It’s hard to keep up. Here are the latest developments on Chelsea’s frantic summer transfer window.
Cesar Azpilicueta has signed a new Chelsea contract until June 2024, The Athletic’s David Ornstein understands.
A clause was already activated in the 32-year-old’s paperwork to keep him at Stamford Bridge until next summer, but Azpilicueta was still pursued by Barcelona this offseason. The Catalan giants and Chelsea were in negotiations over a potential move but nothing materialized.
Chelsea were reportedly demanding over £6.2 million – the fee they paid Marseille for Azpilicueta’s services in 2012 – for their captain. They also wanted time to find replacements and assurances that Barcelona could register the veteran defender amid their financial uncertainty.
Now, Azpilicueta has effectively ended speculation over a transfer to Barca.
Testing Leicester’s resolve
Chelsea are expected to submit an improved offer for Wesley Fofana after Leicester City rejected a £60-million bid for the center-back, according to The Guardian’s Fabrizio Romano.
The Foxes insist Fofana isn’t for sale, but the 21-year-old Frenchman apparently wants to move to west London.
Fofana moved to Leicester from Saint-Etienne for around £32 million in 2020. He was quickly a hit in the East Midlands through his mature performances in defense and was named the club’s Young Player of the Season. He only made seven Premier League appearances last term after breaking his leg in a preseason friendly, but he signed a new contract in March that ties him to the club until June 2027.
Strengthening the attack
Former Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Red Bull Salzburg’s Benjamin Sesko are on Chelsea’s short list of forward targets, The Guardian’s Sid Lowe, David Hytner, and Fabrizio Romano report.
The Blues have held talks with Aubameyang’s representatives but a bid is yet to be submitted. The Gabonese marksman only joined Barcelona in January, but the Spanish club’s precarious finances, as well as the summer arrivals of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha, could encourage it to part ways with Aubameyang.
Sesko, who’s previously attracted interest from Manchester United, is available for a fee above €50 million, ESPN’s James Olley understands.
De Jong, Cucurella, Colwill
Chelsea reportedly approached Barcelona this week about a deal for midfielder Frenkie de Jong, but there’s been little follow-up news.
Forbes contributor Tom Sanderson, who was one of the few journalists to cover the De Jong pursuit Thursday, claims the Dutchman is refusing to leave the Camp Nou.
Brighton & Hove Albion’s Marc Cucurella is still expected sign with Chelsea for £52.5 million despite the Seagulls denying any agreement had been reached for the left-back’s transfer.
Teenage defender Levi Colwill, who wasn’t included in Chelsea’s official release of their squad numbers for the 2022-23 season, will move to Brighton in a separate deal, according to The Guardian’s Fabrizio Romano. Colwill spent last season on loan at Huddersfield Town in the Championship.