Transfer Rumor Roundup: Odegaard to Liverpool; Costa to Napoli, Inter
Diego Costa has been offered a move to Italian teams Napoli or Inter Milan, according to Corriere dello Sport.
Costa, 27, has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge throughout this summer and recent comments from new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte added further fuel to the fire.
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Add in the fact that Chelsea is said to be interested in bringing Romelu Lukaku back from Everton in a huge $84 million transfer, and Costa could be the odd man out. Michy Batshuayi has already joined Chelsea for $45 million from Marseille this summer and Conte has said he’s not sure whether or not Costa will still be around this season.
Napoli are certainly on the hunt for a striker after selling Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus for $98.6 million, while Inter Milan are continuing to receive interest in striker Mauro Icardi. Costa would be an intriguing signing for both as his power and ability to hold the ball up would suit the slower pace of Serie A compared to the PL.
After two seasons with Chelsea in the Premier League, it seems as though Costa’s antics have become a little too much even for the most ardent of Chelsea fans. He puts everything on the line on the pitch but often his playacting, off-the-ball incidents and lack of focus overshadow any good work that he does.
The report states that Costa’s agent, Jorge Mendes, realizes that his client may be spending plenty time on the bench if he stays at Chelsea this season which already saw him lose his place with the Spanish national team this summer. The Blues could cash in on Costa now and get back most of the $45 million they paid Atletico Madrid for him two years ago but if they don’t and he isn’t part of Conte’s plans, his value will drop steeply in the coming months.
Liverpool and West Ham United are both said to be keen on bringing in Real Madrid’s teenage star Martin Odegaard.
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The report in Squawka says that Odegaard, 17, has been made available for loan by Real as Zinedine Zidane wants him to get regular minutes under his belt this season. The Norwegian star made his professional debut at the age of 15 for Stromsgodset in Norway’s top-flight, plus made his international debut for Norway at the same age, and Real signed him in 2015 for $11 million.
Since then Odegaard has spent most of his time with Real’s B team but on their preseason tour of the U.S. this summer he showed glimpses of his supreme playmaking talents. With reigning European champs Real Madrid unable to offer him regular minutes in their first team it is reported that they’ve offered him out on loan and both Liverpool (Odegaard trained with them before signing for Real) and West Ham have expressed interest in taking him on loan.
A host of Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A clubs are also said to be keeping on eye on the situation and there’s no doubting Odegaard is a star of the future. At West Ham he would likely get more minutes than at Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp already has Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in the attacking midfield positions.
Leicester City will make a bid of $23 million for Burnley’s center back Michael Keane, according to the Sunday People. Per the report, Keane has rejected a new contract offer from Burnley and is said to want to move to reigning Premier League champs Leicester.
Keane, 23, was pivotal in Burnley’s promotion campaign to the Premier League season and the former Manchester United man spent time on loan at Leicester during the 2012-13 season.
He joined Burnley permanently last January and the former reserve team player of the year at United has gone from strength-to-strength under Sean Dyche’s tutelage.
With both Wes Morgan and Robert Huth the wrong side of 30, there have been signs this summer that the two rocks int he Foxes defense have been struggling a little. Sure, it’s only preseason but Leicester have conceded four goals against both Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in high-profile friendlies.
Keane is able to play out from the back and he’d give Claudio Ranieri a solid option if either Morgan or Huth go down injured.