Lukaku’s €115m Chelsea return close to completion

The summer transfer window is into its final month for the major European leagues, which means the biggest clubs are looking to make a splash in the market before the new season begins. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.

TOP STORY: Chelsea set to seal Lukaku return

Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku will complete his medical in London on Tuesday ahead of his return to Chelsea, according to Sky.

Sources told ESPN’s James Olley at the weekend that Lukaku, 28, is set for a second spell at Stamford Bridge once his proposed €115 million transfer is sealed. Details are yet to be finalised in terms of a payment plan, but personal terms are not thought to be an issue. Sources have told ESPN that Lukaku’s salary is in the region of £250,000 a week.

Sky reports that he had the first part of his medical in Italy on Monday before travelling to England. If Chelsea can complete the deal by 11 p.m. BST on Tuesday, then Lukaku could be registered for Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup match against Villarreal. However, it is more likely that the European champions will focus on getting him ready for the new Premier League season rather than the showpiece in Belfast.

Lukaku spent eight years in the Premier League with Chelsea, West Bromwich AlbionEverton and Manchester United before joining Inter in 2019 and helping them to the Serie A title last season.

Images of the Belgium international appearing to hold a Chelsea jersey as he was driven away from his medical on Monday have fuelled speculation that he will be unveiled as Chelsea’s new record signing sooner rather than later.

LIVE BLOG

19.02 BST: With few options remaining in Europe, is Diego Costa set to return to Brazil? Atletico Mineiro are attempting to sign the 32-year-old former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid striker and current free agent, according to ESPN Brasil, but they’ve been unable to agree personal terms with the player. Costa is said to demand annual wages of £3.3m a season, figures that are beyond the Brazilian club’s means.

18.19 BST: Manchester United have ended their interest in Atletico Madrid‘s Kieran Trippierthe Times writes, and will instead allow 22-year-old Diogo Dalot to compete with Aaron Wan-Bissaka for the Red Devils’ right-back berth. Dalot has enjoyed a strong preseason, off the back of a breakthrough campaign on loan last term with AC Milan, who’d been credited with interest in another deal to bring the Portugal international to the San Siro for 2021-22.

17.36 BST: Sky Sports reports that AS Roma and Chelsea have agreed a €40m deal that will send 23-year-old striker Tammy Abraham to the Italian capital on a permanent transfer. The England international has never quite fit into Thomas Tuchel’s plans, and with Romelu Lukaku’s imminent arrival in West London, Abraham was destined to leave Stamford Bridge this summer. Arsenal and Atalanta had also been credited with interest in the forward, but it seems Jose Mourinho is set to boost the Giallorossi‘s attacking options by doing business with his former club.

16.53 BST: AS Roma‘s Alessandro Florenzi remains AC Milan‘s primary target to bolster the right side of the defence, but according to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Rossoneri are also monitoring 20-year-old Barcelona right-back Sergino Dest. The United States international moved to the Catalan capital from Ajax just last summer, but the Blaugrana‘s financial distress is such that they could be forced to entertain offers for the Dutch-American starlet.

16.10 BST: It’s almost done! Paris Saint-Germain have called a press conference for 11 a.m. CET on Wednesday. Anyone got any idea what it might be about?

15.25 BST: Barcelona Samuel Umtiti is open to leaving if the right club comes along, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The centre-back has struggled with knee injuries in recent seasons and has not featured regularly for the Catalan outfit. He has two years left on his contract but Barca are reportedly willing to let the 27-year-old leave for free so as to lower their high wage bill.

Umtiti featured in Barca’s 3-0 win over Juventus at the Joan Gamper trophy on Sunday and was booed by the fans.

The former Lyon star is keen to continue at Barca and rediscover his top form. Umtiti was instrumental in his first two seasons since joining from Lyon in 2016 for €25m but knee injuries in recent campaigns have hindered the player who has fallen down the pecking order.

15.08 BST: Lionel Messi has only been in Paris five minutes, but he’s already bought the t-shirt…

14.57 BST: Martin Odegaard is not convinced he wants to stay at Real Madrid this season and is looking at other options, Marca reports.

The Norway captain was sent out on loan at Arsenal in the second half of last season due to a lack opportunities with then coach Zinedine Zidane. He returned to Madrid this summer and has featured for Los Blancos in preseason under new coach Carlo Ancelott, but Madrid know that Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta is keen to sign Odegaard should he be placed on the transfer market.

Odegaard, 22, arrived at the Bernabeu stadium in 2015 and after several years of adaptation, proved his potential as one of the revelations of La Liga when he spent the 2019-20 campaign on loan at Real Sociedad.

There was the expectation at Madrid that the midfielder, who has two years left on his contract with Madrid, would eventually earn a regular spot in the first team.

With Madrid starting the campaign at Deportivo Alaves on Saturday, Los Blancos are keen to find a solution to Odegaard’s future but are only open to a transfer and not allow the player to leave on loan again.

14.29 BST: ESPN FC’s Julien Laurens gives us a status report on Lionel Messi‘s impending move to Paris Saint-Germain.

14.04 BST: ICYMI — United States striker Josh Sargent signed for newly promoted Premier League side Norwich City from Werder Bremen on Monday.

“I think the Premier League is the best league in the world and it’s going to push me and challenge me to be a better player,” he said. “I heard it’s a good group of guys and I talked with the head coach already and I really like what they’re trying to do here at Norwich. I’m very excited to get started.”

But how will he fare in the Premier League in a team that will, most likely, once again ber battling relegation?

13.40 BST: Real Madrid’s Japanese winger Take Kubo is on the verge of returning to Real Mallorca, according to Diario de Mallorca.

Kubo, 20, enjoyed a successful loan spell at Mallorca shortly after joining Madrid from FC Tokyo in the summer of 2019. Madrid have reportedly reached an agreement with Mallorca to loan Kubo for the 2021-22 campaign for a €3m fee.

Kubo spent the first half of last season on loan at Villarreal but was unable to gain regular playing time and moved to Getafe, where he played the last six months.

The Japan international competed at the Olympics and helped his team finished fourth. He is expected to arrive to Mallorca in the coming days to join the LaLiga side in training.

13.14 BST: Lionel Messi’s imminent move to Paris Saint-Germain has no bearing on whether Cristiano Ronaldo will stay at Juventus, according to the Portugal forward’s teammate Leonardo Bonucci.

Ronaldo has been linked with a move away from Juve throughout the summer after entering the final year of his contract, and PSG were among the clubs said to be interested.

But a move to France now looks improbable, with Messi, who is flying to Paris to finalise a move to PSG after failing to reach an agreement with Barcelona over a new contract.

“I think Cristiano would have stayed even if Messi did not go to PSG,” Bonucci told Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday. “For us he is an added value, and I am sure that this year, more so than in past years, he will help us to go far with all our objectives.”

Messi, by the way, is already on the plane…

12.48 BST: Lionel Messi and his family have arrived at the airport in Barcelona en route to Paris to complete his transfer to Paris Saint-Germain (see 11.59 BST)..

Spanish TV channel La Sexta reports Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, as telling them that his son will sign for PSG.

12.26 BST: Brighton & Hove Albion signed Japanese midfielder Kaoru Mitoma on a four-year deal from J1 League champions Kawasaki Frontale on Tuesday and will loan him to Belgium’s Royale Union Saint-Gilloise for the coming season.

The 24-year-old was in the Japan squad which reached the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics, where they lost to Spain before also losing the bronze-medal match to Mexico.

11.59 BST: Some big breaking news in what will be one of the most historic transfers of all time: Lionel Messi is flying to Paris on Tuesday to finalise his move to Paris Saint-Germain, sources have told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Julien Laurens.

The Argentina international is travelling to the French capital via private plane following Sunday’s emotional farewell to Barcelona at a news conference. Sources added that Messi has signed a two-year contract at PSG, with the option to extend by a further year.

There are hundreds of fans waiting for Messi at both the Bourget airport and at the PSG’s Parc des Princes stadium. The 34-year-old is expected to undergo a medical in the coming days and could be presented at an event at the Eiffel Tower.

Sources have told ESPN that PSG have offered the six-time Ballon d’Or winner a two-year contract with an optional third year that will see him earn more than PSG and Brazil star Neymar, Messi’s former teammate at Barca.

11.29 BST: Confirmation from Cadiz that Real Madrid defender Victor Chust has joined them on a season-long loan (see 10.45 BST) …

11.19 BST: Tottenham Hotspur manager Nuno Espirito Santo has hinted that Harry Kane could be available to play in his team’s Premier League opener against Manchester City on Sunday despite the striker pushing for a move to the defending champions.

England captain Kane is quarantining at Spurs’ training ground following his delayed postseason break after reaching the Euro 2020 final, leading to speculation that he would not be ready to play for either club in their first game of the season.

However, when asked about Kane’s availability, Nuno told Sky Sports News: “All the players in the squad that work on a daily basis will be options for us, then it’s up to us to decide.”

Sources told ESPN’s James Olley and Rob Dawson in June that City were preparing a £100m bid for Kane, but Spurs are maintaining their position that the 27-year-old is not available for transfer.

Nuno says he will speak to Kane about his future, adding: “First of all, we have to speak. This is going to happen today, and after that we hope to solve all the situations.

“It’s not about that [Kane’s late return], it’s about what we have to do to solve the situation — this is important.

“We have to solve it together, everybody involved has to solve it together — speaking, having a nice conversation and putting our opinions, but everybody together.”

10.45 BST: Real Madrid will loan defender Victor Chust to Cadiz for the upcoming season, according to AS.

Chust, 21, made his first-team debut with Los Blancos last season under Zinedine Zidane and has trained with the senior squad during preseason. The Spaniard will leave the Bernabeu and join LaLiga side Cadiz in the coming days for regular playing time.

Chust is the third centre-back that will leave Madrid this summer following the departures of Sergio Ramos to Paris Saint-Germain and Raphael Varane to Manchester United. With Chust’s imminent departure, Jesus Vallejo will be Madrid’s fourth choice at centre-back.

10.12 BST: Manchester City have announced that defender John Stones has signed a new five-year contract at the club.

The England international new deal completes a stunning resurgence in his career at the Etihad. After falling out of favour with manager Pep Guardiola, Stones regained his place in the team last season and his partnership with Ruben Dias at the heart of the defence formed the bedrock for City winning the Premier League title and reaching the Champions League final.

The Daily Mail reported before the contract was announced that Stones will now earn £250,000 a week under the terms of his new deal.

09.48 BST: Southampton have announced the arrival of Chelsea striker Armando Broja on a season-long loan deal.

Broja, 19, scored 11 goals in 34 appearances during his loan spell at Vitesse Arnhem last season. Helping them to finish fourth in the Eredivisie.

The Albania international moves to St Mary’s having recently signed a five-year contract with Chelsea.

“Armando is a very talented player who we were impressed by last season,” Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said. “He is young, but he comes now with a full season of experience in senior football with a good team, and he brings a lot of qualities that can help us.

“He is a strong, quick player with a good instinct and this makes him a good fit for the way we like to play. I know how highly regarded he is by Chelsea, and I think this will be a good place for him to continue his own development as well.”

09.22 BST: Villarreal striker Gerard Moreno has extended his contract with the LaLiga club until June 2027.

The Spain international has been rewarded for his 30 goals scored in all competitions, including one in the Europa League final his team won on penalties against Manchester United.

Gerard was promoted to Villarreal’s first team in 2012 before being transferred to Espanyol three years later. He has been a regular in Villarreal’s team since returning to the club in the summer of 2018.

The 29-year-old is one goal shy of becoming the club’s all-time top scorer having scored 82 goals, the same as Giuseppe Rossi.

“I’m looking forward to experience the same joys as we experienced last season, starting with the European Super Cup,” Gerard said.

08.38 BST: Tottenham Hotspur are looking at Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic to boost their attacking options, Sky reports.

Vlahovic, 21, scored 21 goals in 37 appearances for the Serie A side last season, and is one of several strikers on Spurs’ radar.

Sky reports that the Serbia international’s agent is set for talks with Fiorentina over the player’s future. The club would want a transfer fee of around €60m if he decides not to sign a new contract.

08.00 BST: A Barcelona member has filed complaints with a French court and with the EU’s European Commission with the aim of blocking any move by Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain, according to documents seen by Reuters on Monday.

In the complaints, shared by the fan’s lawyer, Juan Branco, the Barca member claims that French football authorities have failed to enforce their own financial fair play (FFP) rules in order to help PSG become a force in European football.

Barcelona, like its main LaLiga rival, Real Madrid, is fully owned by its subscription-paying members known as socios.

The FFP rules notably forbid top European clubs from paying their playing squads an excessive share of their total revenues, according to the member’s complaints, which also state that the transfer of Messi to PSG would breach the code.

PSG and the Ligue de Football Professionnel did not immediately reply to requests seeking comment. The EU commission confirmed receipt of the complaint.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Nick Judd)

– North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are both keen to sign Bordeaux‘s 21-year-old midfielder Yacine Adli, according to FootMercato’s Santi Aouna. The two clubs are both said to be preparing a bid, though AC Milan have already offered £10m for the French attacking midfielder. Bordeaux are keen to receive a higher fee, though, and so they’re interested in listening to what both Spurs and Arsenal are prepared to say. Lille are also interested in Adli as they consider replacements for Renato Sanches should he leave the club.

– Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele is considering his future in North London, according to The Athletic. They believe that the 24-year-old Frenchman will spend August considering his options after having been left out of the Spurs side that faced Arsenal at the weekend. Ndombele has struggled to reach peak form since joining Spurs in 2019, and though his existing deal runs out in 2025, he could be set for an exit 12 months after he was first linked with a move away from the Londoners.

– Paris Saint-Germain may have to balance the books if they’re to complete the signing of striker Lionel Messi from Barcelona, and to do that they will have to consider losing players such as Abdou DialloThilo KehrerIdrissa Gueye and Rafinha. That’s also from The Athletic, which reports Mauro Icardi and Ander Herrera are in danger of heading for the exit door at the Parc des Princes. If Messi signs a two-year deal, as has been reported, boss Mauricio Pochettino will have to streamline his playing squad.

– Spanish outlet AS believes PSG’s need to comply with FFP requirements following the impending arrival of Messi could also see Real Madrid benefit in their chase for 22-year-old striker Kylian Mbappe. The France forward is reluctant to sign an extension to his existing contract, and with Neymar having recently penned a new deal, combined with Messi’s arrival, it seems Mbappe has little room to negotiate with the PSG board. Madrid have so far been quiet in the transfer window, and it could be that they’re waiting to see how the Messi saga plays out before they make their move for long-term target Mbappe.

– AC Milan are getting closer to signing right-back Alessandro Florenzi from Roma, according to Fabrizio Romano. As a loan move for Diogo Dalot looks close to collapse, with no agreement reached between Milan and Manchester United on a loan fee, a deal for Florenzi would appear to be closer to completion. Negotiations are at the final stages, says Romano, and the Rossoneri hope to seal the 30-year-old on loan with an option to buy.

– Lyon have approached Liverpool for out-of-favour attacker Xherdan Shaqiri, according to L’Equipe The report claims that Liverpool are hoping to recoup around £12.75 million if they let the Switzerland international leave Anfield for Ligue 1. Shaqiri has admitted he is seeking a move away from the club given that he finds himself way down the pecking order under Jurgen Klopp, and he wasn’t involved in the Reds’ preseason friendly win against Osasuna on Monday night. Shaqiri is contracted to the Merseysiders until 2023, but Lyon boss Peter Bosz is a big fan of the mercurial left-footer, and the Ligue 1 outfit is believed to have made an undisclosed offer.


Credit: Source link