Paper Talk: £40m deal close as Lampard transforms flailing Chelsea defence


Chelsea close in on a deal to transform their defensive issues, while Manchester City believe they can pull off a deal to sign Lionel Messi – all in the latest Paper Talk.



Chelsea are nearing a £40million deal to sign Brighton centre-back Lewis Dunk and transform their defence, according to a report.

The Blues conceded 54 Premier League goals this season, the most of any side in the top 10. As such, boss Frank Lampard is aware of the need to find a permanent fix.

Chelsea had considered Declan Rice, who has played in defence and midfield for West Ham this term.

However, according to The Sun on Sunday, Dunk has emerged as the “leading candidate” for a move to Stamford Bridge.

The Englishman, a lifelong Chelsea fan, also believes a deal is close as he gears up to move away from the south coast.

Tottenham are also keen on Dunk, the newspaper says, but it is Chelsea who look to be winning the race.

Brighton captain Dunk began his career with the Seagulls at the age of 10. He became only the fourth player from the club to win a senior England cap, doing so in 2018.



Lionel Messi TEAMtalk

Manchester City believe they are the frontrunners to sign Lionel Messi if he decides to leave Barcelona (Sunday Mirror)

Barca are planning to sack boss Quique Setien after the club’s Champions League humiliation against Bayern Munich (Mail on Sunday)

Former Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino is the leading candidate to replace Setien (The Observer)

Leicester want to sign Spanish goalkeeper Sergio Rico in case lose Kasper Schmeichel (Sunday Mirror)

Kasper Schmeichel TEAMtalk

Meanwhile, Chelsea and Everton have Ben Foster on their shortlist of goalkeeper targets (Sun on Sunday)

John Obi Mikel will return to English football next week by signing for Stoke (Sunday Telegraph)

Rangers are monitoring Newcastle winger Jacob Murphy’s situation ahead of a potential swoop (Sunday Mail, Scotland)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has more control over transfers after the departure of Raul Sanllehi (The Sunday Times)


Eddie Howe does not plan to return to management until Christmas after his exit from Bournemouth (Mail on Sunday)

Wolves are discussing with Braga about a £23million deal to sign Paulinho (Mail on Sunday)

Aston Villa and West Brom want to sign Southampton forward Michael Obafemi (Sun on Sunday)

Moise Kean TEAMtalk

Super-agent Mino Raiola is working on a deal to take Everton forward Moise Kean to AC Milan (Calciomercato)

Inter Milan will make a £20million bid for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling (Sunday Express)

Meanwhile, Andreas Pereira will leave United, with Benfica among the clubs keen (Sunday Times)