Chelsea have been left stunned by the news that long-time target Jules Koundé wants to join Manchester United instead.
The Sevilla central defender almost moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer, but the top clubs could not agree a fee. Chelsea offer £43 million for the French international, whereas the Spanish club valued him at £80 million.
The West London club decided to wait in the hope that his price might drop, but that now looks to be an error of judgement, with the player indicating a desire to move to Old Trafford instead.
And that could leave them turning elsewhere as they seek defensive reinforcements. Antonio Rüdiger, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is insisting that he wants to leave on a free transfer.
Thiago Silva is also into the final year of his contract, but the Brazilin is now 37 years old, and his ability to play several games a week is now in doubt.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.