Transfer rumors: Palace agrees on Benteke fee; Chelsea's record fee for Koulibaly
- The latest news on Chelsea's pursuit of Kalidou Koulibaly, Crystal Palace's pursuit of Christian Benteke and two shocking options for Mario Balotelli.
The summer transfer season is in full swing, with European powers loading up for the campaigns that have either already begun or are on the horizon with the summer's international competitions in the rear-view mirror.
Manchester United (Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Eric Bailly) and Manchester City (John Stones, Leroy Sane, Nolito, Ilkay Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus, Marlos Moreno) have already spent big, while their competitors both in England and abroad position themselves as well. Early results and injuries are also playing and will continue to play into team's decisions for the remainder of the month.
Despite some of the biggest names on the market already switching clubs and settling into their new surroundings, a number of others are still slated for moves as the countdown to the deadline continues.
Here is the latest buzz from the summer transfer window:
Thursday, August 18
Palace agrees on Benteke fee: Crystal Palace has reportedly agreed to pay £32 million to Liverpool for Christian Benteke, allowing the Reds to recover nearly all of the £32.5 million they spent to pry him from Aston Villa. They had said they wouldn't settle for anything less. The move is said to be £25 million, with an additional £7 million in add-ons.
Chelsea prepares massive bid for Koulibaly: Chelsea isn't messing around with its attempts to land Napoli center back Kalidou Koulibaly, preparing to spend £60 million on the 25-year-old defender. It would mark a club-record fee.
As for Chelsea's left back options...: Chelsea is reportedly weighing up a bid for Wolfsburg and Switzerland left back Ricardo Rodriguez and is also considering Germany international Jonas Hector for depth at a position of need.
New lows for Balotelli: Has it come to this for Mario Balotelli? The out-of-favor Liverpool and Italy forward is reportedly considering moves to Wolverhampton and Port Vale.
Tottenham confident Eriksen will re-sign: Amid reports that Christian Eriksen was demanding £150,000 a week, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino is confident that a new deal will be signed to keep the Danish midfielder for the foreseeable future.
Reina denies Barcelona chatter: Pepe Reina says he won't be returning to Barcelona, despite reports that he's a replacement option should Claudio Bravo be sold.
Wednesday, August 17
James to stay at Real Madrid: Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane says James Rodriguez will not be sold despite reports that the manager wants him out. President Florentino Perez wants to keep the player.
A new center back target for Arsenal: Atletico Madrid center back Jose Gimenez could be in Arsenal's sights, with the clubs reportedly in talks for the 21-year-old Uruguayan international. The £40 million price tag may be a stumbling block, though.
Bravo to Man City contingent on complex move: Barcelona has reportedly agreed to send goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to Manchester City for £17 million, but the move hinges on the completion of a four-player deal with Valencia. If Barcelona can secure goalkeeper Diego Alves and forward Paco Alcacer from Valencia (with Sergi Samper and Munir El-Haddadi going in the opposite direction), it would pave the way for Bravo to leave.
Cuadrado to return to Juventus: Despite receiving early plaudits, Colombian midfielder Juan Cuadrado doesn't figure into Antonio Conte's plans at Chelsea, and, according to Italian media, he'll return to Turin on loan for the season.
Manchester United to move for Fonte? Jose Mourinho might not be done in the transfer market just yet. Southampton and Portugal national team defender Jose Fonte could be in his crosshairs.
Mahrez ends sweepstakes, stays with Leicester: Riyad Mahrez may have told France Football that "two or three teams" would be able to pry him away from Leicester City, but the Foxes remained adamant that he'd be staying put, and they made good on that pledge by signing Mahrez to a new four-year deal.
Tuesday, August 16
Hart to leave Manchester City: Goalkeeper Joe Hart was benched again by Pep Guardiola for the Champions League playoff first leg, with Willy Caballero getting a second straight meaningful start, and Sky Sports reports that Hart will leave the Etihad this summer, going in search of a No. 1 job. Everton is reported to be a landing spot, with Sevilla also reportedly interested.
Liverpool rejects Benteke bid: Crystal Palace's £30 million bid for Christian Benteke has reportedly been rejected by Liverpool, which is said to be holding out for the full £32.5 million that it paid to sign Benteke from Aston Villa.
Roma, Napoli want Darmian: Manchester United and Italy fullback Matteo Darmian is wanted by a pair of teams in his native country, with Roma and Napoli reportedly vying for his services.
Fabregas wants to stay at Chelsea: Despite being benched for the Blues' season opener and having other high-profile suitors, Cesc Fabregas reportedly wants to stay and work it out under Antonio Conte at Chelsea.
Tello leaves for Fiorentina loan: Cristian Tello will return to Fiorentina on a season-long loan, and the Serie A will have the option to buy him from Barcelona when it expires.
Burnley spends record fee for Defour: Newly promoted Burnley has lured Belgian international midfielder Steven Defour from Anderlecht for a reported club record fee of £7.5 million.
West Ham lands Calleri on loan: Argentina Olympic forward Jonathan Calleri has arrived at West Ham for a season-long loan from Deportivo Maldonado in Uruguay.
Roma lands Peres on loan: Bruno Peres is on his way to Roma from Torino for the season, and Roma can buy the 26-year-old defender for €12.5 million at the end of the campaign.
Monday, August 15
Blind, Mata have won Mourinho's trust: Daley Blind and Juan Mata were thought to be on the way out of Manchester United, but after showing well in the season opener and winning over Jose Mourinho's favor, the duo may be staying put after all.
Is Arsenal actually in Mustafi running? Arsenal is painfully thin in central defense and the long-rumored signing of Shkodran Mustafi remains up in the air. Valencia reportedly says it's not in negotiations with any club for the Germany international. After leaking four goals to Liverpool on Sunday, Arsenal surely needs help in the back while it waits for Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny to recover from injuries.
Lacazette hat trick brightens spotlight: Alexandre Laczette did himself–and Lyon–plenty of favors after a hat trick in his season debut with Lyon. The Arsenal target told Canal+ that "if offers come in that I cannot refuse, I don’t want to refuse them.” Arsenal must improve its previous reported offers if it's to pry him from the Ligue 1 club.
Sunderland aims to bring back Yedlin: DeAndre Yedlin went unused in Tottehham's season opener against Everton, and ESPN FC reports that Sunderland wants to bring back the U.S. right back, who succeeded while on loan at the Stadium of Light last season.
Odegaard set for Rennes loan: Real Madrid's 17-year-old Norwegian prodigy Martin Odegaard is slated for a loan to France's Rennes. Liverpool and West Ham were reported to be interested in securing his services as well.
Palace has its Bolasie replacement lined up: After selling Yannick Bolasie to Everton, Crystal Palace is eyeing France international and Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko. Christian Benteke is another option for Palace, with Liverpool looking to offload the Belgian forward.