Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Bakayoko 'to lead £200m Chelsea spree', Liverpool 'bid for Mbappe', Man Utd 'target Oblak'

Jan Oblak and Tiemoue Bakayoko

Be afraid. Chelsea have already won the Premier League, and now they’re planning to win the transfer window, which in turn would help them win the Premier League again. And so on.

It’s a terrifying prospect, but there is nothing we can really do to stop it, except hope that the new players they buy are either not very good, or don’t like each other and have a big fight. And if that happened, you wouldn’t want to be the one fighting Tiemoue Bakayoko because he’s hard as nails.

In a detailed outline of the Blues’ transfer plans, the Telegraph says the tough-tackling Monaco midfielder is top of Antonio Conte’s very, very long summer shopping list.

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Funds of “at least £200m” will be made available to the Italian, and that’s before taking into consideration the £76m the club could receive for Diego Costa if he goes to China.

Bakayoko would account for about £43m of that “warchest” (one word rather than two in the Telegraph – interesting) and “could be the first signing” of Conte’s spending spree.

Bakayoko will not be the last though. Chelsea are also said to be interested in Monaco’s Thomas Lemar, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk and Everton duo Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley.

Who would actually cost more than £276m if you bought them all, but the Blues are set to offload more players too, such as Michy Batshuayi, Kurt Zouma, Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake. Eek.

Liverpool’s attempts to splash the cash are not looking quite as effective so far. Spanish paper Marca reports that the Reds have had a £64m offer rejected for Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe, whose club will do “whatever it takes” to persuade him to stay in France. If Mbappe’s smart, he’ll keep them to their word and demand a lifetime’s supply of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes.

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Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak is the man Manchester United want to replace David de Gea, says the Star. The 24-year-old Slovenian would apparently cost about £40m, although that’s about half his previously reported release clause.

West Ham are set to spend the second summer running trying to buy every striker in the world, and the Mail says they’re starting with Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho. Slaven Bilic is said to be pondering a £20m bid for the young Nigerian, who looked very exciting last season but far less interesting this season – a bit like West Ham, in fact.

Elsewhere, Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce wants a reunion with his former Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe, although he faces competition from Bournemouth and the Hammers (Mirror), relegated Middlesbrough will refuse to sell captain Ben Gibson despite interest from Liverpool and Chelsea (Mail) and Leeds United’s £20m-rated striker Chris Wood is wanted by Southampton, Swansea, Stoke and – you’ve guessed it – West Ham (Sun). We weren’t joking about the Hammers trying to sign every striker in the world.

@darlingkevin

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