Chelsea Round-Up: Deal Close, £68.9m-rated defender on radar, Battle for Liverpool key man

By | June 24, 2022

Almost Done: Inter Milan on the verge to agree deal for £97.5m-rated Chelsea forward

Serie A giants, Inter Milan are reportedly on the verge of securing the services of Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku on a season-long loan deal.

Ever since Lukaku told Italian media back in December that he was unhappy with life at West London giants, there has been constant rumours regarding the player’s future.

Having scored three times during the run-in, including a double against the Wolves, it was reported that the Belgium international may remain in West London.

However, it soon became apparent that the 29-year-old centre-forward was angling for a return to Serie A giants, the team that he left in a £97.5m transfer last summer.

According to Italian journalists Gianluca Di Marzio and Fabrizio Romano, the relevant parties have settled on an agreement for a loan move to occur as soon as possible.

Serie A giants, will pay a loan of €8m (£6.9m) plus add-ons, far lower than the Blues initial demands of £20m, and a transfer is now described as ‘imminent’.

Previous reports have suggested that Romelu Lukaku, who won the Serie A trophy with Inter Milan in 2020-21, is willing to take a pay cut to take on a second spell in Italy.

The deal is a straight loan with no option to buy, currently leaving Belgium centre-forward to return to West London at the end of the campaign.

The Blues head coach Thomas Tuchel is believed to have supported the exit of Romelu Lukaku, who did not fit his style of play.

The frontman contributed a total of 15 times from 44 games in all competitions last campaign, just eight of those forwards coming in the English top-tier.

Earlier in negotiations, it was claimed that the Blues had enquired about the availability of a number of Inter Milan players, including centre-back Milan Skriniar.

However, everything points to the West London club having failed to make a breakthrough for the Slovakia international, who is also being rumoured with Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sky Sports News claimed that Inter Milan were looking to boost their financial position by raising in the region of £50m before the end of June.

Chelsea favourites to agree deal for £68.9m-rated Serie A defender

Chelsea are favourites to beat Manchester United in the race to secure services of Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt.

The 22-year-old defender forms an integral part of Massimiliano Allegri’s backline, which has recently been depleted by Giorgio Chiellini’s departure and move to MLS side Los Angeles.

However, De Ligt is about to enter the final two years of his current deal with Juve, and a host of interested teams are keeping a watchful eye over the situation.

The Netherlands international has also refused to rule out the prospect of a move elsewhere, saying: “Talks are being held and, when the time comes, I will decide whether I will extend or whether I want to look elsewhere,” as quoted by 90Min.

“I always look at what is best for myself in terms of sporting project. Fourth place, two years in a row, is not good enough. We will have to make steps in that direction. Personally, this was my best year so far. In terms of playing time and the way I played.

“The club have said that to me and I have shown this season, when Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci were injured, what I am capable of. I had to take the lead and it went well. I think that’s the next step.”

Manchester City, Chelsea and Man Utd have all been credited with an interest in De Ligt, however, according to Calciomercato, it is the West London club who are currently leading the charge.

The Old Lady are believed to be in constant contact with Rafaela Pimenta over the prospect of a new contract for the defender, however, he will have to take a financial hit to pen fresh terms.

De Ligt is believed to earn a yearly wage of €11m (£9.5m) in Turin, however, a fresh deal – which would end in the summer of 2026 – could see him earn €8m (£6.9m) per year.

Furthermore, Serie A giants are also supposedly trying to cut his release clause down to €80m (£68.9m) from €120m (£103.4m), and teams would be able to trigger that option in 2023.

The defender has posted a total of eight goals and three assists in 117 appearances for Serie A giants, Juventus over the past three years, winning one Serie A trophy, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana in the process.

Chelsea keen on to recruit Liverpool key man this summer

Premier League giants, Chelsea and Manchester United are both reportedly interested in securing the services of Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards as part of their recruitment teams.

Edwards announced earlier last year that he would step down from his role at Anfield, with the 42-year-old’s current deal set to end in June.

“Ten years – that’s a pretty long time in anyone’s working life. In football terms it is an era in itself, particularly at a club like Liverpool where the expectations and standards are never anything other than as high as the supporters deserve,” read an open letter to the Liverpool supporters last year.

“To be part of this club during this period has been a privilege due to the people I have been fortunate enough to work with and the success we have enjoyed. But all good things must come to an end and, in my case, I recently completed my final summer window as Liverpool sporting director.

“Even writing those words seems a bit surreal, but at the end of this season I will pack up my laptop and leave my office at the AXA Training Centre for the last time.”

Edwards, who will be replaced by deputy sporting director Julian Ward, made the switch to the Merseyside Reds back in November 2011 and has played a main role in their recruitment in recent years.

The Reds owners are believed to have made a number of attempts to convince Edwards to extend his current deal, however, he has decided to seek pastures new at this stage of his career.

The transfer expert played vital roles in the adding of the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Thiago, Fabinho and Alisson Becker at Anfield.

According to the Daily Mail, both Chelsea and Man Utd want to keep Edwards in the English top-tier, with the former revamping their set-up under football director John Murtough.

The report suggests that the Red Devils want Edwards to become a key part of their transfer business this summer.

The Blues are also believed to have already approached the transfer expert with a view to bringing him to Stamford Bridge under their new owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.