If Chelsea were enjoying a blissful honeymoon after winning the Premier League, then Diego Costa quickly pulled them back down to earth after he revealed the contents of a text message sent by manager Antonio Conte. It’s alleged Conte has told him that his time at the club is up after a noteworthy three-year spell as the lynchpin of Chelsea’s twice title winning frontline. He’s big and bad and doesn’t always endear himself to the opposition – but losing Costa would leave a gaping hole in their attack, which they are rumoured to be wanting to plug with the return of Romelu Lukaku from Everton – but watch this space, you have a feeling this one could be this summer’s most drawn out transfer saga.
With John Terry’s retirement, that also leaves an obvious hole in central defence. Terry has been a mainstay of the club through several different eras, and it’s difficult to imagine a John Terry-less Chelsea. Classy Italian stopper Leonardo Bonucci was heavily coveted by Pep Guardiola and Manchester City last summer, and expect him to command an eye watering fee for the club that steals him away from Juventus. Chelsea and City have neither been shy over the years when it comes to splashing the cash, and the rumour is Chelsea have opened up with an offer of £50 million – which for a player on the wrong side of 30 represents a sizeable investment.
Liverpool were stung this week after their aggressive pursuit of Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk fell foul of rules against tapping up. The Dutch defender has been a revelation in the Premier League this past season, and Klopp sees the ball playing centre back as the perfect man for Champions League football next season. After the accusations of tapping up, Liverpool were forced into an embarrassing climbdown, and the £60 million pound move was scuppered. For a man as astute as Klopp, you’d have thought he would have had more nous than to meet Van Dijk without the permission of the Saints. An amateurish move that has cost them dear – could Chelsea have a clean run at him now?
Real Madrid and Gareth Bale
Manchester United will be waiting in the wings should Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane decide to make Welsh superstar, Gareth Bale, available for transfer. Real have been heavily linked with a move for Monaco wunderkid, Kylian Mbappe—and if his transfer gets the green light then that could make Bale surplus to requirements. Man U have recently gone cold on Antoine Griezmann, and it’s clear that they are looking for a grandstanding, box-office transfer to show world football that they are still one of the big dogs on the scene.
It wouldn’t take a genius to suspect that Alexis Sanchez will not be at Arsenal come the start of the new season. He’s sulked his way through 2016/17 and looks intent on having an unhappy divorce from the Gunners. But where will he end up? The smart money is on him ending up at Manchester City, with his dynamic style of play ready-made for Guardiola’s City. Bayern Munich would like to have him too – but all signs point to a reunion with Pep at City.
As ever with the transfer season – it’s still early June and we’re in the phony war stage of proceedings. Like dominos, it’s going to take one big transfer to get things going.