Romelu Lukaku

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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Walker to City close, Inter wants Szczesny

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With the start of preseason getting closer, teams are hoping to do their business in time to get new players a full bill of health and fitness before the new season. With that in mind, the transfer action truly begins to heat up with clubs under the crunch of time.

With Manchester City heading to the United States for a preseason tour of America, they’re looking to do deals before the trip begins to have everyone on board. Kyle Walker has been heavily linked with City, and it looks like Daniel Levy’s steadfasness will pay off yet again for the London side.

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According to a report in the Daily Mail, Tottenham will wriggle nearly $62 million from City for Walker’s services. Levy knows that Pep Guardiola is desperate for top-tier full-backs after seeing his full bank of players in that position struggle mightily. Now, Levy may successfully extract a small fortune for his England international, and with plenty of time to re-invest on his replacement. The report suggests the deal could be done in time for Walker to face Spurs in their friendly on July 29th in Nashville.

Sticking to full-backs, Juventus may be looking to replace both its standout performers on the flanks last season. Dani Alves seems set to move on, while Alex Sandro has been heavily linked to Chelsea.

Hoping to pull in top-level replacements in a position that proves to be quite top-heavy throughout the world, Juventus has turned to Southampton’s Cedric Soares. The 25-year-old has enjoyed a bright Confederations Cup on duty with Portugal, and may have turned heads in Italy as a result.

The report from Italian publication Tuttosport linking Cedric to the Old Lady states that, while Juventus will first look to pry Danilo from Real Madrid, Cedric could be a cheaper option with his price tag under $22 million. The article also mentions Valencia’s Joao Cancelo as an option for Juventus at the right-back spot.

Alexandre Lacazette is a top striker option on the market this summer, and while it feels like his domino is waiting to fall after Kylian Mbappe’s, there could be a wrinkle involved with the Lyon frontman.

Atletico Madrid was heavily linked to Lacazette as a replacement for Antoine Griezmann before their transfer ban was handed down. Now, with Griezmann staying, those links cooled as Atleti is unable to register new players until the January transfer window. Yet, there may still be a chance for the Spanish side to land yet another French striker.

According to loose-lipped Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, Atletico Madrid submitted a large offer for Lacazette, and the Spanish side is still a heavy player in the story. Should Atleti’s bid be accepted, Lacazette would likely stay at Lyon for the first half of the season and complete his transfer to Spain in the winter transfer window. Aulas said Atletico’s offer was in the area of $75 million, including bonuses. That’s some stiff competition for Arsenal or any other big-name club hoping to secure Lacazette’s signature.

Aulas also confirmed he met with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on June 13th during the match between England and France. Just yesterday, there were reports that Arsenal was preparing a large bid for the Frenchman.

In the same interview, Aulas also confirmed that Chelsea youngster Bertrand Traore is close to a move to Lyon. Aulas said that the 21-year-old is currently in Lyon to finalize the move, although the fee had yet to be finalized, only saying that it was “considerable.”

Traore, a Burkina Faso international, was an AJ Auxerre youth product before joining Chelsea’s youth ranks in 2013. The young attacker spent last season on loan at Dutch club Ajax where he made 39 appearances across all competitions, scoring 13 goals and assisting six.

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has benefitted greatly from his two-year loan spell at AS Roma. Despite his future looking bleak with the Gunners, Szczesny is a wanted man in Italy.

Linked with a bid from Juventus earlier this month, Szczesny has now been heavily connected to his former Roma manager Luciano Spaletti who has recently taken charge at Inter Milan. Spaletti already has one of the best pure shot-stoppers in Europe in Samir Handanovic, but according to reports in Italy, Spaletti wants Handanovic to improve with the ball at his feet, something which he praised Szczesny for earlier this week.

Spaletti, hoping to diffuse interest in Szczesny, told Sky Sports Italia on Thursday, “We already have Samir Handanovic, who is very experienced and strong. I’ve already worked with him and I know his quality. For the moment we’ve got him. Obviously Szczesny is a modern player, because he can use his feet and in modern football you need that to start moves from the back.”

Now, reports in Italy say Spaletti has asked Handanovic to undergo targeted training hoping to improve his ability with the ball at his feet. Should he refuse, the club would look to sell the Serbian in favor of Szczesny, a move which could also potentially net the club some cash.

With Romelu Lukaku rumors seeing renewed fervor after the player enjoyed a pickup game on a field branded with Chelsea logos, the Everton striker has taken to social media to vent his frustration.

Lukaku has told reporters multiple times that returning to Everton is not really an option, and that he has an agreement with a club already, but otherwise, the Chelsea links are all fans have to go off at this time.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Trio to Chelsea; Dembele to Everton

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Chelsea will sign three new players “soon”, according to the London Evening Standard.

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Transfer deals for Romelu Lukaku, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Willy Caballero are all said to be progressing with the Blues ready to spend some serious cash to prepare for a return to the UEFA Champions League and build to defend their Premier League title.

Per the report, Lukaku and Bakayoko are further away from being Chelsea players but Caballero is all set to arrive at Stamford Bridge and will sign on July 1 after becoming a free agent. The Argentine goalkeeper, 35, will be Thibaut Courtois back-up and will likely get plenty of minutes in Europe and in cup competitions.

Lukaku, 24, is yet to sign a new deal at Everton and with Ronald Koeman splashing some serious cash at Goodison Park (Davy Klaassen and Jordan Pickford have already arrived with Sandro Ramirez on the way and a move for Gylfi Sigurdsson seeming likely) it suggests the Toffees could be ready to cash in on their Belgian striker.

With Diego Costa‘s future uncertain, Lukaku would be the main man up top for Chelsea but he’d return for a huge transfer fee and with huge expectations following his failure to break into the Chelsea team from 2012-14 before being sold to Everton. Lukaku’s 25 goals last season showcased his continued improvement, but his hold-up play must improve if he is going to reach the next level with Chelsea.

As for Bakayoko, the 22-year-old Monaco and France midfielder is wanted by Antonio Conte to sit in alongside N'Golo Kante and break up play in midfield. Bakayoko is a powerful player and he should dovetail with Kante perfectly. As reports of Nemanja Matic heading to Manchester United persist, bringing in Bakayoko makes plenty of sense and Conte is a big fan of two powerful, defense-minded players in his two central midfield spots.

If Lukaku leaves Everton, as expected, this summer, then the Toffees are lining up Celtic striker Moussa Dembele as his direct replacement, according to the Daily Post.

The 20-year-old took the Scottish Premiership by storm last season, scoring 32 goals as Celtic went through the entire domestic season unbeaten.

Dembele is though to be valued at over $35 million by Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers, but the player the Scottish giants signed for free last summer from Fulham may well be allowed to leave if an opportunity arises in the Premier League.

Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool have all been linked with a move for Dembele, but the Frenchman may see a move to Everton as a better fit for now as Koeman could offer him regular action if Lukaku leaves.

Reports: Everton continues to spend with Sandro capture

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Everton’s busy summer continues as multiple reports state the club is ready to announce Malaga striker Sandro as their third signing of the transfer window.

The 21-year-old Spaniard has completed his medical, according to Dominic King of the Daily Mail among others, and will be announced in the next 48 hours. He was tracked by Atletico Madrid, but with reports of Fernando Torres close to a contract extension and the club chasing Chelsea frontman Diego Costa, Sandro was pushed to the Premier League.

[ MORE: Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

According to the reports, Sandro will cost Everton around $6.6 million. The Spanish youth international scored 14 La Liga goals last season for Malaga in 30 appearances, closing the season well with seven goals and three assists in the club’s final nine league games.

The signing is possibly the club’s most significant of the summer, as it is the biggest signal yet that Romelu Lukaku is all but gone from Goodison Park. Sandro is most likely Lukaku’s replacement up front, and the more Everton – a club not exactly known for unlimited financial means – spends, the more it becomes clear they are banking on a large influx of cash in the near future. However, it’s unlikely the club will shoulder all of the goalscoring duties on a 21-year-old, and another striker could be on the way in before the season starts anew.

Everton has already captured Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and Ajax captain Davy Klassen for a combined $60 million, with the former becoming their record signing.

Report: Everton wants $130 million for Romelu Lukaku

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Chelsea may want to bring back one of their former strikers, but if Antonio Conte and the Blues want to do so the club will have to fork up a lot of cash in the process.

[ MORE: Benfica keeper Ederson joins Man City ]

With the Diego Costa situation taking a drastic turn for the worse, the Blues will likely have to find themselves a new striker new season, and one name continues to be at the top of the Premier League champion’s wish list; Romelu Lukaku.

Although Lukaku has made his desires to leave Goodison Park known, Everton won’t let their prized possession go easily.

Goal is reporting that the Toffees are asking for roughly $130 million for the Belgian goalscorer, following the 24-year-old’s most recent 25-goal campaign.

Lukaku recently stated that he knows where he’ll play next season while on international duty with Belgium, and while Chelsea seem the clear favorites to re-acquire the attacking threat, other PL teams could be in play too.

With Costa likely to be shown the door at some point this summer, that leaves Chelsea with Michy Batshuayi as the team’s only true striker heading into next season. Therefore, a move for Lukaku or another striker is surely coming.

Meanwhile, Manchester United is another team that could surely be in the running to poach Lukaku as Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s future at Old Trafford appears to be coming to a close. The Red Devils appear unlikely to re-sign the Swede after he tore his ACL towards the end of the 2016/17 campaign.

Lukaku knows his next club… and wants to win the Premier League

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Romelu Lukaku says he’s talking with his next club, and hinted that it’s in England.

Everton’s star striker also said he wants to improve and play in the Champions League, narrowing his list of potential destinations to Manchester United, Liverpool, Man City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Chelsea.

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Logic says the move will neither be to Merseyside rivals Liverpool nor striker-content Manchester City, leaving old home Chelsea, Spurs, and Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.

Here’s what Lukaku said Monday:

“I know what’s happening, but I can’t tell you anything more,” he added to journalists after Belgium beat the Czech Republic in a friendly in Brussels.

“What I would like most is to play in the Champions League and try to win the Premier League once. Or better – a few times.”

The bettors have Lukaku even money to join Chelsea, and slightly worse odds to join United. It’s usually a poor idea to go against the bookies, but Lukaku would slide in neatly in the Zlatan Ibrahimovic role at Old Trafford. We’ll look there first.