Thursday 27 July 2017

Chelsea set sights on €142m hat-trick as Conte closes in on three top transfer targets

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is targeting several players. Photo: Reuters / Tony O'Brien
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is targeting several players. Photo: Reuters / Tony O'Brien

Jamie Holland

Chelsea are aiming to complete a €142m hat-trick of transfer deals for Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger and Alex Sandro - who could become their record signing.

With a €40m deal for Monaco midfielder Bakayoko still being finalised, Chelsea have opened talks to sign central defender Rudiger for €34m from Roma and will step up negotiations with Juventus for €68m-rated left-back Sandro next week.

Chelsea's total summer outlay is likely to top €230m, with Antonio Conte also targetting Everton striker Romelu Lukaku and a second central defender.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are close to agreeing a deal to sign Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette. However, a deal for Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar, 21, is less likely.

The Gunners are expected to shell out a club-record fee of €50m, plus add-ons, for 26-year-old Lacazette, surpassing the €47m they paid to Real Madrid for Mesut Ozil in 2013.

With Arsenal closing in on Lacazette, speculation will intensify about the future of Alexis Sanchez.

Sanchez, who will line out for Chile against Germany in the Confederations Cup final tomorrow, wants a move but fears that Arsenal will make him see out the final 12 months of his contract rather than sell him to a Premier League rival.

Manchester City are front-runners to sign the 28-year-old, with a host of foreign clubs, including Bayern Munich, put off by his demands for wages in excess of £350,000-a-week.

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