Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso to join Barcelona?


Toby Alderweireld has pledged his short-term future to Tottenham, which is to say he has two years left on his current deal with the club. But that is not enough, apparently, and a sense of urgency is being generated whereby we are given to understand that if the Belgian does not sign a new contract pronto, Spurs will have little choice but to flog him this summer. Chelsea, Manchester United and PSG would certainly like Spurs to believe those are the stakes, because they are all willing to offer the 29-year-old a luxurious new home way beyond anything his current employers could afford.

But Chelsea can be the prey, too. Barcelona are said to be lining up a swoop for Marcos Alonso, on the recommendation of Lionel Messi, no less. The Catalan club had been considering going for Bayern Munich’s David Alaba but Messi reckons Alonso is a better fit. If he goes, Chelsea could try to squeeze Luke Shaw into his spot. Anthony Martial is also said to be on his way to the Old Trafford exit, after his agent declined to declare that the Frenchman will definitely be a Manchester United player next season. If that seems like skimpy evidence, you’ve not been reading the Mill long enough.

Paulo Dybala looks set to leave Juventus for Madrid this summer but not necessarily to Real – because Atlético’s Diego Simeone has identified him as the ideal replacement for Antoine Griezmann, who could skip town for Barcelona. On the other hand, Barcelona or Real may go all out for Mo Salah. Liverpool are insisting they will not sell their phenomenal pharaoh this summer even for a world record fee – but they once said something similar about Philippe Coutinho.

Liverpool are hoping to do business with Real over Dani Ceballos. The bad news for them is that the midfielder is said to prefer a move to Italy, where both Juventus and Milan will happily take him in. Elsewhere, Arsenal are planning to make another attempt to lure RB Leipzig’s speedy Swedish forward Emil Forsberg.

Despite leading Nantes to a creditable sixth place in Ligue 1, Claudio Ranieri has reputedly become disenchanted with the limitations at the French club (record so far this season: Played 30, scored 30, conceded 30) and will leave in the summer. Lyon’s ears have pricked up at that news.

Rennes, the club from which Chelsea signed Petr Cech, have another talented Czech goalkeeper on their hands – and several Premier League clubs want to make Tomas Koubek theirs. And when we say “Premier League clubs”, we mean outfits who may not be Premier League clubs by the time the transfer window reopens, such as West Ham and Southampton.