Transfer Rumor Roundup

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Transfer rumor wrap: Mahrez to Chelsea; Evans to Arsenal

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Chelsea have been linked with an audacious move for Riyad Mahrez late in the window.

Mahrez, 26, released a statement earlier this summer saying he wanted to leave Leicester City but the Algerian winger remains with the Foxes after AS Roma have had three bids turned down.

Multiple reports claim that Chelsea will now swoop for Mahrez and are set to offer $55 million for the 2015-16 PFA Player of the Year.

We all know Mahrez was the star of the show in Leicester’s stunning Premier League title win two seasons ago, but last season his form dipped dramatically (except for the UEFA Champions League) as he hoped for a move away with Barcelona, Arsenal and others said to be interested.

Despite his stance that he wanted a move away, Mahrez has started this season extremely well for Leicester and that means interest in him will be high until the end of the transfer window.

Do Chelsea need another attacking midfielder? With Pedro, Willian, Eden Hazard, Victor Moses and others around, it might seem a little silly to add Mahrez but if the price is right, we all know he can deliver big moments in big games in the PL.


According to the Telegraph Arsenal is contemplating a move for West Brom defender Jonny Evans.

The Baggies skipper, 27, is a man in demand with both Leicester City and Manchester City said to have had bids rejected for Evans over the past week.

Former Manchester United center back Evans was targeted by Arsenal a while back but he instead joined West Brom where he has excelled over the past two season with regular action.

The Northern Ireland national team captain is said to be valued at over $40 million by West Brom but with Gabriel joining Valencia and Shkodran Mustafi likely leaving for Inter Milan in the next few days, Arsene Wenger will need defensive reinforcements, especially considering their recent displays.


Kevin Wimmer has joined Stoke City from Tottenham Hotspur in a $23.3 million move.

The Austrian defender, 24, has spent the past two seasons as mainly a bit-part player with Spurs but has shown enough to suggest he will be a good signing for Stoke.

After signing a five-year deal with the Potters the Austrian international revealed he is ready to kick-start his career in the PL following just 15 appearances in the league over the past two seasons.

“I am just so happy to be at Stoke now because I really wanted to come here, to a Club with such big tradition,” Wimmer said. “I feel really good and am very excited about meeting up with everybody and getting ready for the matches ahead.”

Wimmer will tussle with Bruno Martins Indi, Ryan Shawcross, Kurt Zouma and Geoff Cameron for a starting spot in the Potters’ three-man central defense.


Sky Sports say left back Kieran Gibbs has decided against joining Watford with the deal breaking down due to personal terms.

Gibbs, 27, was reportedly ready to join the Hornets but with just one year left on his deal he has instead opted to stick around at the Gunners.

The England international has found minutes increasingly hard to come by over the last 12 months and if he moved to Watford he would have only had Jose Holebas for competition at left back.

West Brom are said to be interested in signing Gibbs.

Transfer rumor wrap: Bale to Man United; Mbappe to PSG

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Spanish outlet Don Balon claim Manchester United have bid $118 million for Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.

Despite Bale, 28, insisting he wants to stay at Real and club president Florentino Perez saying he is going nowhere, Bale was jeered by Real’s fans once again on Sunday as he missed multiple chances in their 2-2 draw against Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Bale has five years left on his current contract at Real Madrid (he only signed a big new extension last October) but Jose Mourinho previously said he would “be waiting at the airport” for Bale if his situation changed with Real.

The Welsh wizard has scored 68 goals in 154 appearances for Real over the past five seasons but with Marco Asensio and Lucas Vasquez challenging to become first team regulars, Bale has a little more competition this season with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karem Benzema guaranteed starters for the reigning European and Spanish champions.

Mourinho has made no secret that United are said to be looking for a wide player for much of the summer with a move for Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic seemingly falling by the wayside. Yet with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Henrikh Mhitaryan and Jesse Lingard, how many wide players does Mourinho need?

Is it time Bale returned to the Premier League after winning everything he can at Real? That still seems like a year or two away, if it happens at all, but Bale being booed by his own supporters will be music to the ears of the PL’s big boys who hope to pry him away from the Spanish capital.


Arsenal could lose German center back Shkodran Mustafi to Inter Milan.

Sky Italy say that Mustafi, 25, has agreed personal terms with Inter and believe that an agreement over an initial loan deal is close between the two clubs.

Mustafi joined Arsenal from Valencia for $45 million last summer and the German international impressed for the Gunners despite their fifth-place finish in the Premier League table.

Composed on the ball and able to play in a flat back four or as one of three central defenders, quite why Arsenal would let Mustafi leave is a bit mind-boggling.

With the rise of Rob Holding, plus Nacho Monreal playing as a center back, perhaps Wenger thinks he has sufficient cover at center back with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker also around.

The deal for Mustafi is believed to be a loan deal with an option to buy.


Kylian Mbappe’s move to Paris Saint-Germain is edging closer with the French national team teenager arriving for national team duty.

Mbappe, 18, is said to have had a medical with PSG while the finer points of the massive $214 million deal are sorted out.

Per multiple reports Monaco will loan Mbappe to PSG for the 2017-18 season and then the deal will be made permanent next summer.

That is due to PSG’s world-record $262 million deal for Neymar earlier this month, as Les Parisiens are concerned another $200 million-plus will, obviously, see them struggle to met UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.

Mbappe is set for a 2,000 percent pay rise which will see him paid $387,000 per week.

The teenage talent burst onto the scenes last season with Monaco, scoring 27 times in his first full season in the pro game as he led the Ligue 1 club to the French title, the UEFA Champions League semifinals and also made his debut for France.


Leicester City are said to have had a bid of $27.1 million turned down by West Bromwich Albion for their captain Jonny Evans and it is believed the Baggies want $38 million for Evans.

The Northern Ireland national team defender has missed West Brom’s last two games with an injured hamstring and despite stating in the matchday programme before West Brom’s 1-1 draw vs. Stoke on Sunday that he wants to stay, another bid has arrived from the Foxes.

Evans has been a target for both Manchester City and Leicester over the past few weeks as the former Manchester United defender has quietly become one of the star defenders in the league over the past 12 months.

Despite Tony Pulis stating Evans will remain at the Hawthorns, if a huge bid arrives from Man City or Leicester in the final days of the window, can the Baggies really turn it down?

Leicester have already improved their defense drastically this summer by adding Harry Maguire from Hull City with the center back handed his first England national team call-up last week. Man City are said to be chasing Evans with one eye on his status as a “homegrown player” under PL rules.

Transfer rumor roundup: Is Messi to Man City a real option?

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Rumors of a potential Lionel Messi departure from Barcelona have swirled for several years now, but the validity of those rumors have never been higher than at this moment.

[ MORE: Zlatan Ibrahimovic officially re-joins Manchester United ]

Manchester City appears to be a real player in the Messi sweepstakes, and the Argentine legend could complete a move to the English side next summer, according to the Sun.

The Sun is reporting that Lionel’s father — J0rge — has opened talks to the Citizens over a deal that would bring Messi to the Etihad Stadium in 2018.

Messi has continued to push contract talks back at Barcelona, with his current deal set to expire next summer. A move to City would reunite the 30-year-old with former Barca boss Pep Guardiola, and would create a dangerous attacking trio with Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus already in place.


Meanwhile, Juventus is said to be in the market for a new central defender, and the club is reportedly turning to Chelsea for that option.

The defending Serie A champions reportedly have their eyes on Blue veteran Gary Cahill, according to the Sun.

Juve has been in the market for another defender since the departure of Leonardo Bonucci this summer, when the Italian headed to AC Milan.


Julian Draxler seems intent on leaving PSG this summer, as the French giants continue their pursuit of Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe.

It looks as though Draxler could be heading back to Germany, according to L’Equipe, as the 23-year-old’s agent attempts to close a deal with Bayern Munich.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Vardy to Chelsea; Kovacic to Liverpool

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With his good mate Danny Drinkwater edging closer to a move to Chelsea, this Jamie Vardy to Chelsea talk makes sense.

The 30-year-old striker has looked sharp in the opening weeks of the new Premier League season as he scored twice in the defeat to Arsenal on opening night.

A report in The Telegraph claims Vardy is one of three players Chelsea want with Drinkwater and Virgil Van Dijk the others.

Vardy will surely look around and see Drinkwater on his way out, N'Golo Kante thriving at Chelsea and Riyad Mahrez pushing for a move to AS Roma and wonder “what about me?” He has every right to do that and with Chelsea eager to add another striker given the ongoing Diego Costa situation, would Vardy be a good fit at Stamford Bridge?

He would certainly give Antonio Conte something completely different in his attack with Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi two bruising frontman who prefer the ball to their feet, and with the pace of Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian on the break, Vardy could be vital away from home. Vardy proved he is more than a one season wonder as he battled back from a slow start to last season with 16 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions.

The England international only signed a new long-term deal at Leicester last summer but if Chelsea manage to offload Costa before the end of the window and offer the Foxes a huge amount for Vardy, could they turn it down and would Vardy turn this move down? He shunned Arsenal last summer but Chelsea may be a different proposition with UEFA Champions League action a huge pull.

Vardy’s value is somewhat difficult to judge given his age, his streaky nature and how important he is to how Leicester are set up. If the Foxes sell Vardy then their entire season would be in jeopardy.


Liverpool are said to be targeting Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic with Spanish outlet Diario Gol claiming a deal has already been verbally agreed.

The Croatian midfielder is not seen as a replacement for Philippe Coutinho as it seems increasingly likely the Brazilian playmaker will remain at Anfield after the latest bid from Barcelona (thought to be a whopping $145 million) was turned down.

Kovacic, 23, is a silky central midfielder who has found minutes hard to come by at Real with Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric in his way.

Real signed him from Inter Milan in 2015 for $32.5 million and it is likely they’ll want to at least recoup that fee for the talented Croatian. With Emre Can stalling on a new deal at Liverpool, plus inconsistent displays from Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum, Klopp has also talked about using James Milner in central midfield.

Transfer rumor wrap: Messi to Man City; Aubameyang to Chelsea

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Manchester City are said to have “stepped up” their interest in Lionel Messi.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

A report from the Daily Record claims Man City met with representatives of Messi, 30, last week with the Argentine superstar reportedly unhappy with life at Barcelona after watching Neymar leave, plus legend Andres Iniesta yet to agree to a new contract.

The report goes on to claim that Messi’s new contract last month was announced before it was signed and it has yet to be formalized with Barca offering him wages over $1.4 million per week.

With Neymar leaving Barca for PSG, anything now seems possible and Man City certainly hold the ace if Messi was to ever leave Barcelona with Pep Guardiola on board.

Would the deal for Messi be a new world-record transfer deal, surpassing Neymar’s move to PSG? It is mooted that the deal could be a free transfer if Messi doesn’t sign the new deal and he could join for free ahead of the 2018-19 Premier League season.

After Barcelona lost 5-1 to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup to open up this season and they continue to struggle to bring in Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele to replace Neymar.

Will Messi leave Barcelona? It always seems highly-unlikely. Yet, with Pep around and Man City able to afford to pay him whatever he wants, if he leaves Barca they seem like the most likely club he will join.


In what could be another big-money move to the Premier League, Chelsea target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has admitted he is still thinking about leaving Borussia Dortmund.

Earlier this summer it appeared that Aubameyang, 28, was heading to the Chinese Super League while Chelsea and AC Milan were both reportedly interested.

However he remained at Dortmund and the Bundesliga’s golden boot winner last season scored in their opening day win against Wolfsburg on Saturday and has five goals in three official games for BVB to kick off 2017-18.

Speaking to Radio Montecarlo Italy, the Gabon international said the following about his future.

“I am still reflecting on whether I should leave or not. This club and these fans are incredible, but if I want to grow, I feel I need to leave,” Aubameyang said.

Intriguing.

With Chelsea still trying to offload Diego Costa, who is currently exiled in Brazil and staying away from the club, they will soon have an open slot up front. Costa is likely to join Atletico Madrid before the transfer deadline on Aug. 31, with a loan move elsewhere to be arranged until January when Atleti’s transfer ban ends.

Judging by Alvaro Morata’s rusty display for Chelsea against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, plus only having Michy Batshuayi in reserve, Antonio Conte will want to strengthen his forward options considerably. Aubameyang ticks all the boxes and it is expected Dortmund would accept an offer of around $90 million for the forward.