Football news - Paper Round: Cesc Fabregas close to Chelsea exit
Chelsea could lose Cesc Fabregas and Gary Cahill, and bring in Sandro Tonali, while Brendan Rodgers could be back to educate players in the Premier League.
Fabregas wanted by Atletico
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas looks to be close to the exit door at Stamford Bridge. While he has made four appearances under Maurizio Sarri, he has dropped behind Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic in the pecking order, and may now simply be back-up for Jorginho. The 31-year-old has a contract which ends in the summer, and he is attracting interest from Atletico Madrid and AC Milan.
Fabregas y Fernando Torres, Chelsea - Atlético de MadridGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: Atletico are a sensible club in the transfer market in that they keep their eye out for a bargain, such as the cut-price return for Fernando Torres from AC Milan/Chelsea. Fabregas would fill a role in their midfield and add creativity, and would be available for an affordable fee in January, or nothing at all if they are prepared to wait until the summer.
Cahill on West Ham list of targets
Chelsea might be losing another player in January, this time central defender Gary Cahill. Cahill has lost his place in central defence to David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger and has hinted at leaving the club in the next transfer window in pursuit of first-team football. West Ham are considering a move as they have managed to keep just a single clean sheet so far this season, and the 32-year-old is likely to be available.
Gary Cahill is growing frustrated at the lack of playing time at ChelseaGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: Given Cahill’s healthy wages at Chelsea, West Ham might be able to take the defender away from Stamford Bridge for a nominal sum as long as they pay his full wages. Cahill has experience at the top of the table and would be a useful addition for any Premier League side that needs to improve its organisation at the back.
Chelsea chase Brescia star Tonali
Chelsea face competition in order to bring a player into the club amid rumours of exits. Maurizio Sarri has had 18 year old Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali scouted, and is prepared to make a bid of £20 million for his services. It might not be easy, though, as Juventus, Roma, Inter and AC Milan are also all tracking his progress.
Maurizio SarriGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: As an 18-year-old, leaving Italy for England would be a significant culture shock, but Sarri is Italian, and in a cosmopolitan squad he may be able to make the adjustment to life in London fairly quickly. However, £20 million might be better spent on a player who is more likely to make an instant impact, with the race for the title already tight.
Newcastle make plans for Benitez replacement
The Premier League could soon be an altogether more educational and inspirational place if Newcastle decide to change manager. That’s no criticism of Rafael Benitez - who has failed to keep Newcastle out of relegation trouble - but the Mirror suggests that noted thinker Brendan Rodgers is being lined up as a replacement should the Spaniard be sacked.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is seen during the UEFA Europa League Group B match between Celtic and Rosenborg at Celtic Park on September 20, 2018 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: Rodgers has done well at Celtic but has had a fractious relationship with the board of late as they failed to strengthen the squad to his tastes. Why a move to Newcastle, who failed Benitez in the same way, appeals, is questionable until you consider how important a move back to the Premier League is for a manager’s career.