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Chelsea identify two La Liga defenders as potential summer transfer targets

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Chelsea identify two La Liga defenders as potential summer transfer targets

Chelsea are looking to add defensive reinforcements this summer transfer, and Don Balon claims to know the names of two players on their wish list.

Since Thomas Tuchel took over at Stamford Bridge, the Blues have made significant progress. With all due respect to Frank Lampard, the German’s tactical dominance over his predecessor was obvious just a few weeks after he was appointed.

Tuchel’s biggest accomplishment since taking over has been tightening up Chelsea’s defense. Despite the 5-2 loss at Stamford Bridge to West Brom, they have been more decisive in defense since the management shift.

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However, Cesar Azpilicueta, a converted right-back, Thiago Silva, 36, and Antonio Rudiger, whose future at the club was in question not long ago, make up Chelsea’s starting back three at the moment.

Tuchel and Chelsea are unlikely to find a long-term solution, with Marina Granovskaia likely to accept that defensive reinforcements are needed in the upcoming summer transfer window.

Chelsea has reportedly named two possible targets, both of whom play their football in Spain. According to Don Balon, Jose Maria Gimenez of Atletico Madrid and Jules Kounde of Sevilla are the targets.

Chelsea will be familiar with both defenders’ defensive skills, as well as, even more importantly, their shortfalls, after going toe-to-toe with them in this year’s Champions League campaign.

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Roman Abramovich would almost certainly have to spend a lot of money to sign either Gimenez or Kounde, but given how much money they put into their attack last summer, it makes sense to balance it out with some defensive spending.

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Rangers

Rangers fear major exit for ‘key’ player wanted by clubs abroad

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Rangers fear major exit for 'key' player wanted by clubs abroad
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Scott Arfield has been a vital part of the Rangers team since joining in 2018, and his current form, especially after van Bronckhorst took charge, is nothing short of exemplary.

The 33-year old Scottish-Canadian’s display is on a high now, and he recently helped his side’s win against Livingston with his “unbelievable” (according to Richard Foster) 75th minute goal.

He is a must-keep, but according to transfermarkt, the reigning Scottish champions risk losing him and other senior team members, including Steven Davis and Allan McGregor, in the summer following contract expiry.

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The Mirror’s print edition reported that the Gers fear letting their No. 37 go in exchange for nothing, given that USA clubs have their sights set on the midfielder, and his contract is only months away from expiry.

Money included or not, Scott’s departure could be a big blow come next season since he now practically determines Rangers’ performance (the one time he didn’t play after Gerrard’s exit is the only time Rangers dropped points.)

Hopefully, Rangers will consider holding talks to fight for the former Huddersfield Town’s contract extension, and he (Scott) is willing to stay in Scotland and at Ibrox, otherwise the double loss in terms of money and talent could hugely affect the Gers next season.

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Liverpool FC

Liverpool win race for £50m Porto star

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Liverpool win race for £50m Porto star
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Liverpool are preparing a late £45 million bid for Porto striker Luis Diaz, who is also being pursued by Tottenham.

The Colombian winger was Jurgen Klopp’s first option for the summer transfer window, but due to Spurs’ significant interest, Liverpool have hastened their preparations.

Liverpool is thought to be proposing an initial £37 million, plus bonuses, which will only be activated if Diaz is a major success at Anfield.

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Tottenham has been in discussions with Porto over Diaz, reportedly willing to spend up to £46 million for the player.

Spurs are reportedly willing to pay £37.6 million upfront for Diaz, with an extra £8.4 million in performance-related add-ons, according to reports in Portugal.

Spurs have already appeared to miss out on Wolves attacker Adama Traore, who appears poised to return to Barca on loan, and missing out on Luiz would be another major blow this month.

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It is unclear whether Diaz will move to Anfield this month or wait till the end of the season. In 18 outings for his current club this season, he has managed to score 14 goals.

Sky Sports reporter Vinny O’Connor:

“Obviously, it’s far from done and could easily come to nothing.

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“However, Liverpool view this as an excellent deal if it gets completed – very much close to a Diogo Jota-type fee. Also, it is far better value than the original €60m asking price.

“Diaz was Jurgen Klopp’s first choice for the summer, but they have brought those plans forward because it was clear if Liverpool didn’t act this window, the player would move on.

“This isn’t done and could yet collapse – the player is in Argentina with his national team, so it will be far from straightforward to complete the deal.

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“However, if it does get done, it’s a big coup for Julian Ward, who is to succeed sporting director Michael Edwards in the summer. It was a deal in which Ward lead for the first time, but it is fair to say he’s been supported strongly by Edwards who put together the strategy to secure the player this month.”

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Leeds United FC

Player wants Leeds exit to join club with money to spend – report

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Player wants Leeds exit to join club with money to spend - report
Image Credit: Sky Sports

According to BILD, Crysensio Summerville wants to join Hamburg SV, but Marcelo Bielsa prefers the winger to continue at Leeds United.

Hamburg have the funds to invest on new players this month, according to the German media, and Summerville, 20, has signaled to club officials that he would be interested in a loan move to the 2.Bundesliga team.

However, it is claimed that Bielsa is hesitant to loan Summerville out owing to Leeds’ injury problems.

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Leeds’ injury issue has hopefully reached its apex, thus we don’t see why Bielsa can’t allow Summerville’s loan request.

Summerville has made eight appearances for the first team this campaign, but has been left out of Bielsa’s last two Premier League matchday rosters.

Bielsa has a lot of wingers, so loaning Summerville out may be the ideal choice in the long run. The fans don’t want a situation where the Dutchman stays at Elland Road and then doesn’t play for the rest of the campaign.

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He will be dissatisfied, thus we believe Bielsa would be prudent to enable Summerville to sign for Hamburg on loan.

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