Transfer Gossip: Joao Felix twist opens new Chelsea negotiation amid contrasting Potter stance; Aston Villa behind secretive link to former Arsenal ace
The next step in Chelsea’s attacking reshuffle has been revealed and it will be intriguing for Joao Felix, while a belief is growing that Unai Emery could sign one of his former Arsenal players for Aston Villa – all in Wednesday’s transfer gossip.
AUBAMEYANG LINKED WITH LA LIGA RETURN
Chelsea could receive an offer from Atletico Madrid for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a separate negotiation to the one that is bringing Joao Felix to the Premier League.
Felix is on the verge of becoming Chelsea’s fourth signing of the January transfer window. A deal has been agreed for him to spend the next six months on loan at Stamford Bridge.
The attacker had fallen out of favour at Atletico Madrid, but is now about to get a fresh start in the Premier League. He will be following Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos in joining Chelsea this winter.
Felix travelled to London on Tuesday ahead of his medical and the signing of his contract. Although it is only a loan arrival, Chelsea are paying a substantial sum to acquire his services.
Having scored fewer goals than anyone else in the top half of the Premier League so far this season, their need for investment up front has been clear.
The arrival of Felix should address some of their issues. But in turn, it will create an even bigger problem for Aubameyang.
The former Arsenal striker joined Chelsea over the summer to reunite with his ex-Borussia Dortmund boss, Thomas Tuchel. However, the manager lost his own job days after the transfer window closed.
Aubameyang has been in limbo ever since. Just four of his nine Premier League appearances this season have been starts; the last came back in November. That said, he did manage to start every match of the Champions League group stage.
Atletico among Aubameyang suitors
But Graham Potter does not seem to be as big a fan of Aubameyang as Tuchel was. Therefore, doubts are being raised about the Gabon international’s future.
According to the Daily Mail, Aubameyang is now attracting interest from La Liga clubs. After scoring 13 goals in 24 games for Barcelona last season, he still has admirers in Spain.
Coincidentally, one of them is Atletico Madrid – the same club from whom Chelsea are taking Felix.
Negotiations would be separate to the deal that has already been discussed and agreed for the Portuguese attacker. But Atletico are interested in Aubameyang if the opportunity arises.
They may prefer to make their move in the summer, but that may suit Chelsea anyway. After all, with Armando Broja injured, Aubameyang is the only natural centre-forward Potter can call upon at present.
His contract at Stamford Bridge is due to last until 2024. But if Chelsea can bring in another centre-forward either in January or the summer, they may allow him to leave.
ASTON VILLA COULD BID FOR GUENDOUZI
Unai Emery could be pursuing a reunion with one of his former Arsenal midfielders, Matteo Guendouzi, at Aston Villa.
After taking the Aston Villa job late last year, Emery is currently thinking about how to reshape their squad in his image.
They were recently linked with a move for Arsenal midfielder, Mohamed Elneny. But now, suggestions are emerging that they could be in for one of his old colleagues instead.
Reports in France have proposed that an unnamed Premier League side are keen on bringing Guendouzi back to English football from Marseille.
And according to L’Equipe, a belief is growing at Marseille that the suitor in question could be Emery’s Villa.
Contact between Guendouzi and whoever wants him supposedly began during the World Cup, when he was representing the runners up, France. Now, he may have a concrete offer to consider.
The Villans are looking to offload former Marseille man, Morgan Sanson, this month. In turn, Emery will want to reinvest in his midfield and could pursue a reunion with Guendouzi.
The 23-year-old made 66 appearances under Emery during their time together at the Emirates Stadium.
Guendouzi is under contract with Marseille until 2025, but his exit could come sooner. And the 23-year-old may be due for a second chance in the Premier League.
LATEST ON LIONEL MESSI FUTURE
Inter Miami are confident of striking a deal to take Lionel Messi to Major League Soccer.
Messi finally achieved his ambition of becoming a World Cup winner with Argentina in December. Now, he is having to consider his future at club level.
The Barcelona legend is into the final six months of his contract with Paris Saint-Germain. Although a return to Camp Nou has long been dreamt of, Messi’s next move may take him elsewhere.
David Beckham’s Inter Miami want to offer Messi a new challenge in the USA as a Designated Player. And according to The Times, they are confident of securing a deal with the 35-year-old.
Meetings took place while Beckham was at the World Cup in Qatar. At the time, the Inter Miami owners felt optimistic they could complete a deal for Messi.
Now, though, Ligue 1 champions PSG are trying to extend his contract with them by another year. In fact, they are confident of making their own announcement about his future within a matter of weeks.
Meanwhile, Inter Miami coach, Phil Neville, said earlier this week: “We want to bring the best players in the world to this club and he is probably the best player, so for us the landscape has not changed at all.
“With any deal for any DP (Designated Player) of that level, it’s complicated. It takes time.”