LIVE Transfer Talk – Jules Kounde still tops Chelsea’s wishlist with Kalidou Koulibaly, Pau Torres, Wesley Fofana as options
The summer transfer window is approaching, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Kounde, Koulibaly on Blues’ wishlist
Chelsea will need to rebuild their defence ahead of the 2022-23 season and have already drawn up a shortlist that includes Sevilla‘s Jules Kounde, Napoli‘s Kalidou Koulibaly and Leicester City‘s Wesley Fofana, according to the Telegraph.
Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger will leave Stamford Bridge this summer, while Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso could also follow them out the exit doors. Therefore, the club — which took another step toward finalising its sale to the Todd Boehly-led group on Tuesday — have started work on filling in those roster spots.
Chelsea’s interest in Kounde has long been reported, and the Frenchman continues to top the list after a previous attempt in January fell through.
Also in the mix are Villarreal‘s Pau Torres — who has been strongly linked with Manchester United — and Atletico Madrid‘s Jose Gimenez. RB Leipzig‘s Josko Gvardiol is another who has been linked, with it being felt that the Croatian could fill in for Rudiger in the left-centre-back position.
The Blues are also aiming to bring in a midfielder — although West Ham United‘s Declan Rice seems out of reach — while a move could be made for Manchester City‘s Raheem Sterling if he decides to look for a new challenge.
LIVE BLOG (by Danny Lewis)
08.43 BST: Serie A club Salernitana have identified Edinson Cavani and Marko Arnautovic as two strikers they would like to sign this summer.
Cavani, 35, made his final appearance for United on Sunday, and will be out of contract this summer while Arnautovic scored 15 goals in 34 appearances in his debut season at Italian club Bologna.
Salernitana narrowly avoided relegation from Serie A, but club president Danilo Iervolino is hopeful that some experienced forwards can help them stabilise next season.
“I’d love to sign Edinson Cavani as free agent,” he said. “Cavani would be an incredible gift for the city, as Salernitana are staying in Serie A.
“I will say two names that seem impossible, but if they were possible and the coach liked them, I’d try to sign Edinson Cavani, who has left unforgettable memories in this region, and Marko Arnautovic, who embodies the football of warriors.”
08.00 BST: The United Kingdom government announced on Wednesday that it has issued a licence that grants the sale of Chelsea to the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Consortium.
The club were put up for sale after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the government for his links to Vladimir Putin following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Late last night the UK government reached a position where we could issue a licence that permits the sale of Chelsea,” a government spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Premier League formally approved the Boehly-led takeover that is worth £4.25 billion ($5.33 billion).
Once the sale is confirmed, Chelsea will once again be able to conduct transfer business and offer players new contracts.
– L’Equipe has reported that Paris Saint-Germain are willing to let Neymar move on if they receive a suitable offer. The club, fresh off signing Kylian Mbappe to a blockbuster extension, could undergo changes with sources previously telling ESPN that Luis Campos will be tabbed new sporting director and Mauricio Pochettino’s future as manager remaining cloudy.
– Marca has reported that Barcelona are growing impatient with Ousmane Dembele, who still hasn’t signed a contract extension despite his deal ending this summer. Xavi Hernandez wants the Frenchman to stay, but the directors insist the winger is not essential and that he must compromise in negotiations. The report states Dembele’s stalling could slow down a move for Leeds United‘s Raphinha. PSG and Bayern Munich have previously been linked to Dembele.
– With Erling Haaland on the cusp of completing his move to Manchester City, the Premier League champions are also interested in Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, reports BBC Sport. Pep Guardiola is especially keen to strengthen his midfield due to the confirmed departure of Fernandinho. It is believed that Leeds staying up will potentially make the deal more difficult to complete.
– According to the Mirror, Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte wants to bring in Eintracht Frankfurt‘s Filip Kostic as a left-wing-back, with this coming after the club announced a capital increase of £150 million. In addition to filling that role, they also hope to bring in two centre-backs, a right-wing-back, a midfielder and a striker.
– Mason Mount will discuss a new deal with Chelsea in the coming months, as reported by Fabrizio Romano, who adds that the midfielder has already been waiting for months. His current contract ends in 2024. Chelsea’s board will also be discussing the futures of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, among others.
– Diego Simeone has made Udinese‘s Nahuel Molina the priority as Atletico Madrid aim to strengthen at right-back, according to Sky Sports Italia. This is unlikely to be a simple deal to complete due to Udinese asking for €30m, as Atleti would need to offload some players before making their move. Arsenal are said to be one of various other clubs showing an interest in the Argentine.