Gossip: Fabregas, Toure, Hart, Rondon

Daniel Storey

After he was left out of Antonio Conte’s first league line-up, the rumour mill has gone into overdrive regarding the future of Cesc Fabregas. Monday and Tuesday brought reports of interest from abroad, but by Wednesday we’re told that, actually, big cubs don’t want the Chelsea midfielder. That all happened very fast.

The Sun tell us that Fabregas is happy to stay and fight for a place at Chelsea, believing that the increased competition for places will help the club push closer to the Premier League title. How lovely.

The Star give us the opposite angle entirely, claiming that Fabregas is only staying at Chelsea because he has been snubbed by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris St Germain and Juventus. So four of Europe’s best five clubs, then?


Weird one now, with the report that Barcelona are monitoring West Brom striker Salomon Rondon as they want a back-up striker, according to the Daily Mirror.

The Spanish champions apparently have a list with six options to strengthen their squad upfront and Albion’s 6ft 1in frontman, who scored nine Premier League goals last season is on that short-list. Newcastle United’s Ayoze Perez, Atletico Madrid’s Luciano Vietto and AC Milan’s Carlos Bacca are also believed to be under consideration by Luis Enrique.

The Mirror claims Albion are worried the Spanish giants may now firm up their interest in the 26-year-old, who arrived for a club-record £12million fee from Zenit St Petersburg last August. Not gonna happen.


We’re not quite sure that this constitutes news, but the Daily Mail claim that Pep Guardiola would like to sell Yaya Toure, Eliaquim Mangala and Wilfried Bony. We kinda spotted that, as none of the three were included in City’s squad to travel to Romania for their Champions League victory on Tuesday evening.

The issue for Guardiola is shifting players out of a squad who are on incredibly high wages, and that may prove difficult right until the end of the window. Would Crystal Palace take a chance on Bony rather than paying £30m for Benteke?


Joe Hart’s hopes of getting into Guardiola’s Manchester City team don’t look to have improved after he was again left on the bench in Romania on Tuesday evening. With Claudio Bravo’s arrival from Barcelona looking more and more likely, Hart faces a big decision over his future.

According to Sky Sports, Hart has two obvious options. The first is Everton, who are looking for a reliable No. 1 to take over from the Tim Howard we knew in every other season bar his last campaign. Hart would not have to move house and would surely keep his England place if he impressed at Goodison.

The other, slightly leftfield, option is Sevilla, who have also reportedly shown interest in England’s goalkeeper. Sky report that Hart would prefer a Premier League move, but he must be at least slightly intrigued by the thought of Champions League football in Spain.


And that’s a story you can read about right here.


West Brom are set to up their interest in Brighton defender Lewis Dunk… West Ham are chasing Palermo defender Achraf Lazaar as they look for more defensive options in a season that will see them play in Europe… Leicester want to keep Ghana left-back Jeffrey Schlupp, and have rejected two bids for the 23-year-old from West Brom… Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew is facing mounting discontent from a number of players over the handling of his decision to strip Mile Jedinak of the club captaincy and install Scott Dann in the role.

Manchester United defender Daley Blind is attracting glances from Inter Milan as he tries to prove his worth at Old Trafford to new manager Jose Mourinho… Tottenham Hotspur are willing to sell Nabil Bentaleb but will not entertain a loan. The 21-year-old midfielder is surplus to requirements under Mauricio Pochettino… Hull have made a £9m move of Lorient striker Benjamin Moukandjo… Watford have agreed a £13m deal to sign Juventus and Argentina midfielder Roberto Pereyra.