Transfer gossip: Chelsea snubbed by four on deadline day before Zakaria; Xavi blocks €30m Arsenal move

·3-min read
Torres Barcelona Credit: PA Images
Torres Barcelona Credit: PA Images

Chelsea ended up with Denis Zakaria but it was quite the deadline day journey to get to him, while Xavi blocked a €30m Arsenal approach.

 

FERRAN-OUGH
#EduOut was trending on social media in the last hours of the transfer window, as Arsenal fans (probably fairly) questioned why they had not signed another central midfielder given their bare bones in that area, and why maligned forward Nicolas Pepe had been allowed to join Nice on loan without a replacement.

The Gunners had a clear target in mind – Pedro Neto from Wolves – and seemingly no realy Plan B. But, as reported by El Nacional, they did approach Barcelona with €30m in hand, enquiring over Ferran Torres.

Torres only moved to Barcelona eight months ago as they agreed a €55m fee with Manchester City for his services. He got four goals and four assists in 18 La Liga appearances last season, but the arrival of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha is expected to limit his game time somewhat this term.

Playing on that assumption, it’s claimed Arsenal tested the waters late in the window.

The report claims Barcelona were ‘not displeased’ by the offer, leaving the final decision to manager Xavi, who said the Spain international was ‘totally non-transferable’. Then again, he said that about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

 

CHELSEA PANIC TO ZAKARIA
Chelsea ended up with a midfielder as well as Aubameyang on deadline day – Denis Zakaria joined from Juventus on a season-long loan with the option to make the deal permanent for £26m next summer. Liverpool wanted him too apparently, but that’s by the by.

It came to light on the last day of the window that Chelsea had enquired over PSV’s Ibrahim Sangare, failing with a £39m bid, and were said to also be courting a number of other central midfielders, settling for Zakaria in the end.

Edson Alvarez attempted to force through a move to Stamford Bridge from Ajax, having been made aware the Dutch side had rejected a £43m approach from the Blues. CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs says Chelsea’s interest hasn’t waned.

Jacobs tweeted: “Chelsea will be back for Ajax’s Edson Alvarez in January. Club pushed for much of deadline day to see if a sale was possible. Player wanted the move and has been directly reassured Chelsea will return.

The Sheffield Star report that Chelsea also ‘enquired’ over Sander Berge – who was close to a move to Club Brugge on deadline day – but decided not to make a bid after talks with the Sheffield United bosses.

And, perhaps most remarkably, as teased and then revealed by Fabrizio Romano, they also made a stunning attempt to sign Romeo Lavia from Southampton for £50m.

The 18-year-old – who happened to score a wonderful goal against Chelsea two days before – only joined the Saints from Manchester City in June for £12m, and just five Premier League games later, Chelsea told Southampton they were willing to pay £50m. That’s quite the markup.

The bid was swiftly rejected, in no small part because City have a £40m buy-back clause.

Romano tweeted: “Behind the scenes. Chelsea wanted to sign Romeo Lavia on Deadline Day with £50m verbal proposal rejected by Southampton — of course, he’s untouchable.

“Southampton invested £12m plus add-ons for Lavia — and Man City have £40m buy back clause.”

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