Chelsea

Chelsea

Premier League • England

Transfer Gossip: Chelsea suffer major De Ligt blow but Bayern blunder still possible over defender

Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt

Chelsea suffer a blow in their Matthijs de Ligt transfer hopes as Bayern Munich advance, while Newcastle consider a Leeds swoop – both in all the latest Transfer Gossip.

CHELSEA SUFFER DE LIGT BLOW

Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt has a verbal agreement in place with Bayern Munich as Chelsea also chase a deal, according to a report.

The Netherlands international is in high demand this summer amid the prospect of him leaving Turin. While he has enjoyed three solid seasons with the Serie A side, he could look for a new challenge.

Chelsea were the first team to come forward with serious interest. Indeed, the Blues have major gaps to fill at the back after watching Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen leave as free agents.

However, Bayern have emerged as serious transfer contenders for De Ligt in recent days.

And according to Sport1, the German giants have struck a verbal agreement with De Ligt. Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has tempted the player to want to move to Bavaria.

In fact, De Ligt wanted to move to Bayern in 2019 before his move to Juve. Salihamidzic has therefore kept in contact with the defender and his camp, which has been received well.

Nevertheless, agreeing the transfer fee with Juve is the next big step for Bayern. And Sport1 claims a potential opportunity is on the horizon for Chelsea.

Salihamidzic will only begin negotiations with Juve in the next few days as he deems the finances of a deal complicated. Chelsea therefore have a chance to move in, having already had an offer of £34.4million and Timo Werner rejected.

De Ligt to Chelsea could be on the cards

Juventus centre back De Ligt could be looking for a move away from Turin and Chelsea is definitely an option

Chelsea have already shown willingness to act on impulse this summer. With Arsenal haggling over a Raphinha fee, the Blues gazumped the Gunners with an offer which has yet to lead to an agreement.

More recent reports have claimed that Chelsea are willing to increase their bid to between £60million and £64millionSport1 claims, though, that Juventus want €80million (£69million) for their star defender.

And with De Ligt‘s heart set on a delayed move to Bayern, it remains unclear whether Chelsea can get their man.

NEWCASTLE KEEN ON JACK HARRISON

Leeds player Jack Harrison

Leeds United winger Jack Harrison is still a Newcastle target amid doubt over a deal for Moussa Diaby, a report has claimed.

The Magpies are focusing on bolstering their attack following new goalkeeper signing Nick Pope and defensive additions in Matt Targett and Sven Botman.

A number of players have been mentioned as attacking Newcastle targets. Porto winger Pepe, Reims’ Hugo Ekitike and Diaby of Bayer Leverkusen are just some on their reported shortlist.

The Ekitike deal, which almost came to fruition in January, has gone cold. Interest in Brazilian star Pepe remains but has yet to advance. It is Frenchman Diaby who Newcastle have been chasing in recent days. Reports have talked of a £60million price tag, which the Magpies are supposedly willing to pay.

According to the latest from The Telegraph, though, Newcastle in fact find splashing out a club-record fee on Diaby unreasonable.

The Athletic‘s Chris Waugh subsequently brings English winger Harrison back into the equation for Newcastle.

The 25-year-old has impressed at Elland Road since the Whites returned to the Premier League. However, with the mooted arrivals of Luis Sinisterra and Charles de Ketelaere up front, Harrison could struggle for regular minutes.

Waugh told The Athletic that Newcastle are “very interested” in Harrison as an attacking signing option. He added, though, that Leeds’ relegation last season would have pushed him higher up Eddie Howe’s wish list.

“They [Newcastle] are considering other options in that position,” Waugh said. “Jack Harrison at Leeds is someone they liked and I think they were going to move for him if Leeds had gone down. He had a release clause.”

Harrison scored 10 goals in 35 appearances for Leeds last season.

TRANSFER GOSSIP – BRENTFORD CLOSING IN ON AARON HICKEY

Aaron Hickey, Bologna v Inter April 2022

Brentford are reportedly preparing to confirm the signing of Bologna full-back Aaron Hickey this week.

The 20-year-old has emerged as an exciting transfer target this summer. Arsenal held serious interest in the Scotland international, but have now backed away from a deal.

Instead, it is Brentford who are closing in on his signing.

The Guardian claims that Hickey flew to England from Italy on Tuesday to undergo a medical with the Bees.

The full-back will cost Brentford £18.9million and will sign a five-year contract.

Hickey has played 48 times for Bologna, including 34 Serie A games last season. The 20-year-old will now get his chance in the Premier League after only leaving Hearts in September 2020.