Chelsea line up shock £40m striker swoop as Aston Villa close in on £25m star midfielder

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The latest Premier League transfer rumours, including updates from Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Spurs and Aston Villa.

Welcome to your Friday digest of all the biggest and boldest transfer rumours currently doing the media rounds – and we kick things off, as we very often do, at Stamford Bridge, where the transfer-hungry club have identified yet another target to fill the void up front.

According to The Daily Mail, Chelsea have added Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin to their shortlist of strikers alongside the likes of Benjamin Šeško. The former England international has had several injury-ravaged seasons in recent years, but managed to score seven goals last season despite a long dry spell to start the season off – but apparently Chelsea are now “assessing whether he is worth a gamble.”

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One of the upsides is that he would be considerably cheaper than Šeško, who according to the Mail has a release clause worth £59.5m (other outlets have claimed it’s £55m). Calvert-Lewin has just one year left on his deal at Goodison Park, and the Toffees may have a big decision about his future to make themselves if Chelsea don’t decide to make an offer. Last month, it was suggest he could be sold for around £40m.

The 3AM Verdict: It was lovely to see the Calvert-Lewin of old towards the end of the season, but betting on a player who’s had a horrible time with injuries to provide competition for Christopher Nkunku, who’s also just missed most of a year with injuries, sounds a little dubious to us. This really would be a gamble, and we suspect they’ll look elsewhere in the end – but if they do go this way, we’d be buying stocks in Nicolas Jackson.

Liverpool lead Spurs in battle for right-back

News now from Caught Offside, who claim that Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are among the teams battling for the signature of Feyenoord right-back Lutsharel Geertruida – but apparently it’s the Reds who have their noses in front, not least because of new manager Arne Slot, whose direct connection with the player will help them to sign him.

To complicate matters further for Spurs, they apparently won’t make a bid for the 23-year-old, who can also play at centre-half or in midfield, until they’ve successfully offloaded Emerson Royal. Either way, the asking price has been set at €20-25m (£17-21m), which probably isn’t enough to put either Premier League side off.

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The 3AM Verdict: A few other teams have been linked with a move for Geertruida, whose versatility, technical skill and creativity make him a very dangerous player – he scored eight goals and set three more up for Feyenoord last season despite being a nominally ‘defensive’ player. Football history is, of course, littered with players who starred in the Eredivisie but couldn’t do it at a higher level, but at no more than £21m he seems like a fine addition for either side. The competition with Trent Alexander-Arnold would be interesting if he went to Anfield.

Villa get ‘serious’ over former Arsenal man

Finally, word from Villa Park – TeamTalk reckon that Unai Emery and his club are “getting serious” about their interest in Lazio midfielder Mattéo Guendouzi, who you may remember for flashing briefly for Arsenal a few years ago before moving on. They aren’t alone in the chase, however, with Everton and Newcastle United also keen.

It seems that Everton made a bid already, but it came in about €10m short of Lazio’s €30m (£25.5m) asking price – and now, apparently, it’s Aston Villa in pole position to secure his signature. Complicating matters, however, is the fact that while Guendouzi was keen to leave Rome after falling out with manager Igor Tudor, there’s a chance he changes his mind now given that Tudor has just been sacked.

The 3AM Verdict: Guendouzi has developed into a player who’s excellent technically and decent at just about every part of the game, but he hasn’t yet developed into the first-rate box-to-box player he promised to be. But Villa definitely need some reinforcements in midfield so it’s no shock that they’re being linked with reasonably-priced options like Guendouzi.

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