Maurizio Sarri is plotting a four-man raid on former club Napoli if he is made the new Chelsea boss, according to reports. Striker Dries Mertens, winger Jose Maria Callejon, full-back Elseid Hysaj and defender Raul Albiol have been linked as transfer targets if Sarri ends up in Antonio Conte‘s office.
According to the Daily Mirror, the Serie A runners-up want to put a limit on how many players he could take with him to Stamford Bridge.
The paper says it would cost in excess of £70million to bring four of his former players to West London.
According to the Daily Mail, Sarri is also eyeing Matias Vecino, Inter Milan’s Uruguay midfielder.
Meanwhile Chelsea are yet to make any announcement on what the future holds for Conte, who is reportedly on holiday in southern Italy.
Meanwhile Chelsea are also set to take on Barcelona in the race to sign Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, The Sun reports. Former Juve director Luciano Moggi told the Serie A champions’ news site, Il Bianconero, that the Bosnia and Herzegovina international could end up at Stamford Bridge in a deal worth £70million.
With Sarri’s appointment expected to be announced as early as next week, a number of signings could follow. The Blues’ managerial situation is said to have put any transfer announcements on hold until it is resolved.
Arsenal have kicked off talks to sign Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega, the Metro says. The Argentina international’s agent is said to have flown in to London for negotiations. Banega, 29, is the latest name to crop up as a transfer target for new Gunners boss Unai Emery as he rings the changes ahead of his first season.
The departures of Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla have given the Spaniard cause to search for talent to bolster his options. Banega, who turns 30 this month, and Emery have worked together before at Valencia and Sevilla.
There is a 20million euro (£17.5m) release clause in Banega’s contract, which expires in two years, the paper says.
Inter Milan are leading the chase to snap up Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele, the Daily Mirror reports. Entering the final 12 months of his contract, the Belgium international has said that loyalty to Spurs means he would not join another Premier League club. He is expected to leave White Hart Lane this summer.
Tottenham are said to be willing to entertain offers for the £30million-rated playmaker, who turns 31 in July.
Manchester City’s hopes to land Riyad Mahrez have been given a fillip by Leicester’s apparent interest in Basel’s Mohamed Elyounoussi, the Manchester Evening News reports.
The Foxes are said to have identified the Norway international as a replacement for the wantaway Algerian whose potential transfer to City reportedly collapsed in January over price.
Players to watch
Declan Rice: The West Ham defender, 19, is wanted by Crystal Palace and Bournemouth amid a contract stand-off, the Sun reports.
Ben Gibson: Everton are plotting to tempt Middlesbrough into selling the defender, 25, the Northern Echo says.
Liverpool midfielder Emre Can is set to complete his long-awaited move to Juventus after flying in to Turin on Thursday.
The Germany international’s Anfield departure was confirmed earlier this month after the 24-year-old turned down the offer of a new contract.
Can has been linked with Juve for several months and the Serie A champions teed up his signing by posting a video on Twitter of the player being greeted by club officials at Turin Airport.
It was also accompanied by a picture with the caption “Emre Can has landed in Turin”.
The transfer window is well and truly open.
With the rumours growing in pace and volume during this ‘silly season’, it can be difficult and painstaking to separate the stories of some legitimacy from the rest of the white noise.
Fortunately, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to do it for you.
Below, you’ll find some of the latest transfer news churned out of the rumour mill broken down and analysed for your benefit along with our calculated predictions.
MARCO ASENSIO – REAL MADRID TO CHELSEA
Manchester United, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are set to battle it out for the highly-rated Real Madrid forward, according to the Daily Mail.
Why it will happen: The Spaniard has grown frustrated at playing second fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo and is desperate for a regular place in the Los Blancos starting XI.
Why it won’t happen: He may feel moving away from the Bernaneu is a step down in his career, and may want to fight for more game time under new manager Julen Lopetegui.
Prediction: If Asensio is to leave, there will be more shortage of potential suitors, but the 22-year-old looks destined to stay for another season at least, especially under a new manager who will reward his hard-working, creative game style.
Rating – 3/10
MIRALEM PJANIC – JUVENTUS TO BARCELONA
Chelsea and Barclona are plotting a move for the elusive Juventus midfielder, according to Tuttosport.
Why it will happen: Barcelona are scouring the market for a replacement for Andres Iniesta and would be willing to pay the €80m (Dh339.6) fee required to sign the Bosnian international.
Why it won’t happen: The former Roma star is reportedly happy in Turin and has no desire to leave.
Prediction: Juventus will want to keep their star man, but Pjanic may feel now is the right time to move from Turin in a bid to further his development and win more silverware.
Rating – 6/10
JEROME BOATENG – BAYERN MUNICH TO MANCHESTER UNITED
Manchester United have been told to shell out £50m (Dh241.4m) if they want to sign the Bayern Munich defender this summer, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Why it will happen: United simply need a world-class centre-back moving forward to strengthen their defence. Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly missed all or large chunks of the 2017/18 season with injury and Chris Smalling is not an elite defender.
Why it won’t happen: Boateng has another three years to run on his deal at Allianz Arena and looks set to continue at the fulcrum of the Bayern defence.
Prediction: On his day Boateng is an elite centre-back United require, but the Red Devils may not be keen on parting with the £50m required to buy a 29-year-old coming off the back of a less than stellar season.
Rating – 5/10