Now that the Premier League title is bagged and tagged, the Daily Star says that Chelsea will celebrate with a “£200m spending spree”.
Apparently gaffer Antonio Conte wants “to add six new faces to his squad” ahead of the Blues return to the Champions League and money is no object for the ambitious west London club, particularly as they will make a few bob on the sale of Diego Costa and goalkeeper Asmir Begovic next month.
Among the purchases Conte wants to make in the coming weeks is Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, who has been linked to Liverpool and Manchester City this season. Conte believes he will win the race to land the central defender with the Glasgow Evening Times corroborating the story and claiming that his former club, Celtic, will net a £5m windfall as a result of the sale to Chelsea because of an agreement when van Dijk moved to St Mary’s from Glasgow in 2015.
Meanwhile Conte is similarly bullish about his chances of signing Alvaro Morata given that he is ready to guarantee him first-team football which is something he hasn’t seen much of with Real Madrid.
Morata is Conte’s preferred choice before Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, whose £75m price tag is said to be too steep for Chelsea, but the Star says that Conte is also mulling over a move for Fernando Llorente, the 32-year-old frontman allegedly seeking out a way out of Swansea.
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Chelsea transfer news: Poyet casts doubt on Costa China move
Will Sunday’s match against Sunderland be the last time Diego Costa is seen in a Chelsea shirt before he heads east to China?
According to Talksport, the Spanish striker is “the subject of interest from numerous Chinese Super League teams”, but new rules on overseas players could restrict his options.
The 28-year-old “could command a salary in excess of £500,000-per-week” when his moves to the Far East in a few weeks with the Blues apparently resigned to seeing him leave.
Former Blues star Gus Poyet, who manages Shanghai Shenhua, says that he is unlikely to make a move for Costa because of recently-introduced rule allowing clubs to field only three foreign players in the Super League.
With Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins, Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin and Argentine forward Carlos Tevez already in his squad, Poyet told Talksport: “There would have to be a massive change to the structure of the club to be able to bring Diego here. I don’t know if it’s going to happen, I would never say ‘no, never’, but I would say it would be very difficult for him to come here.”
Is John Terry about to call time on his playing career? The veteran Chelsea defender is definitely leaving the Bridge at the end of the season but rumours have been rife that he will enjoy a lucrative swansong in either the States or China.
But speaking to Sky Sports after his goal-scoring exploits against Watford on Monday evening, Terry suggested he may hang up his boots after the last league game of the season on Sunday: “I know I said I wanted to play regular football, but I have not ruled out Sunday being my last game and retiring,” he said.
“It depends if the right offer comes along then I will sit and consider it with my family, whether it’s here or abroad, but I haven’t made any decisions yet and I am just evaluating my options.”
Chelsea transfer news: Champions line up Luka Modric deal
They say that power is an aphrodisiac and so it seems for Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric who apparently is being seduced by the newly crowned Premier League champions.
The Daily Express says that the former Tottenham playmaker is looking at making a return to England next season. Taking Spanish outlet Diario Gol as its source, the Express says that the Blues are in pole position to sign the 31-year-old Modric with Arsenal lagging some distance behind.
Apparently Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is “open to the idea” of selling the veteran but neither the Express nor the Daily Star, which also carries the story, quotes a likely asking price.
What the Star does say, however, is that Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are also circling Modric and could look to beat any bid from the Blues.
Meanwhile, Stoke and Southampton are said to be circling Chelsea striker Bertrand Traore, who could be available for £4.5m this summer, “The 21-year-old is currently on loan at Dutch giants Ajax and has impressed – although he doesn’t appear to have a future at Stamford Bridge,” says the Daily Star.
Chelsea transfer news: Ezequiel Garay or Aymeric Laporte to replace Terry
With Chelsea possibly just a matter of hours away from clinching the Premier League title when they take on West Brom this evening, The Sun says they are already planning for next season with the club “set to swoop for Valencia’s Ezequiel Garay in the summer”.
Mind you, that’s only if they fail to bag Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte, said to be the first-choice of Antonio Conte as he hunts for a long-term replacement for John Terry.
The 22-year-old Laporte has long been a target for Conte, who believes the French central defender has the toughness to thrive in the Premier League. But Bilbao are believed to be playing hardball with the Sun saying that the Spanish side are “holding out for at least £55m”.
That’s a hefty sum, even for a club of Chelsea’s munificence, and apparently the 30-year-old Garay is being lined up as a Plan B if Bilbao can’t be budged. Garay was actually rumoured to be on the Blues shopping list last summer but he opted for Valencia instead.
There could be a surprise in store at Stamford Bridge in the summer, says the Daily Star, with the paper claiming that the Blues are ready to pounce for Bournemouth defender Adam Smith. Scouts will be present when the Cherries host Burnley at the weekend, although the Star says that they could face competition for Smith, a former England Under-21 international, from Spurs and Manchester City.
Chelsea transfer news: Could Morata move spark Hazard exit?
Chelsea are in a pickle over Real Madrid marksman Alvaro Morata, says the Evening Standard. Why? Because the Premier League champions elect “do not want their interest to be used as leverage by the La Liga club” to negotiate for Eden Hazard or Thibaut Courtois.
Apparently the Blues have enough wonga in their bank to sign both Morata and Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, and although Manchester United have been linked to the latter this week, Chelsea are still the favourites to lure Morata from the Bernabeu.
The Standard says Bluess boss Antonio Conte is a “huge admirer” of the Spain international but he’s concerned that the moment he makes his move Real will use the approach as a way to strike a bargain for Hazard and Courtois. It’s said in the Spanish press that Real “want to make Hazard the first £100m transfer”, while Courtois is their preferred choice to replace Keylor Navas between the sticks, despite his heroics in the Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid.
Talking of Champions League finalists, The Sun says that Conte is looking to “snap up” Dani Alves in the summer despite his advancing years.
He may be 34 but the Brazilian has been in sensational form this season for Juventus, scoring one of their goals on Tuesday as they eased past Monaco to book their place in next month’s showdown in Cardiff.
Spanish newspaper Sport says that “plans in west London are already afoot” to entice Alves to Stamford Bridge even though Alves is contracted to the Italian champions until the end of next season. Juventus “will not make it easy for him to leave” although given his age they will listen to offers if the bids involved are suitably outrageous.
Chelsea transfer news: Tiemoue Bakayoko set to become a Blue
The Blues are bullish about their chances not just of winning the title on Friday against West Brom but also about beating Manchester United to the hand of Tiemoue Bakayoko.
According to the Daily Express, Chelsea are “confident” they will sign the Monaco midfielder, whose side’s Champions League adventure was ended by Juventus on Tuesday evening.
The 22-year-old is “set for a switch”, says the Express, and it looks likely that Chelsea will beat United and Bayern Munich and sign Bakayoko in a £30m deal.
Apparently the young playmaker is excited at the prospect of playing alongside fellow Frenchman N’Golo Kante at Chelsea and the deal is expected to be concluded shortly.
It’s been all about who Chelsea are going to buy of late on the transfer rumour mill but now comes news in Talksport that the Blues might be about to lose defender Kurt Zouma to one of Fiorentina or Lazio.
The 22-year-old has been on the edge of Antonio Conte’s first team this season, making a paltry seven Premier League appearances, and that’s led to speculation that he will leave Stamford Bridge next month in search of more regular football.
Galatasaray are said to be “keen”, according to Turkish outlet Fanatik, but Talksport says that the two Italian clubs are “keeping tabs on his situation” and will likely make a move for the France international in the summer.