Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Chelsea 'to offload Courtois and Willian' while LVG turns to Jesus
Chelsea would bid good riddance to this harrowing season by offloading all their rubbish players and rebuilding a squad with their best ones. But in the world of Hot Football Transfer Gossip, the opposite seems to be happening.
Thibaut Courtois would probably not be high on the list of players that Blues fans want to flog this summer, especially after they had to sacrifice their beloved Petr Cech for him less than a year ago, but new manager Antonio Conte is apparently quite happy to let the Belgian leave.
Conte has apparently given Blues chiefs “the green light” to sell Courtois if a “reasonable offer” is made for him, says the Mirror. And unfortunately, the £73m price tag the club have reportedly put on the keeper’s head may be deemed unreasonable by any interested parties, so the Blues “may be forced to dip their valuation”.
The player’s alleged unhappiness at Stamford Bridge doesn’t help, with the Mirror adding that Courtois is miffed about missing out on the Champions League, has a “strained relationship” with goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon and has been sulky about life in general. Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are rumoured to be interested.
Another respected first-teamer being linked with a move away from the Bridge is Willian, with Goal reporting that Guus Hiddink has been trying to dissuade Chinese clubs from luring his “key player” with a mega-bucks offer.
Leonardo Bonucci has insisted in the Express that he has “no reason to leave” Juventus. Admittedly, interest from Chelsea is not really a reason to leave anywhere.
It’s all right though, Blues fans, because Conte wants to keep Alexandre Pato. Sky Sports claims that sources at Pato’s Brazilian club Corinthians have “told Sky Sports News HQ that Conte is a keen admirer of the 26-year-old”. Which either means the incoming Blues boss has unusual taste in footballers, or that the folks at Sky Sports News HQ are very gullible.
A slightly more exciting (and harder to spell) name on Conte’s wish list is Riechedly Bazoer, a 19-year-old Ajax midfielder who the Sun says Chelsea want to buy for £24m.
In non-Chelsea news, the Express reports that Manchester United have made a bid for teenage Brazilian sensation Gabriel Jesus. The 19-year-old scored a rather impressive 37 goals in 22 matches for Palmeiras’ youth team last season and has a £23.5m release clause, but the best part of this story is that United are one of five teams apparently entitled to a “discount” on the striker due to some other clause in his contract. That means the Red Devils can buy him for a bargain £19m, although so can Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG and Bayern Munich.
In other wonderkid gossip, United and Tottenham are leading the race to sign 16-year-old Real Madrid striker Pedro Ruiz (Independent), while Manchester City are lining up a move for West Ham youngster Reece Oxford (Mail).
And finally, in a note of caution to all these wonderkids, former Brazilian wonderkid Sandro has said he wants to make his loan move from West Brom to QPR permanent (Talksport). Probably not how he imagined things turning out.
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