Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Chelsea 'target £50m Alexis', Man Utd 'want £40m Dier', Liverpool 'line up £43m Rodriguez'

Like a cheap-thrills horror movie, it’s become the kind of season where Arsenal fans have to brace themselves for seeing something horrible whenever they pick up a newspaper – and jittery Gooners will need to be especially mentally prepared before they peruse a copy or today’s Guardian, or Mirror, or Mail. All those papers say Alexis Sanchez is on his way to Chelsea. Aaaaaarrrgggggggh.

The broadsheet claims Blues manager Antonio Conte has made the Chilean his “number one summer transfer target” and has informed the club’s hierarchy of his intention. Bwahahaha.

The Mirror adds that Chelsea will make their move the moment “it becomes clear” Alexis intends to leave the Emirates. Think that moment might have come a few weeks ago.

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Despite Sanchez having just over a year left on his contract, Arsenal will refuse – initially at least – to sell him on the cheap. The Standard says the Gunners will demand “a fee close to £50m” for their star player. It doesn’t say how close though. £45m? £49.999m?

The north Londoners will also do everything in their power to prevent Sanchez joining Chelsea, according to the Mail, which suggests the Gunners have resolved to sell him to “a foreign club”. With Juventus, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain also said to be keen, they will have no trouble finding Alexis one of those.

Manchester United will kick off a “massive summer spending spree” by launching a £40m bid for Tottenham defender and England midfielder Eric Dier, says the Sun. Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho has reportedly identified the 23-year-old as “the perfect replacement for Michael Carrick”, so he evidently thinks he’s a midfielder.

Mourinho is also said to be keen on Celtic’s 19-year-old full-back Kieran Tierney, for whom the Scottish champions will reportedly demand “upwards of £10m” (Mail).

Tiemoue Bakayoko seems like a right big flirt, by the way. Despite having allegedly “agreed” to sign for Chelsea, the Monaco midfielder has also said he is “interested” in joining United (Manchester Evening News), while his brother (and agent) revealed he has “always dreamed” of joining PSG (Standard). Hussy.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic will not be offered a contract extension at the end of the season because of the club’s “worrying run of form” (Telegraph) and the Hammers could turn to Newcastle’s Rafa Benitez as the Croatian’s replacement (Mirror). Last time West Ham tried to appoint the Spaniard he went to Real Madrid instead. Maybe this time he’ll go to Barcelona.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been given the “green light” to make a £43m swoop for Real Madrid’s Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez, reports the Express. The Reds don’t really need him, but it would at least mean they no longer had to suffer the embarrassment of having Andy Carroll as the club’s record signing.

Elsewhere, Chelsea will offer Eden Hazard a new £300,000-a-week contract to ward off interest from Real Madrid (Sun), while Arsenal, Man Utd and Man City are all interested in 22-year-old Villarreal winger Samuel Castillejo (Star) and – speaking of embarrassing record signings – Tottenham’s two most expensive buys Moussa Sissoko and Erik Lamela are wanted by clubs in Italy (Mirror). Not sure Spurs will get their money back though.

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