Sunday 19 November 2017

Chelsea and Manchester City preparing for transfer tug-of-war over Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba

Chelsea and Manchester City both remain in the race for Paul Pogba after his representatives rejected an initial wage offer proposed by Paris Saint-Germain.

The Daily Mail reports that Real Madrid, with help from Zinedine Zidane, have made representations, as have Barcelona, but the player's camp want an improvement on the £210,000-a-week proposed by PSG.

Juventus, it seems, accept that the 22-year-old's sale could bankroll their rebuild in the summer and are allowing the player's agent, Mino Raiola, to discuss options, with a fee of around £58 million expected.

The Mirror, meanwhile, suggests that, of the two Premier League big guns after the Frenchman, it is City who are favourites and are ready to launch a bid in excess of £50m. The dethroned champions will have to offload several big-name players to help fund such a huge bid, however, with Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic set to be the fall-guys.

Chelsea remain hopeful striker Mauro Icardi will reject a new contract at Inter Milan and join them in the summer.

The London Evening Standard claims Chelsea have stepped up their interest in Icardi, with a view to strengthening their frontline in the summer.

Icardi is aware of Chelsea's interest and, significantly, has still not put pen to paper on any new deal with Inter.

Chelsea are apparently prepared to pay Inter £22m for his signature and offer significantly more than the £38,000-a-week-after-tax salary he has been promised at the San Siro.

The Standard also reveals that Didier Drogba won't be retiring, with the MLS the 37-year-old's most likely destination. And that Chelsea have also been linked with Atletico Madrid's Antonie Griezmann and Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette - but we already knew that.

Inter Milan are emerging as an increasingly viable option for Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.

Roma and Arsenal are also interested in the 32-year-old goalkeeper, who is bound for the exit at the end of the season after 11 years at Stamford Bridge.

The Mail claims Chelsea's Russian owner, Roman Abramovich, will not stand in Cech's way if he wants to join Arsenal, but the keeper understands the champions would rather not sell to a direct rival in the Premier League, while Arsene Wenger is not certain that he wants a new No 1.

The future of reported Chelsea target Paulo Dybala will be decided in the next two weeks, according to Palermo's president Maurizio Zamparini.

The Guardian reports that Dybala has attracted the attention of several top European clubs, including Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus. Palermo are keen to cash in on the 21-year-old after the Argentinian forward turned down a three-year contract extension in January.

Chelsea are reportedly weighing up an £11m bid for Augsburg defender Abdul Rahman Baba.

Filipe Luis has failed to impress since moving to Stamford Bridge last summer, and the Ghanaian left-back is being lined up by the Blues as a potential replacement, according to L'Equipe.

And finally, Jose Mourinho is interested in signing Atletico Madrid's Toby Alderweireld.

The versatile defender is currently on loan at Southampton, where he is thought to have impressed Mourinho with a string of impressive Premier League performances, suggests The Metro.

Apparently, Arsenal were believed to be tracking the Belgium international, but Chelsea are preparing to hijack the Gunners' attempts to sign him.

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