Ryan Taylor is back with the latest from the summer transfer market
Hello again everyone! Not long to go now until the transfer window closes on September 1 and there will be plenty of late deals in the works for Premier League clubs, who will be keen to scramble some business over the line in the final few weeks of the transfer window. Once you’ve read this week’s column, be sure to head over to my YouTube channel where I uploaded a quick Transfer Q&A on Monday evening. There will be a link at the bottom of the article, should it be of interest…
Chelsea working on three deals
Chelsea are actively working on three potential signings – a central defender, striker and possibly a central midfielder, Express Sport understands.
Thomas Tuchel has already made it clear after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Everton that the acquisition of another midfielder would be a luxury, which appears to be a reference to Chelsea’s negotiations for Inter Milan’s Cesare Casadei, who is considered to be a player for the future.
Now the Blues are set to step up their efforts to sign Leicester centre-back Wesley Fofana after seeing their opening two offers rejected by the resilient Foxes.
Chelsea offered around £63m before returning to the table with an eye-watering £70m proposal that was once again rebuffed by the unflappable Leicester hierarchy.
Fofana is pushing for the move though and Chelsea are believed to be ready to pay £80m for the Frenchman in a final push to test Leicester’s resolve this week.
A striker is also firmly on the agenda with Timo Werner set to undergo his RB Leipzig medical on Tuesday ahead of his return to the Bundesliga club.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is among the names of interest to Chelsea but other targets could also come to the fore in the coming days as Tuchel eyes further attacking reinforcements.
Chelsea are set to try again for Wesley Fofana
Arsenal trio in exit talks
Antalyaspor are pushing to sign Arsenal goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson on loan – although negotiations are ongoing despite reports of an agreement.
The Icelandic international, who arrived on a four-year contract from Dijon in September 2020, spent last season on loan in Belgium with OH Leuven following a sobering start to life in north London.
Further talks are also expected to take place this week regarding the futures of Hector Bellerin and Pablo Mari.
Real Betis are keen to sign the right-back permanently and he wants the move but funds have proved a sticking point for the La Liga outfit.
Although the option has not yet been discussed, the prospect of Arsenal mutually terminating the Spaniard’s contract – which has one year left to run – cannot be ruled out.
Mari has attracted interest from a host of Italian clubs including Monza, who want to sign him on loan with a view to a permanent transfer.
Hellas Verona are also in the running for the former Flamengo centre-back and he is expected to depart Arsenal in the near future.
West Ham in Kehrer talks
West Ham have opened talks with Paris Saint-Germain over a deal for defender Thilo Kehrer.
The versatile German has also attracted interest from Sevilla, meaning the Hammers will have to be quick to finalise a transfer should they wish to land the 25-year-old.
PSG are open to offers for Kehrer, who could leave the French capital for close to £16m.
He is not the only defender on West Ham’s shortlist though with Fenerbahce star Attila Szalai also of interest to David Moyes, who has finally sanctioned Issa Diop’s £17m move to Fulham.
The Hungarian international impressed in both Nations League victories over England at the end of last season and he could be available for £10m-£15m.
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West Ham have opened talks to sign Thilo Kehrer from PSG
Brentford to clinch Damsgaard deal
Sampdoria winger Mikkel Damsgaard is set to become Brentford’s latest summer signing after arriving in London to undergo a medical.
The jet-heeled 22-year-old missed a large part of last season with health issues after previously lighting up Euro 2020 as Denmark reached the semi-finals.
Brentford have agreed a deal worth an initial £11.8m plus £5m in add-ons for the highly-rated attacker, who will add plenty of pace and productivity to Thomas Frank’s forward line.
Tottenham have previously made checks on Damsgaard but a new challenge in west London awaits the diminutive Dane.
Hwang Ui-jo wants Wolves move
Bordeaux striker Hwang Ui-jo is holding out for a move to the Premier League after Wolves made an opening offer for the forward.
The South Korean international, who plays alongside Wolves’ Hwang Hee-chan for his country, was recently the subject of a low bid from Bruno Lage’s side, who are in the market for attacking reinforcements after losing Raul Jimenez to injury on the eve of the 2022/23 campaign.
French side Stade Brest have also made an offer for the 29-year-old, who is set to move onto pastures new this summer following Bordeaux’s relegation and crippling financial struggles off the field.
It remains to be seen whether Wolves will return with an improved offer but a deal is there to be struck for a relatively low fee – should they wish to finalise a transfer.
Hwang has hit double figures in Ligue 1 in each of the past two seasons and also claimed he received a proposal from West Ham earlier in the window. However, it’s understood the Hammers are pursuing alternative forward targets.
Hwang Ui-jo is keen to join Wolves after their opening offer
Club Brugge in Berge talks
Club Brugge are pushing hard in talks to sign Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge, whose future remains up in the air as the September 1 transfer deadline draws closer.
The Norwegian international remains the beating heartbeat of Paul Heckingbottom’s side but there has been plenty of interest in his services from further afield, so far this summer.
Werder Bremen were keen to prise him away from Bramall Lane before they were priced out of a deal and now Club Brugge are making a real play for the 24-year-old having seen an opening offer rejected.
The Belgian side have plenty of cash to play with having recently sold star man Charles De Ketelaere to AC Milan for £27m.
Sheffield United are cautious that a player of his quality may have aspirations of European football and a sale cannot be ruled out in the final few weeks of the window.
WATCH: TRANSFER Q&A AS RYAN TAYLOR ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS