Everton and West Ham ready to battle for £30m striker as Chelsea dealt transfer blow

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All the latest Premier League transfer rumours as Chelsea miss out on Norwegian starlet and a host of Premier League club’s chase a Ligue 1 striker.

Chelsea seem to be struggling for goals this season – again – so any Blues fans may not want to hear what Fabrizio Romano had to say about a summer move they missed out on which could well have given them quite a bit more punch up front.

In his Caught Offside column, the Twitter transfer guru suggested that Chelsea had made an attempt to buy 18-year-old wonderkid Antonio Nusa from Club Brugge, and given that the wizardly little left winger, unimaginatively dubbed “The Norwegian Messi” by people who aren’t very good at coming up with nicknames, has already scored a few fabulous goals for club and country this season as well as picking up two assists at the weekend, it’s starting to look like Chelsea should have made a bit more effort to make it happen.

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To be fair, apparently it was the player who preferred to stay put in Belgium for another year, although you could well imagine that the kind of contract offers Todd Boehly likes to hand out means they could have changed his mind if they’d put their back into it. They are, apparently, one of “four or five” clubs who could make a move next summer, a number which will grow if he keeps playing the way he has been recently.

The 3AM Verdict: Perhaps we shouldn’t wish life as the latest player to be trapped inside Stamford Bridge’s wide forward holding cell on Nusa, but he’s already a heck of a player and one that seems likely to be among the best in the world in a few years’ time. They’d be well advised to work a little harder to get this one over the line when the chance comes around again. Reports elsewhere suggest that Nusa would have cost around £23m, which is probably a lot less than it will be in a few years.

City’s Divine inspiration

Speaking of Premier League big boys hoovering up young talent, Manchester City have apparently agreed a long-term deal to bring England Under-17 international Divine Mukasa to the Etihad from West Ham United.

Fabrizio has the scoop on this one again, albeit this time in his natural social media environment – and apparently Mukasa’s signing will be finalised and announced within the next 48 hours. Romano’s report even comes accompanied by a dodgily photoshopped picture of the midfielder, who turned 16 just last month, in a City kit, an essential element of any transfer rumour in this day and age.

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The 3AM Verdict: Given that Mukasa hasn’t played a senior game and likely won’t for at least a year or two, we can’t really pass judgement on this one – but it will be somewhat frustrating for West Ham fans that their academy, which has always had an exceptional reputation, is now losing players to Premier League rivals. As if losing 3-1 to City at the weekend wasn’t bad enough.

Premier League clubs keep tabs on PSG striker

Following the breakdown of his proposed move to Crystal Palace at the end of the transfer window, Paris Saint-Germain outcast Hugo Ekitiké has decided to have one last go at forcing his way into the French club’s first team – a seemingly distant prospect given that he was essentially told he was unwanted by new manager Luis Enrique just a few weeks back.

Should he be unable to change the Spaniard’s mind, the former Reims striker will consider a move in January, with several Premier League clubs having him on their shopping lists. Presumably, if you want to buy a French forward from PSG, you go to Ekitiké Maxx. Thanks, I’m here all week. Try the fish. Anyway, 90min name Everton, West Ham, Brentford and Wolverhampton Wanderers as the teams keeping him in mind for the January sales.

The 3AM Verdict: Ekitiké’s one season at PSG yielded just three goals, a pretty poor return for a 21-year-old who generated some serious hype when he was at Reims the previous season. The rangy forward is a good finisher with a lot of good attributes, but is clearly rather out of sorts at the moment – and for any one of the many striker-needy teams in the English top flight, he could represent a pretty good get, if a slightly risky one.

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