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: Branislac Ivanovic to Barcelona

17 November

He's been a regular on the bench at the Bridge this season but Barcelona could be the next port of call for Branislav Ivanovic, reports Talksport.

Described by the broadcaster as "Chelsea's out-of-favour defender", Ivanovic is apparently on Barcelona's new year wishlist. According to Spanish media outlet Mundo Deportivo, Barca gaffer Luis Enrique is studying the credentials of the Serbian international and is likely to make a move to bring him to the Camp Nou in January.

Ivanovic has made just eight appearances for the Blues this season in all competitions and it's believed that Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is ready to offload the 32-year-old after Christmas for a nominal fee, given that Ivanovic's current contract runs out at the end of the season.

But have the Blues already got a replacement lined up? The Daily Express thinks so with the paper reporting that Chelsea are a step closer to finally landing 23-year-old Geoffrey Kondogbia.

The Blues were heavily linked with the Inter Milan star - comfortable either as a defensive midfielder or as a central defender - in the summer but a deal collapsed at the last minute. However the Express says that he is "set to leave the San Siro when the transfer window reopens in January" with Conte eager to bag the powerhouse.

Other players rumoured to be on the Italian's shopping list include Fiorentina's Milan Badelj and Sevilla's Steven N'Zonzi.

Finally the Daily Mirror says that Chelsea have offered "highly-rated young defender Fankaty Dabo a new long-term deal". The England Under-20 international is out of contract next summer and one or two clubs have been sniffing around the talented 21-year-old. Consequently, says the Mirror, Chelsea will tie him down to a long-term contract and then loan him out to Dutch outfit Vitesse Arnhem to gain regular first-team football

Chelsea transfer news: Gianluigi Donnarumma to replace Thibaut Courtois?

16 November

He's arguably the hottest gloveman in football right now and the Daily Express says that Chelsea are so determined to sign Gianluigi Donnarumma they're ready to offer the 17-year-old "a huge salary increase" in the hope he'll jump ship from AC Milan. 

Despite his youth, Donnarumma has already made 43 appearances for Milan and picked up a senior cap for Italy. He's also aware of his market value and, according to the Express, Milan are "struggling to tie him down to a new long-term deal" despite desperate efforts to agree terms before he turns 18 in February. 

Word of the impasse has reached Chelsea's ears and reports from Italy says that the Blues will offer Donnarumma a £65,000-a-week contract, roughly double what he currently earns with AC Milan. His agent, the experienced Mino Raiola, is handling negotiations and the Express believes that Chelsea's offer could win the day, particularly as rumours are growing once more that the Blues will offload Thibaut Courtois to Atletico Madrid in order to make Donnarumma their first-choice shotstopper.

According to the Daily Telegraph Blues boss Antonio Conte is "open to offers for out-of-favour midfielder Oscar". The 25-year-old Brazilian has fallen down the pecking order at the Bridge under the new gaffer and the news that Conte is ready to release the playmaker is sure to excite Inter Milan and Chinese club Jiangsu Suning. 

The Telegraph claims that the latter tabled a bid for Oscar earlier in the year that was rejected. However, they're likely to try again in the new year in the hope that Oscar will decide to join former Chelsea teammate Ramires in China. And the Telegraph says that Oscar won't be the only player offloaded by Conte after Christmas with Cesc Fabregas, John Obi Mikel and Branislav Ivanovic all set to depart.

Chelsea transfer news: Is Frank Lampard heading home?

15 November

Maybe it's a coincidence, but less than a week after The Donald romped to victory, Frank Lampard has announced he's leaving the Big Apple. 

The Chelsea legend is returning to England and according to the Daily Express he might "return to Chelsea after confirming he will leave New York City FC". The 38-year-old will say his farewells to his MLS teammates at Christmas and that will leave him free to sign a loan deal with a Premier League club for the rest of the season. 

Still in good nick, Lampard wouldn't take long to readjust to the more physical demands of the English league and the Express notes that the bookies have made Chelsea his most likely Premier League destination although a stint playing for Australian side Melbourne City is also a distinct possibility.

Teenage playmaker Amadou Diawara is being monitored by Chelsea, claims Italian publication Tuttosport, with the Blues ready to make a summer move for Napoli youngster. Despite his tender years Diawara's firm approach to his defensive duties in the Napoli midfield have come to the attention of Antonio Conte and he's going to keep the 19-year-old Guinean under surveillance for the rest of the season. 

Although Tuttosport claims that Napoli want to keep hold of Diawara it's believed that "a bid in the €40-50m range" would be enough to weaken the resolve of the Serie A side.

Chelsea transfer news: New deal to keep Costa from Atletico Madrid

14 November

Moves are afoot at Stamford Bridge to tie down Diego Costa amid renewed interest from his former club Atletico Madrid, reports the Daily Mail

Gleaning their information from Spanish rag Diario AS, the Mail says that the Blues "want to extend and improve" Costa's contract to ward off attention from Atletico. 

The 28-year-old Brazilian-born Spain international has been in barnstorming form for the Blues this season, scoring nine goals in 13 appearances, and it's believed that Atletico Madrid have sent over their scouts in recent weeks to the Bridge. As a result manager Antonio Conte has become more determined than ever to talk Costa into staying at the club in the seasons to come.

Meanwhile another Spanish paper, Marca, reports that contract talks between Pepe and Real Madrid "have hit a standstill as the centre-back holds out for a two-year deal". That will be good news for Chelsea, who along with Manchester United have been stalking the veteran defender, although Marca says Real still hold out hope they can persuade Pepe to pen another extension. But with Pepe demanding a two-year deal and Real insisting it's initially just a year, the door has opened for Chelsea to offer Pepe a deal that will lure him to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea transfer news: Sevilla boss rules out move for Fabregas

11 November

Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli has said that they won't be making a move for Cesc Fabregas in the January transfer window. 

It's widely expected that the unwanted Chelsea playmaker will be moved on after Christmas after Antonio Conte made it clear he didn't see the Spaniard as part of his first-choice line-up, and since then Fabregas has been linked with a number of clubs across the Continent. 

One of them was Sevilla but the Daily Express reports that when Sampaoli was asked if he would be interested in the former Barcelona and Arsenal star, he replied: "I know he's an important player, but I'm not thinking about him. He's very intelligent and it's clear he's a player any coach would love to have. But it hasn't crossed my mind that he could be here... we value the squad that we have here highly and I'm not thinking about any more than that." 

The Express says that the most likely scenario for Fabregas is a move to Italy but he may have to take a pay cut if he wants to leave Stamford Bridge because Italian clubs are "keen but may struggle to match his big wages".

Another player likely to be leaving west London in the new year is midfielder John Obi Mikel. The 29-year-old joined Chelsea in 2006 but, like Fabregas, he hasn't found favour with Conte and the sands of time are running down on his Blues career. In conversation with ESPN, Mikel said: "We will wait and see what happens in January. For the first time in my career, this is happening to me and I have to stand up and deal with it. It is what it is but I’m training hard every day and I always wish the team the best and I am happy we are doing well.” It was reported earlier in the year that Mikel was considering a move to China and that remains a distinct possibility for the Nigerian star.

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