Monday 20 August 2018

Transfers centre – live

Round-up of the summer transfer window’s biggest news.

Thibaut Courtois was absent from Chelsea training on Monday (Nigel French/PA)
Thibaut Courtois was absent from Chelsea training on Monday (Nigel French/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

  • Thibaut Courtois absent from Chelsea training, Press Association Sport understands.
  • Willian appears to have committed his future to Chelsea.
  • Newcastle sign Salomon Rondon on loan from West Brom.
  • Lucas Perez set to swap Arsenal for West Ham.
  • Wolves closing in on club-record deal for Adama Traore, reports.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois failed to report for training on Monday as doubts over his future at Stamford Bridge intensified.

Press Association Sport understands Courtois was absent from the Blues’ Cobham training base despite being due to make his return from a summer break.

The 26-year-old, who has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid, was handed an extended holiday after finishing third at the World Cup with Belgium and has reportedly told new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri he wants to leave.

Courtois’ Belgian team-mate Eden Hazard is also being linked with a move away from Chelsea but Willian insists he is happy at the club despite revealing Barcelona made an approach for his services.

“I’m a Chelsea player,” Willian told ESPN Brasil.

“I always made it clear that what I wanted was to stay in the club. The only club I knew that really made an official offer for me was Barcelona.

“But I have my head here and I intend to continue in the club unless the club wants to sell me. But my head is here in the club.”

On what could be a frenetic final few days of the window at Stamford Bridge, Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak and Jack Butland of Stoke are the two goalkeepers being touted as potential successors to Courtois.

The Blues have also reportedly emerged as the main interested party in Lyon forward Nabil Fekir.

The Lyon skipper returned to training on Monday after helping France to lift the World Cup and, despite being a supposed target of Liverpool throughout the summer, Chelsea are now reportedly keen to secure his services.

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Chelsea have reportedly emerged as the main interested party in Lyon forward Nabil Fekir (John Walton/PA)

Newcastle announced the season-long loan signing of striker Salomon Rondon from West Brom.

The club’s official statement labelled the Venezuela international as Rafael Benitez’s “number one transfer target” after he joined in a move which saw Dwight Gayle move the other way for the campaign.

“It’s an honour to be here and I’m excited to get started with my team-mates,” Rondon told Newcastle’s website.

“The clubs were talking for a long time and now I’m focused on the season to help my team-mates
to get the points to do well this season.

“It’s one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League and I knew about the interest of the gaffer, so I’m happy to be here.”

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is keen on adding to his squad but could see outgoings first. Defender Axel Tuanzebe has already made way, re-signing for Aston Villa on a season-long loan, and Italian full-back Matteo Darmian could be exiting too as talks with Benfica reportedly continue.

The Red Devils continue to be linked with a move for a central defender, with Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, Harry Maguire of Leicester and Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng all linked with Old Trafford.

Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola is reported to be lining up a move for the United midfielder, with Barcelona and Juventus among the destinations mentioned in dispatches.

  • Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City from Leicester.
  • Alisson from Roma to Liverpool.
  • Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk to Manchester United.
  • Richarlison from Watford to Everton.

Everton are reported to have won the race to sign Brazil international Bernard following interest from Inter Milan and West Ham.

It has also been suggested that the Toffees have pipped Manchester United in the pursuit of Barcelona centre-back Yerry Mina, once considered a Mourinho target.

Everton are said to have reached a £28.5million, five-year deal for the Colombia international, who is set to be the second Barca player to switch from the Nou Camp to Goodison Park this summer after Lucas Digne.

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Yerry Mina headed Colombia level against England at the World Cup. (Tim Goode/PA)

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery suggested over the weekend that the club are likely to sell before adding any further new signings ahead of the deadline.

That has not stopped them joining Manchester United in being linked with Bayern’s former Manchester City man Boateng, although tying up a contract extension for Aaron Ramsey will be foremost in Arsenal’s minds.

Gunners striker Lucas Perez could be set to follow in the footsteps of Jack Wilshere and swap the Emirates Stadium for West Ham while Calum Chambers has been heavily linked with a season-long loan switch to newly-promoted Fulham.

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Lucas Perez has started just two Premier League games for Arsenal since joining in 2016 (John Walton/PA)

BBC Sport reported later on Monday that Wolves, promoted as Championship winners last season, are close to breaking their transfer record to land Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth are still hoping to wrap up the signing of Colombian defensive midfielder Jefferson Lerma for a club-record fee.

The Cherries have agreed a fee understood to be £25million with Spanish club Levante for the 23-year-old.

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Jefferson Lerma is set for a move to Bournemouth (Adam Davy/PA)

All that remains is for confirmation that Lerma has agreed personal terms, passed a medical and obtained a work permit.

Elsewhere, England Under-21s striker Adam Armstrong has left Newcastle for Blackburn on a permanent deal. Armstrong scored nine goals for Rovers on loan last season and has penned a four-year contract.

The decision to bring the deadline forward so that no new signings can be added after the Premier League season begins, plus the World Cup, means the final days of the window could be frantic.

Press Association

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