Manchester City line up £100 million bid for Chelsea star Eden Hazard

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Premier League champions Manchester City are planning to make a £100 million bid for Chelsea star Eden Hazard this summer.

Hazard, who was named in the provision Belgium squad for the World Cup today, has refused to commit his long-term future to Chelsea after the club finished outside of the Champions League places last season. He has said he wants to see who the club sign in the summer before committing his future – or otherwise.

With comments like this, it has raised hopes at Manchester City that he could be tempted to make the move north, especially with an offer of £300,000 per week. The Daily Star says that City boss Pep Guardiola has made Hazard his number one target for the summer.

Other clubs are interested with Real Madrid and – inevitably – Paris St-Germain linked to the 27-year-old. Madrid are looking to rebuild their squad this summer after finishing some distance behind Barcelona in La Liga, and Zinedine Zidane is said to rate Hazard highly.

But with money no object to any of those clubs, it could be that the speculated £100 million ends up being higher. With that in mind, Chelsea could be tempted to cash in on Hazard, rather than risk him running down his contract and leaving for nothing in two years’ time – and the money could be used to help Chelsea add new faces to their squad as they look to regain a top four place in the Champions League.

If Guardiola were to pull off the deal, it would see City strengthen their side – bad news for their rivals after the current side scored an unprecedented 100 points on their march to the Premier League title.

Atletico Madrid plan shock move for Leicester City star Jamie Vardy

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Europa League winners Atletico Madrid are plotting to bid for Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy this summer as they seek to replace Barcelona-bound Antoine Griezmann.

Vardy, 31, who was named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup last week, has apparently impressed Atletico boss Diego Simeone in recent seasons.

Simeone thinks Vardy can complement Diego Costa up front for the side, according to the Sunday Mirror.

Griezmann is expected to complete an £85 million move to Barcelona soon, so reinforcements are needed. Vardy had another impressive season at Leicester, and his performances in the 2016/17 Champions League campaign have also not been forgotten by Atletico’s management.

Given his age, Vardy would not break the bank, although Leicester will be loathe to lose one of their stars – especially as more bids are expected for Riyad Mahrez this summer.

The Sunday Mirror speculate that a bid of £16-20 million could be enough to tempt Leicester’s bosses to part with him.

But whether Vardy would move is another matter – he famously turned Arsenal down a couple of summers ago to stay at the King Power Stadium. But could the lure of the Champions League and Madrid prove too much?

All the factz you need on the FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Chelsea

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It is the FA Cup Final, with Manchester United taking on Chelsea at Wembley. For one side, it will be glory and for the other, a season in which they will have won no silverware. The match kicks off 5.15pm and it is live on BBC1. Here are the factz you need to know:

* This is the third time the sides have met in the FA Cup final. In 1994, United demolished Chelsea 4-0. But I’m 2007, Chelsea won 1-0 after extra time.
* This is the 13th time Chelsea have made it to the FA Cup final. If they win, they will go equal third with Tottenham Hotspur in the all-time winners list with 8.
* Meanwhile United are making their 20th appearance in the final. If they win, they will equal Arsenal’s record of 13 wins.
* Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud has become something of an FA Cup specialist with 15 goals in his last 26 appearances in the competition. He’s also contributed 7 assists in that time.
* Meanwhile Romelu Lukaku has scored 12 goals in his last 12 appearances in the FA Cup.

Juventus and Borussia Dortmund eye Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata

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Italian champions Juventus and German side Borussia Dortmund are both plotting bids for Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata over the summer.

Juventus have an interest in re-signing a player who left them just 12 months ago, although it is thought they may prefer a loan deal initially with a view to a permanent deal later.

Meanwhile Dortmund would prefer to sign fellow Blues striker Michy Batshuayi – who scored 9 goals in 13 games in a loan spell earlier in the season before he got injured – but it is understood Chelsea’s hierarchy haves vetoed this. It is though they want the Belgian striker back at Stamford Bridge next season – possibly for a new manager to decide if he wants to keep him. However, the club are also interested in Morata.

Morata had an up-and-down season for Chelsea, initially prolific in front of goal, but then injuries and a loss of confidence saw the goals dry up in the second half of the campaign.

As Chelsea look to rebuild their squad in the summer to challenge for the title again – they were 30 points off the pace last season – Morata could be sold to free up funds. If a permanent deal was done, Chelsea would look to recoup the £60 million he cost to bring to the club last summer.

Juventus would be an obvious choice due to his history there, but if Dortmund are willing to do a permanent deal up front that could be enough to secure him.

But a lot will depend on who is Chelsea manager for next season. It is thought Antonio Conte could leave after the FA Cup final and it would remain to be seen if Morata would be in any new manager’s plans.

Manchester City and Liverpool consider bids for Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon

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Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who has confirmed he is leaving Italian champions Juventus at the end of the season after 17 years with the club, has emerged as a potential target for Premier League duo Liverpool and Manchester City.

It had been widely expected that Buffon, 40, would announce his retirement this summer, but after receiving what he described as “interesting” offers, he is considering shelving his plans to quit the game.

“Up until 15 days ago it was certain and well-known that I would stop playing,” he said. “Now I have received some proposals and exciting challenges both on the field and off it.”

Buffon added that he didn’t want to play in the lower leagues: “I’m too competitive. I’ll try to follow whatever calls to my soul and my nature. If I were to continue I’d want to challenge for big honours, because that’s what I live for.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is said to have sanctioned a move for Buffon, according to The Sun. The number 1 position has not been secured in the side, with neither current incumbent Loris Karius nor Simon Migniolet convincing in the role.

City have also been thought to throw their hat into the ring, but it is likely he would be an understudy to Ederson, who has had an excellent season for the Premier League champions. Whether Buffon would accept such a role is perhaps unlikely. But with Liverpool’s run to the Champions League final – a competition Buffon has never won – that could be enough to convince the veteran stopper to join the Anfield-based club.

Liverpool are also thought to be keen on Roma’s Brazilian stopper Alisson, but the club are holding out for £87 million for him. Buffon could provide a cheaper, if more short-term solution.

Buffon concluded that he would decide next week what he will do; we will watch this space.