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: Koeman - 'Lukaku should quit Everton'

10 November

It's a bombshell, but this one's been dropped by The Ronald and not The Donald. The Daily Express reports the comments of Everton manager Ronald Koeman to Dutch newspaper HLN when asked about the future at Goodison Park of Romelu Lukaku, the Belgian striker who has long been linked with a move away from the club with Chelsea top of the likely destinations. 

Whereas one might have expected Koeman to plead with Lukaku to stay put, the Express reports that the Dutchman instead gave a "bizarre" response. "Romelu will not have made the most of his career if he plays for Everton for the remainder of his career," explained Koeman. "He has the potential to play for a bigger club than Everton, but nobody knows what will happen after this season." 

Koeman then compared the 23-year-old Lukaku to Dutch legend Patrick Kluivert, perhaps in an attempt to bump up his asking price as he seems so set on selling the young frontman.  

The Express predicts that Chelsea will be first to make a move in the new year with the Blues likely to offer in the region of £65m for their former player.

According to the Daily Star the Blues are "weighing up a move" for Paris Saint-Germain ace Marco Verratti. The 24-year-old midfielder has been linked with the likes of Juventus and Real Madrid in recent months but the Star says the Italy international is on Chelsea's radar and manager Antonio Conte is ready to offload John Obi Mikel and Cesc Fabregas "in order to free up space for Verratti".

Chelsea transfer news: Courtois 'unaware' of Madrid interest

9 November

Thibaut Courtois has reacted with wide-eyed astonishment to questions about his future at Stamford Bridge - insisting that he is happy at Stamford Bridge and was unaware of interest from Real Madrid in the summer.

The Chelsea shotstopper might not remember, but he was linked with a move to Spain during the transfer window, and rumours of an exit began doing the rounds again in September as the Blues struggled to adapt to the methods of new manager Antonio Conte. 

But when the Belgian was asked by Spanish radio station Cadena Cope to explain his plans for the future, Courtois replied: "I am happy at Chelsea. Everything is going very well - it is a great club. There is no reason not to be happy at Chelsea." 

When asked about the Real rumours, Talksport reveals that the Chelsea gloveman said: "I never had anything with Real Madrid... I did not see anything published, but I never had any contact with Real Madrid."

Challenged to pledge his troth to the Blues, Courtois admitted "you never know what will happen in the future" but he was quick to add: "At the moment I am very well, in a very good atmosphere."

Meanwhile, the Daily Express claims that Chelsea will have to get their skates on if they wish to pip Leicester to the hand of Burnley defender Michael Keane. The paper claim that Foxes gaffer Claudio Ranieri is determined to beat the Blues to the England defender and he will "make a £20m bid" for Keane in January. 

The blocker, who is in the Three Lions squad to face Scotland on Friday, is seen by Conte as a perfect fit in his new 3-4-3 system at Stamford Bridge but the Italian is in danger of losing out to his compatriot if he doesn't table a rival bid in the new year.

Chelsea transfer news: Fabregas to replace Payet at West Ham

8 November

A new suitor has emerged for the hand of Chelsea reject Cesc Fabregas, and it is none other than the Blues' London rivals West Ham United. 

According to The Sun the Hammers have pencilled in the under-performing Spaniard as a replacement for Dimitri Payet. That's because West Ham "are readying themselves for a huge bid from a top European club" for the French firecracker in the new year. 

Though the Sun didn't name check the club in question, the paper says that West Ham hearts sank when Payet gave an interview to a French TV station. Asked if he was going to leave the struggling east London club in January, he replied: "I'm asking other questions but I'm not closing the door to anything. It's always the sports project that interests me. I work like that." 

With West ham hovering just one place above the relegation zone it's believed that Payet wants out of the ailing club, and the question that remains is whether Fabregas would be willing to take his place aboard what appears to be a sinking ship.

Meanwhile Talksport claims that struggling Brazil striker Gabriel Barbosa is being chased by Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City after news leaked from Italy that Inter Milan are ready to loan him out in January. 

The broadcaster claims that the Blues "missed out on the Brazilian star in the summer" when he left Santos and joined Inter instead of heading to the Bridge. But life at the San Siro hasn't worked out the way Barbosa hoped and according to Italian sources Inter are ready to farm out the 20-year-old South American.

There'll certainly be room in the Blues dressing room if Chelsea do land Barbosa for according to the Daily Mirror Antonio Conte is "planning major changes" to his squad in the new year. Among the players he wants to bring in are Inter Milan midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia and Sevilla playmaker Steven N'Zonzi.

Chelsea transfer news: Javier Pastore to replace Fabregas

7 November

Fresh from their 5-0 hammering of Everton at the weekend comes news that the Blues want to bolster their creativity still further in January's transfer window. According to, Paris Saint-Germain playmaker Javier Pastore is "one of Antonio Conte's transfer priorities" in the new year with the Chelsea gaffer planning for life after Cesc Fabregas. 

The out-of-favour Spaniard expected to leave on loan after Christmas despite recent reports suggesting he'd prefer to remain at Stamford Bridge. Apparently, Conte has other ideas and with Fabregas gone, he'll fill his peg in the dressing room with Pastore. The Daily Mail also carries the story, saying for good measure that Conte even has a plan B in the event he can't prise Pastore from Paris, and that's to make a swoop for Inter's Marcelo Brozovic.

Chelsea's Italian boss is also said to be keen on Colombian striker Luis Muriel, reports the Daily Star. The 25-year-old, currently with Sampdoria, has impressed the Blues boss with his displays in Serie A and is seen as cover for Diego Costa.

"The Colombian striker would cost around £13.5m but would not arrive until next summer," adds the paper.

Chelsea transfer nws: Rudiger dismisses talk of Roma exit

4 November

Antonio Rudiger has dismissed as idle gossip the rumours linking him with a move to Chelsea. According to Talksport the 23-year-old German centre-back has no intention of leaving Roma as he works his way back to full fitness following the serious knee injury that ruled him out of Euro 2016 last summer.  

"I'm not bothered about transfer rumours," said Rudiger, who has been mooted as a new year target for Chelsea and also Manchester United. "There's a lot of talk about changes in the squad, but I'm really happy to play for Roma."

Elsewhere and the Daily Star claims that Chelsea will "face fierce competition" from AC Milan if they make a play for Fiorentina ace Milan Badelj. 

Taking Italian rag Gazzetta dello Sport as its informant, the Star says that the 27-year-old defensive midfielder is a "wanted man" ahead of the January transfer window because Fiorentina are only asking a modest £9m for the Croatia international. They are willing to sell now because they don't want to see Badelj leave on a free transfer next season and the Star reckons that Chelsea's interest stems from the fact that he would suit Antonio Conte's 3-4-3 defensive system.

Chelsea transfer news: Ivanovic rules out January exit

2 November

Branislav Ivanovic has broken his silence and quashed rumours that he will be on his way of Stamford Bridge in the new year. 

Recently the 32-year-old Serbian defender has been linked with all manner of clubs - including Crystal Palace - but The Sun claims an exclusive in stating that he intends to stick around at the Bridge and get back in the starting line-up. 

A source close to Ivanovic informed the tabloid that he will "fight for his place in Conte's team" even though the Italian manager has shown little faith in his abilities thus far. 

The source continued: "He plans to have discussions with Chelsea, his agent and management team at the end of the season but nothing will happen until then." 

Ivanovic's contract expires in the summer of 2017 but despite gossip linking him with a move to China or one of Italy's glamour clubs, the source told the Sun: "He isn't interested in entertaining offers from Europe or the Far East and has no intention of uprooting his family."

Perhaps Ivanovic won't be so confident of winning his place back when he reads the report in the South Wales Evening Post that claims Chelsea are "keen" on signing Ben Davies. 

The former Swansea defender starred for Wales in their stirring Euro 2016 run last summer and apparently Chelsea are now circling Spurs. Davies has spent the past two years at White Hart Lane but has had to play second fiddle to first-choice left-back Danny Rose.

The opportunity of a run in the first team at Stamford Bridge may persuade him to sign.

One reason why Conte may have turned his attention to Davies can be found in the Daily Star with the paper reporting that Lazio have offered Stefan de Vrij a lucrative new deal that will keep him at the club until 2021. 

According to Corriere dello Sport the Dutch defender, who was linked to the Bridge in the summer, is poised to accept the offer that will make him the highest paid player at Lazio with an annual income of £1.8m.

Chelsea transfer news: Blues to subsidise Fabregas loan deal

1 November

Cesc Fabregas has been inching towards the Chelsea exit for weeks after failing to impress new coach Antonio Conte, but now he has been given a big shove in that direction with The Times claiming that the Blues are prepared to send him out on loan in the new year, and will even pay some of his wages to ensure he leaves.

"Fabregas is Chelsea's third highest-paid player, after Eden Hazard and Diego Costa, on wages of £160,000 a week, which the club have concluded is an unjustifiable outlay on a player the first team head coach regards as an impact substitute," says the Times. But Chelsea also recognise that few clubs could afford to pick up the Spaniard's salary and that means they "are willing to take the unusual step of allowing a senior player to leave on loan and are open to continuing to pay a small proportion of his wages".

Although there is no bad blood between Conte and Fabregas it is clear the Italian coach does not rate the midfielder. The Times says Conte feels Fabregas "lacks the physical strength and positional discipline" to play in the middle and has "insufficient pace" to operate wide or up front.

Meanwhile, the Croydon Advertiser has left its red-top rivals red-faced after beating them to the dramatic exclusive that Crystal Palace are "interested in signing" Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

The future of the Serbian defender, who has fallen out of favour in recent weeks at Stamford Bridge, has been the subject of fevered speculation in what once passed for Fleet Street, but the on-the-ball Advertiser claims says the 32-year-old is mulling over a move to Selhurst Park. It had been expected that Ivanovic would join one of Europe's glamour clubs, with AC Milan and Marseille both said to be interested. But apparently the no-nonsense blocker wants to remain in London and Palace are said to be putting together an attractive package in the hope of convincing Ivanovic to become an Eagle.

Chelsea transfer news: Jamaal Lascelles to replace Ivanovic

31 October

The latest defender linked to Stamford Bridge, reports The Sun is Newcastle blocker Jamaal Lascelles. 

The 22-year-old Toon centre-back comes with a hefty £18m price tag, but apparently he is on Antonio Conte's "wishlist for transforming the Blues' defence". 

In recent weeks the Italian gaffer, desperate for reinforcements at the back, has been running the rule over homegrown defenders Ben Davies, Ben Gibson and Michael Keane, and Lascelles is another rising star in the English game. 

The Magpies skipper, who cut his teeth at Nottingham Forest, has been impressive in Newcastle's climb to the top of the Championship table and boss Rafa Benitez regards him as a key player at St James' Park in their bid to get back in the Premier League. 

But with John Terry and Gary Cahill both in their thirties, Lascelles is a tempting target for Conte and the Sun believes a big money offer will be sent north in the new year.

And if Lascelles does come to the Bridge might it be as a replacement for Branislav Ivanovic? The Sunday Express says that the Serbian stopper has struggled to do himself justice this season under Conte and the 32-year-old hasn't featured in the back four since Chelsea lost 3-0 to Arsenal last month. The Express claims that Ivanovic is "aware of Chinese interest", while Marseille and Inter Milan are also said to be monitoring his situation in west London.

Further up the pitch the Sunday Express reports that AC Milan's interest in midfielder Cesc Fabregas has waned, at least until next summer. The Italian giants had been linked with a new year swoop for the unsettled midfielder but apparently Milan are "cooling on the idea of a January move" and would rather leave it until the summer. 

That could be bad news for Febregas because Conte has his eye on Paris Saint-Germain playmaker Javier Pastore as his replacement. He's likely to try and sign Pastore - a player he worked with at Palermo - in January and if successful Conte will relegate Fabregas to a permanent place on the bench until he leaves for Milan at the end of the season.

Chelsea transfer news: £35m target Rudiger returns to action

26 October

There is good news for Chelsea's defensive plans with the Daily Express reporting that long-term transfer target Antonio Rudiger could make his Roma comeback tonight after recovering from a serious knee injury. 

The 23-year-old has long been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge but damaged his knee on international duty earlier in the year and has been sidelined ever since. 

But Roma manager Luciano Spalletti revealed that the strapping centre-back was finally available for selection and could make his comeback in the Serie A clash with Sassuolo this evening, and that's sure to arouse the interest of Chelsea and also Manchester United, who have both been following his rehabilitation. 

The Germany international missed Euro 2016 because of his knee problem but the Express says that the Blues believe he'll suffer no long-term effects and "are willing to spend £35m on the former Stuttgart player".

Elsewhere and Metro says that the Blues are keeping a close eye on Watford frontman Odion Ighalo. The Nigerian striker struck 17 goals in 42 appearances for the Hornets last season and the 27-year-old was linked with a move in the summer, with one report alleging he had rejected a £38m bid from the Chinese Super League. 

Now, as the January transfer window creeps ever closer, Ighalo's future is once again up in the air and Metro says Chelsea and United are both circling. 

Asked whether his client might move in January, agent Patrick Bastianelli replied: "In football anything can happen, we'll see."


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