Chelsea are ready to make a splash in the transfer market with a series of signings on the cards.

The Blues have been heavily linked with Leicester City's Wesley Fofana as they seek replacements for the departed Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen in defence.

Chelsea are understood to be keen to bolster their forward options too, with Romelu Lukaku exiting for Inter.

TOP STORY – BLUES TO SWOOP FOR DE JONG AND AUBA

Chelsea are all set to sign Barcelona pair Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should the Catalans permit the duo to exit the club, reports Sky Sports.

Manchester United have been involved in a drawn-out saga for De Jong this off-season, with the Dutchman reluctant to leave but the Blues are ready to match their £72million (€85m) bid, plus offer Champions League football.

Aubameyang only joined Barcelona in January but has previously worked with Thomas Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund.

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– ESPN claims that Barcelona's off-season signings Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie could leave the Blaugrana for free if the club cannot register them due to LaLiga financial fair play rules in time for Saturday's league opener. Barca defender Gerard Pique has offered to play for free to help register the new players, according to AS.

– The Mail reports that Manchester City are set to finalise an £11m deal for 21-year-old Spanish left-back Sergio Gomez from Anderlecht on Thursday. Fabrizio Romano claims he may be loaned out to Girona.

– Rennes forward Arnaud Kalimuendo is on the cusp of joining Paris Saint-Germain for €25m, claims L'Equipe. Leeds United have shown an interest in the 20-year-old striker.

– Atalanta and Nottingham Forest have agreed terms for the transfer of Switzerland international midfielder Remo Freuler, reports Sky Sport Italia.

Manchester United are scrambling for further reinforcements after their troubling loss to open the Premier League season, with Watford's Ismaila Sarr, Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata and PSV's Cody Gakpo all named as potential forward solutions.

Sarr, who scored a spectacular goal from the halfway line against West Brom on Monday, slowed after a strong start in the Premier League last season.

Meanwhile, Morata is back at Atletico after two years on loan at Juventus, and Gakpo, just 23, has hit the ground running for Champions League chasers PSV in the new season.

TOP STORY – UNITED WEIGH UP HOST OF FORWARD OPTIONS

The Sun reported interest in Sarr, ESPN detailed the Morata story, and The Telegraph had the scoop on Gakpo, indicating there are plenty of moving parts behind the scenes at United, and they are casting a wide net.

While no price has been named for either Sarr or Morata, Gakpo figures to demand a fee in the range of £35million, while The Telegraph is reporting the club are also assessing the availability of Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who Corriere dello Sport suggests would cost €50m.

Milinkovic-Savic, 27, would likely fill a similar role envisioned by Erik ten Hag for Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong – who has ruled out a move to Old Trafford – and could relegate one of Scott McTominay or Fred to the bench.

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– Fabrizio Romano is reporting Manchester City are closing in on a transfer worth at least €10m to bring Anderlecht left-back Sergio Gomez to the Premier League. 

– According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are in discussions with Milan about acquiring 22-year-old midfielder Sandro Tonali, who the Italian club value at £46m.

– Metro claims Arsenal are also leading the race for 19-year-old winger Yeremi Pino from Villarreal, with the club said to be willing to meet the £33m asking price, while Liverpool are also interested.

– Foot Mercato is reporting Nottingham Forest are pushing to sign Villarreal's €20m Ecuadorian full-back Pervis Estupinan

Chelsea are preparing a £12m move for 19-year-old Inter midfielder Cesare Casadei, per the Evening Standard.

Toby Alderweireld has joined his hometown club Royal Antwerp on a three-year deal.

Alderweireld only joined Al-Duhail from Tottenham for a reported fee of 65.34million QAR (£13m) on a three-year contract last July, but the Belgium defender's short stay in Qatar has come to an end.

Antwerp on Friday confirmed the 33-year-old has put pen to paper on a contract until 2025.

Alderweireld has never played professionally in his homeland, having joined Ajax at the age of 15.

The Antwerp-born centre-back spent five years with Ajax before joining Atletico Madrid and was loaned Southampton prior to a move to Spurs, where he made 236 appearances.

Alderweireld has won 121 caps for the Red Devils and is set to be back in Qatar to play in the World Cup this year.

Chelsea are looking to swoop in and scoop up Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who has been Manchester United's primary midfield target since the appointment of new boss Erik ten Hag.

De Jong, 25, has 44 international caps for the Netherlands, and has spent the past three seasons with the Spanish giants.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been adamant the club does not want to part ways with the star they paid €75million for back in 2019, but the club's financial position may force their hand.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA LOOK TO STEAL UNITED TARGET WITH CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ALLURE

De Jong is reportedly been hesitant about a move to United due to the fact that they could not offer Champions League football, and that is where Chelsea will have their advantage in negotiations.

The Metro is reporting the Stamford Bridge club are preparing an offer that will include both players and cash, with €60million as well as Spanish duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso said to be on the table.

The elephant in the room regarding a De Jong move is that Barcelona reportedly owe the Dutchman £17m in deferred wages, and the Daily Mail claims he wants the balance fully paid before he signs off on any transfer.

 

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United have been told they will need to pay £106m in order to secure the signings of Ajax duo Lisandro Martinez and Antony, according to the Daily Record.

– According to i Sport, Chelsea are working on a new contract extension for Reece James, despite three years still remaining on his current deal, in an effort to fend off interest from Manchester City and Real Madrid.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Wolves will send 19-year-old Fabio Silva on a season-long loan to Anderlecht after purchasing him for £35m two years ago.

– The Mirror claims Leeds United are preparing a club-record offer of £32m for 21-year-old Club Brugge midfielder Charles De Ketelaere, who already has eight senior international caps for Belgium.

– According to Fabrizio Romano, the likely departure of Raheem Sterling has put City in a position to offer Riyad Mahrez a contract extension.

Although Cristiano Ronaldo's affection for Manchester United is without doubt, his return to Old Trafford has not gone as he might have planned.

Following Erik ten Hag's arrival, Ronaldo's reported concern over United's apparent lack of transfer activity has made other clubs explore possibilities to sign him.

Reports suggest that a couple of clubs have already made their interest indirectly known.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA, ROMA CIRCLING FOR RONALDO

Chelsea and Roma have expressed their interest in signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, according to reports.

The Athletic has reported Chelsea, with Todd Boehly installing himself as interim sporting director after his consortium's takeover of the club, met with Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes to discuss the possibility of his transfer.

Ronaldo has a year left on his contract, and the possibility of him leaving after only one season has grown with Erik ten Hag's arrival.

Meanwhile, Retesport are reporting the Giallorossi are keen to sign the 37-year-old, with the Friedkin group looking to reunite him with former boss Jose Mourinho and build on the team's Conference League triumph.

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– In the background, United are increasingly confident they will be able to land Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong for a fee of £69million (€80.2m), Goal reports.

– Also, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has made contact with Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling, according to the Telegraph.

– Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have opened talks over a deal for Neymar amid Chelsea's interest, per AS.

– Leeds United are preparing a £26million (€30.2m) bid for Club Brugge's Charles de Ketelaere, the Daily Mail reports.

Club Brugge star Noa Lang suggested he is unaware of Milan transfer advances, but would be open to a move "to take the next step" amid reported interest from Arsenal as well.

Lang scored seven goals in 37 Belgian Pro League appearances in the 2021-22 campaign as Brugge lifted their 18th league title in history and third in a row.

The 22-year-old also appeared in all six of Brugge's Champions League outings, though the Belgian side won just one in a tough group with Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig.

Featuring in Europe only served to further the value of Lang, who is said to have long been a target of Arsenal, along with Premier League side Leeds United.

Reports in Italy indicated Serie A winners Milan are also interested in the forward, but he assures no agreement has been reached with Stefano Pioli's side.

"There is no agreement with AC Milan or anything. I don't know where this kind of news comes from," Lang told Belgian newspaper HLN.

"If I have to report to Club Brugge again, I will do so with all my love. I love the club and will give the full 100 per cent."

The Netherlands international expressed his desire to move on from the Belgian Pro League, though, as he looks to impress Louis van Gaal ahead of the World Cup later this year.

"The agreement with Brugge is that it must come to a transfer, both parties agree on that. I want to continue to develop and so I have to take a step," he added.

"But I'm not afraid of that, I have to keep developing myself. If I go to a bigger club, I will probably become a better footballer. Then I train and play with a higher intensity. I only see benefits towards the World Cup.

However, Lang believes the thinking behind Van Gaal's selection has changed, with the Netherlands coach open to picking players who may not always be playing for their club.

"The national coach has abandoned his vision, as he says himself," he continued. 

"But then again: if I go to another club, I also want to play a lot. I have to enforce that myself. Whether it is at the top or just below."

Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has been confirmed as the new manager of Burnley following his departure from Anderlecht.

The 36-year-old spent three years in charge of Anderlecht, the first of those as player-manager, prior to stepping aside by mutual consent last month.

He takes over at Turf Moor ahead of Burnley's first season in the Championship since 2015-16 following their relegation from the Premier League.

Sean Dyche was sacked by the Clarets in April after a decade in charge, with interim boss Mike Jackson unable to keep the club in the top flight.

Burnley confirmed the appointment on their official website on Tuesday, though they did not announce the length of the contract signed by the Belgian.

Kompany said: "Burnley Football Club is a truly historic English side and it is an honour to be appointed first-team manager. I'm excited by the challenge ahead.

"I'm looking forward to getting to work with the players and creating a positive, winning team for our fans when we return to Turf Moor.

"I've been impressed by the board's vision for the club which aligns with my own and I look forward to playing my part as we enter an important season."

Kompany finished third in the Belgian First Division last term to guide Anderlecht back into Europe, while also reaching the domestic cup final, where his side lost on penalties to Gent.

Prior to moving into coaching, Kompany enjoyed a 17-year playing career with Anderlecht, Hamburg and City, winning 10 major trophies across 11 seasons with the latter.

"We are absolutely delighted to welcome Vincent to Burnley Football Club," chairman Alan Pace said.

"Vincent is a proven leader and I've been very impressed with his ideas for Burnley Football Club, his appetite to succeed and his focus on leading the club back to the Premier League.

"Vincent has shown impressive credentials in leading one of Belgium's biggest teams back to European football and a cup final last season and we've been excited by his philosophy, approach and ambition for the club."

Belgian side Royal Antwerp have appointed Marc Overmars as their new sporting director – little over a month after he departed Ajax after sending inappropriate messages to female colleagues.

Overmars left Ajax amid scandal after sending messages and photographs to several women who worked at the Dutch club – behaviour he admitted was "unacceptable".

Despite the lament that accompanied his departure from Ajax, Overmars indicated he was happy with what the new role represented.

"My departure from Ajax was very unfortunate," the 48-year-old said at his presentation. "I have to go through that and continue. I am going to do that now. I want to leave the Ajax page behind me and start a new chapter here. What happened at Ajax will not happen [here].

"The Gheysens family has convinced me of the project and where they want to go with the club. The ambitions are enormous. It is a great challenge and I see the growth potential of the city and the club."

Sven Jaecques, Antwerp's general manager, said he had not specifically consulted the club's female workers before hiring Overmars.

"Not in concrete terms, no," he said. "It is important to give people new opportunities and to turn the page. We spoke with Marc for a long time and listened to what happened and what our values are. That is a match.

"It never stands still at Antwerp. We are taking another very big step in the progress of our club."

Anderlecht have announced that Craig Bellamy will leave his role as Vincent Kompany's assistant coach to deal with mental health problems. 

Bellamy, who talked extensively about his long battle with depression last year, had been part of the Anderlecht coaching staff since 2019. 

The 42-year-old has been working as former Manchester City team-mate Kompany's right-hand man since earlier this year, but he will officially step aside on Monday. 

A statement on Anderlecht's website on Sunday read: "Assistant coach Craig Bellamy will leave the coaching staff of RSC Anderlecht on Monday.  

"Bellamy already struggled with mental problems in the past and these have resurfaced again recently.  

"With his departure, the Brit took a very difficult, but absolutely necessary decision concerning his health.  

"Bellamy said goodbye to the players in the dressing room on Sunday afternoon after the 7-2 victory against KV Mechelen." 

Former Wales international Bellamy retired from football in 2014 following a second spell with hometown club Cardiff City. 

He moved into coaching with Cardiff at academy level before departing in January 2019 and taking up a similar position with Anderlecht. 

Following the news of Bellamy's departure, Kompany added: "Craig has long struggled with his mental health. Now the monster is back there.  

"Health is above football. We are obligated to give him the chance to get well." 

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