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

Chelsea transfer news: Mikel to join Valencia this week

3 January

Runaway Premier League leaders are poised to part company with midfielder John Obi Mikel, reports The Sun. Chinese outfit Shanghai SIPG, Marseille and both Inter and AC Milan were linked with the veteran Nigerian playmaker at the end of 2016 but it looks like he'll be moving to Valencia before the week is out.

The Sun, citing Nigerian media reports, says that Mikel "will sign a four-year deal with the La Liga side", after Chelsea allowed him to leave Stamford Bridge six months before his contract runs out in the summer. The 29-year-old, who has been with Chelsea for 11 seasons, has never found favour with new gaffer Antonio Conte and he'll leave on a free with the club's blessing after scoring six goals in 376 games.

If the Daily Star is to be believed the Blues "have launched a move" to sign Wolfsburg left-back Ricardo Rodriguez. Having offloaded Oscar to Chinese club Shanghai SIPG in exchange for a cool £60m, Chelsea have cash to burn and the Star says £21m will be splashed on Swiss international Rodriguez as Conte looks to boost "competition for Marcos Alonso at left-wing-back in his 3-4-3 formation".

Arsenal had been sniffing around the 24-year-old in their search for a replacement for the fading Kieran Gibbs but it seems the Blues have beaten their London rivals to the player.

Chelsea transfer news: Conte 'wary' of James Rodriguez deal

23 December

Antonio Conte is yet to make up his mind on whether to make a January bid for James Rodriguez, claims the Daily Express.

The paper says that the Blues boss wants to add two new players to his squad next month, and in an ideal world one of those would be the Colombia star. But apparently Conte is "wary" of Real's £60m price tag and is keeping his cards close to his chest.

The fate of the 25-year-old remains uncertain with some reports suggesting he wants out of the Bernabeu and others saying that he is going to stay, knuckle down, and worm his way back into the favour of Real gaffer Zinedine Zidane.

But it may be out of his hands with the Express saying that Real are keen to offload the South American although they would "prefer an initial loan in January" and then if all goes well a sale in the summer.

One of the papers saying that Rodriguez's "preference" is a move to Stamford Bridge is Metro, and it even goes as far as to claim that his agent, Jorge Mendes, is now "putting together plans which pave the way for the midfielder's exit next month".

Marco van Ginkel's Chelsea career has been in slumber in recent months but it looks like he could be jolted awake by an offer from PSV Eindhoven. According to Talksport the Blues outcast - yet to appear for first team this season - is "expected to leave in January".

PSV are the frontrunners to land the 23-year-old although it's unclear whether they'll take him on loan or permanently.

Van Ginkel was loaned out to the Dutch club during the second half of last season, scoring eight goals in 13 league games, and in conversation with Dutch broadcaster Omroep Brabant, PSV's sporting director, Marcel Brands, admitted: "We need to check with Chelsea... he's on our list, but we must also see if there is a spot for him at this time in our team. That question will be answered by our technical staff. We need to look even if he is feasible."

Chelsea transfer news: Real Madrid chase Thibaut Courtois

22 December

A day after Uefa reduced Real Madrid's transfer ban to just the January window comes news that the European champions are closing in on Thibaut Courtois. 

According to The Sun "talks are already underway" with the Blues prepared to listen to what Real have to say. 

Initially the Spanish giants were banned from dabbling in the transfer market for the whole of 2017 but Uefa's decision has prompted them to approach the Blues about a move for their gloveman. 

The Belgian has spoken this season of his love of La Liga, fondly remembering the three years he spent at Atletico Madrid from 2011 to 2014. 

Now he could be heading back with the Sun reporting that Real have given up on signing David De Gea from Manchester United and instead want Courtois. Madrid-based radio station, Radio Onda Cero, claims negotiations for the Champions League holders to sign Courtois for next season are ongoing with the 24-year-old expected to move in the summer.

Meanwhile another Spanish outlet, Don Balon, says that Bayern Munich ace Arturo Vidal is "keen on a move to Chelsea". 

The midfielder wants to be reunited with Antonio Conte, his former Juventus coach and Bayern are allegedly ready to listen to offers in the region of £42m for the 29-year-old Chile international. 

According to ESPN Chelsea would "have no problem paying" such a sum and it's believed they could sell Cesc Fabregas in order to finance the move, while The Sun says John Obi Mikel is also likely to be off-loaded next month, with China an option, or perhaps a move to Inter Milan.

Chelsea transfer news: Kondogbia to replace John Obi Mikel

21 December

Moves are afoot to bring Inter Milan midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia to Stamford Bridge next month, reports Talksport, but only if John Obi Mikel leaves the club.

Veteran midfielder Mikel is expected to move to pastures new in the new year after failing to impress Antonio Conte, and that would allow the Italian boss to bring in another playmaker. He's long had his eye on Kondogbia and the Italian club are believed to be coming round to the idea of a January sale provided the Blues table a suitably outrageous bid.

The France international has settled down at the San Siro after Stefano Pioli replaced Frank de Boer as boss but Talksport says the "prospect of a move to Premier League leaders Chelsea could be too hard to turn down". As for Mikel, who has six months to run on his contract, apparently he's in talks with French outfit Marseille about a move to the Cote d'Azur.

Meanwhile the Daily Star says that Bournemouth are eyeing up a permanent deal for Nathan Ake in light of his fine performances for the South Coast club on loan so far this season. The paper says that the Blues are "considering recalling Ake" in January but that the 21-year-old Dutchman would prefer to remain at Bournemouth because he fears he'll spend most of his time on the bench at the Bridge.

To that end, says the Star, Bournemouth are willing to offer Chelsea £10m for Ake and it's expected that officials from the two clubs will thrash out a deal when they meet on Boxing Day in the Premier League.

Chelsea transfer news: Focus on Kjaer after Bonucci snub 

20 December

If Chelsea want to bring Fenerbahce defender Simon Kjaer to Stamford Bridge it's going to cost them more than £12.5m, claims the Daily Star.

Reports from Turkey suggest that the 27-year-old Denmark international is in two minds about a move to west London with ESPN claiming that he is "settled into life in Turkey with his family and Fenerbahce are in no rush to sell him".

But the Blues have been "monitoring" Kjaer for much of this season, and the Star says that "a hefty offer could tempt the Turkish giants into opening talks" over a move.

Meanwhile having lost out in the chase for Ajax's Riechedly Bazoer and Hoffenheim's Niklas Sule, Chelsea's hopes of bringing Leonardo Bonucci have also disintegrated like a cheap toy on Christmas day - which may explain their increased interest in Kjaer.

It wasn't so long ago that the Premier League leaders were bullish about their chances of landing the 29-year-old Italian defender, confident that they had what it took to beat rivals Manchester City to the hand of the veteran centre-back. But what they didn't count on, says Talksport, is Bonucci signing a new deal with Juventus.

That is what's happened, however, with Bonucci penning a five-year extension and immediately declaring his delight. "I've extended my contract," Bonucci boasted to Juventus's official website. "I'm pleased and proud to continue our victorious, successful journey until 2021. It's definitely a great feeling. I feel an important part of one big family."

Talking of families, the Blues are so keen to keep Diego Costa part of theirs that they are set to offer the striker "a bumper new contract to keep him at Chelsea until the end of his playing days". According to the Daily Mirror he'll be offered a two-year extension, which will keep him at the Bridge until 2021, as well as bumping up his weekly wage from £150k to around £200k.

Chelsea transfer news: £75m swoop for James Rodriguez

19 December

With the Blues riding high at the top of the Premier League they are well-placed to attract some of Europe's biggest stars to the Bridge, and according to the Sunday Mirror top of their list is Real Madrid ace James Rodriguez.

The paper says that Chelsea are "planning a £75m swoop" for the South American sizzler and his exorbitant price tag poses no problem for Antonio Conte. That's because, says the Mirror, the Blues "will bank £62m from the sale of Brazil international Oscar", who'll be moving next month to Shanghai SIPG club in the Chinese Super League. The money will fund the signing of Rodriguez, who has been angling for a move away from the Bernabeu after growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of game time, and he'll slot into a midfield role.

It might not be just Oscar leaving the Bridge in a couple of weeks, says the Daily Star, with the paper claiming that West Ham have sounded out the Blues "over the availability of Michy Batshuayi, Asmir Begovic, Cesc Fabregas and Ruben Loftus-Cheek".

The Hammers are desperate to revitalise their season after a disappointing autumn and Chelsea have said Batshuayi won't be going anywhere they may be willing to do business over Begovic and Loftus-Cheek.

Chelsea transfer news: Conte targets defender Niklas Sule

16 December

They've kept a clean sheet in eight of their last 11 league matches but that won't stop league leaders Chelsea making a pitch for Hoffenheim defender Niklas Sule next month, reports the Daily Express.

It seems that Blues boss Antonio Conte is determined to make his defence impregnable and to that end he'll make a swoop in a matter of weeks for the 21-year-old.

The Express says that the Blues first made an approach for Sule in the summer but were knocked back by the Bundesliga outfit. Undeterred, Conte is coming back for a second crack in the new year having identified the youngster "as a player who could slot into the system" he's put in place at Stamford Bridge.

Sule is allegedly receptive to a move to Chelsea, and earlier in the season said that he would prefer the Premier League to Italy, and either AC or Inter, both of whom have been courting him for months.

"In the past they had great players," he said of the Serie A interest. "It's a beautiful city, the fans are passionate... but the clubs are in decline. Going to one of them from the Bundesliga would be a step back, as for years they've been struggling to qualify for Europe. I'd prefer the Premier League."

Finally, the Daily Star claims that John Obi Mikel is "ready to quit" Chelsea. It's not the first time that claim has been made but the Star says it has it on good authority from former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia that the 29-year-old really is ready to jump ship this time.

Mikel is out of contract at the end of the season and Siasia alleges that Mikel is ready to leave because Conte deems him surplus to requirements.

Chelsea transfer news: Juventus join battle to sign N'Zonzi

15 December

Who would have ever thought a Stoke reject could be at the centre of a tug-of-war between Chelsea and Juventus? But that's what Talksport reports, courtesy of Italian outlet Tuttosport, claiming that the Turin club "are ready to fight" the Blues for the hand of former Potters midfielder Steven N'Zonzi. 

Since swapping the beauty of the Midlands for the delights of southern Spain, the French playmaker has been in sparkling form and according to Talksport he is now "in high demand". How high? Apparently Barcelona, Leicester City and Juventus have all had their scouts check out the 27-year-old but it's Chelsea who are said to be leading the pack, just as they are the Premier League following last night's 1-0 win at Sunderland. 

It's reported that Sevilla will allow N'Zonzi to leave "if a club activates his £26.5m release-clause" but the player will have the final say on his destination and Talksport states that a pivotal factor will be which club can guarantee him first-team football as opposed to a place on the bench.

Meanwhile the Daily Star is one of numerous organs to report that Oscar has confirmed he's all but signed for Shanghai SIPG in the Chinese Super League. The Brazilian was rumoured to be close to agreeing terms with the club earlier in the week in a deal that will cost SIPG around £50m. Speaking to Brazilian outlet SporTV, Oscar said: "It's 90 per cent right. It just depends on some bureaucratic details."

Asked about Oscar's situation following Chelsea's win at the Stadium of Light, manager Antonio Conte told reporters: "Oscar started the season very well with us when we played 4-3-3. When I switched to another formation he didn't play a lot but I always count on him because he is a really good young player. Sometimes there are situations that are very difficult to face, but his situation will be clearer in the next days.”

Chelsea transfer news: Oscar linked with £60m China move

14 December

Just days after John Terry was linked with a £12m move to China comes news that another Blue could be heading to the Far East before long. 

According to The Sun former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas is poised to table a "stunning £60m bid" to bring Oscar to Shanghai SIPG. Described by the Sun as "mega-rich", the Chinese outfit are eager to attract Premier League stars and Villas-Boas believes the 25-year-old Brazilian would be a perfect fit at SIPG. 

Oscar has fallen down the pecking order under Antonio Conte this season and the Sun says that Villas-Boas is "confident" that he can land him during the January transfer window. 

The South American has hardly featured for the Blues in recent months and he'll "be allowed to speak to the Chinese club over a potential move", good news for Oscar as he could see his wages double should he take up their offer. Chelsea are apparently ready to sell if SIPG's asking price is indeed £60m, which would be a club record, surpassing the £50m they received for David Luiz when he joined Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2014.

As for Terry, Talksport reports that Chelsea have dismissed the rumours that emerged at the weekend suggesting that the veteran defender was being eased out of the club. His deal expires at the end of this season and with no new offer on the table, Terry said recently he believed days were numbered at the Bridge. 

That ain't necessarily so, says Chelsea's head of communications Steve Atkins, who, when asked about Terry's future, replied: "It's a little early in the season for stories like this to come out. It is the kind of discussion that we have with players in the last year of their contract, but much later in the season. That discussion has not taken place between John and the club. It's something that will be discussed later in the season, not for now."

One player who has been negotiating with Chelsea is Cesar Azpilicueta, who has just agreed a new three-and-a-half-year contract, which will keep him at the club until 2020. On putting pen to paper, the 27-year-old defender told the Chelsea website: "Since I arrived here my target was to progress as a player and win trophies. This new contract gives me the chance to continue my relationship with the club, that’s what I wanted and obviously I’m really happy here."

Chelsea transfer news: Inter Milan to cash in on Brozovic 

13 December

With a little over a fortnight until the new year transfer window opens Chelsea are"on alert" after learning that Inter Milan are "planning to sell" Marcelo Brozovic. That is according to Talksport, which picks up on a story run by Italian rag Gazzetta dello Sport. 

It seems that the Croatian playmaker, who only signed a new deal earlier this month, may be sold by the Italian outfit "in order to bring them into line with Financial Fair Play rules". Apparently Inter have encountered a spot of fiscal turbulence and one solution to pilot their way to safety may be to offload Brozovic next month. 

Although he has a £42m release clause in his contract, Talksport says that such is Inter's desperation to weather the financial storm they are "ready to accept closer to £25m" should a club be ready to splash the cash next month. Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has made no secret of his admiration for the 24-year-old midfielder and he is said to be ready to swoop at the start of 2017.

Meanwhile Italian outlet Calciomercato reports on claims in Spain that Cesc Fabregas "is now in Roma's sights". AC Milan were favourites to sign the former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder, but now Roma have positioned themselves for a January swoop after learning that the 29-year-old isn't in Antonio Conte plans for the second half of the season. 

The Daily Mirror confirms the story and says that Roma "are willing to throw" Antonio Rudiger or Radja Nainggolan into the deal. Both have been linked with the Bridge in recent months and apparently Roma will use one of their pair as a bargaining chip when they sit down with Chelsea officials to thrash out a loan deal for Fabregas.

Chelsea transfer news: John Terry tempted by move to China

12 December

Twelve million pounds is the sum that Shanghai Shenhua have reportedly dangled in front of ageing Chelsea defender John Terry to play for them in the Chinese Super League. 

 

According to The Sun Shenhua are "tempting the Chelsea captain with the mega one-year deal to join next month". The tabloid claims that Chelsea would waive any transfer fee in recognition of Terry's long years of meritorious service and adds that the £12m on offer to the defender would be after tax. 

 

Terry, 36, is reportedly giving serious consideration to the offer particularly as his old Chelsea teammate Gus Poyet is the gaffer at Shanghai Shenhua. In addition, says the Sun, Antonio Conte has told Terry "that he is unlikely to be offered another deal" when his current one expires at the end of the season. 

 

Although he's started his FA coaching badges, Terry could jet out to China in January for the pre-season, and be back in November to continue his coaching qualifications, having made himself a cool £12m.

 

 

Chelsea transfer news: No Muriel deal, Van Dijk battle looms

9 December

Chelsea have been told to forget about signing Sampdoria star Luis Muriel - and the news has come straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. 

The Blues have been sniffing around the Colombian striker of late, as have Napoli, with well-placed sources in west London claiming Blues boss Antonio Conte was going to table a bid to Sampdoria in early January. But Talksport reports that while chatting with Italian outlet Il Secolo XIX, the 25-year-old Muriel had this to say on his future: "In January I'll stay here, I won't move. I've never felt as good as I do this season, I want to grow again and beat my record for goals in a season."

There's more bad news looming for the Blues with The Sun saying that they'll face fierce competition from Manchester United for the hand of Virgil van Dijk in the new year. 

Conte and United gaffer Jose Mourinho "are ready to test Southampton's resolve" with big money offers for the Dutch defender in January with the latter desperate to shore up his creaking defence. Conte is also keen and although the Saints would love to hold on to their Dutch dynamo the Sun says that "a bumper bid could convince them to do business".

And it looks like Chelsea will also have to go to the wire if they want to bag AIK striker Alexander Isak. The 17-year-old Swede has scored ten goals this season for his club and according to the Daily Star that's made him top of several new year shopping lists. 

Chelsea are near the front of the pack but Manchester City, West Ham, Bayern Munich and Juventus are also said to be monitoring his situation. Real Madrid are also in the hunt for Isak and have a package lined up for the teenager but that will only be offered if they can persuade Uefa to overturn next year's transfer ban.

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