Chelsea line up Frenkie de Jong and Gaga Slonina as Timo Werner offered to Real

Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Real Madrid have been offered striker Timo Werner by Chelsea. They would ask for 35 million euros for the forward, or start with a loan deal that could be converted for the same fee, with an additional loan payment. However there are doubts that Werner would take on the transfer if he was to be back-up to Karim Benzema.

Paper Round’s view: Despite Benzema’s age he is perhaps the very best striker in the world today, and unless Werner rediscovers his exceptional form he would be unlikely to play regularly as first-choice striker. However with Mariano Diaz likely to be the only other out-and-out forward at the club next season, he could still play more at Real than at Chelsea.

Gaga Slonina is set to join Chelsea from Chicago Fire, according to The Mail. The 18-year-old American is yet to earn a cap for the international side but has previously been called up to the squad, and will cost around $10m. The teenager is set to join Chelsea on a permanent deal in the coming days but he will go back on loan to the MLS side for the rest of the season.

Paper Round’s view: Slonina’s arrival at Chelsea would mean that there is less reason to keep hold of Kepa Arrizabalaga. The 24-year-old Spaniard is reportedly close to a loan move to Italy but if he were to leave then that would leave Thomas Tuchel light on options should Edouard Mendy become unavailable. A stopgap would be needed if Slonina was on his way.

Manchester City have given up on signing Brighton’s Marc Cucurella, with the south east club not willing to compromise on their £50m asking price. The Sun reports that Pep Guardiola could now move on to Borussia Dortmund’s full-back, Raphael Guerreiro. The 28-year-old Portuguese international has been tracked by City in the past but they have yet to make a move.

Paper Round’s view: Guerreiro has plenty of experience in the top flight and has also got lots of time playing in the Champions League. He would be as good a signing as anyone else but Guardiola has an exceptionally poor track record when it comes to buying defenders generally, and full-backs specifically. Cucurella looked like a reasonable buy but that seems to have fallen through.

The Mirror suggests that Chelsea could now make an offer for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong. A deal had been agreed with Manchester United but the Dutch international was not keen on a move. However Chelsea could offer Barca targets Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso as makeweights in a deal, with United looking at other targets in the coming days.

Paper Round’s view: De Jong was supposedly reluctant to give up around £15m in unpaid wages if he were to leave Barcelona, so perhaps Chelsea could help top that up to facilitate a move. Also, and perhaps more importantly, they can offer Champions League football this year, which was believed to be another sticking point in the move to Old Trafford this summer.


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