Pete O'Rourke column: Tottenham want Chalobah, Fulham target £40m+ striker, Man United and Chelsea in Mbappe race
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There is not likely to be another mass overhaul at Stamford Bridge but I’m told they do have a couple of January targets.
The Blues are keen to sign a new goalkeeper despite bringing Robert Sanchez in from Brighton in the summer.
Goalkeeper is still an area of the Chelsea side that Mauricio Pochettino feels needs strengthening with a new undisputed first-choice option.
I’m told the club realise it will be hard to get such a deal over the line in January.
Aaron Ramsdale has been linked with a Blues switch, but sources say he is not likely to leave mid-season.
Meanwhile, I’m told a new striker is also on the agenda despite Nicolas Jackson’s hattrick against Spurs.
Chelsea are tight on available funds in Financial Fair Play terms so will have to be sensible in January.
They may have to sell to balance the books – with Trevoh Chalobah the most obvious exit.
Bayern Munich and Tottenham are interested in the 24-year-old, who will be looking at his options in January as he does not feature in Pochettino’s plans.
The Cottagers are ready to back Marco Silva with a big January kitty after he signed a new contract last month.
I’m told Fulham are expected to be one of the busiest sides in the mid-season window.
Striker is the key area, and sources say they could smash their transfer record to bring in the right man in January.
My understanding is that the London club are ready to spend £40million-plus on a forward if the right option becomes available.
They are yet to adequately replace Aleksandar Mitrović and are among the lowest goalscorers in the Premier League this season.
Meanwhile, I’m told they would also like a centre-back as they prepare for Tosin Adarabioyo to leave the club.
Fulham are scouring the market for potential targets, while central midfield could come onto the agenda if there is interest in Joao Palhinha.
Palhinha signed a new contract after coming close to leaving in the summer – meaning any January deal would command a massive fee which would only boost their war chest even further.
Reports have suggested Real Madrid have pulled out of a deal for Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe.
I have my doubts about whether that is accurate – but Premier League sides will nonetheless be monitoring his situation in the French capital.
Man United, Man City and Chelsea are likely to be the only sides able to afford him if he is to leave PSG at the end of his contract next year.
He will command huge wages and an astronomical financial package if he moves on a free transfer.
Liverpool are long-term admirers of the World Cup winner and are likely to be in the mix – but I’m told it is doubtful he could afford a deal.
Meanwhile, captain Bruno Fernandes has been linked with Saudi Pro League sides in recent days.
The 29-year-old will have two years left on his contract at the end of this season.
I’m told Man United will not consider offers in January or in the summer window as he is a key man for Erik ten Hag.
The club are desperate not to send out the wrong signals by selling the midfielder, while Fernandes is happy at United and is just entering his peak.
He is not yet thinking about moving to the Middle East, while both Man United and Ratcliffe are keen to build their side around him.
Spurs, Liverpool and European sides are ready to do battle for Bournemouth star Lloyd Kelly in January.
The defender is in huge demand and is in a good position to land a lucrative deal with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.
However, Bournemouth want to keep him at the club as they know he could be key to their chances of remaining in the Premier League.
The Cherries turned down a late £20million bid from Tottenham for the 25-year-old in the summer window.
I’m told he will cost between £25-30million in January with that fee likely too good to turn down for Bournemouth.
The south coast club will have a lot to weigh up if offers for his services arrive and they are now exploring potential replacements.
The Gunners are long-term admirers of Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz and Real Sociedad ace Martin Zubimendi.
The defensive midfield duo have been on Mikel Arteta’s list for 18 months and Arsenal actually had bids rejected for Luiz in 2022.
Villa are not likely to let the Brazil international go in January following his early-season form, while Sociedad want to keep Zubimendi as they are going well in La Liga and the Champions League.
Thomas Partey could be sold to raise funds for a potential move but he is currently out injured, which may now throw a January exit into doubt.
Arsenal don’t have a huge budget ahead of the winter window and I’m told it is likely they will have to wait until next summer to add a new defensive midfielder.