A brutal injury blow has resulted in Chelsea kickstarting a Man Utd raid the Red Devils will secretly love, while Newcastle are primed to trade Allan Saint-Maximin in for an upgrade and Luton Town will soon sign an Aston Villa star – all in Wednesday’s Transfer Gossip.
CHELSEA OPEN TALKS WITH MAN UTD MISFIT
Chelsea have commenced a move for Man Utd centre-back Harry Maguire following a devastating injury setback suffered by Wesley Fofana, per a report.
Fofana was a £70m signing from Leicester City one year ago, though a serious knee injury limited the Frenchman to just 15 league appearances last term.
Fofana’s luck was no better the year prior, with a gruesome leg injury sustained in a pre-season friendly against Villarreal restricting him to seven outings in his final year with the Foxes.
The defender’s fortunes have not changed, with Chelsea confirming on Tuesday that Fofana had suffered an ACL injury. Per subsequent updates, surgery was required and Fofana will miss the bulk of the upcoming season.
With Kalidou Koulibaly and Cesar Azpilicueta already sold, Fabrizio Romano confirmed Chelsea would explore the centre-back market.
According to 90min, the player Blues chiefs are fixing their gaze on is Harry Maguire.
The 30-year-old was recently stripped of the Man Utd captaincy, with Sky Sports later claiming Maguire is now considering ‘all of his options’.
Man Utd are open to cashing in after Maguire tumbled down to fifth choice at centre-half under Erik ten Hag. Even left-back Luke Shaw was preferred to Maguire in a central role.
West Ham are in the mix and have already seen a loan bid with an option to buy turned down. Per the Guardian, the Hammers are unlikely to offer a permanent move given the costs involved and the age of the player.
From Man Utd’s perspective, all sources agree the Red Devils would prefer an outright sale. Per 90min, their dreams could come true after Chelsea made their initial move.
The online outlet stated the Blues have taken the first step having ‘made enquiries’ into the defender’s transfer.
Chelsea scouts have reportedly come to the conclusion Maguire is ‘one of the best options on the market’. The fact he’s readily available for transfer is also a plus.
Despite Chelsea’s lack of European football next season, a move to Stamford Bridge is deemed the most attractive prospect.
Indeed, a new era is dawning with Mauricio Pochettino at the helm and the Blues are expected to bounce back in style after a truly dismal campaign.
NEWCASTLE DITCHING SAINT-MAXIMIN FOR SUPERIOR GOAL THREAT
Newcastle have received a €25m offer for Allan Saint-Maximim and Eddie Howe’s comments suggest he’ll go, while a more potent winger could quickly arrive as his replacement, per reports.
Saint-Maximin dazzles and delights, though lacks end product. Indeed, in 111 Premier League outings for the Magpies, just 12 goals have been scored.
That is in stark contrast to Leicester City’s Harvey Barnes who bagged 13 league goals in a sub-par Foxes side last year. According to numerous reports, Newcastle could be about to replace Saint-Maximin with Barnes.
Firstly, L’Equipe report Newcastle have received a €25m (approx. £21.63m) bid for their French maverick from Al Ahli. That is the same side who have signed Roberto Firmino and are chasing Man City’s Riyad Mahrez. A Saint-Maximin, Firmino, Mahrez front three would certainly catch the eye.
Saint-Maximin is in line to receive an annual salary of €12m if making the move. That roughly equates to £200,000-a-week.
When explaining the player’s absence in the recent 2-1 friendly victory over Rangers, manager Howe said (via the BBC): “He’s in early discussions over a potential move away. That’s why he wasn’t here.
“It’s doubtful he’ll join us on the tour of America. I don’t think Maxi necessarily wants to leave, but he may feel it’s the right time for him to move.”
In the event Saint-Maximin does take flight, multiple sources claim his replacement will be Barnes.
The Daily Mail are among them, with the newspaper reporting Newcastle are ‘close to agreeing’ a deal for the 25-year-old winger.
Barnes is expected to fetch around £35m-£40m and the report concluded the deal ‘could be completed in the coming days’.
Aston Villa and West Ham have both shown interest, but the player reportedly only has eyes for Newcastle. Per the Mail, the lure of Champions League football has proved key.
LUTON TOWN NEAR ASTON VILLA COUP
Newly-promoted Luton are ‘on the brink’ of plucking Marvelous Nakamba out of Aston Villa, per a report.
The 29-year-old spent the second half of last season loaned to Luton after failing to make a single appearance for Villa prior to the World Cup break.
Nakamba was a regular starter for Luton and per the Telegraph, a permanent return is on the cusp of completion.
They stated an agreement has been struck, with the move potentially set to cross the line inside the next 36 hours.
How much Luton will pay wasn’t made clear, though given Nakamba’s lowly standing at Villa Park, the fee won’t be high.