A Chelsea transfer that seemed to be done and dusted is now at risk of being hijacked, according to reports in France.
It has been a busy summer for Chelsea in the transfer window. Following their victory in the Champions League last season, they have been refining their squad for a Premier League title challenge. But in addition to signings, they are also working on player exits.
In that regard, Chelsea have been following their usual loan policy. For example, Michy Batshuayi has extended his contract before being loaned to Besiktas.
Another forward who was out on loan last season is Ike Ugbo, who spent a year in Belgium with Cercle Brugge. During his time there, he scored 17 goals from 34 games – his best return from a single season yet.
That led to speculation of a permanent exit, which could generate Chelsea a small windfall. There was talk of a €5m move to Genk, another Belgian side. In fact, he has already been in advanced talks with them and a medical was booked in.
However, Foot Mercato claim that Ugbo is now taking time to reflect on his future decision, because Marseille have now made an approach for his services.
The Ligue 1 outfit are considering signing a striker this summer and are aware of Ugbo’s exploits in Belgium. They are therefore ready to make a late move to hijack his transfer to Genk.
Marseille may lose Dario Benedetto this month, so would need a replacement. Ugbo is one of the players they are considering, along with Alexander Sorloth of RB Leipzig.
Therefore, his move to Genk is on hold while he waits to find out how the situation develops. Chelsea and Ugbo will decide between them which is the best option for club and player.
Ugbo, who is 22 years old, has never played a professional game for Chelsea. Since graduating their academy, the Lewisham-born forward has been on loan to five different destinations.
A permanent exit now beckons, but it remains to be seen whether it will be to Genk or Marseille.
Newcastle want Chelsea man
Another academy product set to leave on loan again could be Ethan Ampadu, who spent last season with Sheffield United.
Loans are the best that Steve Bruce can hope for at this stage of the transfer window. Mike Ashley is reluctant to spend big on new stars and so a move for Ampadu fits the bill, according to The Northern Echo.
The Wales international has been on the Chelsea books since 2017. However, his passage to the senior side has not been easy, with only 12 appearances in all competitions.
The Exeter-born ace is expected to leave west London by the end of August and other clubs are interested.
The Tynesiders need defensive reinforcements after losing Florian Lejeune to Alaves. They were hoping to secure a loan deal for Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe but he opted for Aston Villa instead.
Ampadu is a versatile player who can also operate in a defensive midfield role. Therefore, the Magpies will be aiming to get him to sign.