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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Sessegnon to Spurs, Arsenal back in for Zaha

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A long-rumored switch may finally be taking action this week as Fulham winger Ryan Sessegnon is reportedly set to leave for a move to Tottenham.

According to The Telegraph, the two sides have had a “breakthrough” in negotiations and Spurs could capture the player soon for around $25 million plus add-ons.

Sessegnon has reportedly been a Tottenham target for years, with the club attempting to pry him away from Craven Cottage multiple times. With Fulham relegated this past season, Sessegnon has rejected a number of contract offers from the Whites in favor of looking to find a permanent Premier League home.

The 19-year-old England youth international was a key part of Fulham’s promotion campaign two years ago, but struggled at times with the speed and physicality of the top flight last season. Still, Sessegnon is considered a bright prospect and can play either left-back or move forward into a more attacking role.

Interestingly, the report also states that Fulham is interested in a pair of fringe Tottenham players who are likely leaving the club. Both Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and Josh Onomah have been left off the preseason roster and thus are probably on the move, and the report states that Fulham could be interested in both. Whether that means they will be included in a swap deal, or cash from the Sessegnon transfer could be immediately used to then negotiate a new deal for the two is unclear.


According to a report by The Independent, Arsenal is looking for creative ways to keep a move for Wilfried Zaha on the cards despite Crystal Palace’s massive asking price. The Gunners have apparently suggested a new offer of $68 million plus $12.5 million of add-ons and a loan for young Reiss Nelson as a temporary replacement.

While Palace apparently believes this is still nowhere close to their valuation, it represents an Arsenal desire to keep negotiating despite a strapped summer budget that has them struggling to meet Palace’s asking price, which is rumored to be near $100 million.

While the report states that there is still plenty of discussions still to take place and Arsenal may have to pony up even more, it also mentions that Crystal Palace’s negotiating base isn’t exactly rock solid. Zaha has told the club he’d like to move on and while that doesn’t mean he’s at the stage of forcing a move, it does signal that it may be in the club’s best interest to concede on certain matters and cash in now rather than create an internal struggle that devalues his position on the open market even further.


A report by The Times suggests that a Manchester United deal for Nicolas Pepe is “progressing” and while talks have dragged on for much of the summer, there could be movement in the short-term.

With Liverpool not looking to spend big this summer, Arsenal’s budget a struggle and Everton reportedly focusing on Moise Kean, Manchester United could be in a position of strength among the other suitors.

His agent spoke vaguely about the possibility of a move this summer, acknowledging that Pepe has interested plenty of clubs and that a move away from Lille is likely. “All parties need to reach an agreement,” his agent Samir Khiat said to L’Equipe Mercato. “There are exchanges and discussions. He is wanted by a considerable number of clubs. For him the most important thing is to be wanted and to go to a good club in which he will play and continue to progress.”

The 24-year-old scored 22 goals in 38 Ligue 1 matches for Lille last season, helping them to a surprising second-place finish in Ligue 1. Pepe is considered to be valued at around $73 million.


The Chelsea official website has hinted that fringe pair Reece James and Lewis Baker will likely be moving out on loan this season as the club looks to get them playing time.

The club has a somewhat awkward Media Watch section on their official website that drums up interest but also gives credit to media rumors that clubs often wish to steer clear of.

James, a 19-year-old defender, spent last season on loan at Wigan and is considered to be a future first-team prospect by the club, according to the Daily Star report that Chelsea linked to on the site. While they have reportedly turned down a bid from Crystal Palace for a permanent offer, Roy Hodgson has openly admitted they need defensive options and therefore a loan could make sense to help cover the gaps in the short-term.

Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Baker has been a journeyman loan option over the past few years, seeing time at Reading, Leeds, Middlesbrough, and Vitesse over the past few years. Still without a view to the first-team, the Media Watch pointed to a report from Germany that suggests Baker could be headed to Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Every loan the Blues make this coming season will be noteworthy given their transfer ban, leaving the club looking at internal options to fill holes in the first-team squad. Therefore, any player that departs this summer thins the available pot of players the team can look to moving forward in the short-term.

Pulisic makes Chelsea debut, but Blues lose in Japan

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While much of the country was still asleep, well before 8 a.m. on the east coast of America, Christian Pulisic made his Chelsea debut in the Blues’ preseason friendly against Japanese champions Kawasaki Frontale in Yokohama, Japan.

[ MORE: Pochettino might have left if Spurs won Champions League ]

Pulisic came on as a 65th-minute sub and didn’t have a huge impact on the game. Chelsea lost the game 1-0 on an 88th-minute header from former wonderkid Leandro Damiao. The Blues have won just one of their three preseason fixtures thus far.

Chelsea weren’t without chances in the game, though, but various combinations of Pulisic, Michy Batshuayi, Pedro and Olivier Giroud proved to lack the finishing touch required on a number of occasions. Despite the result and his side’s poor finishing, manager Frank Lampard insisted he was happy with the overall performance.

David Luiz was named Man of the Match and handed a very peculiar award from shirt sponsor and tire company Yokohama.

Inter offering Lukaku $12.5M per season upon Man Utd switch

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No wonder Romelu Lukaku is intrigued by Inter Milan.

The 26-year-old is being offered a reported $51 million over four years by the Serie A giants should Manchester United agree to sell the big Belgian striker.

[ MORE: Sturridge punished ]

Sky Sports says that Lukaku’s absence from United’s friendly defeat of Leeds was “the start” of his departure from the Old Trafford set, though the two sides’ valuations of the player still differ by around $20 million.

United wants around $100 million for Lukaku.

Lukaku is coming off his worst season. He scored 12 goals in 32 Premier League appearances and two more in nine Champions League runs. The Belgian has been a magnet for six or seven assists a season, but only produced one this year.

United and Inter play Saturday in Singapore as a part of the International Champions Cup. Will a deal be done by then?

Rashford, James, Pogba star as Manchester United hammers Leeds in Perth

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Manchester United topped Leeds 4-0 in a comprehensive victory in Perth that saw Marcus Rashford and new signing Daniel James run rampant down the flanks.

Rashford scored in the 27th minute with a beautiful move down the left that threw two Leeds defenders into each other, while James struck the post just before halftime on an overlap down the right in his Red Devils debut.

Also on the scoresheet was 17-year-old Mason Greenwood who received a hard, low cross from fellow debutant Aaron Wan-Bissaka and beat two Leeds defenders in a footrace to the ball on the doorstep for a sliding finish. The move was started by Paul Pogba who found the new Manchester United defender down the right with a wonderful through-ball, leading to the delivery into the box. Greenwood has had quite the last 12 months, scoring for the Manchester United U-17, U-18, U-23, and now senior side all in that span.

After the break, Phil Jones found the back of the net by powering home a corner with his head, while Anthony Martial finished off the scoreline with a penalty after Tahith Chong was fouled in the area by Liam Cooper. Chong impressed throughout the second half, linking well with fellow Manchester United youth product Angel Gomes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer found playing time for just about every first-teamer, completely changing the side at halftime. Nemanja Matic was one of the halftime introductions, but was curiously withdrawn with 12 minutes to go, unclear if due to injury. The only Red Devil in the squad to not see the field was 21-year-old Axel Tuanzebe.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: James to Atletico, Rondon to China

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It has seemed for weeks that James Rodriguez is just a formality away from becoming a Napoli player, with Real Madrid motivated to offload the Colombian and Napoli appearing equally as excited to bring him on. However, as the weeks drag on without any official announcement, things may have begun to sour.

According to a number of reports in Spain, Real Madrid were upset with Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis due to comments made by the Italian. With Real Madrid insisting any would-be suitor pony up immediately with a permanent deal, de Laurentiis went public with his insistence on a loan with an obligation to buy. “We are all prepared to make sacrifices for James Rodriguez, but we ask Real Madrid to make them too,” de Laurentiis said to Sky Sport Italia. “We’ve not given up, but in order to break the ice we need Madrid to consider that rather than have an unhappy player sitting around, they should send him out to play. Perhaps on loan.”

That reportedly upset Real Madrid enough to the point where they have shifted focus to Atletico Madrid, willing to deal with a direct rival rather than capitulate to Napoli’s wishes. The reports also state that Rodriguez is on board, growing frustrated with Napoli’s wavering desire for his services. Atletico is also an attractive destination for the Colombian given the gap up front created by the departure of Antoine Griezmann. They have spent all the Griezmann money on Portuguese youngster Joao Felix, but with such a departure, there is always a power vacuum Rodriguez could exploit.


According to Lyall Thomas of Sky Sports, Championship side West Brom has agreed to sell Salomon Rondon to Chinese club Dalian Yifang where he will reunite with manager Rafa Benitez.

The report states the deal between the clubs is done and the player now must agree to personal terms, with the possibility for official confirmation of the deal in as little as 48 hours. It is unclear what the value of the deal is, but Sky mentions that Rondon has a release clause in his contract worth $20.6 million.

Rondon spent last season on loan at Newcastle with Benitez after West Brom was relegated the season before. He was a superb creative force, scoring 12 goals across all competitions, good for second on the team behind Ayoze Perez. The 29-year-old is an experienced attacker with 78 international caps for Venezuela.


Sheffield United is preparing for its first season in the Premier League since the 2006/07 campaign, and they are looking for reinforcements to bolster their lineup and avoid the straightaway drop they faced last time in the top flight. Having already broken the club transfer record by acquiring Callum Robinson from Preston North End for $10 million, they are now looking to beat that number again.

According to The Guardian, the Blades had a $19 million bid for striker Oli McBurnie rejected by Swansea City. The Championship side is reportedly desperate to keep the 23-year-old after already offloading Daniel James to Manchester United.

McBurnie, a Leeds-born Scottish international, scored a massive 22 goals for the club in 42 Championship appearances last season as the club finished ninth in the table, plus he another two in a pair of FA Cup games. He first arrived at Swansea in the summer of 2015 in a deal with Bradford and was loaned out three separate times before sticking with the first team last season.


Roma technical director Gianluca Petrachi has issued a hands-off warning for Tottenham target Nicolo Zaniolo, saying the defender isn’t for sale.

“I have to work to try to get the best out of Zaniolo,” Petrachi said during a press conference for Leonardo Spinazzola’s unveiling. “I am also a very practical person, I have direct contact with my players. I never put Zaniolo up for sale, nor did I say it was on the market. The market is full of surprises, but today Zaniolo is not on the market.”

The 20-year-old joined from Inter last summer and signed a contract through the summer of 2023. There have been reports that Spurs are circling due to Zaniolo’s unhappiness with Petrachi reportedly breaking off new contract negotiations upon his arrival. There were even rumblings of a swap deal for Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld.

The youngster was a mainstay for Roma last season once he earned a starting place in early November, making 27 Serie A appearances and scoring four goals.