Chelsea have reportedly held an emergency call with new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to reassure him of his future with the club after Thomas Tuchel's surprise sacking.

Tuchel was removed from his position after Chelsea's 1-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League opener, in a move that will carry a heavy financial cost, according to reports from the Daily Mail and The Mirror.

Tuchel and his backroom staff are said to be receiving £15million in pay-outs, and Brighton are set to claim £20m in compensation after Graham Potter took over.

One of the main selling points for Aubameyang to come to Stamford Bridge was his relationship with Tuchel, who had coached him at Borussia Dortmund, and the Telegraph claims Chelsea's ownership group went out of their way to reassure the 33-year-old striker about his decision after cutting ties with Tuchel.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA OWNERS REASSURE AUBAMEYANG OF HIS ROLE AFTER TUCHEL FIRING

According to the Telegraph's report, controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Egbali addressed the Chelsea squad on Wednesday after Tuchel's sacking took place that morning, but there was also a separate individual chat with Aubameyang.

They reportedly told the signing from Barcelona that they "believe he can flourish under new head coach Graham Potter", and the Gabon international is said to have no second thoughts about his decision.

While he was clearly a player Tuchel pushed for, Aubameyang was assured he was "a club signing", and the report claims he "is thought to have been appreciative of the explanation".

In his one game for Chelsea under Tuchel, Aubameyang was substituted in the 59th minute.

 

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– BILD has confirmed once again that Liverpool have their sights set on a massive move for Borussia Dortmund's 19-year-old English midfielder Jude Bellingham in 2023. 

– A report from Sport claims the rise of 18-year-old Barcelona left-back Alejandro Balde has complicated the arrival of Marcos Alonso, who was brought in to be the main competition to Jordi Alba, but he is now behind Balde as well.

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting 21-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk wants a move to Arsenal alongside his Ukrainian compatriot Oleksandr Zinchenko, and that it could be possible in January.

– JuveLive claim Juventus are prepared to offer 22-year-old striker Moise Kean to Aston Villa in a straight swap for 24-year-old midfielder Douglas Luiz.

Barcelona have landed defender Marcos Alonso from Chelsea as part of the latter's deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with the left-back joining on a one-year deal and a release clause set at €30million.

The 31-year-old, who arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2016, was a Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League winner with the Blues during his six-year tenure in London.

Having previously played in the English top-flight for Bolton Wanderers, and then Sunderland during a loan spell from Fiorentina, the 31-year-old returns to LaLiga for the first time in over a decade.

A product of the Castilla academy system at Real Madrid, Alonso only played one competitive game for the club before he left for England in 2010.

His arrival comes following the termination of his contract with Chelsea, which came following the Blues' capture of Aubameyang - bringing an end to his short spell in Catalonia.

He is the second defensive arrival at the end of the transfer window, with Hector Bellerin having arrived from Arsenal on Thursday after similarly seeing his contract cut-short.

Alonso has been handed the number 17 shirt at the club, with Bellerin given number two, and neither player was signed in time to feature in this weekend's LaLiga clash with Sevilla.

Barcelona "made a tremendous effort" in the transfer window, according to head coach Xavi, who also confirmed the imminent signing of Marcos Alonso.

Barca recruited heavily during the transfer window, welcoming a wealth of major recruits from across Europe.

The club's well-documented financial troubles forced them to find creative solutions to register players such as Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde, while they also moved for several free transfers in the market.

Former academy player Hector Bellerín returned on Thursday following his release by Arsenal, while it is expected that Marcos Alonso will join by the end of Friday after his contract was terminated by Chelsea.

Ahead of his side's trip to Sevilla, Xavi expressed his delight with Barca's transfer progress at a press conference on Friday.

"The club has made a tremendous effort," he said. "We have a competitive squad, we need to prove it. We are very happy and satisfied with where we are.

"[It] has lacked some players, [but I am] happy and satisfied. [It has been] between the best and the intermediate [outcome]."

He also confirmed the expected arrival of Alonso, adding: "I wanted full-backs. What we needed more was a right-back. Bellerín is going to help us a lot, and Alonso too. I'm delighted with both signings.

"The registration of Alonso? Yes, we are optimistic that everything will be resolved today before midnight. We are convinced that he can be registered for the Champions League."

Chelsea have farewelled Spanish left-back Marcos Alonso, announcing on Thursday that it was "mutual consent" leading to his departure.

It has been widely reported that Alonso was included along with a €14million fee in exchange for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona, although the Spanish giants are yet to announce Alonso's arrival.

He totalled 29 goals and 23 assists over his six seasons, winning the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, Europa League, Super Cup and Club World Cup in the process.

In the statement from Chelsea – which calls Alonso "a thoughtful and extremely likeable man off the pitch" – they highlight how he followed his father's and grandfather's footsteps in representing Spain on the international level.

"Deployed at left wing-back for 60 per cent of his 212 appearances, and at left-back for the rest, Alonso was confident in possession, strong in the air and an excellent set-piece taker," it reads.

"His performances for Chelsea earned him a call-up to the Spain squad for the first time in March 2018, following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps. The youngest Marcos Alonso leaves having represented his country on nine occasions.

"Everyone at Chelsea Football Club would like to thank Marcos for his service to the Blues and wish him all the very best for the rest of his career."

Chelsea are expected to be one of the major players on deadline day, having completed a deal for Wesley Fofana on Wednesday.

The Blues have been one of the big spenders during the transfer window and owner Todd Boehly is eager to bolster his squad after a slow start to the season.

Barcelona forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been linked with the Blues, along with Anthony Gordon, although Everton boss Frank Lampard insists he is not for sale.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA OFFERED CHANCE TO SIGN PSG'S NEYMAR

The Daily Mail claims Chelsea have been offered the chance to sign Neymar, but the Times reports that Paris Saint-Germain are now refusing to sell him in an apparent U-turn.

The 30-year-old Brazil international had been linked with a move away from Paris during the off-season, although nothing substantial materialised.

Chelsea were approached about Neymar, with PSG potentially open to letting him go as they seek to avoid any issues with UEFA's Financial Fair Play guidelines.

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Chelsea have made a €50 million (£43m) bid for Ajax centre-back Edson Alvarez, according to the Telegraaf. The Blues have already added Fofana but want more reinforcements, with the Mexican able to also play in midfield.

Chelsea are also interested in Aubameyang, with Fabrizio Romano claiming negotiations are progressing with Marcos Alonso involved in a deal with Barcelona. The Blues have also been linked with Milan's Rafael Leao, according to The Times.

– Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona and Inter have agreed to a deal for full-back Jordi Alba to join the Nerazzurri on loan. The deal is on the basis that Robin Gosens leaves Inter for Bayer Leverkusen.

Milan are set to win the race to sign Barcelona's Sergino Dest, beating out interest from Manchester United, claims Gianluca Di Marzio. Dest will join the Rossoneri on a season-long loan with the option of a permanent deal.

Newcastle United are in the race to sign Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans, claims the Mail. Arsenal are also interested in the Belgium international.

Fulham have submitted a bid for Blackburn's Chile international Ben Brereton Diaz according to The Athletic. Rovers boss Jon Dahl Tomasson has said he would cost a lot of money, with Fulham's offer not disclosed.

– PSV have opted against selling 23-year-old Netherlands international Cody Gakpo amid interest from Leeds United and Southampton, reports The Athletic.

Liverpool's hunt for midfield reinforcements is heating up, with the club reportedly investigating the possibility of bringing in Borussia Dortmund's England star Jude Bellingham in the January window.

As well as a Bellingham deal – which would likely have to exceed £100million – the Reds are also weighing up potential moves for Wolves' Ruben Neves and RB Leipzig's Konrad Laimer.

Football Insider is reporting Liverpool and Dortmund have reached a "verbal agreement" on a price for Bellingham, although the Bundesliga club has been consistent with their stance that they want to hold onto him for this season.

Laimer, on the other hand, only has one more year on his contract, and has told Leipzig he will not sign an extension, making him the most likely of the three to be on the move.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL LOOK AT LAIMER AND NEVES

Laimer, 25, is coming off a season with four goals and four assists in 26 Bundesliga games, and has shown he can produce against quality opposition, with a goal and two assists from his home and away fixtures against Bayern Munich.

The 90min report believes Laimer may be angling for a move to the Bundesliga champions after proving himself against them, but Liverpool could try and take him to Anfield.

Meanwhile, Wolves have been able to fend off interest for Neves from fellow Premier League clubs such as Manchester United and Arsenal, but with two years left on his deal, now would be the time to cash in if his long-term future is not at Molineux.

 

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– The Mirror are reporting if Antony leaves Ajax , the Eredivisie champions will try to land Aston Villa's Anwar El Ghazi as a replacement.

– According to Sky Sports, Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka has told the club he wants to be sold to Manchester   United .

– The Sun claims Chelsea are considering terminating Ross Barkley's contract, which pays him £200,000 per week.

Barcelona are working on moves for Bernardo Silva and Marcos Alonso , according to the Daily Mail. 

– talkSPORT report  West Ham are in talks with Adnan Januzaj to bring the 27-year-old back to the Premier League, as he is available on a free transfer after leaving Real Sociedad.

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire could be on his way to Stamford Bridge amid reports that Chelsea have enquired about including him in a swap for Christian Pulisic.

Chelsea have been aggressive in their hunt for centre-backs during this transfer period after Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen left the club.

But while they have secured the services of Kalidou Koulibaly, they are still after at least one more, having previously enquired about Matthijs de Ligt, Martin Skriniar and a number of others.

Pulisic has been a recurring name when it comes to players Chelsea are seemingly willing to part ways with, and while a loan move has been weighed up, a swap for Maguire could solve problems for both clubs if United feel he is no longer part of Erik ten Hag's vision.

 

TOP STORY – BLOCKBUSTER SWAP COULD SEND UNITED CAPTAIN TO CHELSEA

Chelsea have made their interest in 21-year-old Leicester City centre-back Wesley Fofana clear, but if they are not willing to meet the gaudy £85millon asking price, a swap deal for a player surplus to requirements would be far more palatable.

For United, who are reportedly operating under a stricter budget, landing a 23-year-old with 19 goals and 10 assists over the past three Premier League seasons in exchange for a 29-year-old centre-back could be exactly what they are looking for, but it all depends on how Ten Hag values Maguire.

According to the Daily Mail's report, there is a belief Maguire may be dropped from United's team set to play Liverpool this weekend, which would only add fuel to the fire.

 

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– The Athletic reports that Chelsea have offered £15million plus left-back Marcos Alonso to Barcelona in their bid for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

– According to the Telegraph, Real Madrid are considering a move for Tottenham's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as a potential replacement for Casemiro.

– 90min claim Newcastle United and West Ham are monitoring United's Scott McTominay if he is squeezed out by the arrival of Casemiro.

Leeds United are hoping to secure a £4m move for 18-year-old FC Zurich striker Willy Gnonto, who became Italy's youngest ever senior international goalscorer in a loss to Germany in June.

– Mail Online reports that Arsenal expect Bukayo Saka to sign a new contract at Emirates Stadium, despite interest from rival clubs including Manchester City.

Jules Kounde is the only one of Barcelona's new signings who was not registered on the eve of the LaLiga season.

Barca head coach Xavi on Friday revealed the club were "very optimistic" that their new recruits would be registered, but all five may not be given the green light for their first match of the LaLiga campaign against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

It later emerged that Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie have been registered along with Ousmane Dembele and Sergi Roberto, who signed new contracts

Centre-back Kounde's registration has not been sanctioned by LaLiga despite Barca having activated a fourth economic lever on Friday.

It had been reported that Kounde may be the last of the five new recruits the Catalan giants have brought in to be registered, given the big-money signing from Sevilla underwent surgery to repair a minor pelvis injury in June.

Barca have been busy raising funds to try and meet LaLiga's salary limits and sold a further 24.5 per cent of their production company for €100million, having also agreed a hugely lucrative sponsorship deal with Spotify and sold a percentage of broadcast rights.

The Blaugrana have lowered their wage bill by offloading players and could also sell Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who have both been linked with Chelsea.

Blaugrana head coach Xavi said in a press conference on Friday he was prepared for the possibility that some of his new men may not be eligible to play this weekend.

He told reporters: "We are working hard and everyone at the club is very positive. Maybe not 100 per cent [of the players will be registered], but we are optimistic. We'll see. The club has signed very well, I am very excited about the players we have signed. We have time until tomorrow and now we are very optimistic."

Barca are expected to make Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso their next signing and they continue to be linked with Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva.

Xavi says Barcelona are "very optimistic" that their new signings will be registered, but they may not all be given the green light for their first match of the LaLiga season against Rayo Vallecano.

Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie have arrived at Camp Nou since the end of last season, but there is uncertainty over whether they will be able to make their competitive debuts on Saturday.

The Catalan giants have been busy trying to raise funds in order to meet LaLiga's salary limits ahead of the season and activated a fourth economic lever on Friday.

Barca sold a further 24.5 per cent of their production company for €100million, having also agreed a hugely lucrative sponsorship deal with Spotify and sold a percentage of LaLiga broadcast rights, 

They have been able to lower their wage bill by offloading players and more could follow, with Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reportedly targets for Chelsea.

Blaugrana head coach Xavi says he is prepared for the possibility that some of his new men may not be eligible to play this weekend.

He told reporters: "We are working hard and everyone at the club is very positive. Maybe not 100 per cent, but we are optimistic. We'll see. The club has signed very well, I am very excited about the players we have signed. We have time until tomorrow and now we are very optimistic."

Xavi maintained his plans for the opening match of the season have not been badly disrupted by being unsure over who will be available.

He said: "It has little influence, as at the end of the day we work on different systems, different variants. Either one or the other players, very few things change.

"We pretty much have two players for each position. We work the same, we don't have a different system with the way we play in attack. Not a lot varies and I insist that right now we are very optimistic of registering the players."

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva and Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso continue to be linked with Barca, with just under three weeks before the transfer window closes.

A deal to sign Alonso is reported to have been agreed and Xavi made it clear he is eager to do further business.

"We are still planning ahead, that's a reality," the former Spain midfielder said. "We are going to see what we are going to do until August 31.

"Of course, we need to have players leave in order for others to come, but the transfer market is open until the 31st and there is work to be done for all of us. We'll see."

Xavi also revealed he wanted Nico Gonzalez to stay rather than join Valencia on loan for the season, adding: "[Nico] came to me three weeks ago. I insisted that he continue because he would have minutes. I like Nico.

"But a few days ago he came back and told me that there was a team where he would play. He has been brave and is going to Valencia.

"I hope he comes back more mature because it must be important for the future of Barca. For the midfield we have [Sergio] Busquets, [Miralem] Pjanic, Kessie, Frenkie, Sergi Roberto, and even Christensen, who can play there."

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel is hoping to welcome more new faces to Stamford Bridge before the end of the transfer window as he confirmed Marcos Alonso is close to joining Barcelona.

Jorginho's first-half penalty was enough to get Chelsea's 2022-23 Premier League campaign off to a winning start on Saturday, ending a run of four consecutive defeats for the Blues at Goodison Park.

New signings Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling started the hard-fought victory, the latter twice coming close to a debut goal, while Marc Cucurella also made his Chelsea bow from the bench.

Having already parted with substantial fees for that trio, Chelsea have also been linked with moves for Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana and Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong.

After Chelsea won their opening Premier League match for the third consecutive season despite failing to produce a fluid performance, Tuchel insisted more recruits are required. 

"Yeah, if we can add, we'll add," Tuchel told Sky Sports.

"Maybe not midfielders as a first option but we are open for everything, and I think we can use new energy, new legs, and fresh input to bring us to a new level.

"If not, then we will push this team, but I think we could use some more input and some more quality. We are on it, but we will not tell you!"

Having dominated the opening period on Merseyside, winning the second-most corners on record in the first half of a Premier League match (13, second to Tottenham's 15 v Aston Villa in December 2012), Chelsea were indebted to Edouard Mendy for making two strong saves to preserve their lead after the break.

Mendy has now kept a clean sheet on 47 per cent of his Premier League starts (31/66) – only Ederson (50 per cent) has a better record among goalkeepers to have started at least 50 games in the competition.

But with Chelsea having struggled for results at Everton in recent seasons, Tuchel was content with the Blues picking up a victory despite not being at their best.

"We struggled last season to get points here, we have the points, a win is a win," he added. "It's most important for everything to get better, because we have to get better.

"I could assume that we are maybe not on our highest level. We have players in, but they came in late, pre-season was a bit turbulent. 

"The last week in training was promising, some situations in the first half were quite good, and in the second half we had simply not enough movement on the ball. It was a strange second half without the rhythm from our team and the interruptions, 10 minutes extra time... a bit strange.

"But we hung on and we did what was necessary to keep a clean sheet, so there are positive things and from there we go.

"Very classic that we win 1-0 with a penalty from Jorginho. Like I said, we know that we need to get better but first of all, a win helps us to be open for improvement and for the atmosphere and spirit."

Meanwhile, with Chelsea acquiring Cucurella this week, they look set to allow fellow wing-back Alonso to leave for Barcelona.

The Spain international was left out of the squad for the trip to Merseyside, and Tuchel confirmed that decision was the result of his desire to join the Blaugrana.

Asked whether Alonso's absence indicated a move to Camp Nou was close, Tuchel told reporters: "That is the case. 

"He tries to leave and we agreed to this wish. That's why it would not have made sense to put him on the pitch today. 

"He would've been on the pitch otherwise but in this situation, it was the right thing to do."

Marcos Alonso looks to be on his way to Barcelona after he was left out of Chelsea's squad to face Everton.

The Spain full-back reportedly said his goodbyes at the London club this week as he nears a return to his homeland.

Alonso did not travel to Goodison Park for the Blues' opening match of the Premier League season and is expected to become big-spending Barca's next recruit.

Chelsea splashed out to sign Marc Cucurella from Brighton and Hove Albion on Friday, while Ben Chilwell has returned after a long spell on the sidelines due to injury.

Thomas Tuchel also omitted Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi from his squad for the trip to Merseyside amid reports they could leave the club.

Barca president Joan Laporta on Friday said he was confident the Catalan giants would be able to register all of their new players despite claims LaLiga will require them to generate more funds.

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.

 

ROUND-UP

– 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.

Newcastle United are planning a move for out-of-favour Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Julian Draxler, with the Germany international's price tag believed to be in the range of £25million (€29.5m).

Draxler, 28, has spent the past six seasons with the French giants, but his last campaign was mostly from a bench role, with 13 of his 18 Ligue 1 appearances coming as a substitute.

He also had two separate injuries that forced him to miss over a month each time, but with 58 senior caps for Germany and a World Cup right around the corner, he could be a savvy purchase for a club desperate for a marquee signing.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE ENQUIRE ABOUT VERY AVAILABLE DRAXLER

According to French publication Le 10 Sport, Draxler is on Paris Saint-Germain director of football Luis Campos' "blacklist" of players who have no future at the club.

The report says he has been asked to find a way out, and with a relatively low price tag – around half the £40m demanded by Lyon in Newcastle's reported pursuit of Lucas Paqueta – the stars could be aligning for the Magpies to land an established international on a cheaper deal.

Draxler was left out of PSG's pre-season squad for the recent tour of Japan, indicating he already has one foot out the door, but it remains to be seen if Newcastle will be his landing spot.

ROUND-UP

Chelsea are reportedly willing to part ways with Timo Werner, with Foot Mercato claiming the forward was included in an offer to former club RB Leipzig  in exchange for defender Nordi Mukiele, who appears to be PSG-bound.

– Sport believes Chelsea will block Barcelona moves for Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso due to the Spanish club's chase of Blues target Jules Kounde.

– The Guardian is reporting that Gianluca Scamacca will have his medical this week before confirming a £35.5m move from Sassuolo to West Ham.

– According to Calciomercato, Milan have increased their bid for Club Brugge midfielder Charles de Ketelaere to €32m, and are also trying to secure a move for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech.

Barcelona have told Memphis Depay to find a new club after Robert Lewandowski's arrival, according to AS.

Barcelona are looking to strengthen their defence in the transfer market after club president Joan Laporta claimed they had seen off competition from Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain for Robert Lewandowski.

The Catalan giants have made several additions as Xavi bids to better last season's second-placed league finish, acquiring Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, Chelsea's Andreas Christensen, Leeds United's Raphinha and Bayern Munich great Lewandowski.

Barca finished some 13 points behind rivals Real Madrid last season, although that represented an achievement of sorts with the Catalan giants having sat ninth in LaLiga when Xavi replaced Ronald Koeman.

In an interview with Hristo Stoichkov for TUDN during Barca's pre-season tour of the United States, Laporta said their business is not yet complete.

"Now we are going to work on the defence," Laporta said. "Xavi has us oriented with a series of players and I hope that the Catalans will have new joys, because the Catalans like Lewandowski.

"This team gives you a guarantee of work, it gives you a guarantee that the players have a profile that is hungry, and we are trying to ensure that they have a better environment. 

"Xavi knows what the fans want, so that when we go to the stadium we have a good time and see that genuine style, playing football with maximum expression and also with goals. 

"Verticality, pressure, possession, control of the ball, all this Xavi wants to implement at its maximum expression."

Barcelona have been strongly linked with moves for Chelsea duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso after boasting just the sixth-strongest defensive record in LaLiga last season, conceding 38 goals (more than Sevilla, Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad and Villarreal).

Meanwhile, 12 teams in the Spanish top flight bettered Barca's tally of 11 clean sheets last season.

The signing of Lewandowski, who scored 50 goals in all competitions during his final season with Bundesliga champions Bayern, represents the biggest coup of the transfer window for Barcelona, and Laporta claims they were not the only party pushing hard to sign him.

"We made a first offer and it ended at 45 [million euros], plus five. It's within our possibilities, the player has also adjusted his salary to be within our possibilities and the Catalans are now very happy", Laporta added. 

"We have competed with teams like PSG and Chelsea, and the player wanted to come to Barca. This is what I like.

"As Johan [Cruyff] said, 'I want players who want to come to Barca', and we have to thank him because he has been earning less and enduring great pressure from Bayern, for whom I have great respect.

"Barca needs, like any great team, a goalscoring striker. He is a goalscoring machine gun. 

 

"This player has been awarded the golden boot several times, if you look at his record he guarantees a goal, and every great team needs a striker who guarantees you goals.

"I think that Johan would like Lewandowski – he is a goalscoring striker, different from others we have had.

"Also, with [Ousmane] Dembele, Raphinha, Ferran Torres, who for me is a player who has a goal and has a lot of potential, all of them and Ansu [Fati], [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang - it's going well, it's progressing very well, we have a forward [line] with guarantees of putting on a show and scoring goals.

"I want Barca to become a world reference again. In the economic sphere, we are recovering the club, we are achieving it, although we have to work more. 

"But the football side of things does not wait and I think we are doing a good job."

Chelsea are looking to swoop in and scoop up Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who has been Manchester United's primary midfield target since the appointment of new boss Erik ten Hag.

De Jong, 25, has 44 international caps for the Netherlands, and has spent the past three seasons with the Spanish giants.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been adamant the club does not want to part ways with the star they paid €75million for back in 2019, but the club's financial position may force their hand.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA LOOK TO STEAL UNITED TARGET WITH CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ALLURE

De Jong is reportedly been hesitant about a move to United due to the fact that they could not offer Champions League football, and that is where Chelsea will have their advantage in negotiations.

The Metro is reporting the Stamford Bridge club are preparing an offer that will include both players and cash, with €60million as well as Spanish duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso said to be on the table.

The elephant in the room regarding a De Jong move is that Barcelona reportedly owe the Dutchman £17m in deferred wages, and the Daily Mail claims he wants the balance fully paid before he signs off on any transfer.

 

ROUND-UP

United have been told they will need to pay £106m in order to secure the signings of Ajax duo Lisandro Martinez and Antony, according to the Daily Record.

– According to i Sport, Chelsea are working on a new contract extension for Reece James, despite three years still remaining on his current deal, in an effort to fend off interest from Manchester City and Real Madrid.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Wolves will send 19-year-old Fabio Silva on a season-long loan to Anderlecht after purchasing him for £35m two years ago.

– The Mirror claims Leeds United are preparing a club-record offer of £32m for 21-year-old Club Brugge midfielder Charles De Ketelaere, who already has eight senior international caps for Belgium.

– According to Fabrizio Romano, the likely departure of Raheem Sterling has put City in a position to offer Riyad Mahrez a contract extension.

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