Chelsea transfer news: Griezmann 'boost', Fabregas 'to stay'
Chelsea and Manchester United have received what the International Business Times describes as a "twin boost" in their pursuit of Antoine Griezmann.
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The Premier League powerhouses have both been linked to the French frontman, whose six goals propelled his country to the final of this summer's European Championships.
Hitherto the 25-year-old Griezmann has said he's happy to stay at Atletico Madrid for as long as Diego Simeone is in charge. But the IBT says news that the Argentine coach has "agreed to shorten his contract" at the Calderon, which now expires in 2018, has increased speculation that he could be preparing to leave Spain. And if he does, then Griezmann will follow suit.
That news alerted both the Blues and the Red Devils, and they received another shot in the arm with the disclosure that Griezmann has decided to part ways with his agent, Inaki Ibanez, who was thought to be against the idea of a move to England.
The news is a surprise, says the IBT, which says the French ace has been with the "prestigious" Spanish agent "since his childhood". But Ibanez, whose clients also included Xabi Alonso and Mikel Arteta , has been given the elbow and Griezmann will now be managed by his father and faithful friend Eric Olhats.
That's raised hopes in England that a deal may be possible next year.
Meanwhile the Daily Star reports that "Cesc Fabregas still has a future at Chelsea".
It's been rumoured that the Spanish midfielder will be offloaded to AC Milan in January but that ain't so, says the Star. It quotes manager Antonio Conte, who was speaking ahead of tonight's Premier League clash against Liverpool, and said: "Cesc is in my plans and in Chelsea's plans. In my opinion he's improving a lot on many aspects, above all the defensive situations. If he continues in this way, it'll be very difficult for me to choose my midfield."
Chelsea transfer news: Cesc Fabregas close to AC Milan loan
Talks are underway between Chelsea and AC Milan over a loan deal that would take Cesc Fabregas to the San Siro, reports Talksport.
Quoting respected Italian outlet Calciomercato, the British broadcaster says that Milan are keen to take the Spanish midfielder on a six-month deal with a view to making the move permanent if all goes well.
Rumours emerged at the weekend that the Serie A side were interested in Fabregas, who has not found favour with new Blues boss Antonio Conte. According to Talksport Milan almost signed the former Arsenal midfielder on loan during the summer window "but negotiations broke down late on". This time the Italians are confident of reaching an agreement with preliminary talks having gone well and Chelsea reportedly mulling over a "loan fee of around £2.5m".
Meanwhile the Daily Star reports that Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is "ready to block any Chelsea move for Matteo Darmian". It's said that the Blues are interested in signing the defender, who Conte knows well from his time in charge of the Italy squad, but Mourinho isn't going to play ball.
The former Chelsea gaffer "refuses to do business with clubs he considers to be direct rivals" and consequently Darmain will be offloaded to either Juventus and Napoli in the January transfer window.
Chelsea transfer news: Blues call off Radja Nainggolan chase
Chelsea are set to call off the chase for Radja Nainggolan with Talksport reporting that the Belgian midfielder "is close to agreeing a new contract with Roma".
The Blues were first linked with Nainggolan in the summer, their interest strengthened by the stunning goal he scored against Wales at Euro 2016. But Roma value their playmaker and are determined not to let him be lured to Stamford Bridge.
They warded off a bid during the summer transfer window and it looks likely that Chelsea won't have a second crack in January. "I'm happy here and this thing will work itself out," said Nainggolan when asked about his plans for the future. “I think we're both on the same page, we'll find an agreement soon."
Meanwhile the Evening Standard reports that Juan Cuadrado was the prime mover in organising his loan back to Juventus from Chelsea this summer. The Colombia international agreed a three-year loan move back to the Italian champions, having spent last season with the Turin outfit. That's despite rumours that Chelsea gaffer Antonio Conte wanted to keep the winger at Stamford Bridge this season.
In conversation with Juventus's in-house broadcaster, JTV, Cuadrado said: "I did everything to come back, and thanks to God I'm here. I'm very happy. As before, I'm looking forward to getting back to business, working hard, improving my game and giving my all for the team."
Chelsea transfer news: Blues want Matteo Darmian in January
Manchester United outcast could head for London in the new year - all the latest Chelsea transfer news and gossip
Juventus could be beaten to the hand of Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian by Chelsea, reports ESPN. The broadcaster, citing Italian outlet Calcio Mercato, claims that the 26-year-old Darmian "is likely to be allowed to leave Old Trafford in the January window", and Antonio Conte is positioning himself for a move to sign the defender.
Barcelona were linked with Darmian earlier in the summer before Juventus muscled their way to the front of the queue. But ESPN says that Conte has identified Darmian as the sort of tough-tackling defender he needs at the Bridge and a new year offer will be sent to Old Trafford.
That may also be because Conte has realised his chances of signing Stefan de Vrij are receding with the news that Lazio will offer the 24-year-old a lucrative new deal "in an effort to stop him joining Chelsea". The Daily Express says that reports in Italy indicate that Lazio have already rejected one Chelsea offer for De Vrij and the Dutchman is poised to pen a new deal with the Serie A club to put paid once and for all to the Blues hopes of luring him to London.
Chelsea transfer news: Fabregas sale to fund Griezmann bid
Blues will sell Spanish midfielder and could use proceeds to launch raid on Atletico Madrid - all the latest Chelsea transfer news and gossip
The sands of time are running down on Cesc Fabregas's Chelsea career, claims the Daily Express with the paper reporting that he'll be put up for sale in the new year.
The Spanish international has struggled to impress new Blues gaffer Antonio Conte this season and has slipped behind N’Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic and Oscar in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge. Though the 29-year-old - who came on as a late substitute in Sunday's 2-2 draw with Swansea - still believes he can resurrect his Chelsea career, the Express says that Conte "is ready to listen to offers from abroad for Fabregas".
It seems he won't sell the former Arsenal midfielder to another Premier League club but it's believed that AC Milan have signalled an interest in signing the playmaker. Their new Chinese owners "are willing to dig deep in January" for Fabregas as they look to bring back the glory years to the Italian clubs.
And might the money made on selling Fabregas be put towards a world-record bid for Atletico Madrid superstar Antoine Griezmann? Yes, says the Daily Star, which reports that Conte "is ready to offer more than his £86m release clause to beat Manchester United to the forward". The Red Devils are known to be tracking the Frenchman but it's unlikely they'll be able to afford the price tag having forked out £89m for Paul Pogba just a few weeks ago. Chelsea are also mulling over the possibility of offering Diego Costa to Atletico as part of the deal.
Chelsea transfer news: Doubt over future of loan star
One of Chelsea legion of loan stars, Andreas Christensen, tipped to become a major star, has used an interview with German paper Bild to declare that he's yet to decide if his future involves a return to Stamford Bridge, reports ESPN.
Currently on loan with Borussia Monchengladbach, the 20-year-old defender is said to be enjoying life in Germany and Monchengladbach has intimated that they would like to make the deal permanent next summer.
Chelsea gaffer Antonio Conte is known to regard Christensen highly, however, and it will take a considerable offer to persuade him to sell the youngster. Asked about his future by Bild, Christensen replied: "I have not yet decided. I'm not going to do it at the moment. When it comes to me, I decide until next summer. For me, both things are possible."
Meanwhile French media outlet Le10 Sport reports that Chelsea have a fight on their hands for Brazilian defensive midfielder Thiago Maia. Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid have joined the race for the 19-year-old Santos star with both ready to match any bid from Chelsea in the new year transfer window.
Finally the London Evening Standard confirms that striker Loic Remy has returned to Chelsea after suffering an ankle injury during training. The Frenchman was loaned to Crystal Palace (who on Thursday confirmed the signing of former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini on a one-year deal) last month but the injury will sideline Remy for "a number of weeks".
Chelsea transfer news: Diego Costa is bait in Griezmann hunt
Manchester United will have to think again if they believe they've got a clear run on French star Antoine Griezmann, reports the Daily Telegraph.
It claims that the Blues "will rival any attempt" by the Red Devils to snatch the Frenchman from Atletico Madrid, and says that new boss Antonio Conte has had his eye on Griezmann since the moment he took up the reins at the Bridge.
United have been linked with the French goalgetter in the last few days and speculation is growing in Spain that he will move on at the end of this season, along with manager Diego Simeone, who is being eyed up by Paris Saint-Germain.
United, though, will face "strong competition" from Chelsea who are "prepared to break the bank to get him" - in other words activate his £84m release clause. But the Telegraph says that Chelsea's secret weapon in any potential bidding war with United could be Diego Costa. The paper claims that Atletico "pushed hard to try to re-sign the 27-year-old this year", and though Chelsea declined their offers they would be happy to throw Costa into the bargain if it meant beating United to the hand of Griezmann.
Meanwhile the Blues' hopes of landing Leonardo Bonucci are fading faster than the colours in a fake replica shirt. According to the Daily Express the Juventus defender is poised to sign an extension with Italian champions, Juventus, and scotch once and for all rumours linking him with a move to the Bridge. The new contract, which the Express describes as "bumper", will increase Bonucci's annual wages to £4.2m.
The Italy international was a key member of the Euro 2016, but Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has moved heaven and earth to prevent predecessor Antonio Conte luring Bonucci to Chelsea.
Chelsea transfer news: Conte wants Thaigo Maia in January
Antonio Conte will have another crack at signing Thiago Maia in January, claims the Sun. The Santos enforcer was given the once over by the Chelsea gaffer during the summer transfer window but the South American club "refused to let him leave".
But the Brazilian defensive midfielder, valued at a reasonable £15m, remains on Conte's shopping list and the Sun says that he'll table an offer in January for the 19-year-old, who won Olympic gold for his country in last month's Rio Games.
Meanwhile, The Sun also claims that Branislav Ivanovic "faces a fight for his future" at the Bridge with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte plotting a defensive makeover after landing David Luiz and Marcos Alonso on the final day of the transfer window.
According to the Sun the new gaffer will move current left-back Cesar Azpilicueta back to his more accustomed right-back position, which could leave Ivanovic warming the bench. With Alonso and Luiz recent additions to the Chelsea squad, Ivanovic's future looks more uncertain than ever and the 32-year-old could be tempted to seek a move in the New Year.
Chelsea transfer news: Romelu Lukaku wants out of Everton
Romelu Lukaku seems destined for a move to Chelsea in January after the striker laid into his current club, Everton, during an interview with Belgian rag Het Nieuwsblad. And the comments of the 23-year-old frontman make it clear it's a question of when and not if he leaves Merseyside, says the Daily Star.
Chelsea are waiting to make their move for Lukaku despite failing to agree terms with Everton last month when the Toffees refused to sell their star striker. But the chances of him seeing out the remaining three years of his contract look negligible after he told Het Nieuwsblad: "Hopefully they can treat me also with respect and I can leave through the main gate."
Although Lukaku didn't reveal if he's be prepared to shin down the drainpipe to get out of Goodison Park, he did say that he was talking about the situation with agent Mino Raiola. "I tell Mino how I think about it, and eventually we have to make a decision that is best for me."
As to why he wanted to leave Everton, Lukaku said: "I want to win prizes. But when I get into a situation where I can leave but my team will not let me, I'm not one to go absent, get fined and cultivate a negative reputation. I try to remain calm and treat my club with respect."
Elsewhere and The Sun says that Antonio Conte is "closing in on a deal for free agent Martin Caceres". The former Juventus defender left the Italian champions at the end of last season and remains unattached, which has come to the attention of the Chelsea gaffer.
Conte, who was seen sporting a snazzy pair of speedos on a recent weekend break, is now ready to swoop for the 29-year-old Uruguayan, a defender he knows well from his time coaching Juventus.
Finally, the Daily Express says that Conte is also planning to bring back defender Andreas Christensen next season. Borussia Monchengladbach took the 20-year-old on loan last season and they are keen to sign the defender on a permanent deal, with a deal in the region of £21m said to be on the table. But the Express, says that Christensen has already been told by Conte that he is "part of his plans when he returns from his loan spell next season".
Chelsea transfer news: Luiz deal after Koulibaly bid failed
So he really was a panic buy! The Deadline Day purchase of David Luiz for a reported £34m took the football world by surprise, and now the Daily Mirror claims that the Brazilian defender was targeted by the Blues only after they failed in a final desperate attempt to prise Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli.
Chelsea were linked to the strapping blocker earlier in the summer but had no joy when the Italians slapped a £60m price tag on the Senegal centre-back. They then had another shot, according to Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis, who explained that "Chelsea came in and offered €50m for Koulibaly". He knocked back that offer too, and that setback "ended with boss Antonio Conte turning his attention to Brazilian defender Luiz".
Conte's decision to re-sign Luiz has been applauded by many of the Chelsea faithful but the pundits are sceptical about the last-minute purchase. "I can’t help but laugh that he has commanded more than £100m in transfer fees when he is one of the worst central defenders in Premier League history," wrote Stan Collymore in his Daily Mirror column. "Some people will argue he has decent pace and reads the game well, but that’s no good if you’re out of position so much and your distribution from defence so poor."
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