The transfer market is heating up once again as we edge closer to the official opening of the summer window, with clubs in the Premier League and beyond scrambling to get early business done.
Manchester United are interested in signing N’Golo Kante and want to see if a deal can be struck this summer, with his Chelsea contract due to expire next year.
United are also said to be in talks with Frenkie de Jong at Barcelona and making a final push to recruit Wolves star Ruben Neves, while they are also considering Villarreal defender Pau Torres and Benfica’s Darwin Nunez.
Elsewhere, Tottenham have agreed to sign Ivan Perisic on a two-year contract from Inter Milan, who wants to reunite with Antonio Conte instead of joining Chelsea or Juventus.
Sadio Mane continues to be heavily linked with replacing Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich, though Liverpool are said to have their eye on Barcelona starlet Gavi as Arsenal chase a new striker in the form of Alvaro Morata.
Luis Suarez could reunite with Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa, while Chelsea are targeting Christopher Nkunku, Jules Kounde and Marc Cucurella, among others.
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ICYMI – Aston Villa agree Diego Carlos deal
Aston Villa are certainly wasting no time in the transfer market this summer.
Steven Gerrard swooped early last week to wrap up the impressive signing of highly-rated Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara on a five-year contract.
Then came the news that Villa have also agreed a deal with Sevilla for the signing of Brazilian defender Diego Carlos for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £ 26m.
Carlos – previously a key target for Newcastle – is in England to agree personal terms and undergo a medical.
Arsenal close to Morata deal
For all the focus on Gabriel Jesus, could Alvaro Morata be the first striker signing through the door at Arsenal this summer?
Despite Eddie Nketiah’s contract U-turn, the Gunners are still expected to press ahead with the signing of a couple of high-profile forwards in the coming months.
The likes of Napoli marksman Victor Osimhen have also been linked, but Sport in Spain say Arsenal are actually now close to a surprise deal for Morata.
The north Londoners could apparently spend around £ 25m to bring the ex-Chelsea frontman back to English football from Atletico Madrid, following his loan stint at Juventus.
Perisic to Tottenham ‘here we go’
Ivan Perisic to Tottenham has been given the ‘here we go’ treatment from transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.
Romano says the full agreement on a two-year contract is set to be signed, with Inter Milan having been told of the player’s final decision.
A medical for Perisic at Spurs could take place as early as next week.
Abramovich says Chelsea farewell: ‘It’s been the honor of a lifetime’
Roman Abramovich has bid farewell to Chelsea after Todd Boehly was given the final green light to complete his takeover of the Premier League club.
Approval has been granted for the American investor, who co-owns MLB giants the Los Angeles Dodgers, to buy the Stamford Bridge outfit three months after Abramovich made the surprise decision to sell up.
The Russian oligarch, 55, has promised to write-off the debt owed to him by the club and pour the proceedings into a new charitable foundation. Those funds were previously said to be heading specifically to victims of Russia invasion of Ukraine but no such comment featured in Sunday’s statement.
“It has been almost three months since I announced my intention to sell Chelsea FC,” Abramovich wrote.
“During this time, the team have worked hard to find the right custodian for Chelsea FC that would be best positioned to successfully lead the club into its next chapter.”
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ICYMI – Chelsea confirm final Boehly takeover agreement
A new era is officially set to commence at Chelsea, who have now publicly confirmed that a final deal has been definitively agreed to sell the club to a consortium led by Todd Boehly.
In a short, 52-word statement released via their official website on Saturday morning, the Blues said they expected the record-breaking £ 4.25billion sale that will end Roman Abramovich’s highly-successful 19-year stewardship at Stamford Bridge to be fully completed on Monday (May 30), ahead of the deadline set by the Government.
Chelsea Football Club can confirm that a final and definitive agreement was entered into last night to sell the Club to the Todd Boehly / Clearlake Capital consortium. It is expected that the transaction will be completed on Monday, ”Chelsea said. “The Club will update further at that time.”
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Harry Maguire to Barcelona ‘not realistic’
Harry Maguire has been linked with a shock move to Barcelona.
The England defender’s place in Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United revolution remains open for debate, with suggestions that the Dutchman could opt to implement a new captain at Old Trafford.
There have been various rumors linking Maguire with a potential exit after his torrid 2021/22 campaign, with the Camp Nou mentioned as a surprise destination.
However, perhaps unsurprisingly, Fabrizio Romano says such a deal is not realistic at present.
Chelsea to make Man United target Kante available?
Perhaps Chelsea could be willing to sell N’Golo Kante this summer after all, amid interest from Manchester United.
According to The Athletic, the Frenchman is expected to be made available at a reduced cost with his Stamford Bridge contract due to expire in June 2023.
Kante could also be a casualty of Thomas Tuchel wanting to radically shake up his midfield, with question marks also lingering over the future of Jorginho.
Chelsea learn Cucurella price
Marc Cucurella has emerged as a summer transfer target for Chelsea.
The Blues are initially prioritizing new defenders in their planned £ 200m transfer rebuild under new owner Todd Boehly, with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both leaving and doubts also surrounding the respective futures of long-serving captain Cesar Azpilicueta and compatriot Marcos Alonso.
Sevilla’s French defender Jules Kounde is expected to be Thomas Tuchel’s first summer signing in a £ 68m deal, with Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig, Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Jose Gimenez from Atletico Madrid also on the radar.
Ditto versatile former Barcelona full-back Cucurella, who shone during Brighton’s best Premier League season to date this term.
However, The Sun claim that Chelsea will have to fork out around £ 45m if they want to take the Spaniard from the Amex, where he remains under contract until 2026.
How could Tottenham line up with Perisic?
Antonio Conte is on the verge of reuniting with Ivan Perisic on a two-year deal at Tottenham.
The Croatian veteran is strongly tipped to sign for Spurs when his Inter Milan contract expires at the end of next month, despite rival interest from Chelsea and Juventus.
It is easy to see why the trio of clubs are interested in the 33-year-old given his versatility across both flanks.
Conte’s style was initially a tough sell to Perisic and he was loaned out to Bayern Munich in the Italian’s debut season at Inter, winning the Champions League before returning to lift the Scudetto at the Giuseppe Meazza in 2020/21.
During that campaign, the coach started him 24 times almost exclusively as his left-sided midfielder, which effectively handed him the entire flank to marshall in front of a three-man defense and behind left-sided striker Lautaro Martinez.
Click here to see how Tottenham could line up with Perisic next season
Liverpool ready for Gavi move
Liverpool are ready to make a move for Barcelona starlet Gavi.
That is according to Catalan publication Sport, who say that the Reds are willing to activate the gifted teenager £ 42m release clause at Camp Nou this summer.
Gavi, 17, is out of contract at Barcelona next year and it remains to be seen if he wants to pen fresh terms.
The La Masia graduate already boasts six senior caps for Spain and is apparently seen as a long-term successor to compatriot Thiago Alcantara in Jurgen Klopp’s star-studded midfield.