is sky high.

The Daily Mirror report that Everton want Swansea’s captain for a fee of around £10m, but make it £15m and they may make some headway. He truly would be an excellent replacement for Stones.

 

AND THE REST
Arsenal will make an improved £35m bid for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette… Arsenal are also interested in signing Torino full-back Bruno Peres… Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen has turned down a new contract as he wants a significant pay rise… Swansea have made an offer for Sevilla striker Fernando Llorente, 31, after Bafetimbi Gomis joined Marseille on a season-long loan to leave the Swans without a recognised striker… Leicester City are ready to offer a new £100,000-a-week contract to Riyad Mahrez.

Aston Villa are likely to sell Senegal international Idrissa Gana, 26, to Everton… AC Milan want to take Manchester United’s Adnan Januzaj on loan… Everton have not made a bid for Sunderland defender Lamine Kone… West Brom striker Saido Berahino, 22, is willing to stay at the club until his contract runs out next summer and leave on a free transfer to join a club in Europe… Mauro Icardi will boycott Inter Milan in order to force through a move to Arsenal… Galatasaray want to sign Manchester City defender Jason Denayer, 21, and Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva, 29.

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