Since Todd Boehly strode into Chelsea he has wasted no time in letting everyone know there’s a new sheriff in town. After hustling Bruce Buck, Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech out of the door marked Do One he immediately set about sticking up two fingers at some of Chelsea’s rivals, hijacking Arsenal’s move for Raphinha and then elbowing his way into Manchester United’s negotiations for Frenkie de Jong. Heck, he even threw £50m big ones at those moneybags at the Etihad for Raheem Sterling and told them he’s coming back for Nathan Aké too. But we’ve seen nothing yet, because now Big Todd is angry.
Barcelona reached down the back of the settee and found the £60m needed to snaffle Raphinha. And Bayern have pulled rank over Matthijs de Ligt, agreeing personal terms with the Juventus centre-back who joined Chelsea’s longlist when someone reminded Boehly that Real Madrid and Barcelona were pilfering 80% of his defenders on free transfers.
Big Todd knows it’s all about the money though, and what better way to exact revenge on Bayern than to chuck a truck load of cash at Serge Gnabry, who is refusing to sign a new contract in Munich because he feels so hopelessly undervalued by their £300,000-a-week offer. Gnabry has apparently given Chelsea the green light to smash that contract offer and £45m will convince Bayern to send him on his way. He’s a former Arsenal player, too, and one the Gunners would like to re-sign, just to grind a little extra dirt into the faces of those Europa League nobodies up the road.
Chelsea have reached verbal agreement with Chicago Fire over a £10m plus add-ons deal for Gabriel Slonina. The 18-year-old keeper will stay at Chicago on loan. And the answer to Boehly’s defensive void is Kalidou Koulibaly if reports in Italy are to be believed. The Blues are “locked in talks” with the Senagal centre-back’s Mr 20% and have indicated they will meet Napoli’s £34m asking price for the 31-year-old known as “The Wall”. Now that’s Big Todd’s kind of defender.
Juventus will pursue a deal for Arsenal’s Gabriel Magalhães with their £70m windfall from De Ligt. Manchester United have held talks with Stuttgart over 6ft 7in striker Sasa Kalajdzic in a bid to replace Cristiano Ronaldo’s aerial threat. Hugo Ekitike has successfully fought off Newcastle’s advances and is close to joining PSG from Reims for around €40m. Barcelona have joined the race for Aston Villa’s Carney Chukwuemeka after his dazzling performances in England Under-19s’ European Championship triumph.
And Chelsea still hope to gazump Barça for Robert Lewandowski, despite the Catalans readying an improved offer of €50m plus bonuses for Bayern’s relentless goal-getter, who has professed his deep love for the good people of the Camp Nou on at least 41 separate occasions. Oh, please Todd, no. Not again!