Tuchel’s Chelsea master plan: Replace Lukaku with Lewandowski


Chelsea need Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski to exchange Romelu Lukaku — ESPN’s Insider Pocket book has the most recent. PLUS: Why Barcelona missed out on signing Darwin Nunez to Liverpool.

Bounce to: Barcelona missed out on Darwin | FA surprised by Southgate backlash | Athletic goal Pochettino

Lukaku out, Lewandowski in?

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel wish to exchange Romelu Lukaku with Robert Lewandowski, however there are vital obstacles to finishing each offers, sources advised ESPN.

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Lukaku is eager on rejoining Inter Milan and endured a disappointing first season again at Stamford Bridge — with eight targets in 26 Premier League video games — after leaving the Serie A membership for €115 million final summer time.

Sources advised ESPN that talks befell between Lukaku and the membership in latest days, throughout which Chelsea signalled their willingness to permit the Belgian striker to depart the membership. Nonetheless, the Blues wish to recoup the overwhelming majority of the club-record price they paid only a 12 months earlier, whereas Inter are brief on money and would like a mortgage deal.

Chelsea had initially been asking for round €20m-€25m to mortgage Lukaku for only one season in an effort to offset any depreciation in his switch worth given he turns 30 subsequent 12 months. Nonetheless, they’re now keen to just accept a considerably decrease price and talks are persevering with — it’s as but undecided whether or not any settlement will embody an choice or obligation to make the transfer everlasting, or how his £300,000-a-week wages might be paid.

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Concurrently, Chelsea are looking for a striker of their very own to reshape their assault. Chelsea held an curiosity in Erling Haaland however had been unable to compete with Manchester Metropolis resulting from sanctions blocking transfers imposed by the U.Ok. authorities arising from former proprietor Roman Abramovich’s alleged ties with Russia president Vladimir Putin.

Tuchel has lengthy been an admirer of Lewandowski, who has confirmed his intention to depart Bayern Munich, and believes he would thrive within the Premier League regardless of turning 34 in August. The Poland worldwide has been closely linked with a €40m transfer to Barcelona with reviews in Spain this week suggesting he has verbally agreed a deal, however an absence of funds is holding issues up.


A number of rivals need to pounce on any uncertainty with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United among the many golf equipment linked with Lewandowski. Sources advised ESPN that Tuchel has inspired Chelsea to enter the operating if there’s any likelihood a deal will be accomplished.

However ought to Lewandowski signal for Barcelona, Chelsea will flip their consideration to different targets. It’s unclear at this stage which different they might pursue however the Blues have been made conscious of Gabriel Jesus’ availability at Metropolis — ESPN revealed on Could 19 that Arsenal had been quoted a price of £55m to signal the Brazil worldwide — and the Blues have requested to be stored knowledgeable of any developments as a variety of golf equipment have an interest. ESPN reported on Thursday that Arsenal had been closing in on the striker’s signature.

Chelsea would be capable of supply Champions League soccer to Jesus, however the 25-year-old has a superb relationship with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta from their time collectively at Metropolis. The Blues have additionally scouted RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku, who might value as a lot as €100m, amongst a number of others. — James Olley

Barca missed out on Darwin for cut price price

Liverpool’s new €100m signing Darwin Nunez virtually joined Barcelona for as little as €8m two years in the past, however the LaLiga aspect dropped out of the bidding when Benfica acquired concerned, sources advised ESPN.

Barca’s former sporting director Ramon Planes, who was integral within the signings of Pedri and Ronald Araujo, lined up a take care of Almeria in the summertime of 2020 to signal Nunez and go away him on mortgage on the Spanish second division aspect for a season.

– Liverpool’s new signing: The stats behind Darwin’s dominance

Coach Ronald Koeman had additionally given the inexperienced mild to the switch as Barca sought a long-term Luis Suarez substitute, however Benfica emerged with a proposal value €24m and the Catalans withdrew their curiosity.

Uruguay striker Suarez had himself suggested Barca to push via a deal for his compatriot. “I advised them: ‘Care for Darwin. Watch him, he is excellent,” he revealed beforehand. “They advised me he was at Almeria and nonetheless very younger, however as an alternative of paying €100m [now], on the time it will have been €20m and, for instance, he might have been the substitute for [me].”

Nunez joined one other of Suarez’s former sides this week, signing for Liverpool in a €75m deal that might attain €100m with add-ons, whereas Barca look to fill their want for a No. 9 by concentrating on Lewandowski. — Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens

Soccer Affiliation surprised by Southgate backlash

Senior figures on the Soccer Affiliation had been shocked by the extent of vitriol geared toward Gareth Southgate throughout Tuesday’s 4-0 UEFA Nations League defeat to Hungary however stay completely supportive of the England supervisor, sources advised ESPN.

A much-changed lineup at Molineux suffered England’s worst end result at residence since 1928, resulting in chants of “you do not know what you are doing” and “you are getting sacked within the morning” aimed on the 51-year-old.

Southgate led England to the 2018 World Cup semifinals and their first main ultimate in 55 years final summer time, lacking out on the Euro 2020 crown in a penalty shootout defeat to Italy.

Sources advised ESPN that the FA hierarchy had been surprised on the supporters’ response to Southgate, given he has beforehand loved nice recognition among the many fanbase and achieved a lot throughout his time in cost.

There is no such thing as a suggestion by any means that Southgate’s place is in danger forward of the finals in Qatar this November. He’s beneath contract till 2024 however the customary post-tournament evaluation will embody an evaluation of his future. It stays doable that Southgate might stroll away from the position. He mentioned solely final week he would “not outstay my welcome” as England supervisor and, having occupied the submit since 2016, sources advised ESPN that there are some staff on the FA who imagine he might name time on his tenure relying on the result in Qatar.

Event efficiency would be the deciding issue however Southgate locations nice significance within the public notion of his suitability for the job. Tuesday evening was subsequently removed from a knockout blow however one which may have left its mark. — James Olley

Athletic Membership goal Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino is the highest goal to take over at Athletic Membership if Ricardo Barkala is elected because the membership’s new president later this month, sources advised ESPN.

Barkala has already satisfied former Barcelona sporting director Ramon Planes to affix his mission, which he hopes would persuade Pochettino to just accept the job. Planes and Pochettino beforehand labored collectively at Espanyol and Tottenham and stay shut.

Sources advised ESPN earlier this week that Pochettino will go away his position as Paris Saint-Germain coach after simply 18 months within the job, which removes one hurdle for Barkala.

Athletic’s members will vote in a brand new president on June 24, with Barkala one in every of three candidates operating within the election. Jon Uriarte is the favorite. The third candidate is Inaki Arechabaleta, who reviews counsel will look to usher in Marcelo Bielsa as coach if he’s elected.

Former Athletic coach Marcelino left the membership on the finish of the season after main them to eighth place in LaLiga, lacking out on Europe on the ultimate day of the marketing campaign. He cited the uncertainty relating to his future because of the upcoming election as the explanation for his departure. — Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.

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