Diego Costa, others, on the move!

August 29, 2017
 

Chelsea have kicked off what promises to be one of the busiest-ever final days of a transfer window by agreeing a fee with Arsenal for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and making progress on a deal to send Diego Costa back to Atletico Madrid.

And Chelsea will now head off the threat of a rival bid from Liverpool, who have made an offer for Thomas Lemar worth over £64.6m

Liverpool wanted either Lemar or Oxlade-Chamberlain before the transfer window shuts on Thursday night and could try to snatch the England international out of Chelsea’s grasp if Monaco maintain their stance that Lemar is not for sale. 

Besides Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chelsea have their sight set on midfielders Danny Drinkwater, Ross Barkley and forward Fernando Llorente, as they also attempt to agree a deal for AWOL forward Costa to leave Stamford Bridge.

Fresh talks have been held over Costa between Chelsea and Atletico, and there is now a sense that the two clubs are close to agreeing a deal that is likely to be worth around £40m plus significant add-ons.

Atletico are thought to be open to sending Costa on loan for six months, until he can play for the Spanish club in January, or putting him on a specialised training regime.
Diego Costa
Diego Costa wants to leave Chelsea this summer 

Everton are one of a number of clubs, including Monaco and Marseille, interested in taking Costa on loan but sources close to the 28-year-old doubt whether he would want to play in England again up until the New Year.

Chelsea would not try to block Costa joining Everton on loan, as he would not have to face them before January and, in theory, he could do damage to some of their Premier League title rivals.

Having agreed a fee with Arsenal, Chelsea will now open talks with Oxlade-Chamberlain over personal terms while hoping that Liverpool do not match their bid.

Oxlade-Chamberlain will be granted special leave from England duty while he decides his future and could miss the World Cup qualifier against Malta.

oxlade-chamberlain
Chelsea complete a £35million signing of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 

The 24-year-old, who turned down a new Arsenal contract last week but played in the defeat to Liverpool, is part of Gareth Southgate’s England squad and is due to travel to Malta for the World Cup qualifier on Thursday – transfer deadline day.

But should talks and a medical drag towards deadline day, then Oxlade-Chamberlain could be left behind when the rest of the England squad travel.

Southgate accepts that the timing of the deadline means he needs to be flexible and recognises that forcing Oxlade-Chamberlain, or anyone else, to travel to Malta with their club future in the balance would be counter-productive.

Having named a bigger than usual 28-man squad, Southgate has plenty of options if he has to let Oxlade-Chamberlain miss the Malta game and there is no guarantee the midfielder would start for England on Friday night in any case.

Chelsea will have hoped to have been given a free run at Oxlade-Chamberlain after learning of Liverpool’s bid for Lemar, but that may not be the case if Monaco refuse to sell.

Liverpool have increased their offer for Lemar to more than 70m euros (£64.6m) and are now pushing hard for a deal to be completed before the transfer window closes.

Thomas Lemar
Several Premier League clubs are in competition to sign Monaco’s Thomas Lemar 

As revealed exclusively by Telegraph Sport on Sunday evening, an initial bid of 60m euros (£55million) for the French international was rejected by Monaco earlier this summer, but Liverpool have returned with the improved bid and are aware that Lemar would like to leave.

Sources in France claimed that offer is now at more than 70m euros, although Monaco have insisted all summer that they will not sell Lemar. They have already rejected offers from Arsenal while Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have also shown interest. 

If Lemar did join Liverpool it would be a significant embarrassment for Arsenal in particular, who have shown the greatest interest, with their manager Arsene Wenger declaring that any attempt to sign him during this window as “dead”.

Also, however, if there is any indication that Monaco might sell then other clubs, Chelsea in particular, could make counter-offers.

Liverpool’s bid, which would smash their transfer record, does not mean that the club are re-considering whether they should sell Philippe Coutinho, who is desperate to leave, to Barcelona.

Monaco have lost Tiemoue Bakayoko, Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva already during this window and have now agreed to deal to allow Kylian Mbappe to leave for Paris Saint-Germain. They have briefed that following the sale of Bakayoko Lemar would stay, but there is now growing pressure for him to leave also.

Liverpool’s bid to sign Lemar could be boosted by Monaco’s interest in striker Divock Origi.

The Ligue 1 champions are one of 11 clubs interested in signing Origi either on loan or permanently after Liverpool indicated a willingness to let the Belgian go.

Liverpool have told Origi he could be allowed to leave if the club make signings before the deadline, which has alerted interest from England, France, Italy and Germany.

As well as Monaco, Origi is wanted by Marseille, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Inter Milan, Juventus, Sampdoria, Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen.
EDITED FROM: telegraph.co.uk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *