Antonio Conte is targeting £100m worth of new players to bring to Chelsea this summer, while Manchester United’s summer targets have also been revealed, according to Thursday’s newspapers.
CONTE DRAWS UP CHELSEA’S SUMMER TARGETS
Antonio Conte will put Celtic striker Moussa Dembele at the top of his shopping list as he makes plans for a £100m investment in players at Stamford Bridge.
With the Blues look near certainties to return to the Champions League next season given they sit a huge nine points clear at the Premier League summit, the Italian is already drawing up his transfer plans for the summer – and he has three names in mind, according to reports.
Celtic’s Dembele was linked with a move to the club earlier this week, despite this expletive ridden response from the Frenchman about reports he was set for a £40m move to the Blues.
However, the Daily Mirror claims Dembele is not the only striker being chased by Chelsea, with Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata also on his wish list. That claim is backed up by the Daily Telegraph, with both papers suggesting the third man on Conte’s wanted list is Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.
The Premier League leaders kept their powder dry in the January transfer window, but are prepared to spend serious money this summer as they embark on a return to the top table in Europe – possibly as Premier League champions.
Owner Roman Abramovich is impressed by the job Conte has done in his first season at Stamford Bridge, with the Russian billionaire said to be prepared to ‘back the former Juventus and Italy coach financially going forward’.
UNITED FAILED WITH LATE LINDELOF BID AS TRIO ARE TARGETED
Manchester United fell short with a desperate late attempt to prise defender Victor Lindelof away from Benfica, according to reports.
The Sweden centre-half has been earmarked as one of United’s top targets for the summer, but Portuguese paper A Bola claims United tried to bring him to the club before the transfer window slammed shut on Tuesday evening.
The paper claims that Benfica’s president, Luis Filipe Vieira, was in England after finalising Helder Costa’s move to Wolves and met up with United officials for negotiations over Lindelof.
But United were unable to strike a deal for the central defender, who has a €30million (£25.4m) release clause.
The report also claims that United however will look to push through a deal for the defender sooner rather than later as Jose Mourinho – who denied an agreement for Antoine Griezmann – looks to arrange his summer business quickly.
Along with Lindelof and Griezmann, Mourinho is also reportedly keen on a deal for Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.
AND THE REST
West Ham have moved swiftly to delete any memory of Dimitri Payet after replacing the mural of the playmaker at London Stadium with one celebrating Andy Carroll’s wonder goal against Crystal Palace (Daily Express)
Aaron Ramsey fears a worrying lay-off because of his injured calf. The Arsenal midfielder will certainly Saturday’s Premier League showdown at Chelsea after limping out of the home loss to Watford on Tuesday night (Daily Mirror)
Watford striker Troy Deeney has revealed he would be receptive to any offer of a big-money move from the Chinese Super League having seen team-mate Odion Ighalo head east (Daily Mail)
West Brom boss Tony Pulis insists that top scorer Salomon Rondon has been unsettled by personal problems rather than a big-money bid from China (Daily Mirror)
Craig Bellamy has taken his first steps in senior coaching under Neil Warnock at Cardiff City (Daily Mirror)
Tottenham are set to be without Danny Rose for the whole of February after the defender injured his knee in Tuesday’s draw with Sunderland (The Sun)
Tim Krul pulled the plug on a loan move to Watford because his medical was too long (The Sun)
West Ham would have received twice the £25m fee they got from Marseille for 29-year-old midfielder Dimitri Payet if the player’s true value had been met, according to Hammers co-chairman David Gold (BT Sport)
Antonio Conte has sent scouts to check out Marseille wonderkid Maxime Lopez (The Sun)
Mariano snubbed a loan move to Liverpool in favour of staying at Real Madrid (The Sun)
Chelsea had a last-minute £25.75m bid for Antonio Candreva rejected (The Sun)
Crystal Palace and Hull City both failed with deadline-day moves for 26-year-old former Sunderland midfielder Yann M’Vila, who plays for Rubin Kazan (talkSPORT)
Didier Drogba, 38, remains a free agent after turning down Brazilian giants Corinthians (Daily Mail)
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe says an offer was made to bring Chelsea defender Nathan Ake, 21, back to the Vitality Stadium following an earlier loan spell (Daily Express)
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez says he is “disappointed” by the club’s lack of January signings (Independent)
Former Celtic manager Ronny Deila, now in charge of Valarenga, turned down the chance to manage Norway, the job being taken by Lars Lagerback (Daily Record)
Erik Sviatchenko’s agent has revealed the defender was not interested in quitting Celtic this month for a move to the Premier League (Daily Record)
Swansea City rejected an offer of more than £30m for midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, 27, after the Iceland international became the latest big-name target for the Chinese Super League (Wales Online)
SV Steinbach’s 20-year-old midfielder Daniel Hanslik has been on trial at Arsenal (Daily Express)