Chelsea transfer news: Antonio Rudiger ready to sign
Roma's German centre-back chooses Chelsea over Man City but Lukaku looks set for United
Chelsea look to have beaten off competition from Manchester City to sign Roma defender Antonio Rudiger, reports Metro.
The paper claims that the strapping 24-year-old "is on the cusp of completing a transfer move" to west London as Antonio Conte looks for a long-term successor to the recently departed John Terry.
Rumours have been circulating for a while that the Germany centre-back was coming to England but it was unclear whether City or Chelsea would win his signature.
Pep Guardiola had apparently made an 11th-hour bid to derail the Premier League champions’ courtship of Rudiger, but Metro says it wasn't enough to prevent Conte getting his man.
It adds the German has arrived in London "to seal a £36m move" that includes £5m of add-ons. Once the medical is out of the way, Rudiger will be officially presented in a Chelsea shirt after Conte gave up trying to prise Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.
But the news isn't so good as far as Romelu Lukaku is concerned, with the Everton striker apparently preferring a move to Manchester United over a return to Stamford Bridge.
The Belgian is certain to leave Goodison Park this summer but his destination remains shrouded in mystery.
However, Metro claims that Lukaku favours a move to Old Trafford because he's pals with Paul Pogba. The pair are on holiday together and, after a word from the United star, Lukaku is "open to working with Jose Mourinho again".
The United gaffer sold Lukaku to Everton three years ago when he was in charge at Chelsea but it seems that's now water under the transfer bridge.
Chelsea transfer news – Celtic open door to Dembele
Chelsea have been encouraged in their pursuit of Celtic frontman Moussa Dembele, says The Sun, although the Premier League champs will have to be patient.
Along with Arsenal and West Ham, the Blues have been tailing the 20-year-old Dembele, whose 32 goals last season shot Celtic to the Scottish title.
It's been said that Celtic might listen to offers in the region of £25m for the ex-Fulham striker but not before he's helped them achieve Champions League qualification. Celtic enter the qualifying race at the second-round stage with a clash against either Irish outfit Linfield or La Fiorita of San Marino.
Provided Celtic qualify for the group stage of the competition, which will guarantee them many millions in revenue, the club will then think about selling their star striker.
"He is not a player we want to sell, but we know how football works and we’ll see what happens," said manager Brendan Rodgers. "But certainly not until after the Champions League qualifiers. There won’t be anything done before then."
Meanwhile Aston Villa have confirmed that they have signed John Terry on a one-year deal after the veteran defender left Stamford Bridge at the end of last season after 23 years at the club.
He was unveiled as a Villa player in bizarre fashion, with the club releasing the news in what the Daily Telegraph described as "the most cringeworthy way possible". They tweeted a contrived WhatsApp conversation between Villa chairman Tony Xia, manager Steve Bruce and a handful of current players.
Nearly as cringeworthy was Terry's gushing reason for why he signed for the Midlands outfit. "It’s a club I have admired from afar for many years," said Terry. "There are fantastic facilities at Bodymoor Heath, Villa Park is one of the finest stadiums in the country and there’s a good group of players here…
"I can’t wait to get started now and look to help the squad achieve something special this season."
Chelsea transfer news: Saints mount Van Dijk defence
The Blues have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of defender Virgil van Dijk with Southampton insisting none of their players is for sale this summer – and that includes their Dutch centre-half.
Having already threatened to take Liverpool to Fifa’s complaints department earlier in the summer after the Reds made repeated approaches to Van Dijk, the Saints then had to contend with rumours linking the Holland international with Chelsea in a £50m move.
But the Daily Express reports the comments of Southampton’s executive director Les Reed during an interview with Sky Sports News. "None of those players are for sale," he said, when asked about the future of Van Dijk and other members of the Southampton squad.
"I can't make it any plainer than that and that's the way we mean to go forward. We built this squad over some time and think we have a strong squad... there may be players that go on the basis that it is the right thing for them and the club at that given time. But we don't expect that to be wholesale and this is simply doing sound business in the transfer window."
Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph says that the Blues remain "confident" of landing Alex Sandro despite competition from Paris Saint-Germain.
The French outfit have got it into their heads apparently that they could entice the Juventus left-back to Paris despite Chelsea boss Antonio Conte making him one of his priority targets.
The 26-year-old Sandro is said to be "keen" on a move to Stamford Bridge and is waiting for Chelsea to meet Juventus's asking price of £60m, which would be a world record for a defender.
The Telegraph quotes a source close to Sandro saying: "Chelsea are currently the favourites, but Juventus will not drop their price and there is other interest. The player is relaxed and will just wait to see what happens."
Chelsea transfer news: Vitolo, Sandro and Matic on the radar
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has got his eye on a Spanish star as the new season creeps closer and, according to The Sun, is "eyeing up a £35m move for Sevilla winger Vitolo".
That's not his full name, obviously, that's Victor Machín Pérez, and it's his versatility that has caught the eye of the Blues gaffer.
Usually played on the left wing, Vitolo is also sometimes deployed as a centre forward and he's been instrumental in helping Sevilla win three Europa League titles since 2013. The 27-year-old has a release clause of £35m and apparently Chelsea are ready to meet that sum and bring him to the Bridge in time to go on next month's tour to Singapore.
Meanwhile the Daily Star says that Conte is ready to "sell Cesar Azpilicueta to Barcelona to make room for Juventus star Alex Sandro". Rumours have been growing in recent days that the Italian wants left-back Sandro to boost his back four, but he doesn't come cheap and the £61m asking price has forced him to reach a decision about Azpilicueta's future.
Wanted by Barcelona, the Spanish full-back could be offloaded to the Catalan outfit with the money made on the sale going towards Sandro.
Another factor in the possible acquisition of Sandro is that bringing the Brazil international to London would "give Conte the chance to develop Kenedy at the Blues". The 21-year-old winger is highly rated by the Chelsea manager and he believes Sandro would help his compatriot fulfil his potential.
Goal.com says it "understands" that Chelsea and United have agreed a fee of £40m for the transfer of Nemanja Matic to Old Trafford. The Serbian international midfielder is keen to work once more with Jose Mourinho and the website says he will "undergo a medical by Wednesday". Assuming that passes without a hitch, Matic will move to Manchester and the man who brought him to Stamford Bridge in January 2014.
Finally, The Guardian is one of several papers to report that Bertrand Traore has joined Lyon on a five-year contract. The French club announced that they paid the Blues £8.8m for the Burkina Faso international, who never managed to establish himself at the Bridge after arriving from Auxerre in 2013 and spent much of that time on loan.