• Ousmane Dembele and Christopher Nkunku are also under consideration to strengthen Chelsea’s front line. Jesus has been offered to the Blues but also to other European clubs.
• Yves Bissouma is expected to join Tottenham from Brighton for a fee of £25m and Director of Football Fabio Paratici has met with the representatives of Udinese left-back Destiny Udogie.
Word is spreading around Stamford Bridge that Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus has been added to Chelsea’s target list which now includes Jules Kounde, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Slonina.
With Romelu likely to head back to Inter Milan, Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel is exploring his options now that he has been given funds to spend by new owner, Todd Boehly.
Ousmane Dembele and Christopher Nkunku are also under consideration to strengthen Chelsea’s front line. Jesus has been offered to the Blues but also to other European clubs.
With just 12 months remaining on his current contract at City, Jesus will only consider clubs where he is guaranteed playing time and the No9 shirt to lead an attack. Pep Guardiola has always maintained the same position that any player who is unhappy at the club can leave. There is no chance Jesus will be asked to lead the attack with Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez arriving.
Conte still searching after Bastoni says no
Antonio Conte was left scratching his head this week when Inter Milan centre-back Allessandro Bastoni’s agent Tullio Tinti contacted the Italian club to let them know that his player would not be leaving the San Siro stadium this summer. Inter then contacted both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United to break the news.
Conte has immediately turned his attention towards RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol and Lille’s Sven Botman, who is also of interest to Newcastle. Spurs have already brought in Ivan Perisic from Inter and Fraser Forster from Southampton, both on free transfers.
Yves Bissouma is expected to join Tottenham from Brighton for a fee of £25m and Director of Football Fabio Paratici has met with the representatives of Udinese left-back Destiny Udogie. Conte is spending June accelerating his plan to bring in new players.
Nunez persuaded by the Kop
Darwin Nunez contacted friends in the Premier League, talked to fellow Uruguayan Edinson Cavani and made his choice. “I am coming to Liverpool,” he said after turning down Manchester United, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. The 22-year-old sent a message to Liverpool fans: “I am coming to win trophies for you.”
Sporting Director Julian Ward flew from Liverpool to Lisbon at the end of the season and opened negotiations. A deal was
done and it meant no other club could come in and spoil Liverpool’s plan. They had got their man, who said he always wanted to play for Liverpool. Visiting Anfield, Nunez was impressed with Liverpool’s display of trophies and awards and said how much he wants to be part of the history of such a great European club. He has also been overwhelmed in the past watching and listening to the Kop roar. He will wear the No27 shirt which was previously worn by outgoing Divock Origi. His salary is mid-level at the club and Jurgen
Klopp said of his new striker: “His age, his desire, his hunger to improve his quality is what we are looking for in our players. He is aggressive and dynamic with his movement.” The arrival of Nunez almost guarantees that Sadio Mane will leave for Bayern Munich.
Manchester United have rebuffed efforts by Tottenham to discuss them approaching Marcus Rashford which proves that Erik ten Hag plans a rosy future for the front man.
Conte wants a player who can play across the front line and Rashford is certainly that. Under Ralf Rangnick, Marcus started only 13 league matches last season and his form dropped off alarmingly. Ten Hag believes he can get him back on track.
Leeds spending their way out of trouble
After narrowly beating relegation, Leeds are making Bayern Munich’s 21-year-old midfielder Marc Roca their third signing this summer. The £12m deal brings Leed’s summer spending up to £47million and Roca joins Brendon Aaronson and Danish right-back Rasmus Kristensen from Red Bull Salzberg. The club are now working on signing a new striker to strengthen their attack.
Eriksen wants Champions League
Brentford manager Thomas Frank has finally admitted that he is losing the battle to keep Danish superstar Christian Eriksen but he hasn’t given up hope. Frank has met with his midfielder several times and tried to persuade him that staying is his best option.
However, Eriksen told Frank that his main ambition is to play in the Champions League and Brentford cannot offer that. West Ham are certainly interested although they cannot offer Champions League but a return to former club Tottenham is a possibility although no firm contact has been made yet.
Pitch invasion could lead to more stadium closures
Premier League clubs have been discussing plans to penalise clubs who allow fans to storm the pitch at any point in a game. Many years ago, pitch invasions were commonplace
but the authorities managed to put in place measures to stop the practice. Recently, matches have been interrupted by fans who get on to the pitch during or after the game and players and managers have even been assaulted. Premier League officials are looking at imposing partial stadium closures as punishment for offending clubs.
Premier League clubs have also been asked to provide extra security stewards for away games in an effort to stop crowd misbehaviour. The idea is that team stewards will recognise their own supporters likely to cause trouble. It is commonplace for local police to travel to away games in order to keep recognised problematic fans under control. Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Masters, said: “Supporters must be reminded that it is illegal to enter the pitch at any time. In addition we have seen an increase in the use of pyrotechnics and missiles, both of which are not only a criminal offence but can cause serious injury.”
Tighter rules to check would-be Premier League club owners
The FA are looking at bringing in new laws which would prevent a potential owner from borrowing large sums of money to purchase a club and then burden the club with the debt.
Possible stronger rules to more closely examine the finances of new owners are also being discussed.
Bale’s future a hot topic
The future of ex-Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale is a hot topic at the moment. Bale has not entered into any discussions and will not reveal his plans until after current Wales’ international matches so he can concentrate on his number one priority which is his
home country. I can tell you that he would prefer not to uproot his family from the Madrid area this summer because his children are settled into their schooling. He also wants to be located in Spain until the World Cup for which Wales have qualified. That opens up the door for clubs such as Madrid-based Rayo Vallecano and Getafe, who have been speaking to his agent.
Another longer-term possibility is Bale returning to the UK and joining Cardiff, based in his beloved Wales.
Chelsea need to act if they want to keep James
With new owner Todd Boehly’s transfer millions at his disposal, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel does not want to spend any of it on replacing Reece James. Currently, on England international duty, James is yet to discuss at length extending his contract beyond
his remaining three years. However, with a wage of £70k a week he lags behind many of today’s best players of which he is certainly one. The 22-year-old is crucial to Tuchel’s plans going forward but they are playing a dangerous game not offering to increase his salary and clubs such as Real Madrid and Manchester City are hovering in the background, ready to strike if future talks break down.
Why did Liverpool win everything?
Pep Guardiola has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to Liverpool. He believes that the Reds are everyone’s favourite and favours are bestowed upon them. I laughed at that but then, during a discussion on the topic, it was pointed out to me that Jurgen Klopp
won the Manager of the Year Award, Mo Salah was named as best player by both players and the media and six Liverpool players were included in the PFA team of the season. Erm, didn’t Manchester City win the Premier League title under the guidance of Pep Guardiola? Perhaps he has a point.
Players on football’s rich list
Football’s rich list has revealed Paul Pogba tops the table with a huge £77million personal football fortune which is £13million more than last year. Of the other players in the rich list, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling came fifth and sixth followed by Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku, who are both worth £42million.
Others on the rich list include Mo Salah, Virgil Van Dijk, Luke Shaw, Alexandre Lacazette, Roberto Firmino, Marcus Rashford, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Raphael Varane. Next year’s list would of course include Cristiano Ronaldo with an estimated £200million.
Zinchenko so thankful for all the support
Speaking this week when he was with his national team, Ukrainian Oleksandr Zinchenko cannot believe how supportive his teammates and Manchester City fans have been as he faced a tough emotional time seeing friends and family suffering in Ukraine due to the Russian invasion.
Fans cheered him every match and his fellow players threw an arm around him in friendship and support. Oleksandr is a very popular player in the dressing room and he was overcome with emotion when City beat Liverpool to the league title.
He said: “Honestly, I want to die for these people, for all this support, because of what people gave me and what they have done for me during the toughest period of my life…I am so appreciative and I will never forget this. Never in my life.”