Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois failed to report for training on Monday as doubts over his future at Stamford Bridge intensified.
Press Association Sport understands Courtois was absent from the Blues’ Cobham training base despite being due to make his return from a summer break.
The 26-year-old, who has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid, was handed an extended holiday after finishing third at the World Cup with Belgium and has reportedly told new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri he wants to leave.
“I’m a Chelsea player,” Willian told ESPN Brasil. “I always made it clear that what I wanted was to stay in the club. The only club I knew that really made an official offer for me was Barcelona.
“But I have my head here and I intend to continue in the club unless the club wants to sell me. But my head is here in the club.”
On what could be a frenetic final few days of the window at Stamford Bridge, Atletico Madrid‘s Jan Oblak and Jack Butland of Stoke are the two goalkeepers being touted as potential successors to Courtois.
Newcastle announced the season-long loan signing of striker Salomon Rondon from West Brom.
The club’s official statement labelled the Venezuela international as Rafael Benitez’s “number one transfer target” after he joined in a move which saw Dwight Gayle move the other way for the campaign.
Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce spoke about the future of supposed-Tottenham target Jack Grealish after seeing his side beat Hull 3-1 in the Championship.
Grealish impressed for Villa last season and could yet become Tottenham’s first signing of the window before it shuts on Thursday.
The 22-year-old spent plenty of time applauding the travelling supporters as he was substituted late on at the KCOM Stadium but Bruce is keen to keep hold of the precocious midfielder.
Bruce told Sky Sports: “We will do our best to keep hold of him, but it is going to be difficult. We understand the human side. He will want to play in the Premier League, Europe, Champions League. The owner has made it clear that he wants him to stay. To be fair to Jack he has got on with it.”
Villa had earlier announced the re-signing of Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe on a season-long loan, with Jose Mourinho still keen to add to his ranks at Old Trafford before the deadline.
The Red Devils continue to be linked with a move for a central defender, with Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, Harry Maguire of Leicester and Bayern Munich‘s Jerome Boateng all linked with Old Trafford.
Everton are reported to have won the race to sign Brazil international Bernard following interest from Inter Milan and West Ham, and it has also been suggested the Toffees have reached an agreement for Barcelona centre-back Yerry Mina.
BBC Sport reported later on Monday that Wolves, promoted as Championship winners last season, are close to breaking their transfer record to land Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore.
The decision to bring the deadline forward so that no new signings can be added after the Premier League season begins, plus the World Cup, means the final days of the window could be frantic.
UAE superstar Omar Abdulrahman appears to have shut the door on a long-heralded move to Europe with belief growing he’s verbally agreed to renew his lapsed Al Ain contract for three more years.
Abdulrahman, 26, had attracted overtures from teams in France, Spain and the Netherlands as a free agent once his deal expired at the Boss in July. This came amid competing, and strong, interest from Saudi Professional League giants Al Hilal – his childhood club in Riyadh as a member of the Yemeni diaspora.
Aspirations about a historic permanent move to football’s traditional heartland, which began with 2012’s trial at Manchester City, look to have come to naught for the playmaker thanks to the weekend’s concurrence about fresh terms. This means the cost of a permanent transfer west will grow prohibitively large, once pen is put to paper – bar any unexpected late hitches.
It now remains to be seen whether widespread reports about an imminent one-season loan move to Hilal by the 2016 AFC Player of the Year come to fruition. The SPL holders are stated as having made an offer worth Dh21 million for 2018/19, a figure which capital rivals Al Nassr – who recently captured Nigeria forward Ahmed Musa from Leicester City – have exceeded by Dh3m.
Sources close to the player describe Hilal as “an option” and “the only Middle East club” he will go to.
A temporary move back to the city of his birth will deny Amoory the possibility of playing in December’s Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi.
In April, Boss chairman Ghanim Al Hajeri authoritatively stated his prized asset would be “staying with the club for next season, where we are faced with the most important of challenges.”
Abdulrahman has grown into a legend with the Arabian Gulf League and President’s Cup holders since he joined their fabled academy in 2007.
In a decade with the first team, he’s scored 62 times and crafted 114 assists during 229 appearances. A total of 11 major honours have been won in this period.
A star role with the UAE at the London 2012 Olympics led to a successful trial at City. Work-permit issues then scuppered a first permanent move for an Emirati to Europe.
Valencia, Hamburg, Arsenal, Benfica and Fenerbahce are among the outfits to further be attached to his name. Al Ain rejected a loan offer from Nice in July 2017.
Those contacted this summer were prepared to produce offers, on the proviso Amoory remained a free agent.
Annual wages on the deal signed in February 2015 are estimated at Dh20m. European clubs would need to balloon this figure because of taxation, unless the player was prepared to make significant financial sacrifices.
أتقدم بالتهنئة إلى سمو الشيخ طحنون بن زايد آل نهيان مستشار الأمن الوطني النائب الثاني لرئيس هيئة الشرف . النائب الثاني لرئيس نادي العين، بمناسبة حصول الزعيم على اللقب الثالث عشر وامتلاكه درع الخليج العربي.— عمر عبدالرحمن (@Amoory10) April 30, 2018
Al Ain would now be in position to demand a substantial transfer fee, despite last term’s domestic and international travails.
This included being ostracised and banned for breaking curfew the night before January 5’s Gulf Cup-final loss to Oman, a match in which he missed decisive penalties at the end of normal time plus the shootout.
But throughout his spell in the Garden City, talk of an eventual return to Hilal have never dissipated.
The ascension of Turki Al Sheikh to the General Sports Authority’s chairmanship has led to an enormous injection of state cash into the national sport.
Hilal have used this largesse since the end of 2017/18 to attract esteemed ex-Sporting Lisbon coach Jorge Jesus, former Spain Under-21 defender Alberto Botia from Olympiacos and tie up a loan switch for Peru’s Benfica-owned forward Andre Carrillo.
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 rumours broken down and analysed for your benefit along with our calculated predictions.
One of Croatia’s World Cup stars, Ante Rebic, has revealed he has received “concrete offers” to make a big transfer this summer.
Why it will happen: Having had a super World Cup, Rebic’s market value is high and he would represent a significant coup for the Red Devils, who have long been interested in his signature. He could definitely add dynamism from midfield in which Jose Mourinho’s team have been lacking.
Why it won’t happen: It is very much touch-and-go over whether a deal could be brokered before this week’s deadline though.
Prediction: At €50million (Dh212m), in today’s market, Rebic is a snip but this prospective transfer will boil down to how quickly United can thrash out terms.
Why it will happen: Los Blancos are on the hunt for striking reinforcements and the 27-year-old would provide valuable support to main man Marco Asensio, young Brazilian star Vincius Junior and add to Karim Benzema’s experience.
Why it won’t happen: The former Real youth team star is a key player at the Mestalla and has a steep €120million (Dh509m) release clause which the Spanish capital club are unwilling to match.
Prediction: Expect, for now, Rodrigo to stay put at Los Che.
Tottenham could end a quiet summer transfer window on a high with the acquisition of Celta Vigo midfielder Stanislav Lobotka.
Why it will happen: Spurs have yet to strengthen in the market but the 23-year-old Slovak could boost numbers nicely in the engine room, particularly with reports stalwart Mousa Dembele is set to leave.
Why it won’t happen: It is unclear what funds Mauricio Pochettino has available to him given the efforts that have gone into getting the north London side’s new stadium ready for this coming season.
Prediction: Tottenham are in need of some reinforcements and Lobotka would be a boost.