CHELSEA’S NOT-SO-SUBTLE ATTEMPT TO TURN SCREW ON BARCA
Thibaut Courtois is just waiting for Chelsea to pull their finger out and sign his replacement before he flounces off to Real Madrid. But the goalkeeper could be joined at the Bernabeu by a Chelsea team-mate. and not the one you think…
Eden Hazard has been linked with the Champions League winners, who need a big name to fill the massive Ronaldo-shaped void in their attack. But they could settle for the somewhat less glamorous name of Willian.
According to the Daily Mail, Real have submitted a £100million offer for both Courtois and Willian, with a 65/35 split in the Brazilian’s favour. This smells very much like an attempt by Chelsea to smoke out Barcelona, who have failed in a number of bids for the winger and are reluctant to meet the Blues’ asking price.
Conveniently, it is said that Chelsea would ‘seriously consider’ such an offer for the pair.
Courtois has only a year left on his contract and the keeper has permanently offered the impression he would crawl back to Spain given the opportunity. Over the weekend, it was claimed that Chelsea want Jordan Pickford to take his place, but The Times says that Everton will offer the England No.1 a new contract to make a move to London less tempting.
Another Chelsea line, this time from Corriere della Sera: The Blues could go for Juventus defender Mattia Caldara rather than his more expensive team-mate Daniele Rugiani.
BAYERN ISSUE LEWANDOWSKI UPDATE
One player persistently linked with Chelsea this summer is Robert Lewandowski. The striker, though, has always fancied a move to Real Madrid, but Bayern Munich have always maintained that the Poland star is going nowhere.
The Bundesliga champions have once again re-iterated their stance. New coach Niko Kovac admits that Lewandowski “toys with going elsewhere” but that counts for little when the club are determined to keep him.
Borussia Dortmund have also been linked with a potential reunion with Lewandowski. Hans-Joachim Watzke said they would be willing to spend €100million to bring back the forward but it would appear the CEO’s stream is going squarely into the wind with that one.
AND THE REST
Harry Maguire is keen to join Manchester United – the Leicester defender won’t force a move.David Luiz wants to stay at Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri as manager…AC Milan will offer Antonio Conte a £5.5m-a-year deal to replace Gennaro Gattuso…Napoli want Matteo Darmian on loan with an option to buy…Aston Villa have made a loan bid for Liverpool’s Ben Woodburn…Olivier Giroud plans to fight for his place at Chelsea despite interest from Marseille…Middlesbrough striker Patrick Bamford is having a medical at Leeds on Monday…Fulham are closing in on a deal to sign Alfie Mawson from Swansea.