Bayer Leverkusen’s defeat by Internazionale in the Europa League on Monday means Kai Havertz is now free to leave. The Bundesliga club’s sporting director, Rudi Völler, had been adamant the Chelsea target would not be going anywhere while his team were still in Europe and, following Monday’s exit, Leverkusen boss Peter Bosz had some surprise news when asked if the 21-year-old, who scored in the 2-1 defeat, had played his last game for them. “Yes, I can exclusively announce he’ll play for Heracles Almelo!” he announced, before telling his audience he’d be “here all week” and to “try the chicken”. While the Dutch side are unlikely to meet Leverkusen’s asking price of up to £90m, Chelsea remain keen and Havertz should ink a deal with the London club once personal terms have been agreed.
With his defence also in need of bolstering, Frank Lampard is rumoured to be interested in the Ajax central defender Nicolás Tagliafico, who is also wanted by Atlético Madrid and Barcelona. The Leicester full-back Ben Chilwell remains on Chelsea’s radar, along with Sergio Reguilón. On loan at Sevilla from Real Madrid, the 23-year-old will be up against Adama Traoré when his side take on Wolves in the Europa League on Tuesday and will have admirers from Arsenal, Atlético and Napoli tuning in to see how he gets on.
Unprepared to take “nein” for an answer, Manchester United are ready to continue their red-hot pursuit of Jadon Sancho, despite being told by Borussia Dortmund he is no longer for sale this summer. Following his successful spell on loan at Roma last season, United defender Chris Smalling has also been identified as a target by Inter.
Having seen his career stall since he moved to Tottenham last summer, Ryan Sessegnon could be off to Newcastle, where Steve Bruce is also keen on bringing in Harry Wilson. The Liverpool winger spent last season on loan at Bournemouth and is reported to be available for £20m. Leeds, Crystal Palace and Southampton are all prepared to duke it out with Newcastle in the battle to secure his services. Believed to have a budget of no more than £30m for his summer wheeling and dealing, Bruce is also keen on the Norwich centre-back Ben Godfrey, but will face competition from Leverkusen and Milan. Godfrey’s teammate Emiliano Buendía is wanted by Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
Just a couple of days into his new role as Juventus manager and it seems Andrea Pirlo is already planning a dressing-room clear-out – the Old Lady’s new broom is reportedly sweeping Aaron Ramsey, Gonzalo Higuaín, Mattia De Sciglio, Sami Khedira and Daniele Rugani towards the door marked “Do One”. Blaise Matuidi has already left and pitched up in the US, where rumour has it he’s signed a three-year deal with Inter Miami, the franchise owned by his former Paris Saint-Germain teammate David Beckham.
Monday’s Mill reported that Brighton central defender Ben White is in big demand following his successful season on loan at Leeds. Tabloid reports 24 hours later suggest Graham Potter is rather keen on hanging on to the 23-year-old, but might be prepared to sanction the sale of Shane Duffy to West Brom instead.
And finally, Lyon winger Bertrand Traoré is available to the highest bidder, with Newcastle, Leicester, Everton and Palace all reported to be interested in bringing the Burkina Faso international back to England following his spell at Chelsea. The 24-year-old recently missed the decisive penalty that cost his side the French League Cup final against Paris Saint-Germain.