There’s some actual top-flight football returning in England this weekend but let that not distract us from the main business of the game. And Chelsea’s last-minute shopping endeavours are continuing with a determined effort to secure Leicester’s Wesley Fofana. The Blues have had a £60m offer for the defender rejected but are thought to be prepared to up that to £70m. Thomas Tuchel’s side also continue to be linked with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose club, Barcelona, are looking to offload some players after a summer of spending money they don’t really have.
Another Barcelona attacker potentially on the move is Memphis Depay, in whom Juventus are interested. According to the Spanish outlet Sport, Depay’s lawyers have been in conflab with Barcelona’s high-ups about securing a release from the forward’s contract and Juve stand ready and waiting for a player who is keen to keep playing Champions League football.
Back on Leicester, it seems as if the Foxes could face competition for the Lyon and France defender Houssem Aouar from the Premier League’s newest kids in the sweet shop Nottingham Forest, who have also opened talks over signing the Southampton striker Che Adams.
Antonio Conte, and headline writers, will be pleased that Tottenham are apparently nearing a deal to snap up the Udinese defender Destiny Udogie. The 19-year-old has been on Spurs’ radar for a couple of months, having impressed as an attacking wing-back last season, scoring five goals since mid-February.
Everton could well end up beating West Ham to the signature of Lille’s Amadou Onana and, according to L’Equipe, want to augment that with another ex-Lille midfielder, Xeca, who left the Ligue 1 club at the end of last season. They will face competition from Rennes, Porto and Wolfsburg for the 27-year-old Portuguese however. Frank Lampard is also thought to be considering a move for the Wolves defender Conor Coady.
Leeds have joined the race for the Marseille and Senegal forward Bamba Dieng, but they will face some sustained jostling from Newcastle and West Ham – who reportedly had approaches rebuffed in January – as well as Everton, Wolves and Crystal Palace. Dieng is reported to have fallen out with Marseille’s coach, Igor Tudor, so is likely to be open to offers. Another Leeds target is the goalkeeper Joel Robles. The 32-year-old is without a club after leaving Real Betis in the close season, and Leeds have seemingly edged ahead of Norwich and Sunderland in the race to sign him.
Now let’s go and watch some football.