Chelsea: £140m spending spree; Lukaku update; Fabregas offered to Juventus

With Chelsea kicking off their season at Stamford Bridge against West Ham tomorrow night, the Express claim that Antonio Conte is set to push through a £140 million spending spree as he seeks to add the three necessary reinforcements for his side to mount a title challenge in the Italian’s first campaign in the Premier League. Roman Abramovich is happy to oblige and give the new man in charge his wish as he hopes to see the trophy return after what will be two years away come May.

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One of those is Romelu Lukaku, with Everton still holding out for £75 million, and the London club are happy to wait until deadline day as they try to force the price down. With the likes of Diego Costa, Michy Batshuayi, and, for the moment, Loic Remy, still in the ranks there is cover to see the side through until the end of the month as the club is reluctant to fork out such a sum for the Belgian who they sold for £28 million only two years ago.

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The club are also expected to make an improved offer as they desperately try to finally secure the signature of Kalidou Koulibaly. Having had a £42 million bid rejected last week, latest reports suggest that the club will return with a bid of £50 million for the Senegal star early next week. Koulibaly has been targeted as a top priority since Conte’s arrival and the Blues are determined to get their man as a long term replacement for John Terry with retirement nearing for their captain.

At the other end of the scale, talks are progressing for 19-year-old Thiago Maia, with the Santos midfielder nearing a £15 million move to complete the spending spree. Currently in action at the Olympics, the Brazilian is an all action holding midfielder who would bring bite and vivacity to the Blues midfield and would certainly be one for the future, although Conte feels that he can provide cover and depth to the current squad based on his recent performances for club and country.

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In an unexpected twist, Tuttosport claim that Chelsea are prepared to offer Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas to Juventus in an attempt to put an end to their interest in Nemanja Matic. The 29-year-old suffered more than most last season with poor form under Jose Mourinho and after his departure, and became something of a scapegoat for fans at times. It is yet to be seen how he will fit into an Antonio Conte system, but rumours suggest that he may now not be fitting into them at all.

Juventus are said to be hoping to spend less than £20 million on their Pogba replacement and PSG’s Blaise Matuidi is said to be their top target. Even then, it seems unlikely that Chelsea would be happy to dispense with Fabregas. Even in poor form he is a quality Premier League player and will be hoping to return to his best this coming season. At £20 million it seems that the price would not be quite right for the club either, but stranger things have happened in the crazy transfer market.

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