CHELSEA TO HIJACK EVERTON’S KONE BID
John Stones’ big-money move to Manchester City is set to spark a fresh flurry of transfer activity before the window closes, with Chelsea ready to respond to their title rivals.
Everton have identified Swansea captain Ashley Williams and Sunderland’s Lamine Kone as the men to replace the England international, but the latter is also said to be on Antonio Conte’s radar.
According to the Daily Mail, the Blues are having to weigh up alternatives to their first-choice target Kalidou Koulibaly as Napoli are refusing to sell him until they find an adequate replacement.
Benfica’s Victor Lindelof is reportedly another option for Chelsea, who are heading into the new season with Gary Cahill as their only fully-fit central defender. That won’t go well.
BOLASIE OFF TO EVERTON
An update on yesterday’s Yannick Bolasie news now. This Gossiper doesn’t pretend to be an ITK merchant, but has known for a while that Bolasie was a wanted man by Everton. With Aaron Lennon a bit meh and Gerard Deulofeu still far from the finished product, Ronald Koeman needs a winger to supplement his squad.
The added factor is Steve Walsh, Everton’s new director of football who had advised Leicester about signing Bolasie before he left the King Power stadium. Now at Everton and with some money to burn, a deal looks like being done sharpish.
Crystal Palace have been holding out for £30m for Bolasie, and it looks like Everton might finally be prepared to get near that valuation. That in turn allows Palace to sign Christian Benteke, with Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha there to provide the service. Sounds quite sexy, that.
LACAZETTE IS GOING NOWHERE
Oh Arsenal, that striker isn’t any closer to joining. There are now three days until the Premier League season starts.
Having made a bid for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal saw that offer rejected out of hand. Not only have Arsenal failed to meet Lyon’s valuation, but the French club now insist that the striker will not leave before the end of the transfer window.
Reports in France suggest that Lyon will make Lacazette their highest-paid player with a new contract, and manager Bruno Genesio is sure that the striker will stay put.
“That is not going to happen,” Genesio said. Oh hey there chatty, thanks for your detailed explanation.
AND THE REST
Arsenal will launch a bid of £30m for Manchester City’s Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony, 27… Claudio Ranieri has agreed a new four-year deal with Leicester which will double the Italian’s salary to £3m a year… Leicester City have made a £23million offer for Santos’ 19-year-old Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa… Crystal Palace are willing to pay £32m for Liverpool’s Belgium striker Christian Benteke, 25, and Alan Pardew has also lined up Welsh free agent striker Hal Robson-Kanu… West Ham have enquired about Lyon winger Rachid Ghezzal… David Moyes is also eyeing up an £8m bid for Norwich’s Scotland forward Steven Naismith… Serie A sides Torino and Fiorentina are both keen on signing Hull City’s striker Abel Hernandez, 26… Blackburn Rovers are close to signing Southampton’s English striker Sam Gallagher.