Football transfer rumours: Danny Drinkwater to replace Matic at Chelsea?

Nick Miller on 1 August 2017

The transfer window is obviously in full swing but it does feel as if we’re reaching a point where deals are starting to get done and with the season imminent maybe clubs are focusing more on their respective first games than who they can sign. Thus things are calming down a little and there aren’t as many strange and unexpected rumours doing the rounds in the pap … wait a second – Danny Drinkwater to Chelsea? Holy smoke! According to snouts at the Daily Mail, Drinkwater is on a list of players Antonio Conte likes the look of to provide some ballast following Nemanja Matic’s move to Manchester United. Other names on that list include Renato Sanches, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ross Barkley. Make of that what you will.

Speaking of Sanches, the word from Germany is that Liverpool are keeping tabs on the Bayern man should Philippe Coutinho do one to Barcelona – and they’re also mulling over joining the bunfight for Thomas Lemar. So it would seem the new fashion is to replace players you’ve lost with other players who aren’t really like them. It could catch on. Should Barça not get Coutinho, the new theory is that they’ll move for Mesut Özil, which should make for a funny edition of Arsenal FanTV, if nothing else.

The whole Naby Keïta thing looks dead in the water but apparently Internazionale are keen, too, which complicates things a little. Better news for Liverpool is that Virgil van Dijk has got a pow-wow with Southampton in the diary as he attempts to extricate himself from the hellish prison that is a nice Premier League club in a pleasant coastal city.

Full-backs are so hot right now and hotter than most is PSG’s Serge Aurier. Manchester United have long been credited with an interest but the sages’ theory this morning is that Tottenham Hotspur and Inter are barging in on that one, too. Speaking of Spurs, they might be involved in a good old transfer tussle, a tug-of-war, a stramash, with pals Arsenal over the Caen youngster Yann Karamoh. As well you know, he’s a 19-year-old striker who his club want £9m for but the buying clubs rather hope to knock that down to £7m.

Arsenal are always in the transfer news somewhere, even though they’re not really buying anyone. They’re selling, apparently: specifically Lucas Pérez to Newcastle United, for the curiously specific figure of £13.4m, and Fenerbahce are keen, too. Bidding war! Speaking of which, for some reason there seem to be plenty of clubs lining up for Carl Jenkinson – and you can probably guess which ones they are. That’s right: Cagliari, Sassuolo and Verona. Of course.

What else have we got? Oh, Watford are in for the Brazilian forward Richarlison, whose name does sound a little like someone asked to make up a name on the spot and changing their mind halfway through. They’re also sniffing around Thomas Vermaelen, still technically a Barcelona player, too. And with that, have a good day.

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