Transfer gossip: Kovacic to Chelsea; Dembele to Arsenal
Mateo Kovacic appears to be some kind of makeweight in a potential deal between Real Madrid and Chelsea for Thibaut Courtois.
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Following the news that Courtois, 26, didn’t return to preseason training as expected on Monday, it is being reported by Marca that Croatian midfielder Kovacic will head to Stamford Bridge on loan for the season. Per the report, Kovacic wants more playing time and with the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Isco ahead of him, that isn’t likely at Real. The Croatian international is said to have trained on his own on Tuesday as he tried to force through the move.
Kovacic will compete with Cesc Fabregas, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tiemoue Bakayoko for a spot in Chelsea’s central attacking midfield areas, while he can also play out wide. If he does arrive, it could spell bad news for Fabregas as Maurizio Sarri has already brought in Jorginho and has N’Golo Kante to return to central midfield.
Adding a player of Kovacic’s quality, plus the fact that he’s 24 years old, is all well and good, but what will Chelsea do about signing a goalkeeper? They have Willy Caballero and Rob Green available and it looks like Caballero will be their No. 1 unless they can make a big move in the goalkeeping department in the final 48 hours of the window.
Ousmane Dembele is being lined up by Arsenal, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The French winger, 21, has yet to settle at Barcelona following his huge $120 million move from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2017.
He played a bit-part during France’s World Cup success over the summer and although Dembele’s quality is undoubted, would the tricky winger be an upgrade on Arsenal’s current wide attacking options?
New Gunners boss Unai Emery has Alex Iwobi, Henrikh Mhitaryan, Reiss Nelson and Mesut Ozil who can play in those positions, plus Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey at a push.
A nugget which could suggest something is possible with this deal: last week Dembele was seen hanging out with Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette via social media posts. Just a coincidence?
Maybe a loan deal with an option to buy would work best for everyone, but the best option would probably be signing another Dembele. Mousa, from Tottenham, as a destructive, silky central midfielder. That would make too much sense though...