Chelsea

Chelsea

Premier League • England

Transfer Gossip: Chelsea plotting double midfield idea with ‘most viable option’ named; West Ham expecting two targets to sign

Ross Barkley trying to evade Tom Cleverley

Chelsea are looking for solutions with Ross Barkley and one other midfielder, which could lead to an identical plan, while West Ham are growing confident that two more signings are on the way – according to Tuesday’s transfer gossip.

ROSS BARKLEY BEING OFFERED AROUND

Ross Barkley and Billy Gilmour could both end up following the same exit route out of Chelsea, according to reports.

Neither midfielder has a major place in Thomas Tuchel’s plans for the upcoming season. During 2021-22, Barkley only made six Premier League appearances, while Gilmour was on loan at Norwich City.

In their positions, Tuchel can already call on the likes of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount and Conor Gallagher. Therefore, Chelsea are looking for solutions for their fringe players.

According to the Daily Mirror, they have offered Barkley back to two of his former clubs: Everton, from whom they signed him in 2018, and Aston Villa, who took him on loan in the 2020-21 season.

The report claims returning to Everton would be the “more viable option” for Barkley. He was born in Liverpool and came through Everton’s academy ranks.

The Mirror also note that Frank Lampard – his former manager at Chelsea – wants more creativity in his Everton side. A peak Barkley would be able to provide that.

However, much will depend on Lampard’s tactical plans, with the report hinting he is leaning towards a 3-4-3 for the upcoming season. Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard will set up Aston Villa in a 4-3-3.

Neither shape has room for a natural number 10, which may force Barkley to adapt into a central midfielder unless he can find a new suitor. But in the last year of his contract, it is essential that Chelsea can find a solution for the 28-year-old.

Gilmour could follow Ross Barkley to Everton

Billy Gilmour preparing for a Scotland match

They are under slightly less pressure with Gilmour after activating an option to extend his contract until 2024. Still, it does not seem like the Scotland international is particularly to Tuchel’s liking.

A report from the Daily Mail reiterates that Chelsea could send the 21-year-old out on loan again. They have withdrawn him from their pre-season squad, so he must seek a solution as he keeps up his fitness with the development team.

Interestingly, there is a feeling that Gilmour could head to Everton as well. He previously enjoyed a better relationship with Lampard.

Both surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge, it remains to be seen if Barkley and Gilmour could yet share a pitch at Goodison Park next season.

WEST HAM CONFIDENT OF DOUBLE DEAL

Jesse Lingard, West Ham loanee, celebrates a goal v Leeds in 2020/21 Premier League season

West Ham are set to take their tally of summer signings up to five with the additions of Amadou Onana and Jesse Lingard.

According to the Evening Standard, the club are confident of signing both players, for whom there are currently offers on the table.

West Ham have returned to Lille with a third bid for developing midfielder Onana. He cost Lille just £6m last summer but is now the subject of a bid surpassing £30m.

The report claims West Ham believe it will be successful, despite not yet receiving a response from Lille. Promisingly, there is also the suggestion that the 20-year-old is “pushing” to leave the Ligue 1 outfit.

In addition, the Standard is anticipating an announcement from Lingard over his future this week.

Currently a free agent after leaving Manchester United, West Ham are working on a deal to bring him back after six exciting months on loan at the club in 2021.

Lingard could alternatively leave the Premier League, since he is listening to offers from the MLS and Saudi Arabia. However, despite some frustration at Lingard’s delays, West Ham still believe they are best placed to sign him.

As such, both he and Onana could follow Alphonse Areola, Nayef Aguerd and Flynn Downes through the entrance door at the London Stadium.

CRYSTAL PALACE HAVE VERBAL AGREEMENT WITH BAYERN DEFENDER

Chris Richards and Alphonso Davies with Bayern Munich

Crystal Palace are close to signing Chris Richards after opening talks with Bayern Munich.

Richards finished the 2021-22 season on loan at Hoffenheim after only playing once in the first half of the Bundesliga campaign. He made 19 appearances in the German first tier after his temporary switch.

Now, though, the American is on the lookout for a new club. Bayern are about to sign Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus, so Richards has an even smaller place in their plans.

Crystal Palace have been rumoured admirers for some time. Now, the Daily Mail relays they are in talks with Bayern.

Although Hoffenheim offered to keep Richards, he is instead keen to hear what Palace have to say. In fact, German reporter Florian Plettenburg has revealed there is a verbal agreement between Palace and their target.

The Premier League side are keen to add competition for Joachim Andersen, Marc Guehi and James Tomkins.

At just 22 years of age, Richards would fit in with their recent focus on building a bright future. They must agree a fee with Bayern first, though.

As things stand, Richards is under contract until 2025 with Bayern.