Man Utd star Paul Pogba in transfer talks with Juventus as Mino Raiola looks to seal deal

Manchester United star Paul Pogba could be on his way to Juventus with Mino Raiola in talks with the Serie A side over a possible transfer, according to reports. Real Madrid are also interested in making a swoop for the World Cup winner though.

Pogba has struggled with injury throughout this season and has made just seven Premier League appearances this campaign.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was also involved in a public spat with Raiola over the future of the 27-year-old.

Le10 Sport claim Juventus have opened talks with Pogba’s agent over a possible return to the Serie A champions.

The Turin side have been considering a move for over a year, according to the reports.

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Real Madrid are also monitoring things but there is a disagreement between Zinedine Zidane and Florentino Perez over their thoughts on the player.

The president of Los Blancos is not a major fan of Pogba and would prefer to avoid dealing with Raiola.

United have made no decision on the future of Pogba but with the performances of Bruno Fernandes since his arrival in January, they now have flexibility with whatever they choose to do.

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Juventus could be in need of a midfielder should they sell the likes of Adrien Rabiot and Miralem Pjanic.

Former United midfielder Paul Ince thinks the future of Pogba needs to be a priority for the club this summer.

“They’ve got to resolve the (Paul) Pogba situation,” Ince told Paddy Power.

“It has to be resolved. You can’t keep having what we’re having every six, seven, eight weeks. He’s going, he’s staying, the agent comes out. Pogba is not bigger than Manchester United, no player is bigger than Manchester United.

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“The way Ole is going, you don’t want any disruptions. He either knuckles down and starts performing the way he should be performing for the money he cost, or they sell him.

“The biggest thing is for Man United is (Bruno) Fernandes coming in. Before that you are saying, ‘We need Pogba in there’.

“Now because he’s been out injured and Fernandes has come in, all of a sudden, ‘Do we need Pogba in there?’

“Does he get in there? I know he (Solskjaer) likes (Scott) McTominay. (Nemanja) Matic has come in and started playing well. Does Pogba start every game?

“If Ole thinks he’s not going to, he might think he can cash in and bring one or two other players in. But the saga needs to be sorted out before the start of next season because next season is a big season for Ole. A big, big season.

“But I like the way they are going now, I like what I’m seeing. I can’t make judgement yet.

“They are not there yet where Liverpool and City are, but signs are good and that’s a good thing to say because I didn’t see those signs a year ago.

“I like what I’m seeing. I like the place and I like the players they are bringing in. You’ve got to give Ole time now to take them where they need to be, which is challenging for the league title.”

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Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho urged to sell ‘disrespectful’ first-team star

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has been urged to sell first-choice right-back Serge Aurier. Ivory Coast international Aurier, 27, has broken lockdown rules on three occasions in recent weeks. His latest indiscretion was uploading images to his Instagram account of him having his hair cut – something that is still banned in the United Kingdom due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reports claim Tottenham are set to fine the defender the maximum two weeks’ wages – which totals £140,000.

Aurier has been Tottenham’s regular right-back this season, starting 22 of his 24 Premier League appearances.

But former Leeds and Coventry striker Noel Whelan believes it is time Aurier is moved on from the north London club.

Whelan has described Aurier’s actions as “disrespectful” and showing “arrogance”.

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“Absolutely, yeah [Tottenham should sell Aurier],” Whelan told Football Insider.

“That kid, to me, will not be fined, will not just be disciplined but I’d get shot.

“Is he caring about the club he’s playing for right now doing these things?

“Is he caring about anyone else and his teammates when they’re going back in for training? No.

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“This is an absolute disrespectful part of his make up. I don’t understand these people, I really don’t.

“You know you shouldn’t be getting a haircut, inviting people round – then posting it all to see as in look at me? That’s just arrogance.”

Meanwhile, former Tottenham midfielder Michael Brown can see the likes of Jan Vertonghen snubbing their current clubs by not extending their contracts until the end of the season.

Vertonghen’s Spurs contract is set to expire at the end of June but clubs have the option of extending deals until the campaign reaches a conclusion.

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“I think there may be players like [Vertonghen] who are reluctant because I thought what they might have done was try and change the end date from the end of June to the end of July,” Brown told Football Insider.

“If you’re out of contract, that’s one month’s severance pay anyway, I thought we might have had an extension on it because they could say: ‘We’re literally moving it back one month this year because we have lost that time’.

“However, it doesn’t look like that will be and players will be saying: ‘We’re contracted until the end of June and that’s all we’re going to do. Ultimately, we’re not prepared to do it.’

“How do you make people work without a contract? It’s so, so difficult because everyone’s circumstances are so, so difficult.”

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Chelsea learn price tag of Serie A prospect amid concrete interest, Arsenal and Lazio keen

Chelsea have stepped up their interest in Hellas Verona ace Marash Kumbulla, according to reports. The Blues are one of several top European clubs monitoring the Serie A prospect and have now been credited with showing concrete interest in the 20-year-old.

Kumbulla is highly regarded in Italy, having made 18 league appearances for eighth-placed Hellas this term.

And Corriere dello Sport report that Chelsea have made a move towards signing the Albania international as they look to get the jump on the competition.

Inter Milan have previously been credited as favourites in the race for Kumbulla’s signature, although Lazio are now thought to be the Blues’ main competition.

Reports from Italy earlier this month also suggested that Arsenal, Everton and RB Leipzig were in contention for the defender who has been compared to a ‘young Giorgio Chiellini’.

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Corriere dello Sport also throw Borussia Dortmund into the mix but claim Lazio believe a move to the Stadio Olimpico makes most sense for Kumbulla.

Le Aquile are trying to sell the young defender an idea of a project where he can continue his development while playing a key role in a senior side.

But if it comes down to money, Chelsea are thought to be in the driving seat with Kumbulla reportedly set to cost at least €20million (£18m).

FCInterNews even went so far as to value the youngster at €30m (£27m) earlier this month.

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Guaranteed game time may be harder to come by at Chelsea, where there is fierce competition for places in central defence.

Frank Lampard appears to have settled on Antonio Rudiger as his first-choice centre-back but Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori have all rotated so far this season.

However, Kumbulla may fancy himself to make an impact at Stamford Bridge where the latest generation of youth talent has been given a chance to impress under the latest regime.

Former Juventus and Italy defender Federico Balzaretti has praised the Hellas ace for his mentality and commitment to defending, first and foremost.

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“In the last few years, defenders are formed who are good at building the play but have problems in the defensive phase,” Balzaretti told Goal.

“Kumbulla, on the other hand, is a ‘defender’ defender. The first thing he thinks of is defending his goal and not conceding. Kumbulla reminds me a little of a young Giorgio Chiellini.”

Chelsea will need to move fast if they are to snap up Kumbulla before the opposition, but any deal is unlikely to be the only business taking place at Stamford Bridge this summer.

Lampard is looking to make the most of the club’s recent transfer ban being lifted and overhaul his squad in the transfer window.

A £33m deal for Hakim Ziyech was already agreed in February, with the Moroccan winger set to join Chelsea at the end of the current campaign.

Meanwhile, a new striker is required with Moussa Dembele identified as a priority target and Jadon Sancho has been heavily linked with a move to west London.

Ben Chilwell is first choice to replace either Emerson Palmieri or Marcos Alonso while Willian and Pedro are both out of contract and Michy Batshuayi, Alvaro Morata and Tiemoue Bakayoko are all expected to move on.

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Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho wants £36m-rated star as transfer target holds contract talks

Tottenham are interested in signing Napoli star Arkadiusz Milik in the upcoming transfer window as the striker will be entering the final 12 months of his contract this summer and has yet to agree to an extension.

Milik has a great scoring record for Napoli since he joined the club back in 2016 from Ajax.

The 26-year-old has found the back of the net 46 times in 109 appearances for the club in all competitions.

However, the Poland international could be sold this summer if he chooses not to extend his current contract with Napoli, and according to transfer expert Nicolo Schria, Tottenham are interested.

“Tottenham are always looking to Arek Milik,” Schria tweeted.

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“The polish striker could leave Napoli in the next months if he will not extend his contract (which expires in 2021).

“Talks ongoing.”

Milik has suffered a few injuries this campaign, which has limited him to just 22 games, with five of those appearances coming off the bench.

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However, the striker has still managed to score 12 goals, three of which came in just four Champions League matches.

But ongoing talks have not been fruitful and Napoli now face the prospect of the forward possibly running down his contract next season and then leaving on a free transfer in the future.

According to Italian publication CalcioMercato, Milik is seeking to be paid on par with Greek centre-back Kostas Manolas and Napoli hero Dries Mertens.

The report claims Milik is currently earning around £2.2m (€2.5m) per season and is seeking to increase this to around £3.6m (€4m) per season.

Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis suggested in March that he would only be willing to enter negotiations if a club are willing to table an offer of at least £36m (€40m) for Milik.

However, he would be willing to sell the striker outright if Napoli were offered £45m (€50m).

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Another issue for Milik is that he has been sharing his attacking duties with Mertens.

And while the Belgium international turned 33 this month, he has recently agreed to a new two-year contract with the club, according to Sky Italy.

The report claims Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso was key to getting the deal concluded, with the World Cup winner persistent on getting Mertens to extend his contract.

This could be the ideal opportunity for Tottenham to make their move with Spurs boss Jose Mourinho desperate to add another striker to his squad this summer.

The Portuguese coach has relied heavily on Harry Kane to lead the attack, but when the England captain suffered an injury on New Year’s Day, Mourinho’s options were limited.

He tinkered with his squad to find a solution, with mixed results, and Milik could end up being the ideal solution for both the player and the club.

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Man Utd want different £72m+ striker, Arsenal transfer advantage, Chelsea, Liverpool news

Wednesday, May 20

  • Manchester United are showing interest in Victor Osimhen
  • Lille believe they can fetch over £72m for the Nigeria star
  • Arsenal have contacted the agent of Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby
  • Real Madrid are in the frame to sign Kai Havertz

Ismael Bennacer eyed

AC Milan playmaker Ismael Bennacer is Pep Guardiola’s ideal replacement for Manchester City legend David Silva.

Bennacer, who is a product of the Arsenal academy but only made one appearance for the Gunners’ first-team, has enjoyed a terrific debut season at the San Siro, having signed from Empoli for £14.5million last summer.

The youngster is a box-to-box midfielder and while he is for the most part being played in a defensive position for Milan, the Algeria international has excellent attacking talents.

According to FootMercato, Guardiola has been following the Bennacer for a long time and has already opened a dialogue with the player’s representatives.

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Impressive Victor Osimhen

Manchester United are showing interest in Victor Osimhen.

The Lille forward, 21, has attracted interest from several clubs after a tremendous debut campaign in Ligue 1 – netting 18 goals and providing six assists in 38 appearances.

The Nigeria international’s progress has seen several European heavyweights linked with his services and Lille believe they can break their club-record sale that currently stands at the £72million Arsenal paid for Nicolas Pepe.

Liverpool and Chelsea have both been linked with Osimhen, but ESPN claim United have already dispatched scouts to watch him earlier this season and they were ‘impressed’ with his displays.

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Moussa Diaby enquiry

Arsenal have contacted the agent of Bayer Leverkusen star Moussa Diaby to discuss his availability.

The 20-year-old winger is having an impressive debut season for Leverkusen and has scored five goals and provided eight assists in 27 appearances in all competitions.

But Mikel Arteta’s side aren’t the only side looking to make an approach.

French publication Le10sport claim Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund have also enquired about his availability with the player’s representative.

However, the Gunners hold a significant advantage over Dortmund and that’s because they reportedly share an excellent relationship with Diaby’s representative.

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Kai Havertz to Real Madrid

Real Madrid are in the frame to sign Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz.

That’s according to French publication Le10Sport, who claim Zinedine Zidane has made Havertz a priority with deals for Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland unlikely in the upcoming transfer window.

The La Liga heavyweights have supposedly been in contact with Havertz’s representatives for several months.

Zidane’s interest could be bad news for Premier League trio Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea, who have taken ‘concrete steps’ to sign the Germany international over the last two weeks.

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Watford suffer half of Premier League’s positive tests for coronavirus

The Premier League has confirmed that there have been six positive results from 748 coronavirus tests carried out as part of Project Restart. Of those six confirmed cases, three have come from players and staff at Watford.

Watford have one player and two staff members test positive for COVID-19 after the first round of testing.

Clubs are set to test players and staff members twice a week as part of the plan to resume the 2019/20 season.

The Premier League released a statement on Tuesday, it said: “The Premier League can today confirm that, on Sunday 17 May and Monday 18 May, 748 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19.

“Of these, six have tested positive from three clubs.

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“Players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate for a period of seven days.

“The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and oversight.”

Watford manager Nigel Pearson and Hornets club captain Troy Deeney have both voiced their concerns about the Premier League resuming in the current climate.

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“God forbid we have a fatality,” Pearson told The Times. “People are closing their eyes to the threat.

“Yes, we would like to restart it but it’s got to be safe. We should be cautious. To ignore possibilities is foolhardy. It’s about safeguarding people’s health.”

And while Watford are set to continue with non-contact individual training sessions today, Deeney has insisted that he will not be attending.

“We’re due back in this week. I’ve said I’m not going in,” Deeney told YouTube show Talk The Talk.

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“It only takes one person to get infected within the group and I don’t want to be bringing that home.

“My son is only five months old.

“He had breathing difficulties, so I don’t want to come home to put him in more danger.”

Burnley assistant manager Ian Woan is another who has been confirmed as testing positive for COVID-19, while the other two people are at a third club, the details of which have not been revealed.

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Man Utd news LIVE updates: All the latest news and transfer gossip from Old Trafford

Monday, May 18

  • Napoli are unlikely to receive their asking price for Kalidou Koulibaly
  • The Serie A side wanted £89million but could sell for between £62m-£72m
  • Goalkeeper Joel Pereira is set to return to Manchester United
  • Manchester United have received a blow in their pursuit of Jack Grealish

Harry Kane prediction

Tottenham striker Harry Kane will join Manchester United, according to former Blackburn and Chelsea striker Chris Sutton.

The England captain reiterated his desire to stay at Spurs up until an Instagram live session in March where he suggested he would be prepared to leave if the club were not matching his ambitions in terms of winning silverware.

But Sutton believes Kane is the type of player United need and thinks that is where he will end up.

“I think he will be off to Man U,” Sutton said on the Squeaky Bum Time podcast. “Yeah I do, because he won’t win anything at Tottenham and United need a top, top striker and he would fit perfectly.”

Kalidou Koulibaly price

Napoli are unlikely to receive their asking price for centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly.

Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Liverpool are vying for the Senegal international’s signature in the upcoming transfer window.

The Serie A club’s record sale currently stands at £81million which Juventus paid for striker Gonzalo Higuain in 2016.

And Napoli had hoped to break that  Koulibaly, 28, who they value at £89m.

However, Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport think that’s unrealistic and that the towering defender could leave for between £62m-£72m.

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Joel Pereira return

Joel Pereira is set to return to Manchester United after the SPFL ended the season.

The decision has seen Celtic confirmed as Scottish Premiership champions for the ninth season in a row and Pereira’s loan club Hearts relegated.

The 23-year-old goalkeeper endured a rough season – conceding 43 goals in 25 appearances and was dropped for the final four fixtures of the season.

The Manchester Evening News claim Pereira will return to Old Trafford, where Jose Mourinho once tipped him to become Portugal’s No.1 goalkeeper.

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Jack Grealish sale

Manchester United have received a blow in their pursuit of Aston Villa star Jack Grealish.

The Red Devils have made Grealish, 24, one of their priority signings this summer with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eager to bolster his midfield ranks.

The threat of relegation and the financial impact of COVID-19 was expected to lower Grealish’s valuation.

But The Mirror claim that the combined £12billion wealth of owners Nassef Sawaris and Wes Edens will see Villa demand £80m for Grealish’s signature.

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Real Madrid’s three alternatives to Man Utd star Paul Pogba ahead of transfer window

Real Madrid have three alternatives to Manchester United star Paul Pogba on their radar ahead of the summer transfer window, according to reports. The France international is Zinedine Zidane’s top target, with the Los Blancos manager determined to improve his side. However, because of the coronavirus crisis, the La Liga titans have may to look elsewhere.

Real Madrid boss Zidane has long admired Pogba and attempted to sign the midfielder from under Manchester United’s noses in 2016.

However, they missed out on that occasion and again last summer, when the 27-year-old publicly expressed a desire to leave Old Trafford behind.

Real may find it difficult to sign Pogba this summer, with United determined to make a profit on the 2018 World Cup winner.

And Diario Madridista claim the La Liga side have three alternatives on their radar if they miss out on a move for the Frenchman.

Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz is one of the players being eyed by Zidane, having impressed for the Serie A team this season.

The 24-year-old has caught the eye with his slick performances for the Italian side, making 32 appearances in total.

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And Real, it seems, could move for the Spain international when the transfer window reopens at the end of the campaign.

Another being eyed by Zidane’s side is Donny van de Beek.

Ajax chief Edwin van der Sar admitted earlier in the month that Van de Beek would be allowed to leave – but only for the right price.

“Last year, we made verbal agreements with [Andre] Onana, [Nicolas] Tagliafico and Van de Beek to stay another season, and then we look to help each other and find the next step in their careers,” he said.

“Nothing has changed.

“There won’t be a 50 per cent discount. The clubs can forget about that.”

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United themselves have been tipped to sign Van de Beek but Real have always appeared frontrunners in the race to sign the 23-year-old.

And a third Pogba alternative is said to be Eduardo Camavinga, the 17-year-old Rennes star who has flourished this season.

Rennes team-mates are trying to convince the teenager to stay one more year.

M’Baye Niang admitted as much recently, saying: “The advice I have given him is to try and make the right decisions, as it’s better to get these right, than to move too fast.

“I have told him to speak to the club, his representatives and parents and to look at young players at the clubs interested in him before he decides.”

And who Real end up signing ultimately remains to be seen.

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There’s been speculation that Toni Kroos may leave the Bernabeu to accommodate any potential new recruit.

But, speaking recently, the Germany international expressed a desire to see out his career with the La Liga outfit.

“I definitely plan to be with Real for these three years,” Kroos told Eurosport.

“Then it is a good time at 33 to question yourself: what does it look like physically, what does motivation look like – I still feel like it to keep going?

“If something comes together and you say: ‘Okay, one more year here, because you are just good enough and you still feel like it’, I would not rule it out.

“But then a move to England, which is also played very physically, I can’t imagine that at 33.”

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Jadon Sancho transfer decision praised as Man Utd target backed for ‘great move’

Manchester United transfer target Jadon Sancho has been praised for choosing to leave England to join Borussia Dortmund three years ago. Former Arsenal star Paul Merson believes Sancho’s decision showed huge self belief as well as confidence that he will get a “great move” down the line.

Sancho left Manchester City in 2017 to join Bundesliga side Dortmund aged 17.

He has since become one of Europe’s hottest properties, already having made 91 appearances for Dortmund in all competitions.

Sancho has also been a regular in the senior England squad since his first call-up in late 2018.

After scoring 14 goals and contributing 15 assists in the Bundesliga so far this season, a number of top clubs are interested in signing the 20-year-old – with United at the front of the queue according to many reports.

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Appearing on Soccer Saturday, Merson was discussing English players and coaches who have worked abroad.

And he praised Sancho for his decision and has backed him for a big transfer.

“Another one football-wise is young Sancho who went to Dortmund,” Merson said.

“For people to go to a different country where they don’t talk the language, that means you’ve just got great belief in your own ability and you know that you’re going to turn it on and you know that you’re going to get a great move after that.

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“So fair play to anybody who does that.

“I had a couple of opportunities to go abroad but I just about talk English so there’s no chance of me learning another language.”

Meanwhile, former United midfielder Owen Hargreaves believes Sancho would be interested in a move to Old Trafford.

“Often you see a lot of teams sign players and sometimes you think ‘that’s not a good fit’,” Hargreaves said on BT Sport.

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“For Jadon, he will know his own game and he has to find what’s the best fit obviously.

“United have an exceptionally good group of young players coming through and I think any young player would want to be a part of that.

“Liverpool and City have gone away from everyone else but United would still be a team to join. Also, he knows Manchester well because growing up he was at City.

“Things go in cycles and United will come back. Recruiting a guy like Jadon would help but it’s more about Jadon finding what fits for him.”

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The five Bundesliga stars Chelsea fans could see at Stamford Bridge next season

Chelsea are expected to spend big this summer as Frank Lampard looks to overhaul his squad at Stamford Bridge. The Blues have been linked with a host of high-profile targets ahead of the transfer window, with a number plying their trade in the Bundesliga.

Chelsea fans will therefore have their eyes peeled as the German top flight swings back into action this weekend following the coronavirus lockdown.

The Bundesliga is the first major European league to resume, albeit behind closed doors and with a number of stringent isolation restrictions in place.

Blues supporters will be desperate to get their fix of football and have an excellent excuse to swot up on some of the star men who have been touted for a move to west London in the coming months.

BT Sport will broadcast every single remaining match this season live, kicking off with the derby clash between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke at 2.30pm this afternoon, so who should Chelsea fans watch out for?

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Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)

The transfer saga that looks set to run and run this summer, with Chelsea and Manchester United engaged in a tug-of-war over Dortmund superstar Sancho.

The 20-year-old has lit up the Bundesliga since arriving from Manchester City for just £8million in 2017 and already has 30 goals and 38 assists in all competitions across two full seasons.

Valued at around £120m, the England international will not come cheap and the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis could yet scupper any potential return to the Premier League.

However, Chelsea fans can always dream and they will get a good look at Sancho’s talents if he features for Dortmund in the ever-fiery Ruhr derby against Schalke this afternoon.

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Philippe Coutinho (Bayern Munich)

Coutinho has endured a pretty miserable time since his £142m move from Liverpool to Barcelona in January 2018.

The Brazilian has struggled to live up that price tag, despite 21 goals and 11 assists in 76 appearances for the La Liga giants, and fans turned on the playmaker after an inflammatory celebration following a strike against United in April last year.

The 27-year-old was subsequently loaned to Bayern Munich for the 2019/20 campaign and bagged nine goals and eight assists for the Bavarian side before picking up an ankle injury which has required surgery.

Seen as a potentially cheaper alternative to Sancho, Chelsea are reportedly battling United and Liverpool for the midfielder’s signature but fans will not be able to see him for another couple of weeks as he regains his fitness.

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Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen)

Yet another attacking midfielder on Chelsea’s transfer wishlist, but a host of other Premier League clubs are also chasing Havertz.

Former Blues ace Michael Ballack has urged the 20-year-old to stick at the BayArena for another season or two, but Chelsea and United are two clubs who both want to secure a deal this summer.

Havertz has scored 10 goals and provided eight assists in 34 appearances across all competitions so far this term, with that form also attracting the attention of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

The player himself has suggested he would welcome a move and is ready for his next challenge, hinting that he is open to a switch abroad.

Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)

Chelsea are also on the hunt for a forward this summer to ease the goalscoring burden on Tammy Abraham, and Werner has been included among the elite list of top targets the Blues could approach.

The German international has been flirting with the idea of a move to Liverpool for several transfer windows but a switch is yet to materialise, giving rivals hope of swooping in to hijack a deal.

Werner is thought to be available for just £52m, which would have been considered a steal in the pre-coronavirus market after 27 goals in 36 games this term.

The 24-year-old is also attracting attention from Real Madrid and Barcelona, and it is more likely that Chelsea will instead target Lyon frontman Moussa Dembele.

Luca Waldschmidt (SC Freiburg)

Werner is not the only Bundesliga hotshot being monitored by Premier League clubs, with Chelsea thought to be lining up a bid for Freiburg forward Waldschmidt.

According to The Sun, the Blues are ready to launch a £20m bid for the 23-year-old who has shone at youth level for Germany.

Waldschmidt has been compared to Gerd Muller and would be viewed as a direct replacement for the outgoing Michy Batshuayi.

Blues fans will get a chance to see if the youngster is an upgrade on the Belgian striker when Freiburg travel to Leipzig this afternoon.

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