As days tick on in the short off-season ahead of the resumption of football in Europe, teams looking to add to their squad before the new campaign commences are in a race against time.
The biggest transfer story of the summer remains Manchester United’s on-going pursuit of Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho. The deal has apparently hit an impasse with rumours swirling that the English giants remain unwilling to pay the German side’s asking price of over 100 million pounds.
While United and Dortmund continue to bide their time, other teams across Europe are moving fast in the transfer window and we take a look some of the most important transfer stories from across Europe.
Chelsea closing in on Chilwell, Havertz and Silva
Chelsea, who have already added Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner to their roster this off-season, continue to pursue their targets aggressively in the transfer market.
Chelsea updates. 🔵 #CFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 21, 2020
- Ben Chilwell deal to be completed on next days. He’s always been the main target as LB. Last details then here-we-go soon.
- Thiago Silva talks on (final answer on next week).
- Havertz: Chelsea are negotiating with Bayer and now’re preparing a new bid.
According to reliable Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano and English journalist David Ornstein, Chelsea are closing on Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell in a deal that is set to cost the Londoners over 50 million pounds.
Leicester City had initially demanded a fee closer to 80 million pounds, the same amount they received for letting Harry Maguire join Manchester United. However, the pandemic and Chilwell’s willingness to move has seen them soften their stance and are now close to agreeing a fee in the region of 50 million.
The Londoners are also closing in on another long-term target, Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz. The young German has been a subject of interest for all of Europe’s elite clubs, however, Chelsea’s bloated spending power has seen them take the lead in the race to sign the wonderkid.
The two teams remain slightly apart in their valuation of the player, but Havertz has made Leverkusen know that he wants to join Chelsea and the deal looks close to conclusion.
Chelsea aren’t quite done yet. PSG captain Thiago Silva’s agent has offered his client's service to the Londoners for the upcoming season. The 35-year-old will leave PSG on a free after their Champions League final on Sunday and the veteran centre-back has expressed an interest in joining the Blues.
With close to 150 million committed to signing Chilwell and Havertz, and their hunt for a new goalkeeper still active, Chelsea could explore signing Silva as a stop-gap signing on a free for a couple of seasons.
Mass exodus in Turin
New Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo has commenced his cleanout at the club, with a number of the squad’s senior players being asked to leave the club.
Midfielder Blaise Matuidi has already moved to David Beckham’s Inter Miami in the Major League Soccer and Pirlo wants the club to buyout the contracts of veteran Sami Khedira and striker Gonzalo Higuain.
After Matuidi deal with Inter Miami completed for free, Juventus have decided also to terminate contracts of Higuain and Khedira. They're out of the Pirlo project.— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 21, 2020
Talks on to find an agreement on the payout (both have still 1 year contract left with Juve). ⚪️⚫️ #transfers #Juve
Khedira joined the Old Lady on a free transfer back in 2015, while Higuain was the club’s record-signing in 2016, before their acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018.
Both players have a year left on their current deals and the club is negotiating a buyout with both players.
Among others that could be heading out of Turin are winger Douglas Costa and centre-back Daniele Rugani. The duo is also seemingly not in Pirlo’s plans for next season and the club is actively listening to offers for both players.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Rui Viera, Miguel Medina