Rumour Has It: Chelsea handed Monday Kounde ultimatum, Man Utd's Trippier move on hold

By Sports Desk August 30, 2021

Chelsea have been linked with Sevilla's French defender Jules Kounde throughout the off-season.

The 22-year-old centre-back did not play for Sevilla at the weekend and reportedly wants to exit the club.

Kounde would be Chelsea's second major signing behind Romelu Lukaku, as the transfer window closure approaches.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA FACING MONDAY ULTIMATUM ON KOUNDE

Chelsea's drawn-out pursuit of Sevilla's Jules Kounde has hit another speed bump with the Spanish club issuing the Blues an ultimatum, according to AS.

Sevilla have told Chelsea if they do not submit a suitable offer on Monday, then they have to meet Kounde's €80 million (£68m) release clause.

Chelsea have not tabled a firm bid for Kounde beyond €50m, while the LaLiga outfit had reportedly previously wanted €60-70m.

ROUND-UP

- The Star reports that Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival at Manchester United will force Dan James out, with Everton, Brighton and Hove Albion, Leeds United and Crystal Palace all in the running for the Welsh winger.

- Manchester United are unlikely to move for Atletico Madrid full-back and long-term target Kieran Trippier reports the Manchester Evening News. United's capture of Ronaldo means their transfer business is over.

- Sport reports that Juventus are ready to make one final effort to sign Miralem Pjanic back from Barcelona. Juve are willing to take Pjanic on loan, with the midfielder out of favour at Barca.

- Aston Villa are set to table a £15m bid for Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones according to the Express. The Villans are eager to strengthen having missed out on Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe.

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    The race for Erling Haaland's signature will be a huge story in 2022.

    The 21-year-old sensation has interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs.

    Haaland has netted 63 goals in the past 18 months for Borussia Dortmund.

     

    TOP STORY – MAN UTD GIVE UP ON HAALAND

    Manchester United have pulled out of the race to sign Dortmund's Haaland, according to ESPN.

    The Red Devils will focus on alternative attacking options with uncertainty around Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo's futures at the club while Haaland is favouring a move to Real Madrid.

    United have had a long-standing interest in the Norwegian, who has a €75 million (£62m) release clause on his Dortmund contract.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Manchester City are closing in on a deal for River Plate's 21-year-old Argentina international Julian Alvarez, claims The Telegraph. As part of the imminent deal, Alvarez – who has interest from Milan, Inter and Juventus – will remain with River until June. The fee is expected to be no less than £20m.

    - Liverpool have joined the race to sign Borussia Monchengladbach's Denis Zakaria, according to ESPN. The Reds will rival Dortmund and Bayern Munich who are both keen on the Swiss midfielder.

    - Ajax's Mexico international Edson Alvarez is attracting interest from Premier League trio Chelsea, Leicester City and Crystal Palace, reports Football Insider.

    - Leeds United have opened contract talks with Brazilian superstar Raphinha,  according to the Daily Star, amid interest from Chelsea and Liverpool .

    - French club Nice are set to offer Tottenham's Bryan Gil a loan deal, according to L'Equipe. The Spaniard has struggled for impact since his move to England.

    - Diario AS claims that Valencia are working on a January deal for Athletic Bilbao defender Unai Nunez .

  • Simeone confirms Suarez will play against Valencia Simeone confirms Suarez will play against Valencia

    Diego Simeone has confirmed that Luis Suarez will play for Atletico Madrid against Valencia on Saturday, despite a lack of form and apparent recent falling out between the pair.

    The Uruguay international is Los Rojiblancos' top scorer in all competitions this season with nine goals, but has only found the net once in his last 11 club matches.

    Suarez made his frustration known when he was substituted during last month's 2-1 defeat at Sevilla, appearing to direct expletives towards his manager.

    The 34-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a Premier League reunion with former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa, but Simeone insisted at a news conference ahead of the weekend's clash at the Wanda Metropolitano that he has spoken to Suarez and intends to play him.

    Atletico have been on a poor run of late, winning just one of their last six LaLiga games and being eliminated from both the Supercopa de Espana and Copa del Rey in their last two outings.

    "Luis Suarez will play," the Argentine coach confirmed. "I have no doubt that these moments make us stronger, because we have been in difficult moments and very good ones during my ten years at the club [as a coach].

    "This moment is something we've never experienced before and it is like life itself, we need to defend ourselves continuously. What you did yesterday doesn't count, it counts what you do today and I love it like this because this is what happens in life itself.

    "I've already talked to Luis and with the club. With all the people I've needed to, we've talked already. They know what I think, and I'm [currently] thinking about the match against Valencia.”

     

    Suarez has scored 30 goals across all competitions since his arrival at Atletico from Barcelona in September 2020. Karim Benzema (54) and Gerard Moreno (41) are the only players currently based in Spain to have scored more often during that time.

    Additionally, only Lionel Messi (231) has more than Suarez's 175 LaLiga goals since the Uruguayan joined Barcelona from Liverpool in July 2014.

  • Tuchel does not rule out January additions for Chelsea Tuchel does not rule out January additions for Chelsea

    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has not ruled out making a signing in the remainder of the January transfer window, but stopped short of making any guarantees.

    The Blues have seen their title charge come to a grinding halt in recent games, having not won any of their last four Premier League outings and only claiming victory twice from their last nine.

    They now sit 12 points behind leaders Manchester City having played a game more, and a point behind second-placed Liverpool having played two games more.

    When asked at a news conference ahead of Sunday's game against Tottenham whether any January additions are likely, Tuchel replied: "I cannot say no to it. Also, I am not convinced it is a clear yes. Let's wait and see."

    The game with Spurs at Stamford Bridge will be Chelsea's 16th since the start of December, and Tuchel believes that the hectic schedule coupled with injuries has played a significant part in his team's drop in form.

    "The schedule that we had in particular was a bit too much," he said. "At the same time we struggled with injuries, first in midfield then in the second period it was strikers and now it's suddenly all defenders who are out. Yeah, it's a bit awkward.

    "We struggled to deal with it and find the same rhythm, find the same consistency in our results... but still the way we played and approached the games was always okay."

    Following a 1-0 defeat at Manchester City last weekend and a 1-1 draw at Brighton on Tuesday, the former Borussia Dortmund coach gave his players two days off in preparation for the Spurs game, and confessed that he spent his time at the dentist.

    "You really disconnect at the dentist," he said. "It is hard to think about football when you are in the dentist chair.

    "We needed [a break]. And I meant all of us. This is a team effort and I felt that the team was mentally tired, which I could understand. I felt them disappointed and frustrated after the result at City and it was harder for us to overcome the obstacles that for us are normal to overcome.

    "There are reasons for it. Reasons that we talked about, reasons for which we cannot be blamed.

    "I know it is always like this and we don’t want to make excuses, but we want to be adult enough and honest enough to look at the reasons why we feel this kind of fatigue."

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