Chelsea transfer news: Baba Rahman to replace Filipe?
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will press ahead with a move for Ghanaian left back Abdul Baba Rahman, despite competition from Arsenal and Manchester City.
The Evening Standard says the FC Augsberg defender, valued at a cool £14.2m, has been identified as a "potential replacement for Filipe Luis, who is keen to leave the champions and is wanted by former club Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan".
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Baba Rahman impressed in the Bundesliga last season and has also made a mark for his country despite being just 20.
The Standard says Arsenal and Manchester City have registered an interest in the young defender who he helped Augsburg qualify for next season's Europa League. Italian champions Juventus and other Bunderliga clubs are also said to be interested. Reports that Chelsea had already made an offer of £10.6m are wide of the mark says the Standard.
However, Rahman, on holiday back home in Ghana, is now said to be "considering his future", aware of Chelsea's interest and also that of Italian champions Juventus.
Chelsea transfer news: Blues join race to sign Sterling
With Liverpool having agreed terms with Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino, the future of Raheem Sterling at Anfield seems ever more uncertain. Manchester City were favourites last week to sign the 20-year-old but according to the Daily Star Chelsea are "extremely interested" in the England star although the paper says they "will not pay more than £40m for him".
Liverpool are said to be holding out for £50m but with City reluctant to meet such a fee as well, the Reds could be forced to lower their asking price rather than retaining a player who has no wish to remain on Merseyside.
The Star says that Chelsea are confident of luring Sterling to the Bridge, conscious of his preference to return to his native London and Blues boss Jose Mourinho is assembling a "healthy wage package" for Sterling. As part of what appears to be a concerted PR campaign to win over Sterling, Chelsea captain John Terry sang the youngster's praises earlier in the week, cooing to Talksport: "Raheem has taken a bit of stick recently, but I was really impressed by him. I didn't realise how good he was until I played against him three or four times. He's an exceptional player."
Chelsea transfer news: Salah exit as Blues chase Griezmann
As Chelsea adjust to life without Petr Cech, the Daily Express says that the Blues could be on the brink of parting company with another player after Inter Milan "made contact" over a possible deal for Mohamed Salah.
The Egypt international has recently returned to Stamford Bridge after successful loan spell with Italian outfit Fiorentina, scoring nine goals in 26 appearances for the Serie A side. Yet despite that, the Express says that Blues boss Mourinho is "looking for a new attacking midfielder", with Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann and Shakhtar Donetsk's Douglas Costa high on his wish list.
There doesn't therefore seem to be any room at the Bridge for Salah and the Express – quoting Italian media source Sport Mediaset – says that Inter are closing in on the North African playmaker. Apparently coach Roberto Mancini has persuaded Inter president Erick Thohir to do a deal with Roman Abramovich, although Chelsea may stretch the Italians' financial resolve if they don't lower their asking price of £17.5m.
Meanwhile Goal.com reports that Bertrand Traore has finally got the work permit he's been after for the best part of two years. The 19-year-old has spent the last 18 months on loan with Vitesse while he waited for the necessary paperwork to be approved to play in the Premier League but Goal.com says the Burkina Faso midfielder has now been given the green light to appear for Chelsea from next season onwards. Speaking to Dutch paper De Telegraaf, Traore said: "Chelsea are very happy with my development... I'm ready when the opportunity comes and I'm not afraid to show my ability at Chelsea."
Chelsea transfer news: Dembele lined up as midfield enforcer
A "shock" is how The Sun describes its exclusive that Chelsea are targeting Spurs midfielder Mousa Dembele. With John Obi Mikel expected to leave Stamford Bridge before the new season starts, Jose Mourinho has apparently fingered Dembele as the man to fill his boots.
It will likely cost the Special One £12m to lure him from Tottenham but the Sun expects the bid to be successful because the Nigeria midfielder started only 13 games last season for the Lilywhites.
Having attracted interest "from the Middle East and Turkish giants Fenerbahce" in recent weeks, the 27-year-old Dembele is an attractive option to Mourinho because he can play up front or as a defensive midfielder. And the Sun also claims that Dembele's Belgium team-mate, Axel Witsel, is being "linked with the Blues" with Zenit St Petersburg reportedly ready to sell the playmaker for £24m.
Meanwhile Sky Sports, taking its cue from Spain's AS, reports that Real Madrid have "enquired about" Chelsea gloveman Thibault Courtois. The Blues' response? The Spanish giants will "have to fork out €100m to land the Belgium international".
The Blues face "more frustration" in the transfer market, says the London Evening Standard, as Lyon try to convince defender Samuel Umtiti to remain in France by offering him a bumper new deal.
Chelsea are prepared to pay up to £11m for the French stopper, who has risen through the French ranks with Kurt Zouma, but Lyon president Jeam-Michel Aulas described Umtiti as "one of the untransferable players".
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