Transfer gossip: Chelsea get their main man, Manchester United alone in Martinez pursuit

Lisandro Martinez with Erik Ten Hag

Chelsea look set to cross off their priority signing while Manchester United are in the final stages in their centre-half pursuit…


Who is this new Chelsea that give 31-year-old players a five-year contract? They clearly want to avoid a repeat of the ‘all the centre-halves bugger off on a free transfer’ problem, and are protecting their investment in Kalidou Koulibaly by giving him a five-year deal when he completes his move from Napoli for £34m.

And he won’t be the only centre-half through the door as Nathan Ake is said to be open to re-joining his first club in a deal that might be worth £50m. Manchester City have got this selling business down pat as Raheem Sterling is also about to be unveiled after completing his £45m switch to Chelsea. He is flying to the US along with Armanda Broja to join Chelsea’s pre-season tour.

So that’s the first one on this list knocked off.


We have an update from the Here We Go man on Lisandro Martinez…

The meat on those bones comes from Goal, who say that Manchester United are ‘actively pushing to find an agreement with Ajax’ while Arsenal’s interest has cooled in the centre-half. The Dutch club want £42.4m for the Argentine international but so far Arsenal and Manchester United have only offered £35m and been turned down. Let’s see how close United will get to that number wanted by the Dutch champions.

Obviously Martinez will be desperate to join now it turns out that Manchester United are brilliant.


There was talk on Tuesday night of a club-record bid for Alexander Isak from Newcastle United but the Daily Mail’s Craig Hope has poured cold water on those claims by suggesting that the Swede remains too expensive. He has a Real Sociedad release clause of £75m and the Spanish club will not negotiate south of £50m.

Newcastle have struggled to get a striker signing over the line this summer as being the richest club in the world does make it troublesome when expecting prices to be slashed. But Newcastle are intent on spending sensibly.