Rumour Reel: Hazard in part-exchange for Bonucci, Barca assess right back targets?
Coral’s Rumour Reel
Would Chelsea really offer Eden Hazard plus cash for Antonio Conte’s top defensive target Leonardo Bonucci? Have Barcelona drawn up a list of five potential candidates to take over at right back?
All these questions and more are answered in another awesome edition of the Coral Rumour Reel! Take a look at these tasty pieces of football gossip in more detail below…
Hazard in part-exchange for Bonucci?
In perhaps the most outrageous tabloid claims yet, Belgium star forward Hazard is touted as a potential makeweight in the Blues’ pursuit of Azzurri and Juventus centre back Bonucci.
Since winning the PFA Player of the Year award and Premier League title in 2014/15, Hazard has struggled to make a similar impact at Stamford Bridge.
Conte could cash in on him, with Hazard in part-exchange for Bonucci surely tempting the Italian coach. Previously linked with PSG and Real Madrid, where he might be a long-term replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, Hazard may now be fighting for his Chelsea future.
Barca assess right back targets?
Barcelona, meanwhile, have reportedly drawn up a five-man shortlist to solve their problem position at right back. Aleix Vidal is struggling to make the step up from Sevilla, unlike predecessor Dani Alves, leaving utility man Sergi Roberto plugging the gap.
One or two surprise candidates are understood to be in the frame. Besides the likes of La Masia youth product Hector Bellerin (Arsenal); Joao Cancelo of Valencia, who recently broke into Portugal’s national setup and team; and Bayern Munich and Germany talent Joshua Kimmich, are former Croatia captain Darijo Srna and Switzerland skipper Stephan Lichtsteiner.
That latter pair are considerably older than trio Bellerin (21), Cancelo (22) and Kimmich (21). What Barca boss Luis Enrique must decide is whether he wants a long-term option to solve this problem, or does he go for a quick fix?
Veteran Srna has compatriot Ivan Rakitic for company at the Nou Camp. The same is true of Kimmich, as German national teammate Marc-Andre ter Stegen is one of the Barcelona goalies. Barca summer signing Andre Gomes was a clubmate of Cancelo’s at Valencia last term too!
You’ll find more tasty gossip in previous editions of the Rumour Reel.
Chelsea fans, we want to hear from you: What do you make of Hazard in part-exchange for Bonucci rumours?
Which right back would you like to see at Barcelona? Let us know in the comments below.