Lukaku close to Chelsea return; Arsenal chase Maddison


Today’s Premier League transfer news includes Chelsea closing in on bringing back Romelu Lukaku, and Arsenal seeking a Martin Odegaard replacement…

[ MORE: Barcelona confirms Lionel Messi has left the club ]

Our partners at Sky Sports reported on Wednesday that Lukaku has asked Inter Milan to accept a suitable bid from Chelsea.

The latest update suggests that Chelsea and Inter have agreed a $135 million transfer fee for Lukaku, who led Inter to the Italian title last season.

Here’s a look at the situation a little closer, as Chelsea appear to have found their clinical finisher and it isn’t Erling Haaland or Harry Kane.

Latest transfer news

Messi reportedly agrees to join PSG following Barcelona exit Report: Aguero wants to leave Barcelona after Messi’s departure Kane releases statement ahead of return to Tottenham

Chelsea to sign Lukaku again

Chelsea have spent the last few days testing the waters surrounding Romelu Lukaku in an effort to bring the big Belgian striker back to Stamford Bridge seven years after he departed rather unceremoniously.

Now 28 years old and a well-established world-class striker, Lukaku looks like costing Chelsea $135 million (or more) after selling him to Everton for just $38 million in 2014.

[ MORE: PL outlines stricter penalty guidelines, looser laws on offside reviews ]

The reigning European champions would prefer to pay closer to $110 or $120 million for Lukaku, but Inter Milan are said to be holding out for closer $140 million.

Chelsea are likely negotiating from a position of power, as the reigning Italian champions reportedly need to sell one more high-profile player this summer to balance the club’s shaky finances and there are few (if any) other clubs able to pay anything close to nine-figures for a single player.

Inter have already lost manager Antonio Conte over their financial issues, while star right back Achraf Hakimi has also left for PSG. Losing Lukaku is a hammer blow for Inter Milan but it now feels like he is finally ready to lead the line for Chelsea and he will slot in perfectly to Thomas Tuchel’s system as the lone forward who holds up play and allows Havertz, Mount, Werner, Pulisic and Ziyech buzz around him.

Watch out, Chelsea have just about got the final piece of their jigsaw in place.

[ MORE: Arteta: Xhaka to stay at Arsenal; Partey injury “not looking good” ]

Arsenal want Maddison, but Leicester want $84 million

With Odegaard unlikely to return following the expiration of his six-month loan, Arsenal have shifted their focus to a creative, attacking central midfielder to bolster the Premier League’s 9th-best attack (55 goals) a season ago.

Maddison is perhaps the Gunner’s top target, but one key issue exists: Leicester City value him at over $80 million.

Having already spent $70 for center back Ben White and made a $20-million investment in 21-year-old midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, Arsenal are unlikely to have anywhere close to that much left to spent without first making a sale (or two).

More Premier League transfer news

Messi reportedly agrees to join PSG following Barcelona exit Report: Aguero wants to leave Barcelona after Messi’s departure Kane releases statement ahead of return to Tottenham

Man City inching toward complete $140-million Grealish transfer

Manchester City might not get both of Grealish and Harry Kane this summer, but the reigning Premier League champions appear set to land the former sooner rather than later. According to a report from Fabrizio Romano, there has been significant progress made on a $140-million deal for the 25-year-old playmaker.

Aston Villa have been one of only a few aggressive clubs thus far in the summer transfer window, further fueling speculation that Grealish would eventually leave the cub this summer. According to the report, the deal now hinges upon tidying up a few final details, after which Grealish should be a Manchester City player.

UPDATE: Manchester City confirmed on Thursday that Grealish has joined on a six-year contract. He will wear the no. 10 shirt recently vacated by club legend Sergio Aguero.

Transfer news: Lukaku close to Chelsea return; Arsenal chase Maddison originally appeared on NBCSports.com





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