Kounde set for Chelsea deal
Spanish newspaper Marca believe that Chelsea has secured a deal to sign Jules Kounde. While it is a surprise to some, the defender has attended Sevilla’s pre-season training but a deal worth around €65 million (£55m) is expected to be agreed for the player, with the only outstanding details to be resolved the structure of payments and potential add-ons.
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Paper Round’s view: The 23-year-old French international is highly rated and has shown over the last couple of years that he has the potential to be one of the best defenders in the world. Moving to Chelsea will place demands on him to improve almost immediately, but under Thomas Tuchel he has an excellent coach who can help him challenge for major honours immediately.
West Ham target trio
West Ham are reportedly keen on signing three players in the coming weeks. First up is the news that they have agreed a £35m fee for Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca, with only a few details to be ironed out for the 23-year-old forward. Also on the radar is a £12m bid for 29-year-old wideman Filip Kostic of Eintracht Frankfurt, and £20m-rated Luke Thomas at Leicester City.
Paper Round’s view: West Ham have also been credited with an interest in Armando Broja of Chelsea but if they have now landed Scamacca then it is likely that a move for the Albanian international is not likely anymore. David Moyes is working through the transfer market swiftly and while he has earned some backing, the sheer number of arrivals will be tough to integrate if he lands everyone he is linked with.
Villa to lose Chukwuemeka
The Sun reports that Aston Villa are ready to sell their 18-year-old prospect Carney Chukwuemeka, with the midfielder out of contract next summer. The club want to keep him but Barcelona and AC Milan are keen, and have no interest in meeting the £20m asking price, as he can be signed when out of contract for around £400,000, with many Premier League sides also interested.
Paper Round’s view: Having played just 13 times for Villa last season, it is unfortunate for Steven Gerrard’s side that they have not been able to make him an integral part of the first team already because that might have helped convince the teenager to stay. Moving abroad is no longer an intimidating prospect for young British players and a move to Barcelona must appeal with Xavi Hernandez as manager.
Hammers target Zielinski
Piotr Zielinski is another name mentioned for David Moyes at West Ham. The 28-year-old Polish international has impressed with Napoli and been linked with a move to another Premier League side Liverpool, and The Mirror reports that the club is ready to sell if their £40m valuation is met or exceeded, with West Ham looking to add quality to their squad.
Paper Round’s view: Zielinski is a talented player and would help West Ham remain within touching distance of the very best sides. If West Ham are able to keep hold of both Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen for another year then it is possible that Moyes’ squad can put pressure on the top four again.
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