Transfer Talk: West Ham’s Declan Rice nears Chelsea move
Dec 25, 2022
Nick JuddTransfer writer
With the opening of the January transfer window coming closer, there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: West Ham’s Rice closer to Chelsea move
Chelsea could finally land West Ham United star Declan Rice next summer after a three-year pursuit, according to the Athletic.
The report suggests that the Blues are as close as ever to capturing one of their prime targets because the midfielder has rejected three contract offers from the Hammers and wants Champions League football.
It’s unlikely West Ham will allow the England international to be transferred in January when the window opens, but they could be persuaded to let him leave at the end of the season as a result of the 23-year-old then only having 12 months left to run on his contract.
Chelsea are just one of a number of clubs keen to add the midfielder’s leadership qualities to their squad, and they face stiff opposition from both Manchester United and Manchester City.
– Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal and Newcastle United are among those monitoring Real Valladolid right-back Ivan Fresneda, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano. The Bianconeri in particular are in the market for a new full-back, and the 18-year-old star tops their list after a breakout season in LaLiga. Fresneda has only missed eight games all season, and his form has alerted a number of clubs across Europe.
– Atletico Madrid are in advanced talks to sign Caglar Soyuncu from Leicester City in January, according to Fabrizio Romano. While a deal isn’t finalised yet, the 26-year-old Turkey international is keen to confirm his move as soon as possible. Soyuncu is available on a free transfer at the end of the season, but Atletico are hopeful of moving ahead of other clubs also monitoring the defender’s progress by swooping in January. Aston Villa and AS Roma are also keen.
– Eighteen-year-old Brazilian star Matheus Franca is interesting Newcastle United, Benfica and FC Porto, according to Ekrem Konur. Midfielder Franca has enjoyed a breakout season at Flamengo and is being watched by a number of European clubs as a result, with the Magpies apparently leading the race for the emerging star. He has scored six goals so far in 25 games.
– Internazionale and Juventus are looking to offer France star Marcus Thuram a three-year deal, according to Ekrem Konur. Thuram’s existing deal at Borussia Monchengladbach ends in June, and the 25-year-old striker’s performances at the World Cup have seen him emerge as a top target for a host of European clubs. Moenchengladbach have tried to persuade him to stay beyond the summer of 2023, but in the absence of an agreement they would rather receive a fee for him when the transfer window opens, which could be worth €12m.
– Along with their pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo, Al Nassr are now targeting an audacious swoop for Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante at the end of the season. That’s according to Foot Mercato who believe the Saudi Arabian club are looking to attract some of the world’s biggest stars in 2023. Al Nassr have prioritised the signature of Ronaldo following his release from Manchester United, and they’re now hoping to beat Barcelona to the capture of 31-year-old Kante. Kante is free to talk to other clubs in January.