Football rumours from the media

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What the papers say

With deadline day and the start of the new season fast approaching Chelsea have reportedly been left scrambling to buy a new keeper. According to the Daily Telegraph wantaway goalie Thibaut Courtois has attempted to force his exit by going absent without leave. The Belgian failed to report for training on Monday amid speculation that he may be targeted by Real Madrid. New boss Maurizio Sarri is said to have hoped to talk to the 26-year-old, who had been on an extended break after the World Cup. Stoke’s Jack Butland is the number one target, The Sun says, while Sevilla’s Sergio Rico has also been tipped as a potential replacement.

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Speculation over a Premier League move for Nabil Fekir grew on Monday as he refused to rule out leaving Lyon before the end of the transfer window. The creative forward has been linked with a summer move across the Channel, with both Liverpool and Chelsea reported to be interested. The Sun says the 25-year-old has been left out of Lyon’s squad to face the Blues on Tuesday, fuelling speculation a bid could be on the cards. Liverpool reportedly pulled the plug on a deal the France international in June worth £49million with £4.8million in add-ons.

End-of-World Cup Package
Danny Welbeck has been told he will not see regular play next season, reports say (PA)

Social media round-up

Players to watch

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic: Manchester United are preparing a bid for the £138m-rated, 23-year-old Lazio midfielder, according to Calcio Mercato.

Peter Crouch: Burnley could make a £500,000 bid for Stoke’s former England striker, 37, The Sun reports.

Filip Benkovic: Leicester have reportedly held talks over a £13m move for the Dinamo Zagreb defender.

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