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Chelsea news: Multi-million transfer planned as Frenkie De Jong reaches “agreement”

The international break has given Chelsea time to breathe as they prepare to begin life under new manager Graham Potter.

Former Brighton manager Potter has taken charge of just one match since replacing Thomas Tuchel at the helm at the start of September, drawing 1-1 with Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League. However, the games will come thick and fast in October, with the Blues racing through fixtures at home and on the continent before November’s World Cup.

There’s also the January transfer window to think about, with owner Todd Boehly seemingly prepared to invest even more after a bumper summer. That’s where a lot of the attention lies as we bring you the latest news lines from west London.

Chelsea failed to land target Frenkie de Jong over the summer

A wage dispute between De Jong and Barcelona had looked to leave the door open for potential suitors. However, according to reports in Spain, that is close to a resolution.

De Jong has been holding firm on money owed to him, with the dispute concerning a contract signed before current Barca president Joan Laporta took up his role. The Dutch international is set for further talks with Laporta at the end of the season, though, and these could draw a line under any hopes Chelsea – or indeed United – had regarding a transfer.

Chelsea stars gunning for World Cup squad

With just two months to go until England begin their World Cup campaign, things aren’t looking great. Gareth Southgate’s team made it five competitive games without victory on Friday, suffering relegation from the UEFA Nations League after losing in Italy.

Chelsea’s representation in the England Xi was limited. Reece James and Raheem Sterling both started for the Three Lions, but Mason Mount remained on the bench and Ben Chilwell didn’t make the matchday squad.

Southgate has some decisions to make going into the World Cup as he looks to pull his side out of its recent slump. But which Chelsea players should make the cut for Qatar?

 

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Chelsea have four transfer targets they could sign in January window after failed moves

Chelsea spent £250million on eight new signings this summer, with new co-owner Todd Boehly setting a record-breaking precedent to kickstart the post-Roman Abramovich era. The big-spending Blues set the record for the most money laid out by a Premier League club in a single transfer window.

But Boehly and head coach Thomas Tuchel still missed out on several players. The German’s squad has several holes, and January additions seem increasingly likely. Express Sport looks at four potential targets for the opening month of 2023.

Rafael Leao

Chelsea made a whopping £86m bid for Rafael Leao on transfer deadline day, according to Calciomercato. AC Milan swiftly turned down the offer with only a few hours of the window remaining, but the Blues could reignite their interest in January.

Leao has been exceptional in Serie A, contributing significantly to their Serie A title win last term. He scored 11 goals and provided 10 assists in the Italian top-flight as Milan won the league for the first time in 11 years.

The 23-year-old already has three goals in five matches this season, including a stunning solo goal in the Milan derby at the weekend. Despite the additions of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling, Chelsea could do with more goals.

A long-term option in Leao would be an excellent purchase by Todd Boehly.

Memphis Depay

Former Manchester United winger Memphis Depay decided to remain at Barcelona on deadline day. “I have decided to stay at Barca,” he tweeted on Thursday evening. “Fully committed to contributing to the club’s sporting success.”

Chelsea have looked slightly toothless in attack so far, and are pitching their hopes on a 33-year-old Aubameyang. How many goals they score will likely be the difference between fourth and fifth this season, with United, Arsenal and Tottenham all scoring freely.

Depay would be an added goal threat. If the Blues are struggling for goals come January, Tuchel could be tempted to revisit the 28-year-old.

Frenkie de Jong

Chelsea and, particularly, Man Utd wasted plenty of time chasing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong in the summer. The Dutchman ultimately remained in Spain, despite United having a £65m bid accepted.

Tuchel has struggled for quality in midfield in the opening weeks of the season. N’Golo Kante was lost to a hamstring injury in the second week of the campaign.

Conor Gallagher’s performances have come under scrutiny, with the England midfielder struggling in matches against Leicester – when he was sent off – and against West Ham. De Jong would be an upgrade on all of Tuchel’s midfield options.

The 25-year-old could be signed in January, especially if Barcelona want to continue improving their squad. The La Liga giants will still need to raise funds to complete their own business, allowing interested parties to come in for De Jong.

Edson Alvarez

Midfielder Edson Alvarez was another player for whom Chelsea made a late deadline day offer. The Mexican had skipped training in a bid to force through a move to Stamford Bridge.

However, Ajax rejected all approaches for the 24-year-old because they had already sold several key players. The team that won the Eredivisie under Erik ten Hag last season has almost been ripped up, with Lisandro Martinez and Antony joining their former boss at Man Utd.

Alvarez will remain with the Dutch giants at least until January. With Chelsea desperate for a younger midfielder, he could be another player the west Londoners try to sign in the winter.

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“He is in London at the moment” – Sky Sports reporter shares Chelsea claim on big-money target

Chelsea and Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong is currently in London amid transfer speculation, according to Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth.

The former Ajax man has been linked to the Premier League rivals all window, although it’s unclear whether the midfielder being in the capital could mean that he’s set to leave Barcelona.

What’s the latest news involving De Jong?

Despite the Netherlands international being United’s number one target, Chelsea also need reinforcements in midfield and joined the race earlier this summer.

In fact, three weeks ago, Sport claimed that Blues were on the verge of coming out on top following ‘advanced negotiations’ with Barcelona over a £67.6m deal.

But nothing materialised and talk has since cooled, with De Jong featuring in all three of Barca’s La Liga fixtures this campaign, starting once, which appeared to confirm that he’ll be staying at the Nou Camp.

However, on Monday, reports on Twitter showed the Dutchman at Barcelona airport en route to London, which led to some thinking that a late move to Stamford Bridge could be on the cards.

Fabrizio Romano ended those rumours by tweeting that De Jong was only travelling to the capital for a holiday, having been given a few days off by Xavi following their game with Real Valladolid on Sunday, clearly stating that it’s ‘not transfer related’.

What did Sheth say about De Jong?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “I’m sure you watched with interest as well, the social media frenzy when he was filmed arriving at Barcelona airport with his partner ahead of a flight to London.

“So, by all accounts, he is in London at the moment and people were putting two and two together and saying, is he going to the United offices, is he going to the Liverpool offices, is he going to sign for Chelsea?

“What we do know is that Barcelona squad after the Sunday game were given two days off. And he’s chosen, I’m not sure why he’s chosen to go to the eye of the storm, but he’s chosen to go to London for that break.

“Now whether there is something else to it with Barcelona saying just be in that position be in the country just in case something materialises.”

Are Chelsea close to signing anyone else?

Tuchel wants at least two new signings before tomorrow’s 11pm deadline, but a midfielder appears unlikely at this current moment.

Wesley Fofana is one of them, with his big-money move from Leicester on the verge of being completed after the Frenchman completed the second part of his medical on Monday.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are still hoping to bolster their striker options with the addition of ex-Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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Transfer gossip: Fofana terms agreed and De Jong keen to join Chelsea rather than Man Utd

Chelsea have agreed personal terms with Wesley Fofana, according to the Mail on Sunday.

The newspaper say Leicester have rejected bids of £60m and £65m for the defender but could be willing to sell for in excess of £80m.

It comes after Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said this week: “Naturally if there is interest from other clubs then of course that is looked at by the club.”

Fofana signed a five-year contact in March but is said to be keen to make the move to Stamford Bridge.

De Jong ‘would prefer Chelsea move’

FC Barcelona v Pumas UNAM - Joan Gamper Trophy

Frenkie de Jong would rather move to Chelsea than Manchester United, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

Both clubs have been linked with the Netherlands midfielder and some reports have claimed he has told his Barcelona team-mates he is likely to join United.

But the Sunday Telegraph say De Jong would favour a move to the Bridge instead.

Magpies want £40m Gallagher deal, Sun on Sunday say

Everton FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League

Newcastle want to sign Conor Gallagher from Chelsea before the transfer window closes, The Sun on Sunday say.

The midfielder impressed on loan at Crystal Palace last season and became an England international.

There has been much speculation about whether he will be given a chance in the Chelsea first team this season or move elsewhere.

And The Sun on Sunday say Newcastle have made their apparent pursuit of Gallagher a priority.

The newspaper declare that Gallagher is the Magpies’ “prime target” as the transfer deadline approaches and that they want to persuade Chelsea to sell him to them for £40m.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel was asked about Gallagher’s future at a press conference on Friday.

The German said: “In general, nobody is for sale, and everybody is for sale.

“It depends on what the player wants, how bad the player wants it, what we think, who is ready to pay a certain amount of money. Then maybe everybody is for sale.

“Conor fights in central midfield. To be very honest, it’s a tough fight for him because at the moment, as it seems, we only have two places in central midfield, which is a bit unfair given the number of players we have for central midfield.

“He has huge competition with N’Golo [Kante], Jorgi [Jorginho] and Kova [Mateo Kovacic], who are used to playing with each other. But this is life in a big club and a competitive club like Chelsea.

“Everything is in its right place. We are happy with him and he keeps on fighting, because this is what he does.

“I think he has everything to become a very important player over the next years at Chelsea.”

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Fofana signs, De Jong deal: Boehly can gift Tuchel perfect Chelsea team with £180m transfer raid

Todd Boehly could grant Thomas Tuchel his perfect Chelsea starting-eleven with the signings of Wesley Fofana, Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The trio have been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge as the Blues look to narrow the gap with runaway Premier League title contenders Liverpool and Manchester City.

The west Londoners have already welcomed five new faces to the club this summer. Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella, Kalidou Koulibaly, Carney Chukwuemeka and Gabriel Slonina, who has returned to the MLS on loan, have cost Chelsea an eye-watering fee in the region of £170million.

But, despite the window slamming shut in just a couple of weeks, the Blues look well positioned to make a few more additions. football.london understand that Chelsea are currently holding talks with Fofana’s representatives over a potential move, with a fee yet to be agreed upon with Leicester City.

Meanwhile, regarding De Jong, it’s understood that Chelsea are still in talks as Tuchel demands more creativity in his midfield. On the striker front, it remains to be seen whether Aubameyang favours a move to west London.

The Blues boss is eager to reunite with the former Arsenal captain who prospered under his stewardship at Borussia Dortmund. Despite Tuchel’s wishes, Boehly has just a few weeks to secure the trio.

So we, football.london, took a look at how Chelsea could line up if Boehly is successful in his mission to sign Fofana, De Jong and Aubameyang, which could cost in the region of £180million!

3-4-3

The 3-4-3 has been synonymous with Chelsea since Tuchel took the helm at Stamford Bridge. With Aubameyang and Sterling in the side, the Blues would – naturally – pose a greater threat.

How Tuchel could set Chelsea up with Aubameyang, De Jong and Fofana in a 3-4-3 

4-3-3

A 4-3-3 is a formation that De Jong has flourished in at Barcelona and Ajax. The Dutchman would likely take up the number six role and act as a ‘regista’, with N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Carney Chukwuemeka as options for the number eight position.

How Tuchel could set Chelsea up with Aubameyang, De Jong and Fofana in a 4-3-3

3-4-1-2

This formation was trialled and tested on several occasions by Tuchel at Chelsea last season. Though not too dissimilar to the 3-4-3, Mount has relished the number ten role, handing the German boss a headache with Kai Havertz in contention, too, amid competition from Raheem Sterling for a place in the front two.

How Tuchel could set Chelsea up with Aubameyang, De Jong and Fofana in a 3-4-1-2

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Chelsea may spend another £92m after Wesley Fofana transfer with deal ‘close’

Chelsea could take their summer spending to astronomical new heights if they follow up a deal for Wesley Fofana with two more signings. Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella and Kalidou Koulibaly have already arrived at Stamford Bridge for relatively steep prices while Carney Chukwuemeka and Gabriel Slonina have come in as stars for the future.

They’ve now turned their attentions to Wesley Fofana, despite Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers insisting Chelsea’s last two bids haven’t come close to the club’s valuation.

“We’re not looking to sell. Naturally, if there’s interest from other clubs, that is looked at by the club,” Rodgers said. “He’s a top young defender, and there are not too many around his age.”

But Chelsea haven’t given up hope and are pushing forward with a third record-breaking offer for a defender. It’s been claimed that Chelsea are willing to strike a deal worth in the region of £84.5m, surpassing the record fee Manchester United spent on Harry Maguire three years ago.

Chelsea are also interested in signing Frenkie de Jong and Aubameyang

Personal terms are already said to be agreed with negotiations set to continue into the weekend. If Chelsea end up meeting Leicester’s demands, that would take their summer spending to around £250m and that may not even be the end of it.

Both Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are being linked with leaving Barcelona for Stamford Bridge. The Catalan outfit value De Jong at £71m while they also want £21m for Aubameyang, who only left Arsenal for the Nou Camp in January.

The Barcelona duo are on high wages with the La Liga outfit and are seemingly up for sale should their valuations be met. De Jong’s future has been the transfer saga of the summer with Barcelona trying to push him out the door with Manchester United initially showing the most interest.

Chelsea have now entered the race and are said to be favourites as Tuchel looks to strengthen his midfield. And there is still no like-for-like replacement brought in for Lukaku with Kai Havertz playing as a false nine.

If Chelsea end up signing both Barcelona players, as well as Fofana, they will smash the record for biggest single-window transfer spend ever. Real Madrid currently hold that record after they spent an eye-watering £272.6m back in the summer of 2019.

Eden Hazard, Ferland Mendy, Luka Jovic, Rodrygo and Eder Militao were all signed for big fees. It appears as though new owner Todd Boehly is ready to splash the cash in his first summer in charge of Chelsea.

And three more big signings could well be on the way with Fofana potentially the next through the door.

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Chelsea handed huge Frenkie de Jong boost as rivals consider Christian Pulisic transfer

Here’s your latest Chelsea transfer rumour roundup on Friday, August 12.

Frenkie de Jong boost

Chelsea have been handed a potential boost in their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong this summer as the Blues look to continue strengthening their squad. According to CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs, Barcelona have submitted an ultimatum to the Netherlands international that he must take a pay cut or leave the club, with the desire for an immediate response on his decision.

Should he refuse to take such a slash to his wages, as he has done so previously, it could see the Blues finally get their chance at landing the midfielder this summer.

Newcastle United “would consider” a move for Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic this summer, reports the Athletic. The UMSNT international has struggled to break into the first-team under Thomas Tuchel, often making appearances from the bench during his tenure.

With a number of high-profile attacking exits already happening at the club, the forward could be the next on the cards as part of a squad refresh.

Atalanta approach for Emerson

Serie A side Atalanta are interested in Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri, according to the Evening Standard. The Italian international has also been linked with a move to Nottingham Forest following the signing of Marc Cucurella from Brighton and Hove Albion.

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Exclusive: Chelsea to decide soon on “intriguing” transfer deal, says Fabrizio Romano

The changing of hands of Chelsea Football Club has bred a chaotic transfer window for the Premier League club as the Blues look to recruit in all areas.

Todd Boehly has been covering multiple roles until now and all though the American is doing a commendable job, this transfer window has been a messy one for the London club.

The Blue’s search for a defender has seen them miss out on Matthijs de Ligt to Bayern Munich, whilst also seeing a deal for Jules Kounde hijacked by Barcelona. This has now left them chasing Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana, which Boehly will have to pay over the odds for.

Chelsea also saw their biggest signing from last summer, Romelu Lukaku, depart for Inter Milan on loan and the London club have also been searching for ways to replace the Belgian over the last few weeks and that has led them to Barcelona’s Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang.

Fabrizio Romano reported Chelsea’s interest in Aubameyang a week ago and writing in his exclusive column for CaughtOffside, the transfer guru has given an update on the Blues’ hunt for the forward.

Romano has stated: “Aubameyang is happy at Barca and he may have a chance to stay, Chelsea are interested since one week and will soon decide whether to make a proposal. I believe that the relationship with Thomas Tuchel from their time at Borussia Dortmund is a key factor, so if Auba were to go to Chelsea it would be a very intriguing deal.”

Should Chelsea submit a bid, it would be interesting to see what the forward decides as his starting spot at Barcelona has now been filled by Robert Lewandowski and as Romano says, his relationship with Tuchel could be a big factor in that said decision.

 

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Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong ‘makes Chelsea confession in dressing room’ as Man Utd lurk

Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong has told team-mates in the dressing room he’d rather join Chelsea than Manchester United, according to reports in Spain. The Netherlands international has emerged as a target for the Blues as they look to win the Premier League title. And Erik ten Hag’s side remain hopeful of securing his signature, though appear to have their work cut out at the current moment in time.

While Barcelona have repeatedly insisted they want De Jong to stay, the brutal reality is they may have no choice but to let the Netherlands international go.

The Catalan giants need to balance their books so they can register new recruits such as Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie.

And though Barcelona would keep De Jong if he’s willing to take a pay cut, there seems to be no indications the 25-year-old is prepared to do that despite his desire to stay at the Nou Camp.

Manchester United have been frontrunners for the former Ajax star all summer, with Erik ten Hag previously managing the midfielder over in Amsterdam.

Chelsea have, however, emerged as genuine rivals for De Jong in recent days.

And Mundo Deportivo say De Jong has told players at Barcelona that he’d prefer to move to Stamford Bridge rather than Old Trafford.

However, his preference is still to stay with the La Liga giants – having been at the club ever since his arrival from Ajax back in the summer transfer window of 2019.

The publication says Barcelona are now seriously considering keeping hold of De Jong, despite their previous intentions to cut the player loose.

They feel the Netherlands international can be the perfect long-term replacement for Sergio Busquests who, at the age of 34, is approaching the twilight years of his career.

Xavi himself would also like to keep hold of De Jong, preferring to have the 25-year-old in his squad than rumoured targets such as Ruben Neves and Carlos Soler.

And Barcelona’s hopes of landing Bernardo Silva have been dealt a blow, too, with Manchester City apparently set to demand a higher fee than originally thought.

Should De Jong move to Chelsea instead of United, however, he’ll become the latest player to turn down Old Trafford in favour of Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have hijacked United on five players over the years, starting with Arjen Robben back in the summer transfer window of 2004.

The PSV Eindhoven winger at the time had agreed to join United, saying Old Trafford was the ‘only place’ he wanted to play his football having been impressed by the club’s project.

But he ended up moving to Chelsea instead, much to Sir Alex Ferguson’s dismay.

It was a similar situation with John Obi-Mikel, too, with the Nigeria international actually unveiled in United’s colours.

He then realised he’d made a mistake, however, and joined Chelsea after being won round by Jose Mourinho – insisting he hadn’t opted to join the Red Devils of his own ‘free will’.

United lost out to Chelsea on Eden Hazard in 2012, with the former Lille star choosing to strut his stuff at Stamford Bridge and to play for the ‘Champions League winners’.

And Pedro and N’Golo Kante have both joined the Blues over the Red Devils in the years since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

Meanwhile, Xavi was asked about De Jong after Sunday’s 6-0 win over Pumas in the Joan Gamper Trophy.

And he said: “Frenkie already knows my position and that of the club, for me he is a great player.

“I don’t know what will happen to Frenkie de Jong.

“Until August 31, anything can happen.”

With United struggling to get a deal for De Jong over the line, Adrien Rabiot has emerged as a shock target.

A fee with Juventus has reportedly been agreed, though the Red Devils are yet to iron out personal terms with the player’s mother and agent, Veronique.

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Chelsea’s scary XI if Todd Boehly signs Wesley Fofana, Frenkie de Jong and one more star

Chelsea have made the headlines in the Premier League this summer for splashing out £175million on new players. But it seems the Blues are far from being finished, as Thomas Tuchel eyes further additions to his squad before the transfer deadline.

Since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital completed their takeover in May, Chelsea have brought in five new players in Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Gabriel Slonina, Carney Chukwuemeka and Marc Cucurella. The latter will cost around £62m in total, taking Chelsea’s spending to the highest by any club in Europe.

But after watching his side beat Everton 1-0 on the opening day of the season, Tuchel knows he still needs to improve his side if they are to have any hope of bridging the gap to Manchester City and Liverpool.

With a potential four new signings arriving at Stamford Bridge before the August 31 deadline, Chelsea’s lineup will be filled to the brim with star-studded talent. Express Sport looks at how they might line up, should those deals all go through this summer.

Goalkeeper: Mendy

Edouard Mendy is the undisputed number one under Tuchel and, even despite a few unconvincing moments in goal on Saturday, the Senegalese still kept a clean sheet.

The £12m signing of Slonina from Chicago Fire will not provide any immediate threat to the 30-year-old’s place in between the sticks. The American starlet, 18, will link up with his new club after the conclusion of the MLS campaign.

Kepa Arrizabalaga’s future is unknown amid reports of a possible loan deal with Serie A outfit Napoli and the Spaniard could still leave before the end of the month, leaving Marcus Bettinelli as Tuchel’s No 2.

Midfield: De Jong, Kante

With only two slots to fill in the central midfield area, Chelsea are already blessed with several different options. N’Golo Kante and Jorginho started against Everton, but Tuchel knows he can use Mateo Kovacic, Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek there too.

That is what makes their pursuit of £70m-rated De Jong all the more curious. But the Dutchman would be an upgrade on what the west London club already have and Tuchel is looking to add more quality to his ranks.

The thought of a midfield pairing of De Jong and Kante would be enough to frighten any opposition, although signing the 25-year-old would surely spell the end of Gallagher’s hopes of finding first-team football this season.

Attack: Sterling, Mount, Aubameyang

Chelsea have sought to revamp their attack by bringing in Raheem Sterling but further alterations could be made. With Timo Werner poised to seal a permanent move back to RB Leipzig and Hakim Ziyech likely to follow him out the door, there is a room to sign another attacker.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been linked with a shock return to London, just eight months after leaving Arsenal for Barcelona. The Gabonese, 33, scored 11 goals in 17 appearances since then but the arrival of Robert Lewandowski has put his place under question.

The Gabonese would provide Chelsea with a natural No 9, something they have lacked since loaning out Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan. With doubts over Kai Havertz’s consistency in front of goal, Aubameyang reuniting with Tuchel at Chelsea would surely see him lead the line.

Potential Chelsea XI (3-4-3): Mendy; Fofana, Silva, Koulibaly; James, Kante, De Jong, Cucurella; Sterling, Aubameyang, Mount.