AC Milan are close to agreeing a deal to sign Reuben Loftus-Cheek from Chelsea, the PA news agency understands.

A move for the 27-year-old is yet to be finalised but the Serie A side are hopeful that it will be completed in the coming days.

It will bring to an end a near 20-year association between Chelsea and the England international, who joined the club’s academy in 2004.

He has scored 13 times in 155 appearances for the club, with 10 of those coming during the 2018-19 campaign, but struggled for game time under successive managers during the second half of last season.

He was a part of the England squad who reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The club are keen to do as much outgoing transfer business as possible before June 30 so that deals can be included in financial accounts for the 2022-23 season.

N’Golo Kante and Kalidou Koulibaly have already departed to join sides in Saudi Arabia’s Professional League, with Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech expected to follow them after deals were agreed.

PA understands that Kai Havertz’s £65million move to Premier League rivals Arsenal will be announced this week, with a deal also in place for Mateo Kovacic to join champions Manchester City.

Mason Mount’s future remains in doubt, with the club so far unable to come to an agreement with Manchester United over a fee for the midfielder, who has told Chelsea he wants to leave.

Kalidou Koulibaly has left Chelsea after only one season to join Saudi Professional League side Al-Hilal.

Senegal captain Koulibaly moved to England last summer from Napoli on a four-year deal in a transfer reported to be worth £34million.

The centre-back went on to make 32 appearances for Chelsea during a difficult season, but has now departed Stamford Bridge

A club statement read: “We would like to thank Kalidou for his contributions on and off the pitch during his time at Stamford Bridge and wish him well for the next stage of his career.”

Koulibaly is not the first Chelsea player to make the move to Saudi Arabia. N’Golo Kante agreed to join Al-Ittihad on a free transfer following the expiration of his deal with the Blues.

A number of high-profile names have moved to the Saudi Professional League during the past six months.

Karim Benzema has already agreed to join Al-Ittihad after 14 seasons at Real Madrid, following Cristiano Ronaldo who moved to Al Nassr from Manchester United in December.

Wolves captain Ruben Neves has also agreed a £47m move to Al-Hilal.

After Koulibaly and Kante, Chelsea outcasts Edouard Mendy, Romelu Lukaku and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have also been linked with moves to the Gulf state.

Manchester United have made another improved bid for Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount, the PA news agency understands.

With Mount’s contract at Stamford Bridge set to expire next summer, United have made the England international one of their transfer targets.

After an initial bid was rebuffed last week, United returned with an offer of £45million plus £5million in add-ons.

It is understood that was also rejected. United’s latest proposal, believed to be in the region of £55m, has now been received by Chelsea, but is yet to be considered.

Chelsea are reportedly holding out for higher fee, closer to £65m, but there is a limit as to how far United are willing to go, given the player is soon out of contract and they also need to strengthen in other areas this summer.

Completing a deal for Mount would certainly help bolster the options for United boss Erik ten Hag in a key midfield area.

Mount came through the ranks at Chelsea, scoring 27 goals and providing 22 assists in 129 Premier League appearances.

The 24-year-old – a Champions League winner with the Blues – has won 36 England caps and started the Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.

Chelsea’s owners BlueCo have agreed to buy a stake in Ligue 1 club Strasbourg to take a significant step forwards in their plans for multi-club ownership.

The consortium, which purchased the Premier League club in May last year, are become new shareholders “subject to a consultation process with the relevant employee representative bodies”.

A statement said: “The shareholders of Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace today announced an agreement with BlueCo, the consortium which purchased Chelsea FC in May 2022.

“The agreement would mark a new chapter in Racing’s history as the ownership consortium commits to accelerate sustainable investment in the club’s growth, including in the first teams and in the Academy, in continuity with the project implemented by Marc Keller, who would remain president of the club, supported by his current management team.

“Through its involvement and recognised expertise in sport, BlueCo plans to make an active contribution to the development of the model implemented by Marc Keller, first, financially, by providing capital that will enable investment in the men’s and women’s first teams, the Academy and across the club.

“It also plans to provide Racing access to broad resources and collaboration. Racing’s teams would be able to exchange advice and expertise with Chelsea and the other teams which the owners are involved with.

“In accordance with Professional Football League regulations, the project was presented today to the Direction Nationale du Contrôle de Gestion (DNCG), whose assessment is expected in the coming weeks.”

BlueCo believe the “strategic investment” would enhance their presence in European football.

A statement said: “It is an honour for us to be part of this historic club. We are committed to preserving the heritage of Racing and are focused on working closely with Marc and his management team to continue the excellent work they have been doing.

“This strategic investment would further our presence in European football, alongside our ownership of Chelsea. We believe it would create huge opportunities to share knowledge and expertise.”

Former France international Keller, who had spells as a player with English sides West Ham, Portsmouth and Blackburn, became Racing’s president in June 2012 with the club in serious danger of liquidation.

It has since returned to Ligue 1 and established itself as a fixture, and played in the Europa League in 2019-20 after winning the League Cup.

Keller said: “The aim is to enable Racing to be even more ambitious and competitive in a football world that has changed considerably, particularly with the massive arrival of foreign investors in many French clubs and the evolution of Ligue 1 from 20 to 18 clubs.

“The arrival of the consortium should enable us to take this step forward.”

The news was confirmed as Chelsea found themselves thrust into the spotlight as a series of players, led by World Cup winner N’Golo Kante, prepare to leave the club for the riches of Saudi Arabia amid speculation that the clear-out could ease their Financial Fair Play worries.

The Blues, under chairman Todd Boehly, have invested in excess of £650million in new signings since the takeover was completed.

Manchester United have made an improved bid of up to £50million for Mason Mount as talks continue with Chelsea, the PA news agency understands.

Transfer movement has been slow at Old Trafford this summer, thanks in no small part to the Glazer family dragging their heels over a potential sale.

Despite that uncertainty, United have made a move for Chelsea attacking midfielder Mount, whose Stamford Bridge contract is due to expire next summer.

An initial bid was rebuffed last week by the west London club, who are understood to have turned their nose up at the Red Devils’ latest offer of £45million plus £5million in add-ons.

Chelsea reportedly want an extra £15m but there is a limit as to how far United are willing to go, given the player is soon out of contract and they need to strengthen in other areas this summer.

Mount would certainly help bolster a midfield that the club recognises would benefit from more options and legs, as Erik ten Hag continues to shape the side in his image.

The attacking midfielder came through the ranks at Chelsea, scoring 27 goals and providing 22 assists in 129 Premier League appearances.

The 24-year-old – a Champions League winner with the Blues – has won 36 England caps and started the Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.

Arsenal have agreed a fee with Chelsea for the signature of Germany forward Kai Havertz.

The 24-year-old has emerged as a top target for the Gunners in recent weeks as they look to improve a squad that finished second in the Premier League last season.

The PA news agency understands a deal has now been struck between the London rivals, allowing Havertz to discuss terms and undergo a medical.

The deal is believed to top £65million including add-ons, with Havertz now likely to become Arsenal’s first signing of the season.

Having joined Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen in 2020, Havertz has scored 19 goals in 91 Premier League appearances for the Blues and also hit the only goal of the game as they beat Manchester City to win the Champions League in 2021.

He could swiftly be followed to the Emirates Stadium by West Ham skipper Declan Rice, with Arsenal already seeing two bids turned down.

Rice has been admired in north London for some time but a club-record fee was rejected by the Hammers on Tuesday with a £90million offer not enough to strike an agreement.

Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia and Jurrien Timber of Ajax have also been linked with Arsenal this summer.

Manchester City have agreed a £30million deal with Chelsea to sign midfielder Mateo Kovacic, the PA news agency understands.

The treble winners are set to pay an initial £25million for the 29-year-old Croatia international, with a further £5million to follow in potential add-ons.

Kovacic, who joined Chelsea from Real Madrid in 2018, is entering the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge.

City will now look to complete the formalities of a move with the player.

Kovacic will become City’s first signing of the summer and give manager Pep Guardiola more midfield options at a time when captain Ilkay Gundogan’s future is uncertain.

Gundogan’s contract expires at the end of this month and the Germany international has not yet agreed new terms.

Kovacic, who won the Champions League three times with Real and once with Chelsea, could be one of several summer departures from the London club as new manager Mauricio Pochettino trims his squad.

N’Golo Kante will join Saudi club Al-Ittihad when his Chelsea contract expires at the end of June, the club has confirmed.

The 32-year-old midfielder joined from Leicester in 2016 and has won the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge.

He had been an integral part of the Foxes’ surprise title success under Claudio Ranieri after arriving in England from Caen in 2015, just two years after having played in the French fourth tier.

Chelsea co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley told the club website: “N’Golo’s impact and influence during his time at Chelsea cannot be overstated. His tireless performances in midfield contributed to several trophy wins and has guaranteed him a place in the club’s history.

“We wish him well as he embarks on the next chapter in his career.”

His final season at the club was blighted by injury. He required hamstring surgery in October and was unavailable to former manager Graham Potter until March, in all making only seven Premier League appearances across the campaign.

He becomes the first major departure since Mauricio Pochettino was confirmed as the club’s new manager, with a reduction in size of a bloated first-team squad amongst the Argentinean’s priorities.

Kante, who won the World Cup with France in Russia in 2018, becomes the latest in a succession of high-profile names to move to the Saudi Professional League.

His international team-mate Karim Benzema has already agreed to join Al-Ittihad after 14 seasons at Real Madrid, following Cristiano Ronaldo who moved to Al Nassr from Manchester United in December.

Wolves captain Ruben Neves has reportedly agreed a £47million move to Al Hilal with an announcement expected from the club this week.

At 26 he will be the youngest big name to leave a European club for Saudi Arabia.

Chelsea outcasts Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, Romelu Lukaku and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have also been linked with moves to the Gulf state.

Conor Gallagher rose up through the international ranks alongside Bukayo Saka and has backed England’s latest hat-trick hero to get even better.

Saka took home the match ball after hitting three in Monday’s 7-0 thrashing of North Macedonia at Old Trafford on Monday night, a result which leaves England on the cusp of securing Euro 2024 qualification.

The 21-year-old’s second strike was the pick of the bunch as a brace for captain Harry Kane, a Marcus Rashford finish and Kalvin Phillips’ first England goal wrapped up a fine win in the last game of a long season.

It was a campaign which also saw Saka score three goals at the World Cup, with the progression of the Arsenal ace coming as no shock to Gallagher.

“I played with Bukayo since, I think, the Under-19s,” the Chelsea midfielder said.

“Even then you could see that he would become a top player and to see how he has progressed until now has been amazing and I am sure he is going to get even better.

“He is a special player and to get a hat-trick was amazing for him. He had an amazing performance. He is right up there (with the best) and he is only getting better.

“I think he is a very exciting talent with an exciting future and we are looking forward to seeing where it takes him.”

While Saka flourished over the course of a season in which he starred for club and country, Gallagher endured a difficult year at Stamford Bridge.

The 23-year-old featured in all-but three of Chelsea’s Premier League games but it was a season to forget for the Blues as they finished a lowly 12th.

Gallagher – who has been linked with a move away with the likes of Brighton reportedly interested – insists he is looking forward to working under new Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino and retaining his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

“I love Chelsea,” he added. “It has been a tough season for me and the whole team so I think we will just be working hard to get us back to where we belong.

“I am always grateful to be here and for Gareth to have that trust in me despite it being a tough season for both me and Chelsea. I am really happy he has shown that trust in me still and I
think he knows I will work as hard as I can no matter what to give my best.

“I just need to keep working hard and get a bit of my confidence back in a way, I didn’t lose it but I need to get a rhythm of playing more games, score more goals and I am trying to reach that stage.

“(Pochettino) is a top manager, everyone at Chelsea is happy he’s here and we’re looking forward to working with him.”

Chelsea have completed the signing of France international Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig.

The 25-year-old made a pre-contract agreement to join the club in December but has now completed the move for a reported £63million.

He scored 23 goals in 36 games for the Bundesliga side last season and becomes the first major arrival at Stamford Bridge since Mauricio Pochettino was confirmed as the club’s new manager.

“I am incredibly happy to be joining Chelsea,” Nkunku told the club’s website.

“A big effort was made to bring me to the club and I am looking forward to meeting my new coach and team-mates and showing the Chelsea supporters what I can do on the pitch.”

Ange Postecoglou will be the first Australian to manage in the Premier League after taking up the reins at Tottenham.

Australia will be the 25th nation to provide a permanent Premier League boss and one of eight to be represented by just a single manager.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the one-offs.

Australia – Ange Postecoglou

Tottenham – 2023 –

The Premier League’s last recruit, Postecoglou arrives at Tottenham having significantly enhanced his curriculum vitae with what he achieved at Celtic. The former Melbourne Victory and Yokohama F Marinos boss was recruited after completing a domestic treble in Scotland to take his tally to five major trophies in just two seasons.

Brazil – Luiz Felipe Scolari

Chelsea, 2008-09

‘Big Phil’ arrived in London having won a World Cup with his native country and having taken Portugal to the Euro 2004 final. He was in charge for only 25 league games, though, and 36 in all competitions, before being sacked after defeat to Liverpool and a goalless draw with Hull left the Blues fourth in the table, 10 points off the top.

Chile – Manuel Pellegrini

Manchester City 2013-16, West Ham 2018-2019

Comfortably the most successful manager on this list, Pellegrini translated his success at Spanish sides Villarreal and Malaga into a league and League Cup double in his first season at City and added another League Cup before giving way to Pep Guardiola’s hugely successful reign. He returned with West Ham for the 2018-19 season, overcoming an opening run of four defeats to secure a top-10 finish.

Israel – Avram Grant

Chelsea 2007-08, Portsmouth 2009-10, West Ham 2010-11

Grant overcame scepticism at his Chelsea appointment – and a lack of the requisite coaching qualifications – to lead them to runners-up finishes in the Premier League, Champions League and League Cup, but it was not enough to earn him a second season in charge. He later suffered back-to-back relegations with Portsmouth and West Ham, but took Pompey to the FA Cup final and the Hammers to a League Cup semi-final.

Serbia – Slavisa Jokanovic

Fulham, 2018

Jokanovic never got the chance to manage Watford in the top flight after securing promotion in 2015, leaving the club over the summer after failing to agree a new contract. His opportunity finally came after the Cottagers’ play-off success in 2018, but he managed only one win in 12 games, with 31 goals conceded, before being sacked.

Sweden – Sven-Goran Eriksson

Manchester City, 2007-08

A year after leaving his role with England, Eriksson signed a three-year contract with City. He lasted only one, producing what the club’s then owner Thaksin Shinawatra termed “an avalanche of very poor results which is unacceptable at this level” culminating in a staggering 8-1 loss to Middlesbrough.

Switzerland – Christian Gross

Tottenham, 1997-98

A shock successor to Gerry Francis, despite two league titles and a Swiss Cup with Grasshopper and two promotions before that with FC Wil, Gross lifted a struggling side clear of relegation trouble but lasted only until the early days of the following season before being sacked.

Uruguay – Gus Poyet

Sunderland, 2013-15

The former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder replaced Paolo Di Canio at the Stadium of Light in October 2013 and his first season brought an unlikely late run to survival, a League Cup final, derby victory over Newcastle and a win at Chelsea which was Jose Mourinho’s first-ever home defeat as a Premier League manager. The next campaign brought another relegation battle, though, and Poyet was sacked in August after a heavy defeat to West Ham.

Chelsea have agreed a deal to sign midfielder Kendry Paez from Ecuadorian side Independiente del Valle with the teenager joining the club when he turns 18 – in 2025.

Paez has just six senior appearances to his name and became the youngest debutant and goalscorer in the Ecuadorian top flight having found the net when he made his bow in February.

Paez also made his Copa Libertadores debut in a win over Corinthians at the start of last month.

The 16-year-old captained his country at the Under-17 Copa America and registered a goal and three assists as he started all four of Ecuador’s recent Under-20 World Cup matches.

Rangers have announced the signing of Chelsea right-back Dujon Sterling.

The 23-year-old will join on a four-year contract on July 1 when his Chelsea deal expires.

The versatile player made two substitute outings for Chelsea in cup competitions but has made more than 100 first-team appearances across loan spells with Coventry, Wigan, Blackpool and Stoke. He played 28 times this season with Sky Bet Championship side Stoke.

Rangers manager Michael Beale told his club’s official website: “I am delighted to welcome Dujon to Rangers, he is an exciting young player who, I’m sure, will be a great addition to our squad.

“He is someone I was aware of from my time at Chelsea, and I have always kept an eye on his career as it has progressed.

“He is a very powerful and strong defender, who has fantastic attacking qualities and I look forward to working with him at Rangers.”

Sterling added: “I am really excited to come to such a big club, there’s a lot of history and the supporters are so passionate, so I am thrilled.

“I wasn’t expecting to make my mind up about my future this quickly, but the gaffer came in for me straight away and what he proposed to me was everything that I believe I need.

“We were on the same wavelength, he believes in me and I believe in what he is trying to do as well so it was a no-brainer for me to come.”

Chelsea have announced the appointment of Chris Jurasek as their new chief executive while president of business Tom Glick is set to leave after less than a year in his role.

The Blues’ 12th-place Premier League finish in owners’ the Clearlake group’s first season has led to Mauricio Pochettino being named head coach and tasked with improving their on-field fortunes.

Further upheaval off the pitch came with the announcement that Jurasek will oversee all business areas at Chelsea and report to the board alongside co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley.

“I’m delighted to be joining Chelsea, a club which is loved and followed all over the world,” Jurasek said. “I’m enormously proud to be leading it into the next chapter in its rich history.

“We have huge opportunities to grow on and off the pitch and to engage our exceptional fans both in London and wherever they are supporting us from.”

Behdad Eghbali and Jose E Feliciano, co-controlling owners, said: “Chris’ skill and expertise will help us to drive the club forward in all areas, particularly in supporting our long-term plans for Chelsea.

“Our focus will continue to be on ensuring the club is competitive and sustainable both from a sporting and business perspective, with a talented and ambitious leadership team.”

Former Manchester City executive Glick will be exiting the club, having only been appointed last July – although no departure date was announced by the club, who said the former president of NFL franchise the Carolina Panthers wanted “to pursue other opportunities”.

Glick will work closely with Jurasek in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition before leaving.

Mauricio Pochettino has been appointed Chelsea head coach on a two-year deal.

The former Tottenham manager, who has been out of work since leaving Paris St Germain last year, will take over from interim boss Frank Lampard – who oversaw his final game in charge against Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday.

It brings to an end an almost two-month process to find a permanent successor to Graham Potter, who was sacked on April 2.

The PA news agency understands Pochettino had been the club’s first choice from early in the search, which was led by co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart.

He was the only candidate the club got into serious talks with, despite conversations that took place with former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann, ex-Spain coach Luis Enrique and Burnley’s Vincent Kompany.

It is understood that, contrary to reports that Pochettino had sought reassurances about the running of the club behind the scenes, he has been satisfied from early in the process that he could work within Chelsea’s sporting structure.

Stewart and Winstanley said in a statement: “Mauricio’s experience, standards of excellence, leadership qualities and character will serve Chelsea Football Club well as we move forward.

“He is a winning coach, who has worked at the highest levels, in multiple leagues and languages. His ethos, tactical approach and commitment to development all made him the exceptional candidate.”

The new boss, whose contract includes an option for a third season, will work closely with the co-sporting directors as the club look to rebuild after their worst season in 30 years.

Since Potter was removed and Lampard handed the reins, Chelsea have lost eight of their 11 games, winning only once.

They were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid at the quarter-final stage, and a 12th-place finish – their lowest since 1996 – means they will not play in Europe next season.

Lampard said on Sunday that working with a bloated squad of 34 first-team players was the most challenging thing he faced at Stamford Bridge.

One of Pochettino’s first tasks will be deciding who of that number are part of his plans and who can leave, with the club under pressure to sell players in order to satisfy Financial Fair Play rules after spending around £600million on transfers in the last 12 months.

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