Rumour Reel: Conte seeks Man Utd’s Darmian for Chelsea backline
Lee Gormley | June 14, 2016
Coral’s rumour reel
Euro 2016 is now in full swing on French soil and plenty of players have already put ink to paper on switches to new clubs for this summer, including many of the Premier League’s leading clubs. Further moves are on the horizon too, with London outfit Chelsea set to make a swoop for a new defensive acquisition…
Chelsea coach Conte calls on Darmian
Antonio Conte enjoyed an opening Euro 2016 Group E success with Italy over Belgium on Monday evening, with his Azzurri side earning a 2-0 victory to go top of their standings at this early stage, and one of his key defenders are now linked with a move to Stamford Bridge as well this year.
The Italian boss will take charge of the Blues after his current national side exit from the tournament and he has reportedly put Manchester United full back Matteo Darmian towards the top of his shopping list once arriving in the English capital.
Versatile defender Darmian was a bit-part player under former Man Utd boss Louis van Gaal last season, with the Dutchman preferring makeshift full back Antonio Valencia on the flank, and Conte is keen to have his reliable rearguard member at club level too.
Whether the Red Devils would be willing to sell to a rival is doubtful, especially with former Blues boss Jose Mourinho now in the Old Trafford dugout, but moves between the two clubs have occurred in recent years, including Juan Mata back in 2014.
Koeman keen on Arnautovic?
The ink is still drying on Ronald Koeman’s new contract with Everton, after agreeing a three-year deal with the Toffees, and the former Southampton coach may already have a swift first signing within his sights this summer.
That player in question is Stoke City wideman Marko Arnautovic, who is valued by his current employers at around £13m, a fee which is unlikely to deter the Merseysiders in their pursuit of rebuilding a solid squad for next term.
The 27-year-old winger is currently on international duty with Austria at Euro 2016, but Koeman’s Everton may be on the verge of activating his supposed buy-out clause which was instated upon arriving at the Britannia Stadium for £2.6m from Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen in 2013.
Arnautovic still has 12 months remaining on his current deal with the Potters and is also reported to be a target for Tony Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion this year, but his initial thoughts will be on helping Austria negotiate Group F in France.
Hammers hone in on Feghouli
After a cracking campaign under Slaven Bilic, in which they bid farewell to long-standing home ground Upton Park, West Ham United are hoping to complete their first major coup of the summer when snapping up Valencia winger Sofiane Feghouli.
The 26-year-old is set to become a free agent after seeing out his current deal with Los Che and would arrive in London for nothing. Having arrived at the Mestella in 2010, the Algeria international quickly became a success but has been unable to replicate previous showings of late for the La Liga outfit.
It looked as if Feghouli would agree a renewal with Valencia last year but negotiations instead broke down after he was fined for failing to show for a training session, with the dynamic attacker now expected to make a move to West Ham, despite previous interest from the likes of Barcelona and Chelsea.
With the summer soon upon us, Coral’s Rumour Reel is back in full swing, so check out other editions to ensure you don’t miss any major gossip.
Have a gander at our extensive Euro 2016 section too before the big kick-off.