Antonio Conte must be thinking that somebody at his former club Juventus has got it in for him. After watching Leonardo Bonucci join Milan for less money than Chelsea offered, and having had seemingly no joy in luring Alex Sandro from Turin, the news that the Old Lady have turned down a whopping £88m offer for Gonzalo Higuaín can’t have gone down too well. There’s no two ways about it: with less than three weeks to go before the Community Shield, Chelsea are panicking. Diego Costa is still partying in Brazil wearing an Atlético Madrid shirt, and the club’s only recognised striker is Michy Batshuayi.
From London to Genoa, a city divided by two clubs. There’s Genoa themselves, a long-established, working-class club that hasn’t won a thing in decades. Rivals Sampdoria are a posher, more recent conception with a much nicer kit – and a few more recent trophies in the cabinet. Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere should fit right in at the latter. Sampdoria have bid £6m, plus £1.5m in add-ons, for the Arsenal midfielder who suffered a hairline fracture to his left fibula in April and has also been linked with a loan move to Crystal Palace.
Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp is doing bits. Birmingham City can hardly be surprised at Harry’s new idea: throw a shedload of wages at ageing, mercurial veterans. If it all goes tits up, don’t worry, Harry is (probably) off at the end of the season! Somebody else can clean up the mess. Robbie Keane, Ashley Cole and Stuart Downing have all been linked with moves to the second city, while Everton have been approached over a loan deal for Aaron Lennon. Staying in the west Midlands, West Brom want to sign Kieran Gibbs. Arsenal want £10m’ West Brom want to pay less. The stand-off continues.
Brendan Rodgers is considering a move for Steven Caulker. The Celtic manager could reportedly take the central defender on a free transfer from QPR, although the London club would insist upon a sell-on fee. Caulker, who has spoken about his mental health issues in recent months, played under Rodgers on loan at Swansea back in 2011-12 alongside Scott Sinclair, who has implored the defender to join him north of the border. Finally, Norwich have accepted a £12m bid from Newcastle for Jacob Murphy. The England Under-21 forward should fly to Ireland to join his new team-mates for their pre-season tour later this week.