Paper Talk: Chelsea star asks to leave; Mahrez snub

Date published: Saturday 16th July 2016 9:30

Riyad Mahrez: Waving goodbye to Leicester?

Antonio Conte has a fight on his hands to keep one of his Chelsea strikers ahead of the new season, while the news gets worse for Leicester fans.


Chelsea could be forced to bring in another striker during this transfer window with the Brazilian-born Spanish international Diego Costa linked with a return to his former club Atletico Madrid by the Daily Mail.

The 27-year-old was one of the main strugglers for the Blues in their forgettable 2015/16 campaign and was snubbed by Spain for Euro 2016 as a result.

He could now kick-start his career again back at Atleti, where he scored 64 goals in 135 games before leaving to join Chelsea in £32m deal.

Speculation has been fuelled further after club president Enrique Cerezo admitted that a new striker is top of Diego Simeone’s wishlist and specifically referenced the man who helped win Atletico Madrid win the La Liga title in 2014.

“We’re looking for a new striker, and we always like to get the biggest players we can,” Cerezo told Spanish newspaper Diario AS.

“[Costa] played for us for a few years and he’s a really good player, no one can deny that. I don’t know if Costa has spoken to [Antonio] Conte, but we’re working to hard bring the best players to Atleti.”

Conte, who impressed at his first press conference as Chelsea manager, is said to be keen on keeping Costa for the upcoming season but a return to Atletico Madrid may prove to be too tempting.


After reports emerged that midfielder N’Golo Kante is set to join Chelsea in a £30m deal, Leicester could have another key player departure on their hands.

According to The Guardian, Algerian sensation Riyad Mahrez has also rejected a new bumper deal to stay at the King Power Stadium as the PFA Player of the Year wants a new challenge following Leicester’s title win last season.

The Foxes were reportedly ready to give Mahrez a new £80,000-a-week contract, but he has told his representatives that he still wishes to find a new club this summer, with Manchester United one of many admirers throughout Europe.

This would come as a major blow for boss Claudio Ranieri, who only recently revealed that he was feeling positive about Mahrez staying with the club this season.


Joe Hart England woe

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is considering up the future of keeper Joe Hart, 29, as the club weighs up a move for PSV Eindhoven’s 25-year-old custodian Jeroen Zoet (Daily Mail)

The Football Association will approach Bournemouth in order to speak to their boss Eddie Howe, 38, over the current England manager vacancy (Daily Star)

Dimitri Payet’s agent has denied the 29-year-old West Ham playmaker said that he would be “100%” staying with the Hammers (Daily Express)

West Ham made former striker Carlos Tevez an offer of £150,000-a-week to return to the club but the 32-year-old will instead sign for Brazilian side Corinthians (Daily Mirror)

Liverpool have been linked with Bayern Munich playmaker Mario Gotze but the 24-year-old is set to sign for former club Borussia Dortmund

Crystal Palace are considering a £20m move for West Brom striker Saido Berahino, 22 (Sun)

Atletico Nacional striker Marlos Moreno, 19, is joining Manchester City – according to the Colombia Olympic team’s boss Carlos Restrepo (Gol Caracol, via ESPN)

Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini says his side will not be able to sign midfielder Yaya Toure, 34, from former club Manchester City (Sky Sport Italia, via Manchester Evening News)

Ligue 1 side Marseille are set to sign Aston Villa midfielder Carlos Sanchez, 30 (Birmingham Mail)

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