Premier League • England

Chelsea threat given short shrift with fresh confirmation on £68m transfer deja vu

England pair Jude Bellingham and Tammy Abraham smiling during training 2021

A clause that could see Chelsea walk a familiar path and secure a £68m signing has been confirmed, though one club chief is unfazed about the Blues’ transfer threat.

Chelsea broke the bank last summer when forking out a club-record £97.5m to sign Romelu Lukaku. It was the second time the Blues had bought the Belgian, and the 2021 move cost Chelsea around £70m more than what they sold him to Everton for in 2014.

Lukaku hasn’t had the impact the Blues hierarchy would’ve hoped for just yet. Though it is still early days to classify him as an expensive mistake – as many Man Utd fans will feel about Paul Pogba after he too was re-signed at great expense.

Nevertheless, it may make Chelsea think twice when the time comes to make a decision on Tammy Abraham.

The 24-year-old was sold to Roma last summer for £34m. The deal reportedly include a buy-back clause that would see Chelsea pay double to bring Abraham back on board.

Now, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has confirmed the details in that clause after carrying quotes from Roma chief Tiago Pinto.

Romano reiterated the figure is set at €80m (£68m). However, as had been previously reported, Chelsea cannot trigger the clause until Abraham has completed two full seasons in Rome.

Roma chief shrugs off Chelsea threat

Roma chief Pinto echoed those sentiments, though gave the threat of Chelsea re-acquiring their star centre-forward short shrift. In his words, Roma are “not even worried” about that possibility.

“There’s a buy back clause in Abraham’s contract, but it’s not going to be valid this summer,” said Pinto (via Romano).

Race for Phillips will be hotly contested

Kalvin Phillips is going to be a very sought-after man in the summer.

“I’m not even worried, we’re happy with Tammy and he’s doing great.”

Abraham has made a bright start to life in Italy this season. He has bagged 17 goals from 30 appearances across all competitions and laid on four assists for his teammates.

He is already Jose Mourinho’s undisputed No 1 centre-forward at the club, and has ensured the loss of Edin Dzeko to Inter Milan last summer has not hit as hard as many had feared.

The worst January deadline day signings in recent Premier League history

Chelsea, Man City on high Haaland alert

Meanwhile, Real Madrid have made their decision between Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, and a source close to Florentino Perez has revealed superb news for Chelsea and Man City.

Mbappe is out of contract in the summer and German newspaper Bild claimed Real Madrid have reached an agreement to sign the 23-year-old.

An eye-watering salary of around £40m-per-year (£769,000-a-week) has been earmarked. If the move goes through, Mbappe would become the world’s highest paid player.

Now ESPN back up Bild’s reporting, though add a wrinkle that will be of interest to Chelsea and Man City.

Firstly, they state the Mbappe announcement could be made after Real play PSG in the Champions League Round of 16. The second leg of that tie is scheduled for March 9. However, despite their lofty ambitions, Real will be unable to muster the financial muscle to sign both Mbappe and Haaland in the same summer.

As such, quotes carried in the ESPN article will put a smile on faces at the Etihad and Stamford Bridge. El Chiringuito host Josep Pedrerol claimed on Monday that Haaland is no longer in Real’s plans.

“It could change,” said Pedrerol – who is reportedly close to Real head honcho Florentino Perez. “But the objective is Kylian Mbappe, not trying to get both of them in May. He isn’t a priority for Real Madrid. It’s Mbappe, Mbappe, Mbappe.”

EURO PAPER TALK: Edwards’ final deals as Liverpool ruin Chelsea, Arsenal plans for £118m duo; Everton talks over £105m star