In truth, it always felt as though Diego Costa had slightly weakened Chelsea’s bargaining position. His admission that he would only leave Stamford Bridge for one club makes it difficult for the Blues to negotiate a higher price, certainly.
The Independent report that Chelsea’s ‘recruitment plans have been complicated’ with Costa’s comments, as while Atletico are interested in their former striker, they aren’t willing to bid more than £20million. A reminder that this is a player linked with world-record moves to the Chinese Super League a matter of weeks ago.
Chelsea, it is reported, had planned to offload Costa in order to fund moves for Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, meaning the Blues require a ‘rethink’.
Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph has his own update on Chelsea’s planned ‘£200m spending spree’.
Law says that up to nine players – John Terry, Asmir Begovic, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fàbregas, Michy Batshuayi, Nathan Aké, Kurt Zouma, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy and Ola Aina – could leave this summer. ‘All eventualities are currently said to be open’ with regards to Costa.
And as well as possible moves for Lukaku, Sanchez, Virgil van Dijk and Tiemoue Bakayoko, ‘Conte wants at least one new wing-back, a back-up goalkeeper and possibly a wide player as part of a £200 million summer spend.’
IVAN THE TERRIBLE
No sooner had it become public that Manchester United wanted to sign Ivan Perisic than champions Chelsea made their interest in the Inter Milan winger known.
According to Sky Italia, who broke the initial United claims, the Blues will battle with their Premier League rivals to sign the Croatian.
The Daily Mirror claim that United have ‘a verbal agreement’ in place with the player, but that Inter’s £43.7m asking price is understandably causing a problem. That fee is considered, for a 28-year-old, ‘exorbitant’. Sure.
HAMMER IT HOME
One final piece of transfer gossip now comes from the Daily Mirror, whose London Stadium intel treats us with the scoop that West Ham have ‘tabled a bid’ for Kelechi Iheanacho.
There is no indication of what the actual numbers involved are, with the only mention of a potential fee being that the Manchester City striker is ‘£20m-rated’.
That said, John Cross adds that West Ham ‘are unlikely to meet City’s sky-high valuation’, but that a deal should still go through eventually. It could even be a loan. Who bloody knows?
AND THE REST
Claude Puel “expects to be sacked” at Southampton and has already held secret talks with French Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne…Chelsea’s departing captain John Terry, 36, has urged the club to invest heavily in the transfer market to compete in the Champions League next season…Long-term Manchester United target, 30-year-old midfielder Blaise Matuidi, has refused to commit his future to Paris St-Germain…West Ham are reported to be preparing a cash-plus-player offer worth around £25m for 22-year-old Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.