Rumour Has It: Chelsea prepare deadline day swoop for Barcelona's Aubameyang

By Sports Desk August 30, 2022

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has been open about his desire for more signings ahead of the closure of the transfer window.

The London club have been one of the big spenders during this transfer window but Tuchel believes they need more reinforcements to be competitive in the title race.

The Blues have lost Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Emerson Palmieri and Timo Werner, while Romelu Lukaku departed on loan and Marcos Alonso is expected to join Barcelona.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA PLOTTING AUBA SWOOP

Chelsea are plotting a deadline day move to land ex-Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona, reports The Guardian.

Blues boss Tuchel has asked owner Todd Boehly to free up £200million with three targets in mind before Thursday's deadline, headlined by the Gabon international.

Chelsea are set to close out a deal for Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana for £70m, while Everton's Anthony Gordon is also on their wish list.

Aubameyang has only been used once for eight minutes off the bench this LaLiga season, with Robert Lewandowski starring up front for the Blaugrana.

ROUND-UP

–  Liverpool are pondering a late £42m bid for Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo,  according to The Sun. Brighton, however, believe that the Ecuador international is worth almost double that price.

– Metro reports  Cristiano Ronaldo could seal a move from Manchester United to Napoli this week. Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes is working on a swap deal, possibly involving Victor Osimhen .

– La Gazzetta dello Sport claims  Paris Saint-Germain 's €23m offer with add-ons for Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz has been accepted and he will undergo a medical on Tuesday. The Spaniard has been frozen out after refusing to extend his contract, which has less than 12 months to run.

Tottenham have revived their interest in Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco,  according to the Telegraph. The 28-year-old Belgian has two years to run on his contract.

– The Sun claims  Wolves have rejected a bid worth £8.5m from Everton for midfielder Leander Dendoncker .

– Barcelona and Manchester United have not reached an agreement on a deal for USA international Sergino Dest , reports Cadena COPE.

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  • Messi and Barcelona deserve one last dance together – Jordi Cruyff Messi and Barcelona deserve one last dance together – Jordi Cruyff

    Lionel Messi is destined to return to Barcelona one day as the player and club "deserve one last dance together", according to the Catalan giants' sporting director Jordi Cruyff.

    Paris Saint-Germain star Messi's 21-year association with Barca came to an end in August 2021 as the club could not afford a new deal under LaLiga's financial fair play rules.

    Messi is now into his second season with PSG, but he is out of contract at the end of the campaign and has been linked with a move to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.

    The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner turns 36 next year and Cruyff hopes to see him back at Camp Nou in the future, though accepts that it may not be in a playing capacity.

    "It's clear Barcelona and Messi have to be together again one day," Cruyff told RAC1. "It may be after his career, but they deserve a final hug, one last dance together."

    Messi scored 672 goals across 778 appearances for Barcelona and provided a further 265 assists, amounting to 937 goal involvements across that trophy-laden spell.

     

    He featured more times (219) and scored more goals (211) under Pep Guardiola than any other head coach, with the Catalan winning 14 trophies in four seasons at the helm.

    Guardiola has since spent three seasons with Bayern Munich and is into his seventh season with Manchester City, where he remains under contract until July 2025.

    Speaking this week, Guardiola said he would return to Barcelona one day if the club needed him, adding that "nothing is comparable" to managing a club so close to your heart.

    Asked about the possibility of Guardiola managing the Blaugrana again further down the line, Cruyff said: "He's reached the level of being able to choose his own destiny.

    "Not many have reached that point; it's the dream of every professional. Whether he returns or not, I have no idea. I think he's happy at City."

  • Rumour Has It: Real Madrid identify Benfica's Enzo Fernandez as new top target Rumour Has It: Real Madrid identify Benfica's Enzo Fernandez as new top target

    Real Madrid have reportedly pivoted away from Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham and are now treating Benfica's Enzo Fernandez as their top transfer target.

    Bellingham, 19, was considered the top priority for the Spanish giants, but a report from Marca claims they now believe he is destined for the Premier League and will instead focus their resources on 21-year-old Fernandez.

    Fernandez arrived at Benfica in June after they were able to pry him away from River Plate for a deal worth up to €18million including add-ons, but his exploits on the Champions League stage – including assists against Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus – have that price looking like a steal.

     

    TOP STORY – REAL MADRID SET THEIR SIGHTS ON ARGENTINA'S NEW STAR

    Fernandez was handed his international debut as a 20-year-old back in November 2021, and his continued growth on the European stage earned his spot in Argentina's World Cup squad.

    Not content to purely come along for the ride, Fernandez was brought on as a substitute in each of his side's first two group games, and against Mexico he became Argentina's youngest goalscorer at a World Cup since Lionel Messi in 2006.

    His ability to both break into and perform for such a quality international side – entering the tournament on a 35-match unbeaten streak before falling to Saudi Arabia – has reportedly sent Fernandez's transfer value through the roof.

    Marca's report claims he is now viewed as a €100m talent by Benfica, and they expect to field offers in that neighbourhood soon.

     

    ROUND-UP

    – According to Relevo, Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag views the Netherlands' World Cup hero Cody Gakpo as his ideal replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.

    – Fichajes is reporting Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are all showing interest in 22-year-old Ajax midfielder Mohammed Kudus amid his excellent performances for Ghana.

    Bayern Munich remain interested in Tottenham's Harry Kane and are working on an offer between €80-100m, per Sky Sports Germany.

    – The Sun is reporting Chelsea are not happy with both Edouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga and will look to bring in a new first-choice goalkeeper.

    – With Rafael Leao likely leaving Milan at the end of the season, Gazzetta dello Sport claims they will try to fill the void with RB Salzburg's 22-year-old Swiss international Noah Okafor.

  • 'Unplayable' Rashford must deliver every time he plays, says England team-mate Shaw 'Unplayable' Rashford must deliver every time he plays, says England team-mate Shaw

    Luke Shaw challenged Marcus Rashford to match his "unplayable" display against Wales throughout the rest of England's World Cup campaign.

    Rashford scored England's opener and their final goal in a 3-0 win over their British rivals at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday.

    The victory sent England into the last 16 as Group B winners, and they will now face Senegal for a place in the quarter-finals.

    Rashford, one of four new faces introduced by Gareth Southgate for the game, curled in a wonderful free-kick to break the deadlock early in the second half, before he doubled his tally with a low shot after a mazy run, with Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward allowing the ball through his legs.

    After becoming the first Manchester United player to score three goals at a World Cup since Bobby Charlton in 1966, when England won the trophy, Rashford must now replicate that level of performance time and time again, according to his club-mate Shaw.

    When asked by Stats Perform what he thought of Rashford's display, Shaw replied: "He's so good, the talent he's got, he can be unplayable. 

    "I think he needs to deliver that every single game he plays. He's got the quality that can make a difference, he's an unbelievable player and one that can make the difference for us.

    "Hopefully he can keep those standards high and keep doing it."

    Rashford, who finished with six shots, only one fewer than the entire Wales team managed combined, had scored eight times in 19 appearances for United this season heading into the World Cup, and Shaw has full faith the 25-year-old will keep up his form.

    "Very confident. I see it day in, day out – what he's doing, how he's training," Shaw added. "He took his chance, I think it was his time to start and for me he took his chance.

    "He needs to keep the standards high now, because he's a really important player."

    Phil Foden was a star of the show along with Rashford.

    Having faced criticism from some quarters for not bringing the Manchester City youngster on against the United States last week, Southgate started Foden in place of Bukayo Saka.

    While Foden took a while to get going, he clicked through the gears as the first half wore on and was on the end of a brilliant Harry Kane delivery to make it 2-0 just 98 seconds after Rashford's opener.

    "Not just the ones that started today, you look at the bench and the quality we have, we have World Class players who if they're not starting can come on and change a game," Shaw said when asked if Foden could be decisive in pushing England deep into the tournament.

    "Phil didn't get a chance against the USA but he came in and was the wonderful player we all know, getting on the ball, making things happen, scoring a very important goal at a crucial time and that’s what we want from all of them. We need them to be like that."

    Rashford revealed after the match that he had recently suffered the loss of a friend, and Shaw – whose grandmother passed away shortly before the World Cup – explained the unique unity of the England camp had been crucial in helping him overcome the loss.

    "One million per cent," Shaw said. "The togetherness is not something I've witnessed in a team before.

    "Everyone is so close together, we get on so well and push each other every day to get better and keep the standards high. It brings everyone closer together."

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