Daily Archives: July 7, 2017

Atletico Madrid intent on signing Diego Costa despite transfer ban

Published by:

Atletico Madrid are preparing to table a first formal bid with Chelsea for forward Diego Costa despite a transfer ban that has been upheld against them.

The Madrid club is aiming to re-sign the Spanish international ahead of his scheduled return for pre-season training with the Blues at Cobham at the start of next week.

Although Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has made clear the forward is not included in his plans for the Blues going forward, Costa is still technically due to report back to the Premier League champions for their pre-season session next Monday.

The relationship between manager and player had been clearly fractured as Conte texted the Spain international to make clear he had no future at Stamford Bridge, with Costa duly making that message public, effectively weakening Chelsea’s bargaining position over the player.

Conte will also be returning to the club on Sunday, 24 hours before his squad reconvenes for standard medical checks, but he could yet be spared an awkward encounter with Costa should Atletico lodge an offer deemed acceptable for the player.

Chelsea also remains staunch on their position that they will not be forced into accepting a deal they deem dissatisfying, and will only excuse Costa’s absence on Monday if a deal has either been concluded or nearing completion.

Although there were rumours surfacing mid-week that Costa could already be on his way to Spain, no fee has been agreed upon by both clubs and the move could also potentially be complicated by Atletico being banned from signing players until January.

However, Costa’s insistence he would only leave London to return to Madrid has all but completely damaged Chelsea’s hopes of raising the £76m first mentioned when interest was expressed by Chinese Super League clubs back in January.

At present, their asking price is likely to be nearer £40m this time around and, should Atletico offer that much, a deal will be concluded swiftly.

Everton in talks to sign Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney

Published by:

Everton is reportedly in advanced talks over the possibility of signing Manchester United Wayne Rooney and setting a fairytale return for the Merseyside native to his boyhood club.

Bill Kenwright, chairman of Everton, has reportedly met the player’s long-time adviser Paul Stretford in London on Wednesday amid speculation over the forward’s Manchester United future.

Rooney, 31, has also previously stated that Everton is the only Premier League side he would leave United for and they believe this strengthens their position.

But Rooney’s intentions on matching the £250,000-a-week basic salary he earns at Manchester United could complicate matters.

However, given that his only other option appears to be a move to Major League Soccer, where he would not earn as much, and any interest from China fading following a 100% tax imposition over import players into the country, there is a high chance that Rooney will remain in England.

United, who fly to Los Angeles on Sunday to start their five-match tour in America, could demand a transfer fee from Everton.

Bu with Rooney’s salary costing a minimum of £13m a year and this would be removed from the books, Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman at United, may decide to waive any sum or agree a reduced amount.

Either way, Rooney’s departure would marks the conclusion of a 13-year spell at United that has been supremely successful. After he had been signed from Everton in August 2004 the former England captain had since won five Premier Leagues, the Champions League, the FA Cup, three League Cups and the Europa League.

He is also United’s all time record scorer with 253 goals.

Manchester United line up £75m deal for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku

Published by:

Manchester United have agreed a fee of around £75m with Everton for striker Romelu Lukaku, although sources from the Toffees claimed that no deal or agreement has been reached.

United, who have been chasing Lukaku for most of the summer, could also possibly give up on their interest in Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata.

Lukaku, 24, could have his medical for United in Los Angeles although the Belgian international was also due to fly back to England on Friday for pre-season training with Everton.

However, he had already made clear that he has ambitions to play elsewhere, turning down the most lucrative contract offer in Everton’s history in March and later saying: “I don’t want to stay at the same level. I want to improve and I know where I want to do that.”

However, with United boss Jose Mourinho intent on securing a striker and for Lukaku to be confirmed as United’s second summer signing as soon as possible, the manager has decided this is the best way to push the transfer through.

This meant that — barring any last-minute hitch — United will have landed Lukaku ahead of Chelsea despite the Blues believing they were in pole position to prise him from Everton.

Lukaku’s move follows that of Victor Lindelof, the central defender who moved from Benfica to United for £30m last month. But even with Lukaku, Mourinho is still intent on adding a central midfielder and, possibly, a wide forward.

This was no surprise since United’s biggest issue last season was scoring goals. With just 54 goals after the entire season, the Red Devils were comfortably the lowest of the top seven sides.

The top three all scored more than 80 goals, and United’s disability up front meant inability to see off even weaker teams, leading to damaging home draws against Swansea City, West Bromwich Albion, Bournemouth, Hull City, West Ham, Burnley and Stoke City.