Rumour Reel: Conte keen on Kante, Guardiola eyes Hernandez while Klopp prepares Draxler deal
Robbie Purves | July 7, 2016
The summer transfer window officially opened on July 1st, and clubs have wasted no time chasing down their targets one by one, as they look to complete some of their business with the upcoming Premier League campaign approaches.
Conte keen on Kante
Chelsea have reportedly moved swiftly to open talks with Leicester City league winner N’Golo Kante, in an effort to fend off interest from Shanghai SIPG.
Barely a day after France’s Euro 2016 misery, the Blues formalised their interest in industrious midfielder Kante and are hopeful of concluding a deal swiftly, reports suggest.
The Frenchman has a remarkably low release clause of £20m, but that may not be enough to land Kante. Antonio Conte’s club are braced to enter a bidding war as the player’s clause allows Foxes to sell to the highest bidder – they have already received a £35m offer from China.
Kante has turned down a new £100k-a-week contract at the East Midlands club and Conte is keen to add energy to his midfield, with Roma’s Radja Nainggolan earmarked as another target.
Guardiola goes after Lucas
According to reports, incoming Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has made Atletico Madrid’s rising star Lucas Hernandez a top target.
The centre back is an athletic, wily and tactically astute 20-year-old, and is a cheaper alternative to John Stones. Atleti are powerless to keep the highly-rated youngster as he possess a £20m release clause.
Hernandez became a regular in the second half of last season and his eye-catching performances have attracted interest from Bayern Munich and PSG. He was impressive in the Champions League quarter-finals against Barcelona and never looked out of his depth.
Guardiola is keen to add a ball-playing centre back to his squad and the Under-19s regular – expected to break into Les Bleus’ Under-21s this season – would fit the bill.
Draxler destined for Reds?
Jurgen Klopp is reportedly preparing a move for German sensation Julian Draxler.
The Wolfsburg creative midfielder dazzled at Euro 2016 and has been on the radar of Europe’s finest clubs for a few years now. However, if clubs want to seal his signature, they may have to fork out a gigantic £52m to prise him away from the Bundesliga.
Nevertheless, Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs recently admitted Draxler would one day move on to a bigger club: “It is clear that Wolfsburg is not the end of his dreams – neither was Schalke, there are clubs like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and one club from England.”
The top English club could be Liverpool, as Klopp remains an admirer since his days in Germany.