Footy Extras

Chelsea set to make approach for 21-year-old EPL midfield star

Chelsea have reportedly approached Brighton & Hove Albion with a £65m proposal for Moises Caicedo.

The Blues recently made their fifth signing of the transfer window, after they hijacked Arsenal’s move for Mykhailo Mudryk.

Mudryk became the latest player to join Chelsea’s squad in January following the arrivals of Joao Felix, Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos and David Datro Fofana.

However, there transfer business appears to be far from done, with a deal reportedly agreed for PSV Eindoven winger Noni Madueke, while they have also made a bid for Inter Milan right-back Denzel Dumfries.

With Jorginho and N’Golo Kante’s current contract set to expire and the end of the season and the latter sidelined through injury, Chelsea are also believed to be looking to sign a central midfielder before the transfer window shuts.

They had been keen to sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica, but talks to over a deal ultimately stalled with the Portuguese club demanding to receive the player’s £105m release clause in full.

While efforts to sign Fernandez this month proved fruitless, the Blues appeared to have turned their attention to Caicedo.

According to CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs, Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly has ‘tested the water’ by proposing a £65m offer.

The bid is likely to be rejected by Brighton, who would be looking to receive a fee in excess of £75m if they were to sell in January.

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber has indicated that they are not prepared to sell the 21-year-old unless their asking price is met.

The report suggests that it is currently unclear whether Chelsea are willing to increase their offer, but the imminent transfer of Leandro Trossard from the Seagulls to Arsenal could have a knock-on effect on negotiations.

With Trossard set to join the Gunners in a deal worth up to £27m – including an initial £21m fee – the Seagulls may be more reluctant to sanction Caicedo’s departure.

Chelsea are not the only side interested in securing Caicedo’s signature, with Liverpool also said to be keen on signing the midfielder this month.

With James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita all out of contract at the end of the season, the Reds are looking to strengthen their midfield, although Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham is believed to be their main target for 2023.

Caicedo, who is under contract until June 2025, has chipped in with one goal and one assist during his 20 competitive appearances this season.

Chelsea keen on to sign Serie A No.2 centre-back

Chelsea have reportedly made a £31m opening offer for Inter Milan right-back Denzel Dumfries, amid interest from Manchester United.

Graham Potter is seeking reinforcements as a result of Reece James’s injury woes, whilst Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have failed to convince Erik ten Hag.

Italian outlet La Repubblica reports that the Blues have made the first move with a £31m bid, but that is likely to be rejected by the Italian club as they seek to start a bidding war.

The report states that Inter are looking for a fee of at least £48m to allow the Dutch international to leave, after his impressive World Cup campaign, but would prefer to keep the player until the summer.

The 26-year-old joined the Italian giants in 2021, after the departure of Achraf Hakimi, and is under contract until 2025 at San Siro.

The 42-cap international has featured 23 times so far this season, contributing to five goals.

Meanwhile, Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku is keen on to make permanent move to Inter Milan after his loan deal expires as he has no intentions to make a return to Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham could agree deal for 29-year-old Chelsea star next summer

Chelsea reportedly make contact with Tottenham Hotspur with regards to a potential swap deal involving Yves Bissouma and Hakim Ziyech.

The Blues have hit the headlines throughout the January transfer window as they continue the ambitious process of drastically changing their first-team squad.

Already this month, Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos, Mykhaylo Mudryk and David Datro Fofana have already make the switch to Stamford Bridge, and more fresh faces are expected to follow.

If reports are to be believed, Noni Madueke will arrive from PSV Eindhoven on Friday, leaving Chelsea to focus on a right-back, central midfield and potentially another centre forward.

Without any notable outgoings thus far, it has left Chelsea’s senior ranks heavily populated and unbalanced, and departures will inevitably have to materialise before the closure of the window.

According to The Telegraph, Chelsea are open to negotiating a swap or part-exchange deal involving Bissouma and Ziyech.

Bissouma, a former player of Graham Potter at Brighton & Hove Albion, has failed to impress since making the switch to Spurs, being restricted to nine starts and 13 substitute appearances in all competitions.

The North London outfit have failed to win on any of Bissouma’s last four starts, the most recent coming on New Year’s Day.

Meanwhile, Ziyech has slowly worked his way into Potter’s plans at Chelsea, aided by his excellent showings for Morocco at the World Cup and injuries to his club teammates.

The playmaker also provided the assist for Chelsea’s decisive goal versus Crystal Palace last weekend, but the additions of Mudryk and Madueke will put his place in the team at risk.

However, despite the interest from Chelsea, Spurs are said to have no intention of entertaining a proposal which includes Ziyech.

Head coach Antonio Conte is currently considering his options in the final third with another creative player likely to be signed before the January transfer deadline.

Ziyech has 18 months remaining on his contract and there is little prospect of fresh terms being penned at this stage.

He has been linked with Newcastle United and AC Milan at different stages of the month, with more interest expected to materialise over the coming days.

Chelsea boss drops hint about future of 22-year-old creative midfielder

Graham Potter reportedly wants to keep Conor Gallagher at Chelsea, after reports linked the 22-year-old with a loan move away from Stamford Bridge.

The Chelsea academy product has had successful loan spells at West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace in the last two seasons and Patrick Vieira’s side and Newcastle United had been linked with a loan move for the player this month.

However, reports that Gallagher will not be leaving in the January transfer window, with Potter intent on keeping the midfielder in West London for the remainder of the season.

The England midfielder has been involved in each of the Blues’ six matches since the return from the World Cup, starting in the FA Cup third round loss to Manchester City and the Premier League win over Crystal Palace.

Chelsea are currently 10th in the Premier League, 10 points behind Manchester United who occupy the final Champions League qualification spot, after a run of just two wins in their last nine league matches.

The four-cap international has featured 24 times so far this season for the Blues, scoring and assisting once

Chelsea told to forget signing of 25-year-old La Liga midfield star

Barcelona sporting director Jordi Cruyff has said that the window to sell Frenkie de Jong has now passed, with the midfielder set to remain at Camp Nou.

The Netherlands international was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United over the summer, with the Red Devils believed to have spent much of the recent market chasing his signature.

Barcelona’s financial problems had allegedly led to them making the decision to sell De Jong, with Man United said to be willing to pay around £80m for his signature.

However, De Jong ultimately refused to make the move to the 20-time English champions, and he has been a key player this term, featuring on 17 occasions in all competitions.

The 25-year-old is on huge wages at Camp Nou, and it had been thought that Barcelona would again consider selling him next year to ease their financial issues.

However, Cruyff has said that the Dutchman is now no longer available for transfer.

“Today this is not being talked about. In football there are moments and sometimes they are not defined solely by football issues,” Cruyff told Sport.

“The fair play situation. Not everyone understands what it is, there are changes every week, but there are situations and decisions that are not just football things. But time has passed and he has an important role.

“The reality is that Frenkie has stayed, he is a loved player, people expect a lot from him because he is very talented and a slightly different player. There was the possibility because good players are always wanted by good teams, it works like that. The reality is that he is here and he is playing an important role.

“There are market moments and it’s no longer with Frenkie, but with everyone, there is a fair play rule and the consequences of not complying with it are enormous and there are calculations that have nothing to do with what happens on the pitch.

“It is an accumulation of things and you do some calculations. There is no other way. Fair play forces you to make decisions.”

De Jong, who has a contract at Camp Nou until June 2026, has made 157 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions, contributing 15 goals and 19 assists in the process.

Transfer Blow: Chelsea dream target set to sign new Barcelona contract

Franck Kessie reportedly has no desire to leave Barcelona this month despite the current speculation.

The Ivory Coast international ran down his contract at AC Milan before joining Barcelona on a free transfer, with the Catalan outfit beating a host of clubs to his signature.

The 26-year-old has made 18 appearances for Xavi’s side during the 2022-23 campaign, scoring two goals and providing two assists in the process, but he has found it difficult to secure starts.

The midfielder has only featured in the first XI on two occasions in La Liga this term, with a number of players ahead of him in the pecking order when it comes to the middle of the park.

There has been speculation surrounding his future in recent days, with Inter Milan and Chelsea two of a number of clubs to be credited with an interest.

However, according to Sport, Kessie is determined to remain at Camp Nou and fight for his spot in the side.

The report claims that the midfielder believes that the Copa del Rey contest with Ceuta on Thursday evening could be a turning point, as he put in arguably his best performance since joining the club.

Kessie scored once and provided two assists in the 5-0 win over the third-tier outfit, and Barcelona boss Xavi said after the match that he was delighted with the performance of his side.

“Today’s players are not secondary players. We are all part of the same squad, they are all important players and I am convinced that they will be just as important between now and the end of the season,” he told reporters.

“The team has been very serious. We are very happy. We showed that we have a great squad.”

Kessie is allegedly ‘100% certain’ that he wants to remain with Barcelona, and his family are also happy and settled in the city, which is another reason why he has no interest in a move away this month.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta also recently said that the Ivorian would not be leaving the Catalan side before the end of the winter window.

“I don’t have any intention of selling Kessie in January, he will continue to be important for us,” Laporta told reporters. “We’re happy with our squad, the players will continue to be important over the rest of the season.”

Kessie starred for AC Milan ahead of his arrival at Barcelona, scoring 37 goals and registering 16 assists in 223 appearances in all competitions for the reigning Italian champions.

Chelsea set to make approach for €22m-rated La Liga star

Chelsea have allegedly identified Atletico Madrid defender Nahuel Molina as a potential January transfer target.

The Blues have already been proactive at the midway point of the campaign, signing David Datro Fofana from Molde and having deals in place for Andrey Santos and Benoit Badiashile.

Numerous reports are also suggesting that Enzo Fernandez is likely to depart Benfica for Stamford Bridge over the coming days in a deal worth in excess of €120m.

However, given the injury issues regarding Reece James, the West Londoners are allegedly keen to bring in a new option at right-back before the end of the month.

Although Cesar Azpilicueta is currently deputising in the position, the Spaniard is now 33 years of age and no longer provides the same qualities as James.

According to journalist Simon Phillips, consideration is now being given to trying to sign World Cup winner Molina.

Alongside Argentine compatriot Fernandez, Molina has just played an important role in helping his nation lift the Jules Rimet trophy for the first time since 1986.

Molina made six starts and one substitute outing in Qatar, contributing one goal and one assist as he proved to be a regular at full-back and wing-back.

The 24-year-old will return to Atletico expecting to retain his spot in the team after making 17 appearances in La Liga and the Champions League this season.

Nevertheless, while Molina is a regular under countryman Diego Simeone, change is expected at Wanda Metropolitano given their early exit from the Champions League.

However, Atletico are unlikely to consider the sale of Molina unless Chelsea are willing to pay over the odds for a player who only linked up with the Spanish giants last year.

Molina possesses a contract until 2027 after departing Udinese for Colchoneros for a fee which would reach €15m if all add-ons are activated.

The report adds that Chelsea are continuing to monitoring Benjamin Pavard’s situation at Bayern Munich, the Frenchman recently hinting that he would prefer a fresh challenge over extending his terms at the Allianz Arena past 2024.

Chelsea set to make move for Bundesliga No.10 forward this month

Chelsea could reportedly sign Marcus Thuram for €10m (£8.9m) this month, with Borussia Monchengladbach open to letting the forward leave in the middle of the campaign.

The France international has been in impressive form for Gladbach during the 2022-23 campaign, scoring 13 goals and registering four assists in 17 appearances in all competitions.

However, the 25-year-old’s contract is due to expire at the end of June, which has led to a host of speculation surrounding his future with the German club.

Chelsea are believed to be determined to sign another forward during the January window despite recently bringing in Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid.

Felix picked up a red card on his debut against Fulham on Thursday, which has strengthened the club’s desire to add to their forward line over the next couple of weeks.

According to German journalist Christian Falk, Gladbach are reluctant to lose Thuram on a free transfer this summer, so they would rather sell him in the middle of the season.

Falk claims that an offer of €10m (£8.9m) is likely to be accepted by the German outfit, who would then look to bring in a replacement before the window closes.

“I heard that Gladbach is still waiting for an offer from Chelsea for Marcus Thuram,” Falk wrote in his column for CaughtOffside. “Beside Joao Felix, it’s not the same type of striker, so they still need one.

“Gladbach have an idea of selling Thuram for €10m (£8.9m) now rather than losing him for free in the summer, then reinvesting the money in a new striker.

“The offer’s yet to come, of course, and they’re a little bit afraid of Barcelona who have been sweeping up all the available free agents on the market.”

Thuram started his professional career with Sochaux, turning out for the French club on 43 occasions before making the move to Guingamp in 2017.

The forward, who represented France at the 2022 World Cup, then arrived at Gladbach in 2019, and he has played for Die Fohlen on 119 occasions, scoring 41 goals and contributing 26 assists in the process.

A move for Thuram could see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leave the club, with the former Gabon international currently being strongly linked with a return to Barcelona.

As well as Felix, Chelsea have signed Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos and David Datro Fofana this month.

Chelsea failed to sign 28-year-old Croatian defender

Union Berlin have completed the signing of right-back Josip Juranovic from Celtic for a fee believed to be in the region of £10m.

The 28-year-old watched on from the stands at Parkhead as the Hoops beat Greenock Morton 5-0 in the Scottish Cup on Saturday, before flying to Germany to undergo his medical.

Juranovic leaves Celtic after just over 18 months with the Scottish Premiership champions, scoring six goals in 52 appearances across all competitions.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, via the Daily Record, before Juranovic completed his medical, Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou said: “I can’t question Josip’s contribution, he has been fantastic. Josip has absolutely loved his time here and he will remember it fondly and he gets an opportunity to do further things in his career and for his family.

“I think he’s been fantastic, I’ve loved working with Josip. He’s been a really popular member of the dressing room, he’s been a key contributor last year to what was a very, very important season, in the context of what had happened the season before.

“The fact we had to rebuild the team and get back to where we wanted to be in terms of champions then he was a key component of that. With all of the lads, I’m constantly in dialogue with them about themselves and their careers and people have to appreciate Josip is 28 years old but he hasn’t really got to the highest level until late in his career.

“He just wants to maximise his opportunities, to be honest. I agree with him. That’s what all of us have in our careers, a limited time and we want to take opportunities. He leaves here as a fantastic player and as somebody who contributed to what was a really important season for us.”

Juranovic will now test himself in the Bundesliga with high-flying Union Berlin, who currently sit third in the German top-flight table, level on points with Eintracht Frankfurt in second place, and are vying for Champions League qualification.

Speaking to the club’s official website on his arrival, the Croatia international said: “The transfer to Union fulfils my dream of being able to play in one of the best football leagues in the world.

“The Bundesliga is intense and robust, which suits my game. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the fans at the Alte Forsterei soon. In Berlin, I want to improve even more and take the next step in my career.”

Union Berlin director of football Oliver Ruhnert added: “With his pace his experience and his ability, Josip is a great fit for us. We are convinced that in him we have signed a player who will quickly be of great help, and we are very happy to have him.”

Juranovic, who represented Croatia at the 2022 World Cup, was strongly linked with a host of European clubs prior and during the January transfer window after establishing himself as a key player at Celtic.

European giants including Barcelona and Chelsea were credited with an interest in the attack-minded right-back, while the likes of Monza and Espanyol were also said to have made enquiries, but Union Berlin have ultimately won the race for his signature.

Juranovic becomes The Iron Ones’ second signing of the winter window after left-back Jerome Roussillon and both players could be in contention to make their debut when Urs Fischer’s side travel to Werder Bremen on Wednesday.

Chelsea direct PL rivals plotting move for 29-year-old African attacker

Everton are reportedly preparing to make an ambitious attempt to sign Chelsea attacker Hakim Ziyech on loan before the end of the January transfer window.

The Toffees lost their third straight Premier League game on Saturday afternoon, with the 2-0 defeat to West Ham United leaving the Merseyside giants 19th in the table on 15 points.

There is huge pressure on head coach Frank Lampard due to the team’s struggles, but the former midfielder is still in the role and currently preparing for the next match against Arsenal at the start of February.

According to the Daily Mail, Everton will be active before the winter window closes, and the club are strongly interested in signing Ziyech from Chelsea.

The report claims that the Toffees want to loan the Morocco international for the second half of the season, with the option to sign him permanently if they avoid relegation to the Championship.

Ziyech’s future is currently the subject of much speculation, with Chelsea thought to be open to letting him depart before the end of the transfer window.

The 29-year-old has found it difficult to make his mark for the Blues this season, contributing only one assist in 15 appearances in all competitions.

Ziyech has started Chelsea’s last two league games against Crystal Palace and Liverpool, although he could struggle for regular action once all the club’s new signings are available for selection.

A recent report claimed that the attacker was desperate to join Barcelona before the end of the month, with the Catalan outfit looking to bring in a replacement for Memphis Depay.

Ziyech arrived at Chelsea from Ajax in 2020, and he has featured on 98 occasions for the London club, contributing 14 goals and 11 assists in the process.

The forward helped Morocco reach the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup, but Chelsea boss Graham Potter said that he would “have to be patient” after struggling for regular action in the first half of the season.

“We know his qualities, we like him as a player, he plays between the lines with fantastic quality as we saw in the World Cup,” he told reporters towards the end of last year.

“At Chelsea there are always good players who aren’t in the starting XI and have to be patient. I was delighted for him, kept in touch with him over the World Cup.

“Delighted for him that he got the game-time, delighted for him that he helped his team, he’s a good guy and he’s got quality.”

Potter has now selected Ziyech in the first XI for the team’s last two Premier League matches, but Chelsea are currently without a number of attackers due to injuries.