Chelsea: Wait for Lukaku; Joao Mario update; starlet to sign for Watford
Blues are set to miss out on Portugal star Joao Mario claim the Express, who report that the Sporting star is on his way to Inter Milan to sign a five year contract worth £50,000 a week despite a reported £39 million bid from the London club for the right winger. Inter are believed to have matched that bid, although their deal involves around £5 million in add-ons but has been accepted by the Portuguese club.
The 23-year-old made his final appearance for Sporting this weekend and was substituted to a standing ovation from the supporters of the club where he came through the ranks as a teenager after starting his career at Porto before leaving aged 11. Now a Euro 2016 winner with his country, he would have provided competition for the likes of Pedro, Juan Cuadrado and Willian out wide.
The club are also set to wait before signing Romelu Lukaku if the Evening Standard are correct. The west London club are desperate to sign their former player, despite having sold him for £28 million just two years ago, but are reluctant to meet the Toffees asking price and are hoping that the Merseyside club will reduce their price on deadline day should the Belgian striker hand in a transfer request as expected.
With new funding, there is no incentive for Everton to sell and that has seen them do all they can to retain their top goalscorer for the past two seasons, who missed out on Saturday’s draw with Tottenham due to a heel injury. That is why the player is now forcing the move by handing in a transfer request as he is keen to return to Stamford Bridge, where he feels he has unfinished business after failing to impress and being shipped out on loan to West Brom and Everton before signing permanently. Now a proven Premier League striker, Antonio Conte wants him to return to lead the Chelsea line alongside Diego Costa in a physical and threatening pairing up front.
Regardless of Lukaku signing, 20-year-old Brazilian forward Kenedy is set to join Watford on a season long loan, claim Sky Sports. Having signed from Fluminese for £6.7 million last summer and making 20 appearances, he appears not to be in Conte’s first team thinking for the 2016/17 season as the Blues kick off their campaign tonight.
The Brazilian had figured in Chelsea’s pre-season and now looks set to gain Premier League experience after breaking into the first team last season under Guus Hiddink. At just 20 years of age it doesn’t seem that his time at the club is over just yet and a good season at Watford competing with Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo could put him in good stead for competition alongside the likes of Diego Costa and Michy Batshuayi next season. Watford will provide a good challenge and stable platform for Kenedy, and he’ll be desperate to prove his worth to Antonio Conte.
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