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SPORTS UPDATE

EPL: Tuchel lines up new targets after Ronaldo and Neymar decision made

Chelsea are ready to focus on new attacking targets with Leeds forward Raphinha closing in on a move to Barcelona.

The 26-year-old has finally seen the Spanish giants match the £55million offer that was made by Blues co-owner Todd Boehly. Barcelona needed to raise money outside of the transfer market and cover their historic financial losses.

In the meantime, Chelsea have secured the signing of Raheem Sterling for £47.5m from Manchester City. The 27-year-old completed his medical on Sunday and signed his contract which runs until 2027, with an option of a further year. After his signing is announced, he will then fly to join the team on their tour of the United States.

Chelsea will now look at alternative targets in attack.

The Blues have been offered Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo by his agent Jorge Mendes but Thomas Tuchel is said to be lukewarm on the prospect of signing an older superstar attacker. It is a similar reaction to having been offered Paris Saint-Germain’s attacker Neymar but that stance could yet change later in the window.

Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski has long been a target for Chelsea but he currently favours a move to Barcelona.

Tuchel will also need to make room for any new arrivals.

Football agency Roc Nation being asked to resolve Hakim Ziyech’s future amid ongoing discussions about a loan move to AC Milan. The Italian giants are hoping to get the Morocco international on the cheap, just as rivals Inter did with Romelu Lukaku, but the Blues have asked for an option or obligation to buy to be included in any deal.

Additionally, Chelsea look likely to sell their homegrown striker Armando Broja, with West Ham making him their leading striker target and Everton having already declared their interest in a £30m deal. Broja has further serious interest from Newcastle amid frustrations over a deal for Rennes striker Hugo Ekitike.

Chelsea are also open to selling Timo Werner, although Dortmund’s interest from February has subsided over the combined cost of the transfer fee and wages.

Elsewhere, defenders are the priority with talks ongoing to sign Manchester City’s Nathan Ake and Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt.

Alternative options are also being considered with Chelsea wanting to add at least two new players in the position after Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen left on free transfers to Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Bayern Munich’s Dayot Upamecano are just a few of the other players being considered by Chelsea should they fail to land the two Netherlands internationals this summer.

Further into the transfer window could see a new wing-back also arrive with captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso both keen on moving to Barcelona.
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Lens’s Jonathan Clauss has been sounded out by Chelsea, who are aware that he is available for just £10m. However, several other Champions League clubs are competing for the France international.

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