In today’s transfer roundup, we look at the probable entries of an earlier Conte enforcer, Claudio Marchisio at Chelsea, and in Manchester City’s seasonal overhaul, Youri Tielemans. The massive Eden Hazard transfer gets another view in other Chelsea news and in more news from Manchester, Joe Hart’s future seems to be up in the air. Kevin Stewart is looking at a surprise move from Liverpool to Brighton.
The Hazard-ous question to ask
Eden Hazard has returned to the dazzling heights last seen under Jose Mourinho in May 2015, and a number of clubs are circling around again with the next transfer window around the corner. If he was not ready for a major move the last time, after a season of poor form, his comeback this season is pleasing, with 15 goals and five assists in 31 games. Real Madrid have made their interest clear and will give him the No.10 role of the playmaker who runs into space and scores from distance if players such as James and Isco leave. Madrid could use more goal scorers apart from the three attackers present in the 4-3-3 system Zidane tends to use. The pressure will be on him to deliver, having seen James being relegated to the bench for his inconsistency, and he will have improved his mental strength after last season, to move to a club the size of Madrid and deliver.
"Not only for Eden, but for every single player." Manager Antonio Conte said about Hazard's transfer saga
"In this situation, the club has the final decision. I can tell my opinion about this situation, but the club has the final word about this situation. I think this is right.
"I don't think that this idea [to sell Hazard] is in the mind of the club, because I think that we have to improve the team, reinforce the team.
"But you know that in football there is also the will of the player.
"I think also Eden is very happy to stay in Chelsea. I can tell this but I don't have a crystal ball for the future. I think anything is possible in football. But not only for Eden, but for every single player.
"Everything is possible, because you must understand there are different wills to compare, and to take the decision."
Claudio Marchisio to add experience to Chelsea’s midfield?
If Chelsea are set to lose Cesc Fabregas, Claudio Marchisio will add experience to a midfield lacking in an organiser and a deep-lying playmaker. Juventus are demanding £25 million, after rejecting Chelsea’s £17 million bid last summer for a player who has not been afforded many opportunities under Max Allegri this season, with 15 appearances in 34 matches. He has been loyal to Juventus so far, but would be able to move to Chelsea to work with his old coach Antonio Conte, who enabled his role in a title-winning team.
At Chelsea, his role will be to provide guidance to Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante, along with adding steel and long-range passes from the base of Chelsea’s midfield. With Chelsea’s entry into European competition guaranteed, competition and squad depth are necessary and Marchisio is a perfect it in the 3-4-3 system Conte uses. (The Independent)
Youri Tielemans as part of Guardiola’s overhaul
Pep Guardiola has seen Manchester City as a project which needs time and money. With the focus having been on winning trophies and buying the best players, the number of youth making the first team has dwindled. The youth academy has had plenty of investments, but the standard of the youth players has not been up to the mark.
Guardiola has invested in the likes of John Stones, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus to make youth a constant in a club that is looking at long-term stability instead of short-term buys to win trophies. As part of a squad overhaul next season, with most of the stagnant players or those past their prime set to leave, Youri Tielemans is being seen as an impactful midfield option – with 13 goals and 12 assists in 32 matches in the Pro League for RSC Anderlecht this season. If Guardiola gets the squad overhauled, expect Tielemans to walk through the door. (Sky Sports)
Where does the Hart of Manchester reside?
Joe Hart was on the receiving end of some horrible treatment from his parent club, Manchester City, past summer. Hart was replaced by Claudio Bravo and was forced to move to another club on loan. Torino have accepted him with open arms and he has 31 appearances in Serie A this season, but he will want to return to the city that he has made his own.
Manchester United are looking at a move for Joe Hart in the knowledge that Pep Guardiola does not need his services and that David de Gea is possibly moving to Real Madrid. Jose Mourinho gets a top English goalkeeper and gets to pull one over Pep Guardiola at the same time. With the experience that Joe Hart brings, coupled with the break from the Premier League he has had this season, expect him to return to England rejuvenated, focused and determined to prove a point to the English clubs that he is one of the very best. (Mirror)
Kevin Stewart to Brighton?
Newly promoted Brighton have made Liverpool's Kevin Stewart a priority on their transfer list after their promotion to the Premier League, for his box-to-box midfield ability. He has been valued at £10 million by Liverpool, who are not looking to sell him owing to his talent and the competition for places in midfield set to open up with Liverpool’s potential entry into European competition next season.
So far, he has been used as a substitute and his current injury lay-off has restricted the number of chances he has received to come on as a late substitute to see off matches. Brighton are preparing to offer him more game time, which he needs at 23 to build up his confidence, and if he feels that Liverpool cannot offer him as much as Brighton can, he will take the move to further his career trajectory. (The Telegraph)