Rumour Has It: PSG considering move for unsettled Chelsea striker Lukaku

By Sports Desk January 10, 2022

Romelu Lukaku cast his Chelsea future in doubt with a recent interview – and the unsettled striker may now be offered a route out of Stamford Bridge by Paris Saint-Germain.

The 28-year-old revealed his regret at leaving Inter for Chelsea and questioned boss Thomas Tuchel's tactics, leading to him being dropped for the 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

Lukaku has returned for the Blues' two matches since, but doubts remain over whether he will still be a Chelsea player come the start of next season.

TOP STORY – LUKAKU LINED UP AS MBAPPE REPLACEMENT?

PSG look certain to lose Kylian Mbappe at the end of the campaign as the Real Madrid target fast approaches the end of his contract at the Parc des Princes.

The Ligue 1 giants are on the lookout for possible replacements and, according to El Nacional, Lukaku is one of those being considered by the club's wealthy backers.

The report suggests PSG are willing to pay €90million (£75.1m) to persuade Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to part ways with the club's all-time record signing.

Lukaku, who apologised for giving the explosive interview in December, has scored eight goals in 20 appearances since returning to west London five months ago.

ROUND-UP

– Tottenham have decided to sell Steven Bergwijn this month amid interest from several clubs, according to Fabrizio Romano. Ajax are said to be among the sides to have already made an offer for the Netherlands international.

– Anthony Martial wants to leave Manchester United and has been touted as a possible target for Barcelona. But Spanish outlet Sport claims that, while Barca are eager to strengthen in the final third, Martial is not on their radar in this window.

– Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is wanted by a number of Europe's heavyweight clubs. According to Foot Mercato, PSG are prepared to pay more than the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, but the latter remains the Germany international's preferred choice.

– A rumoured target for Chelsea and Bayern, Sergino Dest's Barcelona future may become clearer in the coming days. El Nacional claims the defender's representatives are set to hold talks with the Catalan giants.

– After being jeered off the pitch by his own supporters in Tottenham's 3-1 FA Cup win over Morecambe on Sunday, The Athletic reports that club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele is hopeful of ending his tumultuous spell in north London this month.

– The Athletic also reports Aston Villa are now the favourites to sign Everton full-back Lucas Digne, despite previous interest from Chelsea. Newcastle United have also been linked, but Digne is apparently not considering a move to the relegation-threatened side.

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    Ronaldinho has declared he will never "abandon" Brazil, rowing back on his previous claim that he will not support the Selecao at the upcoming Copa America.

    Brazil are gearing up for a tilt at a 10th South American title, with Colombia, Paraguay and Costa Rica awaiting Dorival Junior's team in Group D.

    Just 10 days prior to their opening game against Costa Rica in Los Angeles, Selecao great Ronaldinho said he has "had enough" with the team and would not watch any of their matches at the tournament.

    The 2002 World Cup winner said the current Brazil squad displayed a "lack of love for the shirt and lack of grit", adding: "I've never seen a situation as bad as this."

    However, Ronaldinho has now suggested those comments were simply reflecting the stance of many fans and were not his own feelings.

    In a video posted to his Instagram account, he said: "I would never abandon Brazilian football, ever. I'd never say those things you see… 

    "Actually, these words came from real Brazilian fans, they are real comments that I saw on the internet. 

    "Imagine listening to these messages before you play? Motivation goes down... fan support makes a huge difference to the players. I know what I'm talking about. 

    "What our boys need is support at this time. The more confidence we show, the more confidence they will have on the field."

  • Italy must be 'meaner' against Spain after nervy win over Albania – Spalletti Italy must be 'meaner' against Spain after nervy win over Albania – Spalletti

    Italy must be "meaner" when they face Spain in Thursday's heavyweight Group B clash after starting Euro 2024 with an unconvincing win over Albania, says Luciano Spalletti. 

    The Azzurri were stunned by the fastest goal in European Championship history on Saturday as Nedim Bajrami put them behind within just 23 seconds, but goals from Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolo Barella saw them rally for a 2-1 win.

    The defending champions enjoyed 68.3 per cent of the possession, created five big chances to Albania's two and recorded 34 touches in the penalty area to their opponents' seven. 

    However, they still had to survive a major scare at the death as Gianluigi Donnarumma turned Rey Manaj's attempted lob wide, clinching the three points.

    After seeing Group B rivals Spain thrash Croatia 3-0 earlier on Saturday, former Napoli boss Spalletti knows more will be needed from Italy next time out.

    "There are a number of things we still have to improve because we thought we were better than we were in too many situations," Spalletti told reporters.

    "We need to be meaner. We are neat and tidy in the way we build things up, we would free up a man, but then you need to go and hurt the opposition. 

    "We thought we were brilliant at just keeping possession. We need to move the ball a bit more quickly, because we did so badly on occasions tonight, but against Spain there will probably be chances to play the ball forward more.

    "Because they tend to be more aggressive in their bite and press, there might be greater scope to actually play in behind their defensive line."

    Italy have now won their opening game on each of their last three appearances at the Euros (also 2016 and 2020), having only done so twice in their first eight (five draws, one loss).

    They have also gone unbeaten through 10 games at the tournament for just the second time (seven wins, three draws), previously doing so in their first 10 between 1968 and 1988 (four wins, six draws), lifting the trophy in 1968.

  • Hernandez unsure on Milan future as France defender focuses on Euro 2024 Hernandez unsure on Milan future as France defender focuses on Euro 2024

    Theo Hernandez refused to disclose whether his future remains with Milan amid links to Bayern Munich, as the France international places his full focus on Euro 2024.

    Defender Hernandez, brother of Paris Saint-Germain's Lucas, has reportedly drawn interest from Vincent Kompany's Bayern as the Bundesliga giants aim to bolster their defence.

    The 26-year-old continues to impress for the Serie A side, who appointed Paulo Fonseca as Stefano Pioli's success this week, despite Milan finishing well behind rivals Inter in the 2023-24 campaign.

    Unsurprisingly, his reliable form has led to speculation over his future in Italy, though Hernandez does not want to think about that ahead of France's Euro 2024 opener against Austria on Monday.

    "Now I am 100 per cent focused on the Euros," Hernandez said on Saturday. 

    "Whether I will stay at Milan or leave, we'll see about this afterwards."

    Pressed on a potential return to Spain, Hernandez responded: "At the moment I'm not thinking about it yet."

    Hernandez was a key figure for Milan once again in the season just past, with no defender scoring more than his five Serie A goals.

    Only Inter's Federico Dimarco (11) bettered Hernandez's nine direct goal contributions in the league among defenders, too, as the pair prepare to compete at the European Championship in Germany.

    France boss Didier Deschamps will be expected to utilise the attacking side of Hernandez's game once more as Les Bleus aim to go one better than at Euro 2016, when they lost to Portugal in the final.

    "We are working to be at our best, this is a competition where there are very good national teams," he added. 

    "We have made good preparations and now we feel the impatience to play this debut match. We have to get to the end like in the 2022 World Cup. There are many leaders in this group, and I am very happy to be here.

    "We are working on various things. I like attacking, I love the offensive phase. With the coach we tried various situations.

    "I made progress from a defensive point of view. When I arrived at Milan, I wasn't very good in defence. Now it's better, but I prefer to attack."

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