Exclusive: Chelsea transfer deal now guaranteed, England star likely to leave – Fabrizio Romano

Hello and welcome to today’s Daily Briefing – my exclusive transfer round-up for CaughtOffside – subscribe on Substack to get this to your inbox every Sunday-Thursday morning.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta on Lionel Messi future: “He’s always in our memories at Barca, he’s always present in our mind but I’m not going to comment about his future and contract situation. Messi’s under contract with PSG and I want to respect both player and club.”

Laporta on transfers and Financial Fair Play: “We signed players in the summer, in principle we don’t have to do anything in January. Currently we are 1:1 — but in the summer we will go back to 4:1 rule by La Liga.”

Frenkie de Jong when asked about Manchester United links: “I am at a World Cup tournament so I am not going to talk about club football”.

De Jong has never changed his stance: no intention to leave Barcelona, as things stand.

Brighton have opened talks over signing David Datro Fofana from Molde. Negotiations are ongoing, but the deal won’t be easy as many clubs are tracking the young Ivorian.

My understanding is that Molde want more than €10m to sell Fofana, who has 21 total goals this year. He’s a top talent, still only 19 years of age, and would be a smart signing by Brighton.

Official Cameroon statement regarding Andre Onana leaving their World Cup squad:

There was big news yesterday as I provided an update on Christopher Nkunku, whose move to Stamford Bridge is all agreed. Chelsea will pay more than €60m for the French forward, who has already had his medical with the Blues.

I don’t know yet when we’ll get an official announcement on this deal, that will depend on the clubs, but the deal is agreed between all parties: Chelsea, Leipzig and player with his agent Pini Zahavi. The agreement is there, it’s finally guaranteed now.

I think it’s good business, Nkunku is an excellent player and many clubs wanted him; Graham Potter approved this signing too but the position he plays will depend on future signings, it’s too early to say right now. He has the qualities to play a variety of roles in attack, so it’s a good option for Chelsea.

Thank you to subscribers who sent in questions yesterday and I’ve done my best to answer most of them on Declan RiceEdson Alvarez, and more.

I reported last summer that Declan Rice was not going to sign a new deal with West Ham and this is still the case; no agreement, so there are good chances for Declan to leave in the summer. I’m not sure about the price tag yet, as West Ham have not decided and they still feel strong on the price having an option to extend the contract for one more year.

Declan Rice of West Ham

Edson Alvarez is also one of the players Chelsea appreciate, but talks are not ongoing now. It’s been quiet since August but I’m sure that in 2023 many clubs will keep an eye on him in the Premier League. Chelsea tried to sign him in the summer but Ajax were clear they did not want to sell, and it could remain a difficult deal.

Overall, Chelsea can be surprising as they have Todd Boehly making decisions on transfers, but now also a new board with Joe Shields, Laurence Stewart, Paul Winstanley and soon Christopher Vivell to plan for new signings. So everything is open, they will be very active on future plans. I would not be surprised if they try again something like they’ve done with the early move for Nkunku.

In other Chelsea news, I’m told there are still negotiations ongoing between Chelsea and Mason Mount. Many of the rumours on salary offer and similar have been denied by sources close to both Chelsea and the player. It’s still an open negotiation and Todd Boehly really wants Mount to stay. Let’s see in the next weeks.

There are always rumours about Hakim Ziyech and AC Milan, it’s almost three years now – but there are no negotiations ongoing for Ziyech to Milan or to involve Ziyech in a deal for Rafael Leao. Hakim is appreciated by the Milan board but they didn’t want to proceed with a permanent transfer also last summer, Chelsea only wanted a permanent deal and so nothing happened.

Espanyol are now interested in signing Hellas Verona centre back Isak Hien. Talks will take place in the next days to negotiate for the Swedish player. Espanyol could offer around €5m to get negotiations started.

Confirmed: Inter Miami have completed the signing of academy graduate Benjamin Cremaschi as a Homegrown Player.

Official statement confirms the entire Juventus Board of Directors have resigned.

Andrea Agnelli and Pavel Nedved will no longer be part of the Juventus board, while CEO Maurizio Arrivabene will remain in charge until the new board will be announced.

There will be new board and new club structure to be decided in the next months.

30 Day Free Trial!! To celebrate the World Cup *and* the Holiday Season all happening at the same time. Upgrade before 1st December!

Following Casemiro’s winning goal for Brazil, Neymar tweeted: “Casemiro has been the best midfielder in the world for a long time.”

Frenkie de Jong when asked about Manchester United links: “I am at a World Cup tournament so I am not going to talk about club football.”

De Jong has never changed his stance: no intention to leave Barcelona, as things stand.

Paul Midgley to Newcastle is now done and confirmed. He joins from Manchester City as the club’s new Head of Youth Recruitment.

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al Khelaifi on Kylian Mbappe: “Kylian has extended the contract with PSG and we’re all happy with that.”

PSG advisor Luis Campos on Kylian Mbappe and Real Madrid: “He made his decision and right now he is doing very well at PSG, he’s happy in Paris. In Paris they must enjoy having one of the best, if not the best player at this moment. But in the future, I don’t know.”

Kylian Mbappe celebrates a goal for PSG

Official. Michael Beale has been appointed as the new Rangers head coach, deal completed as expected. It’s done and sealed. Beale’s contract will be valid until June 2026, the club confirms.

Luis Enrique: “Jordi Alba, top quality player. He’s the world’s best LB in final third. There’s a campaign against him and Busquets, trying to get them to retire.”

I reported last summer that Declan Rice was not going to sign a new deal with West Ham and this is still the case; no agreement, so there are good chances for Declan to leave in the summer. I’m not sure about the price tag yet, as West Ham have not decided and they still feel strong on the price having an option to extend the contract for one more year.

Max Kruse is now set to leave Wolfsburg. I’ve been told parties are about to agree on a contract termination to part ways. The player had a contract until June, but it will now be terminated and Kruse will be free to sign for any club as of January 1st.



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