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Chelsea prepare for January shake-up
Five league wins in a row, no goals conceded, plenty scored — but Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is focused on adding more big names in January, according to the Telegraph.
The Italian — whose side brushed Everton aside at Stamford Bridge on Saturday — still wants more depth in defence and midfield.
He will be backed to the hilt by club owner Roman Abramovich, with the Telegraph reporting that the Russian was “ecstatic” about the weekend’s performance.
Chelsea’s outstanding form “has only strengthened Conte’s desire to do everything possible to strengthen in January to help a potential title push,” the report says.
He remains keen on Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci — despite the Italian champions being unwilling to sell — but is keeping Roma’s Antonio Rudiger and Michael Keane of Burnley in mind as alternatives.
Midfield duo Radja Nainggolan, of Roma, and Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozovic were targets in the summer and will be again, the Telegraph adds, with John Obi Mikel and Cesc Fabregas likely to be on their way out.
The Mirror reports that Fabregas could be on his way to West Ham on loan, with reported uncertainty surrounding the future of Hammers playmaker Dimitri Payet.
It says West Ham “are ready to make an audacious move to land Fabregas,” with Chelsea prepared to subsidise his £160,000-a-week wages.
– Nick Sutton (@suttonnick) November 7, 2016
Premier League clubs eye Silva service
Porto striker Andre Silva is in demand according to the Sun, which reports that a gaggle of Premier League scouts watched the 21-year-old against Benfica at the weekend.
Representatives from Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City were all in attendance, while he has also been watched by Arsenal and Juventus.
Silva became the youngest man to score a hat trick for Portugal when he notched three goals against Faroe Islands.
But he won’t come cheap — he signed a new deal in the summer, reported to include a buyout clause of more than £50 million.
Silva could have been snapped up for almost £30m less than that before putting pen to paper — but nobody took the chance.
PSG to test Everton’s Lukaku resolve
Everton striker Romelu Lukaku was noncommittal when asked about speculation linking him with Paris Saint-Germain, and now the French champions are set to test Everton’s determination to keep him.
The Toffees resisted Chelsea’s interest in their former striker in what soon developed into a summer transfer saga.
They may soon have to dig their heels in all over again, with the Mirror reporting that PSG “are big fans of the Belgium international, who has hit seven Premier League goals this season.”
But with both manager Ronald Koeman and majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri adamant that the 23-year-old — valued by the Toffees at a cool £75 million in the last window — will be staying, PSG are going to have their work cut out.
– West Bromwich Albion tried more than once to sign winger Jeffrey Schlupp from champions Leicester City in the summer, and although they have been linked with him again manager Tony Pulis believes succeeding with a January bid will be tough.
The Baggies tabled a £12 million offer for Ghana international Schlupp — who was thought to favour a move that would give him a chance of more regular first-team action — but Pulis thinks it unlikely the Foxes will allow him to go anywhere this season, the Express and Star reports.
– Morton forward Jai Quitongo has attracted lots of attention of late, with West Ham, Hull City and Crystal Palace all reported to have been scouting him.
Now we can add another club to that list, with the Mail reporting that Aston Villa watched the 19-year-old in action against Falkirk at the weekend and will again be running the rule over him when Scotland’s under-21s take on Slovenia on Wednesday.