Chelsea’s 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.
On Wednesday night Chelsea had an offer rejected for Aubameyang of €15m (£13m) that included Marcos Alonso but they swiftly returned with a new bid – also including Alonso – and talks progressed to the point of discussing the add-ons structure. Aubameyang joined Barcelona from Arsenal in February 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, meanwhile, 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 digs at Leicester and the 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” 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 this summer 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-backa.
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 return to England.
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. A lack of available bodies meant Gilmour 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.
Any move to Brighton would have to be permanent because the Seagulls already have one Chelsea player, the defender Levi Colwill, on loan. That has not deterred the club from trying to complete a deal but Chelsea and Gilmour have other options, with several clubs keen on a loan. Olympiacos are among those to have registered their interest.
On Wednesday, Tuchel was fined £20,000 after suggesting referee Anthony Taylor should not be allowed to take charge of the club’s matches in the future after the recent, controversial draw with Tottenham.
Everton are close to signing two midfielders as Frank Lampard seeks to strengthen before the window sloses. Manchester United’s James 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 PSG midfielder Idrissa Gueye is also expected to return to Goodison on deadline day.
Southampton are closing on a deal to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles from Arsenal on loan with an option to buy, but could be beaten to PSV winger Cody Gakpo by Leeds, who have made a late move for the former Manchester United target.
The south-coast club have signed Gavin Bazunu and Romeo Lavia from Manchester City already this summer and are set to add the teenagers Sam Edozie and Juan Larios, with City retaining buy-back clauses. City are preparing to announce Manuel Akanji as their latest signing after agreeing to pay Borussia Dortmund €17m.