Rumour Reel: Chelsea challenged in Gomes grab, Bonnuci blow for Man City
Holly Thackeray | July 6, 2016
There may be a billboard Euro 2016 semi-final battle between Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, or Portugal and Wales, approaching tonight, but the transfer market is still providing spades of Premier League drama to tide punters over until then.
This morning alone there are reports of a big-money rejection, transfer tugs of war, departures galore and conflicting reports of which France midfielder Manchester United are actually chasing. So, read on for a fresh look at the rumour reel…
Chelsea chase of Gomes tested by Spanish giants
While several clubs have already ticked a fair few items off their summer shopping list, it seems like Chelsea have been biding their time for new Blues boss Antonio Conte to settle in at Stamford Bridge before releasing the purse strings.
Fresh from his Euro 2016 exit with Italy, Conte has supposedly asked the capital club to try again and capture Portugal playmaker Andre Gomes.
This time an eye-watering £40m was reportedly rebuffed by Valencia, with the Bats perhaps holding out amid interest from La Liga heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid – though surely a switch to west London would be better than strengthening direct rivals.
Elsewhere, Chelsea could see further plans thwarted by London rivals Arsenal, with the Gunners set to go gung-ho and grab one the Blues’ striker targets in Romelu Lukaku or Alvaro Morata. Though, the latter’s mooted £57m asking price from Los Blancos could be a stumbling block for both clubs.
Still, never fear Arsenal fans, as tabloids have tipped a third attacker as an option for Arsene Wenger, though it would take triggering a release clause of around £34.2m to successfully lure Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette ahead of West Ham United.
Sky Blues dealt Bonucci blow
Manchester City are another side struggling to snare their main target if paper speculation is to be believed. Along with title rivals Man Utd and Chelsea, the Sky Blues have been attributed with a strong interest in Juventus centre half and Italy international Leonardo Bonucci.
Yet, it seems new gaffer Pep Guardiola’s rearguard recruitment drive has been given short shrift with an offer of around £38m batted away by the Serie A champions. So, this could mean the Citizens turn their attention back to Everton’s £50m-rated John Stones instead. This centre back saga for City could surely run on…
Pogba or Matuidi the Man Utd priority?
Speculation is also rife across the red half of Manchester, after Jose Mourinho told press he is after four key signings to strengthen the Red Devils.
With Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic done and dusted, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan just awaiting the official rubber stamp, that leaves one spot left with two France midfielders in Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi both heavily linked. So, who will it be?
Mourinho never said more signings wouldn’t follow the fourth key man, but some papers have Juve superstar Pogba as the main midfield target, while others protest it is in fact PSG dynamo Matuidi.
Either way it looks as though Mourinho wants to add significant power to the middle of the park, with far cheaper but less attack-minded Matuidi the more prudent option. Perhaps it is unlikely acquisition Pogba instead then, who is targeted as the cherry on the cake with Les Bleus teammate Matuidi the main meal.
Spurs watching Wijnaldum
In good news for Tottenham fans, their search for a striker to supplement Harry Kane could finally be over, as outlets insist a £16m deal for Netherlands and AZ Alkmaar frontman Vincent Janssen is finally wrapped up.
Having hit 27 goals in the Eredivisie last term, plus three in five caps for Clockwork Orange including a conversion against England, this could be an exciting capture.
Spurs aren’t stopping there though, with manager Mauricio Pochettino apparently also ready to pounce for Janssen’s compatriot Georginio Wijnaldum, with £17m said to be in the coffers for the Newcastle United attacking midfielder, who could certainly add further goal threat to the Champions League team.
Everton eyeing Foxes hunt
Finally, Everton are still said to be eyeing an audacious transfer of Premier League champion Kasper Schmeichel to Goodison Park. But, would the stopper really swap Leicester City and Champions League football for an uncertain if lucrative term with the Toffees?
Ronald Koeman is also keen on bringing Belgium midfield battleaxe Axel Witsel to the Premier League to add more mettle to what was often a soft centre last season. It is thought that the 27-year-old could command a fee of £28m from wealthy Russian club Zenit St Petersburg but, with just one year left on his current deal, that seems a rather hefty price tag.
Keep up to date with all the latest transfer gossip in our rumour reel archive.