In Depth

Chelsea transfer news: Conte 'eyeing up Sergio Aguero to replace Diego Costa'

Blues are first in line for a summer move if Spanish striker wants out of Real Madrid - latest Chelsea transfer news and gossip

City striker Sergio Aguero's future is once more causing furrowed eyebrows among the press, with the Sunday Mirror claiming Chelsea "are planning to hijack Real Madrid's £75million summer swoop" for him.Jesus netted twice in Sunday's 2-1 win over Swansea City, apparently confirming to Aguero that he is no longer top dog at City.Aghast at the prospect of being a second-choice striker under Pep Guardiola, he is seeking alternatives - and Real are said to be "on red alert".But Chelsea have joined the hunt, with the Mirror saying manager Antonio Conte believes 28-year-old Diego Costa will depart Stamford Bridge at the end of the season and so Aguero would be a natural goal-scoring replacement.However the Manchester Evening News reports that City have moved quickly to scotch the rumours, with a well-placed source telling the paper: "There is no vagueness about our position. We want Sergio to stay... He is an important player for us and if Sergio is saying it is down to the club, well the club really wants him to stay. No one here wants him to leave."Elsewhere, Metro reports Bayer Leverkusen's Hakan Calhanoglu has owned up to the fact he wants to join Chelsea this summer.The 22-year-old has made a name for himself in Germany as an attacking midfielder and although he's currently serving a four-month ban for transfer irregularities while with Karlsruher, he's been linked with a £15 million move to Stamford Bridge."God willing, I will be a Chelsea player next season," Calhanoglu told Turkish newspaper Fanatik, adding: "There are also a number of other clubs interested in signing me."

Chelsea transfer news: Alvaro Morata to replace Diego Costa

2 February

The transfer window may be closed but the Blues haven't given up their pursuit of Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, claims Goal.com despite drawing a blank in January.

The Spanish international returned to Real last summer after a stint at Juventus but the 23-year-old is struggling to establish himself in Zinedine Zidane's side. And according to Goal.com Blues boss Antonio Conte "retains a long-term interest" in Morata amid speculation that Diego Costa will be off to China at the end of this season.

At the moment Morata is said to be happy with his lot in the Spanish capital, but playing second fiddle to Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale may take its toll in the coming months. Should Morata "grow frustrated" over his lack of opportunities, Chelsea have manoeuvred themselves into position to make the first swoop.

Meanwhile the official Chelsea website has confirmed the departure of Branislav Ivanovic, who has joined Zenit St Petersburg after nine years at Stamford Bridge.

Describing the 32-year-old defender as a "legend", the Blues website notes that Ivanovic, who won two Premier League titles and a Champions League crown in his time at Chelsea, is one of only five foreign players to make more than 300 appearances for the club.

Finally, the Daily Mirror claims that Roman Abramovich believes Conte is on the brink of establishing a new dynasty at the Bridge and to that end he'll give the Italian a £100m war chest in the summer.

The Russian billionaire wants his club to conquer Europe once more and will provide Conte with the funds to bring in some big names prior to next season. As well as Morata, the Mirror claims that Conte has identified Celtic striker Moussa Dembele and Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk as must-haves.

Chelsea transfer news: Shock £40m move for Moussa Dembele

31 January

It's Deadline Day in the transfer market and according to the Daily Express Chelsea hope to do a bit of last-minute shopping before taking on Liverpool this evening. The paper says that the Premier League leaders are "interested in signing Celtic striker Moussa Dembele" but the Scottish outfit "won’t sell for any less than £40m".

Diego Costa’s future at the Bridge remains in doubt and Michy Batshuayi's form is causing increasing concern, hence Antonio Conte's wish to bring in a striker to bolster his squad in the coming months. The Express says that the Italian gaffer had earmarked Swansea’s Fernando Llorente as a possible buy but his scouts have sent back glowing reports about the 20-year-old Dembele, and now Conte is poised to make a late eyebrow-raising swoop for the French frontman, who has scored 20 goals in 38 appearances for the Bhoys.

Meanwhile Talksport says that Milan Badelj hasn't given up hope that Chelsea will come calling today. Taking its cue from an interview with his agent on Italian website ForzaRoma.info, Talksport says that the 27-year-old is "ready to leave for a new challenge".

The Croatian was linked to Chelsea last month, as well as AC Milan, and agent Dejan Joksimovic revealed: "Over the last two days of the transfer window I will be in Milan waiting for offers, but at the moment there is nothing concrete."

Chelsea transfer news: Second bid for keeper Craig Gordon

30 Jan

With less than 48 hours until the January transfer window slams shut, the stage is set for some last minute transfer business and Stamford Bridge could see plenty of action as the Blues look to seal a deal for goalkeeper Craig Gordon. 

According to the Daily Star, Celtic are reconsidering their position concerning the veteran gloveman after Chelsea increased their original offer of £2.5m to £3.5m. Apparently the Bhoys are aware that Gordon, whose has 18 months to run on his contract, is "keen" on the prospect of joining the Premier League leaders, and the Star claims that his agent "will hold talks over the transfer today ahead of tomorrow evening's deadline".

As for Asmir Begovic, the man Gordon is set to replace in west London, the Star says that his move to Bournemouth is expected to go through before Tuesday evening.

Branislav Ivanovic could also move before Deadline Day, reports Metro. "The Chelsea veteran has been told by Antonio Conte he is free to leave this January and is on the verge of signing a three-and-half year deal with the Russian side," says the paper.

The defender has been at the Bridge since 2008 but, at 32, is now considered surplus to requirements.

Chelsea transfer news: Ivanovic agrees to join Zenit

27 January

Serbian stopper Branislav Ivanovic's Stamford Bridge sojourn is at an end, reports the Daily Express with the paper claiming that the veteran defender has signed for Zenit St Petersburg on a two-and-a-half year deal.

It's no secret that Ivanovic, who arrived in London in 2008, has been in talks over a move away from the Bridge and the Express says he "is being allowed to leave Chelsea on a free transfer" after struggling for game time under Antonio Conte.

Everton, Leicester and West Ham had all been linked with Ivanovic but Russian media outlets say that he has agreed a deal to join Zenit, which will net him £4.3m-a-year.

Elsewhere and The Sun says that Celtic have beaten back an approach from the Blues for keeper Craig Gordon as Antonio Conte continues his search for a deputy for Thibaut Courtois. The paper says Asmir Begovic's proposed switch to Bournemouth is dependent on the Italian gaffer finding a replacement for him and he had hoped that gloveman would be Gordon, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

But according to the Sun Celtic "do not want to sell" and the 34-year-old keeper, who played for Sunderland during Roy Keane's time, is staying in Glasgow. "His contract is up at the end of the season but there is an option for the club," said Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers. “But it [selling] is not something we would consider really. He is someone I want to lock down for during my time here."

Chelsea transfer news: Kessie bid rejected, Roma plot move

26 January

The Blues hopes of landing Atalanta midfielder Franck Kessie have taken a blow, claims the Daily Star, with the paper reporting that Roma are also "plotting a move" for the Ivory Coast international.

The 20-year-old's agent, George Atangana, trumpeted last month that Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal "all wanted to sign" the young playmaker but it was reported that the Blues were ahead in the race, and had even tabled a £27m bid - £21m of which would have been up front with the rest to follow in add-ons.

But Italian rag Gazetta dello Sport now claims that the bid has been rejected and Roma are about to make Atalanta an offer of their own.

However, there is some good news for the Blues with the Star reporting that Atalanta are expected to knock back any approach from their Serie A rivals "in the hope that his value will only rise".

In the meantime Chelsea haven't given up the chase and they have apparently told the Atalanta "they are even willing to sign him now and loan him back to the Italians until next summer".

Chelsea transfer news: Fabregas set for £25m Janaury exit

25 January

With less than a week to go before the transfer window closes, the future of Cesc Fabregas is back in the news with Goal.com reporting that the Chelsea playmaker is being chased by a trio of Italian clubs.

The website has picked up on reports in Spain that Juventus, AC Milan and Inter "are all interested" in signing the former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder before the January deadline expires. However, it seems Blues boss Antonio Conte won't let the Spain international leave on the cheap, even though he is no longer a Stamford Bridge starter, and will instead "demand around £25m".

Talking of substitutes, the London Evening Standard reports that the Blues "will only sell Asmir Begovic this month if they buy a replacement first".

Bournemouth are believed to have tabled a £10m bid for the Blues reserve goalkeeper, who is reportedly eager to move to a club where he can get regular game time. Opportunities have been limited at the Bridge with Thibaut Courtois the first-choice of Conte and the Italian manager is willing to release Begovic but first he needs to bring in a new gloveman.

The Standard says that "one option is Diego Lopez", who was close to moving to the Bridge last year from AC Milan last year, but he's doing well on loan at Espanyol and would be unlikely to leave La Liga to sit on the bench in west London.

As a left-field choice the Daily Express suggests Tim Krul is a possible target for Conte. The Newcastle keeper, currently on loan at Ajax, has seen his career hit the buffers in recent seasons after his glory years playing for Holland in the 2014 World Cup, but the Express says that the Chelsea boss "sees him as a viable option to due to his vast Premier League experience".

One player who definitely won't be coming to the Bridge any time soon is Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk. The Southampton centre-back had been mooted as a Blues target, while the two Manchester clubs were also said to be interested, but The Sun reports that the Dutchman has been sidelined for three months with an ankle injury, a setback that "rules out a move" this month.

Chelsea transfer news: Conte keen on Lindelof and Carrasco

24 January

Having got the better of Jose Mourinho in this season's title race, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is now planning to get one over his Portuguese rival in the pursuit of Victor Lindelof.

The Daily Mirror reports that the 22-year-old Swedish centre half is now on the Blues' radar despite the fact that he's been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United in recent weeks. The paper believes that Mourinho's dithering has opened the door for Conte and claims the Italian is eyeing "a summer swoop" for the Benfica blocker.

Inter Milan are also interested in Lindelof and Benfica, who according to the Mirror "are gripped by a cash crisis", hope a bidding war breaks out for a player they've slapped with a £38m price tag.

And might Chelsea double up with a move also for Lindelof's Benfica teammate Nelson Semedo? Apparently their scouts have been watching the 23-year-old right-back in action and Conte might look to secure Lindelof's signature by also offering a sizeable sum for Semedo.

According to the Daily Express, Chelsea and United are also set to lock horns over Yannick Carrasco, the 23-year-old Atletico Madrid winger who has been earning rave reviews in La Liga. The paper even goes so far as to suggest that "both clubs have lodged £86m bids" for the Belgian ace but so far the Spanish outfit are refusing to listen to offers, perhaps because they rate the young wideman so highly or perhaps because they're hoping to drive up his price even more.

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