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After Saturday’s shock defeat at the hands of Burnley, Chelsea are once again being linked with a move for Juventus star Alex Sandro. Meanwhile, Schalke 04 sporting director Christian Heidel has revealed talks are ongoing for another Baba Rahman loan.
Saturday’s 3-2 loss at home against the Clarets was always going to lead to a fresh round of transfer rumours, and according to the Daily Telegraph (via the Daily Star‘s Rhys Turrell), Sandro heads a list of several defensive reinforcements the Blues are looking at. Virgil van Dijk of Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose are also mentioned.
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No player has been linked to the defending Premier League champions as often as Sandro, and per the report, the Blues are willing to pay up to £60 million for his services. Juventus have so far maintained he’s not for sale, and this late in the transfer window, they’re not expected to change their tune.
Football writer David Amoyal noted there hasn’t been any chatter in Italy regarding this transfer for some time:
While a move for the Brazilian seemed plausible early in the summer, the Italian champions stood firm, getting their preparations for the new season underway with the former FC Porto man.
Speaking to Premium Sport (h/t James Benge of the Evening Standard), manager Massimiliano Allegri made the club’s stance clear: “Alex Sandro? He’s a Juventus player, he’s extraordinary and he won’t leave us. He’s improved so much since he came to Juve and he has the margins to improve again. Along with Marcelo, he’s [one of] the best in the world.”
The same report also stated the Bianconeri have already turned down a £61 million offer, contradicting these latest reports.
The bulk of Chelsea’s remaining transfer activity could well be departures, and Rahman is one player expected to leave. Per James Cambridge of the Daily Express, Heidel has revealed his club has been in talks with the Blues:
“We are in talks with the player, his agent and Chelsea.
“Ultimately, it is about when Baba will be able to play again. No decision has been made yet.
“I do not know what will happen tomorrow, the day after or next week.
“The fact is a transfer is possible until August 31, but our squad is very good in terms of quality and depth.“
Rahman joined the Gelsenkirchen-based outfit last season on loan, but he failed to make an appearance after January because of a serious knee injury. He impressed for Schalke before then, explaining why the club hopes he returns.
Chelsea’s defensive issues―painfully highlighted by the Clarets―could see manager Antonio Conte opt to keep the Ghana international at Stamford Bridge. But he’d be little more than a depth option, and consistent playing time would likely boost his transfer value.