Chelsea are showing they still have plenty of business to take care of during this transfer period, with reports they will make significant bids for Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong and Leicester City's Wesley Fofana.

De Jong has been a central figure in transfer news since the season ended, locked in an ongoing saga with Manchester United after they finally met Barcelona's asking price, only for the 25-year-old Dutch international to reveal he has no interest in heading to a club outside of the Champions League.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have been outgoing about their desire for another quality centre back to bring in along with Kalidou Koulibaly, and after Barcelona swooped in at the 11th hour to land Blues target Jules Kounde, Fofana is the new hot name in their hunt for a long-term solution in the middle of defence.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA PREPARE BIG-MONEY BIDS FOR DE JONG AND FOFANA

In the immediate aftermath of Barcelona securing Kounde, reports came out that Chelsea were then unwilling to do further business with the Spanish giants, withholding Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta.

However, that seems to have changed as Sport is reporting the Stamford Bridge side will make a bid for De Jong, who Barcelona value at €80million, and if a deal can be made, Barca will then immediately use some of those funds to sign Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva.

For the 21-year-old Fofana, who has represented France at the under-21 level, Leicester reportedly value him at £85m after recently locking him down on a five-year contract expiring in 2027. Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be interested in the Foxes' defender.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Athletic are reporting Chelsea have also put out a feeler for 26-year-old Inter defender Denzel Dumfries, while Sport Italia's Rudy Galetti claims they are also discussing Milan Skriniar.

– According to the Daily Mail, Newcastle United have turned their attention to Leicester winger Harvey Barnes after having their bid for James Maddison turned down.

Manchester United are reportedly weighing up moves for 25-year-old Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic and RB Salzburg 19-year-old Benjamin Sesko, with the latter said to be valued at over £50m.

– ESPN are reporting that if Manchester City cannot land Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella, then they will pivot to Borussia Dortmund's Raphael Guerreiro, who has 56 international caps for Portugal.

– Ekrem Konur has revealed that Aston Villa face stiff competition in their pursuit of Bodo/Glimt right-back Alfons Sampsted, with the 24-year-old Iceland international also drawing interest from Bayer Leverkusen, Lyon and Lazio.

Bayern Munich chief executive Oliver Kahn has ruled out a move for another striker, despite the sale of Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona.

The Bundesliga champions have been linked with moves for Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane in recent weeks, although the club have distanced themselves from such rumours.

Lewandowski scored 50 goals in all competitions last season but made it clear he wanted a new challenge in Spain and secured a move to Barca in mid-July.

Speaking after Bayern's 5-3 DFL-Supercup victory against RB Leipzig, Kahn said there was "no discussion" about bringing in another number nine.

"That was strong," he said of the performance to BILD. "You could see how many opportunities we had going forward, how many different formations we had, how surprising we can be, how many good footballers are there, how much speed we can bring into the game with many, many extremely fast players.

"It's the case that we still have options in the current team. [Joshua] Zirkzee is there, [Eric] Choupo-Moting is there, then the young Mathys Tel, who is training incredibly well at the moment. We would also have opportunities there."

Five different players found the net for Julian Nagelsmann's side against Leipzig, including new arrival Sadio Mane, and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic was pleased to see the variety that Bayern displayed.

"You could see that we are extremely dangerous, that we have many fast and dangerous players," he told BILD. "That's the idea.

"Of course, it's a different way of playing. If the boys do what we envision, I think we can spread the goals on many shoulders."

While Salihamidzic stopped short of also ruling out a new striker arriving at the Allianz Arena, he did hint that the club's incomings may be done for this transfer window, adding: "The transfer market runs until August 31, but usually we have completed our planning by then."

RB Leipzig have announced the signing of David Raum from Hoffenheim on a five-year contract.

Raum was the standout attacking wing-back in the Bundesliga last season, leading all defenders in chances created (83), assists (11) and expected assists (13.9).

The Germany left-back also scored three times in 32 games to attract the attention of a number of leading clubs.

It is Leipzig who have landed Raum, with the right-footed Benjamin Henrichs having played on the left in Saturday's 5-3 DFL-Supercup defeat to Bayern Munich.

Raum appears set to compete with Angelino on that flank, with Nordi Mukiele's departure for Paris Saint-Germain leaving an opening on the right.

It is becoming increasingly likely that Chelsea striker Timo Werner will be on his way out of Stamford Bridge with reports he has been offered to Real Madrid, while Newcastle United are also investigating a possible loan.

The two new teams linked with Werner come after Bild reported recently he was willing to take a 50 per cent pay-cut to return to former club RB Leipzig, indicating the Blues are well and truly shopping him around.

The 26-year-old scored only four Premier League goals in 21 appearances last season, though also recorded four goals and two assists in his five Champions League contests.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA'S WERNER ON THE WAY OUT

Chelsea and Madrid have been in recent contact about the Spanish side's interest in 20-year-old Armando Broja – who Thomas Tuchel is said to be a fan of – though El Larguero is reporting that the London club put Werner on the table instead.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror claims Newcastle have also touched base about a potential loan deal, and the report states they are currently a more likely landing spot than his former club Leipzig.

His reported weekly wage of £270,000 per week would need to be significantly reduced to accommodate a move to either Leipzig or Newcastle, and that could be where Madrid come into the equation.

 

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– The Athletic is reporting that Brighton have put their foot down on a £50million asking price for 24-year-old left-back Marc Cucurella, who Manchester City is aggressively chasing.

Newcastle have had a £40m bid for Leicester City's James Maddison rejected, with his price-tag said to be at least £50m, according to the Times.

– Sport is reporting that Barcelona still have the intention of signing Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso from Chelsea, despite the English club marking them off-limits after being beaten to the signing of Jules Kounde by Barca.

Milan have agreed to a £26.9m deal for exciting 21-year-old Club Brugge midfielder Charles de Ketelaere, according to Calciomercato.

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting that Stoke City are in advanced discussions to secure young Man City midfielder Liam Delap on loan.

Julian Nagelsmann described Jamal Musiala's display in the 5-3 DFL-Supercup win over RB Leipzig on Saturday as "world class".

Musiala, 19, got Bayern on their way early in the first half with a cool finish, before playing an integral role in their next two goals as they went in at the break 3-0 up.

He played an incisive pass into Serge Gnabry, who picked out Sadio Mane for a goal on his competitive debut for Bayern, before teeing up Benjamin Pavard to make it three.

Musiala made 40 appearances across all competitions last season, yet only 18 came as a starter.

Asked if he is likely to become a regular fixture in his starting XI this season, Nagelsmann said: "Of course, that is up to him. If he plays like he did today then he is indispensable to the team.

"He had an outstanding preparation, and was very diligent. He has improved defensively. His performance today was world class."

Bayern's marquee signing ahead of the 2022-23 campaign, Mane, opened his account with a simple close-range finish in the first half and saw two efforts ruled out for offside after the break.

Nagelsmann was thrilled with the former Liverpool forward's contribution and believes his presence brings out the best in other players.

"It was a very good performance," he added. "He's humble, down to earth, hardworking, and he pushes the boys in the dressing room.

"He is a player with outstanding quality, and he's an outstanding guy."

Leroy Sane came off the bench to add a fifth goal with the last kick of the game after Leipzig had pulled two goals back having been 4-1 behind.

Nagelsmann was impressed by the former Manchester City forward, but believes there is still plenty of room for improvement.

"He's done a lot better in the past week and a half," the Bayern boss said.

"He's a great person and an outstanding footballer. He scored a great goal today. We can get him where we want him to be. We have to continue working on it together."

Saturday's triumph was Bayern's 10th in the DFL-Supercup, further extending their record in the competition.

Their bid for an 11th consecutive Bundesliga title starts on Friday with a trip to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Sadio Mane scored on his Bayern Munich competitive debut as the Bundesliga champions withstood a late fightback to beat RB Leipzig 5-3 in the DFL-Supercup.

Julian Nagelsmann's side lost Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona recently, but Mane – a €41million signing from Liverpool – suggested he will not have any problems filling the void left by the Poland international.

He slid home from close range in the first half to double Bayern's advantage at the Red Bull Arena after Jamal Musiala had given the Bavarian giants an early lead.

Benjamin Pavard made it 3-0 on the stroke of half-time, with Serge Gnabry adding a fourth after Marcel Halstenberg pulled one back for Leipzig. Christopher Nkunku crashed home from a penalty and Dani Olmo powered home late on as Domenico Tedesco's men rallied, before Leroy Sane hit a fifth for Bayern with the last kick of the game.

Bayern were rewarded for a bright start in the 14th minute when Musiala steered past Peter Gulacsi from 10 yards after Leipzig failed to clear a corner.

An unmarked Mane made it 2-0 in the 31st minute with a simple finish from eight yards after he had been picked out by Serge Gnabry. Bayern then appeared to put the game to bed on the stroke of half-time when Pavard slotted home from the impressive Musiala's pull-back.

Halstenberg reduced the deficit moments after Andre Silva hit the crossbar, the defender sending a looping header into Manuel Neuer's far corner.

Gnabry restored Bayern's three-goal lead in the 65th minute with a close-range strike after Gulacsi kept out Thomas Muller's initial effort. 

Nkunku scored Leipzig's second in the 77th minute with a powerful penalty after Pavard fouled Olmo, before Spain international Olmo added a third with a cool finish in the 89th minute.

Bayern had the final say, though, when Sane raced clear and slotted past Gulacsi deep into stoppage time to seal a third consecutive DFL-Supercup triumph.

Sebastien Haller will undergo chemotherapy treatment after his testicular tumour was revealed to be malignant.

The forward, who joined Borussia Dortmund from Ajax this close-season, was diagnosed with a tumour earlier this month after complaining of feeling unwell at BVB's training camp in Austria.

Haller last week underwent surgery in the first stage of his treatment.

Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl had confirmed Haller would be missing "for a few months" but added further treatment plans were still being discussed.

And a Dortmund statement on Saturday confirmed Haller's diagnosis and the need for chemotherapy.

The statement, which updated that Haller would be absent for "several months", said: "We ask for the understanding of the media and fans that, beyond the information mentioned, we will not disclose any medical details regarding the treatment of Sebastien Haller today or during the coming months."

Kehl added: "Sebastien will now receive the best possible treatment. The chances of recovery are very good. We wish him and his family a lot of strength and optimism and are with him with our thoughts at this difficult time."

Real Madrid are the latest side to enquire about the availability of 20-year-old Chelsea striker Armando Broja, but the Premier League club are maintaining that he is not for sale.

The Albania international has been the subject of significant interest after a successful loan spell at Southampton last season, netting nine goals in 38 appearances.

Chelsea reportedly turned down a £30million offer from West Ham for Broja, and although Thomas Tuchel is said to be a fan, Madrid are eager to land the youngster.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA'S RISING ALBANIAN DRAWS REAL MADRID'S INTEREST

Since Romelu Lukaku departed from Chelsea on a season-long loan to Inter, questions have been asked about what the London club's plans are to bolster their attack.

The Evening Standard's report claims Carlo Ancelotti is on the hunt for young strikers to find a potential successor to 35-year-old Karim Benzema, although with Timo Werner potentially on his way back to RB Leipzig, Chelsea may have simply decided that Broja must stay.

West Ham have also reportedly not been driven away yet and remain interested, as do Everton and Newcastle United.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to Bild, Bayern Munich full-back Benjamin Pavard would be willing to join Chelsea if they make a serious offer.

– The Telegraph is reporting RB Salzburg want £55m for 19-year-old Slovenian striker Benjamin Sesko, who is a Manchester United target, according to Manchester Evening News.

– Sky Sports Italia claims Juventus would like to acquire Barcelona forward Memphis Depay on loan, however the Catalan giants wants to make it a permanent deal.

– 90min say Everton are in advanced discussions with Chelsea to bring Ross Barkley back to the club, and they also have interest in Michy Batshuayi and Billy Gilmour.

– According to Talksport, West Ham are willing to meet the £17.5m release clause for 25-year-old Burnley winger Maxwel Cornet.

Robert Lewandowski accused Bayern Munich of making up "bulls***" about him in an attempt to keep the fan base onside ahead of his move to Barcelona. 

Barca paid an initial €45million to sign Lewandowski from Bayern, where he had one year left on his contract and had made his desire to leave clear after a breakdown in talks over an extension. 

Lewandowski denied wanting out because of the Bundesliga champions' reported interest in Erling Haaland, who ended up swapping Borussia Dortmund for Manchester City. 

While he was unwilling to give the full details, he hit out at his former club for painting what he feels was an inaccurate portrait of the situation. 

"No, that was nothing to do with Erling," he told ESPN FC. "I am the guy who even if something's not good for me, truth is more important.

"I don't want to speak about what happened exactly. But if the question is if the decision to move was because of him, no, I didn't see the problem if he joined Bayern Munich. 

"But some people don't tell me the truth, [they] say something different. And for me, it was always important to be clear, to stay true, and maybe for a few people that was the problem. 

"In the end, I know that something doesn't work well with my person... and I feel that maybe it's a good time to move out of Bayern Munich and join Barcelona. 

"I had a very good relationship with my team-mates, with the staff, with the coach, and these are all things I'm going to miss because I spent a beautiful time there. 

"We were not only friends from the pitch but also something more. But in the end this chapter is over, and I open a new chapter in my life and a new chapter in my career. 

"So I feel that I'm in the right position, right place. So everything that's happened in the last few weeks before I left Bayern Munich, that was also of course a lot of politics. 

"The club tried to find an argument [for] why they can sell me to another club because before it was difficult to explain maybe to the fans. I had to accept that, even though it was a lot of bulls***, a lot of s*** said about me. 

"[It was] not true, but in the end I knew that the fans, even in this period, still support me a lot." 

Julian Nagelsmann has no fears about being fired by Bayern Munich if he hits a rough patch of form this term, saying the only pressure he feels is his own need to succeed.

The Bundesliga champions get their new campaign under way against RB Leipzig in the DFL-Supercup on Saturday, before kicking off their league title defence next Friday against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Head coach Nagelsmann tasted success in his maiden season at the helm at Allianz Arena, but the 35-year-old's first campaign was far from the cakewalk Bayern have appeared to enjoy under varying predecessors in the past few years.

The loss of Robert Lewandowski this term also represents a major blow when it comes to firepower, and questions are being asked about whether this could be the year the club's league monopoly is cracked.

But Nagelsmann feels the only pressure he faces comes from himself, and that whatever challenges his side square up to will happen come what may for him.

"I always put the pressure on myself," he said. "I want to play the most successful football possible, which is also nice to look at from the outside. I feel little pressure from outside.

"It's not about life and death in football. If I get fired at some point, I'll be fired – I'm not too afraid of that! That's the way it is in the job. I don't feel the pressure from outside, only my pressure to succeed.

"We want to do certain things better than in the second half of the season [but] I don't really give a damn about the pressure that's coming from outside."

While Bayern have brought in fresh recruits this summer, including Sadio Mane and Matthijs de Ligt, the departure of Lewandowski remains a major void they are arguably yet to fill.

Bayern admire Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane, but it appears far-fetched to imagine them bringing him in now, given how tenaciously Spurs clung to Kane when Manchester City wanted him 12 months ago.

Nagelsmann has not ruled out finding a successor to Lewandowski before time runs out, adding: "There are still four weeks that the transfer window is open, so something could still happen. We are keeping our eyes on the market."

Bayern Munich's Julian Nagelsmann has no problem with being accused of "ignorance" by Joan Laporta as the Barcelona president "has to represent his club."

Nagelsmann questioned Barca's spending spree after they signed Robert Lewandowski from Bayern this month for a fee that could rise to €50million.

Barca had to let Lionel Messi leave a year ago due to their financial crisis, but they have also signed Raphinha and Jules Kounde for big fees ahead of the 2022-23 season, while bringing in Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie on free transfers.

Bayern head coach Nagelsmann stated that Barca are "the only club in the world that can buy players without money" after Lewandowski's switch to Spain.

Laporta responded by stating that Nagelsmann was being ignorant, adding that rival clubs should mind their own business.

Questioned about Laporta's comments ahead of Bayern's DFL-Supercup showdown with RB Leipzig, Nagelsmann told reporters: "It's good that he expresses himself, I would do that too.

"It was just a question from a fan point of view. I have no problem with Laporta speaking out, he has to represent his club."

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte also recently suggested Nagelsmann had been "disrespectful" by expressing his admiration for Harry Kane amid reports the Bundesliga champions could make a move for the England captain.

Nagelsmann says he has a good relationship with Conte, however, as he defended himself for giving honest answers.

He said: "I'll always give my opinion in the future. I don't write down all my answers before the press conference.

"It's coming spontaneously, that's maybe not always the smartest thing. I don't have a problem with Conte or Laporta responding back, that's part of the game.

"It wasn't a dramatic statement, I have a good relationship with Conte."

 

Joan Laporta believes Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann showed "ignorance" by expressing his bemusement over Barcelona's spending spree.

Barca this month signed Bayern's prolific striker Robert Lewandowski for a fee that is said to rise up to €50million and also brought Raphinha to Camp Nou in a big-money move from Leeds United.

The Catalan giants have also agreed a deal to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla for a reported €55m, while Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen arrived as free agents.

Barcelona could not afford to keep Lionel Messi a year ago due to a financial crisis at the club, but in recent months they have sold 25 per cent of the club's television rights for the next 25 years and secured a hugely lucrative sponsorship deal with Spotify.

Nagelsmann stated that Barca are "the only club in the world that can buy players without money" after Lewandowski's departure.

Barca president Laporta, however, says Nagelsmann should get his facts right.

He told reporters: "What I would ask is that you look at your current account, they have received significant money from the transfer of Lewandowski. I respect everyone and do not interfere in the economy of other."

Laporta added: "I give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe they thought we couldn't, but they hadn't gauged the strength of Barca and the drive of the new board.

"It is ignorance, lack of information from our club. It is true that we were in a terminal situation, but we left the hospital with the levers and these gentlemen have remained on a page that we have turned."

Laporta thinks rivals club are clearly worried that Barca will be a force again.

"If I don't get involved in what others do, they shouldn't get involved in what we do," he said.

"Perhaps they do it because they think that we will continue to act in the market and they see that we have surpassed them. Let them worry about their own.

He continued: "Barca is competitive again and will compete in all competitions. The weight and strength of a club with more than 122 years of history is very great, its assets are highly valued. 

"It is true that I would have liked not to sell the percentage of television rights, but the situation was complicated and required being brave and making decisions, because football does not wait and our fans, who are very well accustomed, deserve a club like Barca to compete. Our demands are greater than those of others."

Tottenham have reportedly entered the race for 23-year-old Roma attacking midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo, with Juventus also heavily linked to the Italy international.

Zaniolo missed the entire 2020-21 season after suffering the second torn ACL of his career, but he made a successful return this past campaign, totalling 42 club appearances, including five goals and four assists in 10 Conference League fixtures.

The man with nine senior international caps has been linked with Juventus for some time now, but with the club yet to make any breakthrough, they could face competition from the Premier League.

TOP STORY – TOTTENHAM LOOK TO SWOOP IN FOR JUVENTUS TARGET

According to Tuttosport, Juventus and Roma have been holding discussions about different constructions of a deal for Zaniolo, including an iteration that would make it a loan this season with an option to buy after. The report mentions his price tag is believed to be between £30million and £40million.

With Tottenham set to play Roma in a friendly on Saturday, it is said to be an opportunity for the two clubs to sit down and discuss the possibility of a move.

Reports have claimed Spurs are willing to include Giovani Lo Celso in their bid, with the English club said to value the Argentinian at £17million.


ROUND-UP

– L'Equipe is reporting that Marseille are investigating a potential move for Inter's Alexis Sanchez.

– Fabrizio Romano says Chelsea have yet to receive an acceptable offer for 20-year-old striker Armando Broja after turning down a £30million bid from West Ham, and that he may be competing for first-team minutes this season.

– Fabrizio Romano is also reporting that Everton have approached Paris Saint-Germain about bringing 32-year-old Idrissa Gueye back to the club after he left in 2019.

– According to 90min, West Ham are in talks with Eintracht Frankfurt about 29-year-old wing-back Filip Kostic after having their first bid turned down.

Ajax, Newcastle United and Bayer Leverkusen are tracking 18-year-old forward Giovani, playing for Palmeiras in the Brazilian top division, according to ESPN Brasil.

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Dietmar Hamann has declared Robert Lewandowski did the club a "huge favour" by making it clear he wanted to join Barcelona.

The Poland international this month completed a €50million move to the Catalan giants, bringing an end to his trophy-laden stint in Germany.

Bayern were initially adamant that Lewandowski would not be allowed to leave, despite being in the final year of his contract, but the prolific striker was determined to move to Barca.

The 34-year-old eventually got his wish and Hamann believes Lewandowski helped the Bundesliga champions get a great deal when they sold him due to the way he went about his business with a "distasteful" approach.

"I think they are happy that he has gone. This whirlwind of signings began and he made some statements," he told Sky Germany.

"It has to be said that Bayern behaved very well and very professionally. Lewandowski did [Bayern] a huge favour with his statements.

"Without them, [Bayern] probably never would have been able to get the price that they obtained. As distasteful as his exit was, Lewandowski did Bayern a huge favour."

Lewandowski this week made his Barca debut in a pre-season victory over Real Madrid in Las Vegas.

Xavi's side begin the new LaLiga season at home to Rayo Vallecano on August 13.

Juventus have been targeting a deal for Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino, hoping he can be acquired for around £20million.

Firmino, 30, has spent the past seven seasons with Liverpool, playing a major role in winning the 2019-20 Premier League and 2018-19 Champions League, but in the past season a series of injuries limited him to his fewest league appearances (20) and league goals (five) since arriving at Anfield.

Corriere dello Sport claims the Brazilian was not Juventus' first choice when weighing up the striker market, but interest grew as it became increasingly unlikely they would be able to bring Alvaro Morata back to the club from Atletico Madrid.


TOP STORY – WITH MORATA UNLIKELY TO RETURN, JUVENTUS PIVOT TO FIRMINO

Darwin Nunez's arrival has given Liverpool an abundance of options up front, and instead of letting Firmino operate as a back-up as his value continues to diminish, the club could elect to cash in, if the price is right.

The report from Italy claims Juventus have also been investigating the possibility of acquiring Chelsea's Timo Werner or Manchester United's Anthony Martial, but securing Firmino would put an end to those pursuits.

Reports from England have indicated Liverpool are not interested in selling for the fee Juventus have so far proposed.

Meanwhile, Marca is reporting that Juventus are also in the hunt for Benfica left-back Alejandro Grimaldo, with Manchester City and Newcastle United their main competition.


ROUND-UP

– Spanish publication Cadena Ser claims Frenkie de Jong has told team-mates he has no plans to leave Barcelona in the current transfer period, despite strong interest from Manchester United.

– Cadena Ser is also reporting that Barcelona will look to sell highly paid goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen for financial relief if they can not convince De Jong to leave.

– According to The Athletic, Bournemouth are set to sign 23-year-old Middlesbrough winger Marcus Tavernier for £10million.

Roma are reportedly in the final stages of securing Georginio Wijnaldum on a loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain, with negotiations said to be continuing about the percentage of salary the French club will cover during his stay in Italy.

– The Daily Mail is reporting that Ajax have raised their asking price for Manchester United target Antony to £84million, likely indicating they have no intention of parting ways with the 22-year-old Brazil international.

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