In Brief

Chelsea transfer news: Costa set for AC Milan switch?

Italian club hold talks with agent as Blues striker looks for a short-term escape from Stamford Bridge

The latest club to be linked to Diego Costa is AC Milan, reports the Daily Mail, with the paper saying "they have held talks over a move" for the Chelsea striker.

Earlier in the week the Spanish striker was photographed training alone on a Brazilian beach, and that increased speculation over his future given that Chelsea are on a pre-season tour of China. 

Atletico Madrid are favourites to sign Costa on a permanent basis but because of their transfer ban he "is willing to join another club on a temporary basis until January". And that club could be AC Milan after they sat down with the player's agent, Jorge Mendes. 

However, the Italian side seemed keen to play down speculation about a short-term deal. Milan's chief executive Marco Fassone said: "We went to see Jorge Mendes. There is a lot you can talk to him about. Costa is a great player but...I would prefer to avoid talking about players from other teams." 

In other news, the Daily Express says that the Blues "remain interested" in signing Juventus left-back Alex Sandro but it will cost them £60m. The Brazilian stopper has been a long-term target of Chelsea boss Antonio Conte but in recent days rumours have suggested the South American will elude his grasp with Sandro appearing for Juventus in their 3-2 pre-season friendly win over Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night amid suggestions he's ready to stay in Turin. 

But the Express says that Chelsea are biding their time for Sandro, and they are doing the same for Swansea striker Fernando Llorente. Conte rates the veteran frontman and despite signing Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid earlier in the month "Llorente remains a target", says the paper.

It's open season on Ross Barkley following Everton's admission that the midfielder wants to leave Goodison Park. While some sources have him heading to Tottenham, and others claim he's on Manchester United's radar, The Sun says Chelsea are eyeing up the 23-year-old, along with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in what the paper describes as a "£50m double swoop". Apparently Antonio Conte wants to increase the number of homegrown players in the Blues squad and Barkley and the Ox both fit the bill.

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