Chelsea summer spending could reach close to £350m as they pursue deadline-day deals for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Josko Gvardiol. The figure in the first window under the new owners went past £250m on Wednesday with the £75m signing of Wesley Fofana from Leicester.
Chelsea have made an offer for Aubameyang which would include Marcos Alonso moving to the Camp Nou. Aubameyang joined Barcelona only in February from Arsenal but is ready to return to the Premier League and the 33-year-old has agreed terms with Chelsea.
Chelsea asked on Wednesday for medical details relating to Aubameyang but this is not considered a deal-breaker. The forward sustained a jaw injury in a violent robbery at his home last Sunday and is expected to be out for three to four weeks.
“Violent cowards broke into our home and threatened my family and my children, just to steal some stuff,” Aubameyang tweeted. “They injured my jaw but I will recover in no time, and thank God no one else was physically harmed. The feeling that we are no longer safe in our own home is hard to understand and describe.”
Fofana has signed a seven-year contract and the 21-year-old is the third player to join Chelsea this summer for £50m or more, after Raheem Sterling and Marc Cucurella. Chelsea are ready to commit another £75m or so to secure Gvardiol from RB Leipzig on the understanding that he would finish this season with the German club and join in June.
Fofana aimed a dig at Leicester’s manager, Brendan Rodgers, in a farewell Instagram message. He thanked the fans for backing him “even in the moments you were led to believe I didn’t respect the club”, referred to “false and misleading comments”, including from the club, and wrote: “I thank Top [Srivaddhanaprabha, chairman] for his understanding, thanks to the managers, to the coach who has always appreciated me, even if he chose to expose me a lot lately… I got it coach.”
Leicester have opened talks with Atalanta for the winger Jérémie Boga as they rush to make signings with the money received for Fofana. Leicester’s only signing has been the backup goalkeeper Alex Smithies on a free but they have lined up Reims’ Wout Faes as a replacement for Fofana at centre-back and are pushing for Boga.
Boga came through Chelsea’s academy but made only one Premier League appearance before joining Sassuolo and then Atalanta. He had a season in the Championship with Birmingham on loan from Chelsea and is keen to join Leicester.
Brighton are trying to sign Billy Gilmour from Chelsea in a permanent deal but may be scuppered by the London club’s midfield injuries. Gilmour is not in Thomas Tuchel’s plans and has been expected to depart on loan or in a longer-term move. Brighton will wait to see whether Chelsea feel they can afford to lose another midfielder.
A lack of available bodies meant Gilmour, who spent last season at Norwich, was named in a matchday squad for the first time under Tuchel when Chelsea lost at Southampton on Tuesday. N’Golo Kanté is out for several weeks and Trevoh Chalobah, who can play at the back or in midfield, was also not fit. To compound Tuchel’s problems Ruben Loftus-Cheek was replaced at half-time by Mateo Kovacic, who himself is short of match fitness, after picking up a hamstring injury. Conor Gallagher was absent through suspension. Although Gilmour did not come off the bench, Chelsea are reluctant to sanction a move until they are confident he will not be required in the coming weeks.
Any move to Brighton would have to be permanent because the Seagulls have one Chelsea player, the defender Levi Colwill, on loan. That has not deterred the club from trying to complete a deal and revive the career of a player who burst on to the scene under Frank Lampard in 2019-20, also impressing at international level with Scotland.
Chelsea and Gilmour have other options, with several clubs keen on a loan. Olympiacos are among those to have registered their interest.
Everton are close to signing two midfielders: James Garner from Manchester United and Idrissa Gueye from Paris Saint-Germain. Garner has agreed terms on a five-year deal and had a medical after United accepted a £15m bid in a deal that includes a buy-back clause.
The 21-year-old has had loans at Watford and Nottingham Forest. Talks over a return to Everton for Gueye started weeks ago and contracts were finally ready to be exchanged on Wednesday.
Southampton are closing on a deal to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles from Arsenal on loan with an option to buy. Saints have reached an agreement with Manchester City to sign the teenagers Sam Edozie and Juan Larios, with City having buy-back clauses.
City are preparing to announce Manuel Akanji as their latest signing after agreeing to pay Borussia Dortmund €17m. The Switzerland centre-back is due for a medical.
Anwar El Ghazi is poised to join PSV on a permanent deal worth up to €4m to Aston Villa.