Eden Hazard is due to return to training with Chelsea today as speculation persists that the Belgian could be on his way to Real Madrid this summer.
The 27-year-old asked new Blues boss Maurizio Sarri for the extra time off following his World Cup exertions with Belgium, who he helped to a third-place finish at the finals in Russia.
Hazard has been linked with a move to Spain, with his contract at Stamford Bridge expiring in the summer of 2020.
Hazard’s team-mate, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, could also be targeted by Real Madrid and Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is waiting to hear from him on Monday.
Agent Christophe Henrotay has publicly pleaded with Chelsea to allow Courtois to leave for Madrid this summer, but Sarri said after Sunday’s Community Shield that he wants to speak to the player before deciding if he should remain in his plans.
English clubs only have until 5pm on Thursday to add to their squads, but could still lose players after that with the deadline in the big European leagues still set at August 31.
Another player still being linked with a Chelsea exit is Brazil winger Willian. Sarri insisted last week that there was “no problem” between Willian and the club, but he remains on the wanted list of Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, according to reports.
One player poised to leave Old Trafford is Italian full-back Matteo Darmian, who is reported to be in talks with Portuguese side Benfica.
Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola is reported to be lining up a move for the France midfielder away from Old Trafford, with Barcelona and Juventus among the destinations mentioned in dispatches.
Everton are reported to have pipped United in the pursuit of Barcelona centre-half Yerry Mina.
The Toffees are said to have reached a £28.5million, five-year deal for the Columbia international, who is set to be the second Barca player to switch from the Nou Camp to Goodison park this summer after Lucas Digne.
Bournemouth will be hoping to wrap up the signing of Colombian defensive midfielder Jefferson Lerma for a club-record fee.
The Cherries have agreed a fee understood to be £25million with Spanish club Levante for the 23-year-old.
All that remains is for confirmation that Lerma has agreed personal terms, passed a medical and obtained a work permit.
Leicester announced on Sunday evening that they have struck a deal to sign winger Rachid Ghezzal from Monaco on a four-year deal.
Ghezzal will link up with his new team-mates this week ahead of the Premier League season opener at Manchester United on Friday night.
The decision to bring the deadline forward so that no new signings can be added before the Premier League season begins, plus the World Cup, means the final days of the window could be frantic.
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