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Rumour Reel: Conte chases Nainggolan while Hammers hunt Vermaelen

| 09.06.2016

Robbie Purves | June 9, 2016

Despite the summer window officially opening on July 1st, it seems clubs are already chasing down their transfer targets one by one as they look to complete some of their business before Euro 2016 kicks off.

Conte considers Nainggolan negotiations

Incoming Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has reportedly spoken personally to Roma’s Radja Nainggolan in a bid to persuade him to swap Italy for the Premier League. Doubts continue to surround the Belgium midfielder’s future as his partner, Miralem Pjanic looks Juventus bound.

Italy Soccer Serie A

According to reports, Roma’s sporting director Walter Sabatini has entered talks over a potential fee for the combative midfielder. The Rome club has supposedly rebuffed a £23m approach by Chelsea and now demand £32m for his signature.

Nainggolan is a tough tackling box-to-box midfielder that can do it all – he recorded six goals and two assists this term and could slot nicely next to Nemanja Matic.

Another Serie A player linked to Chelsea is Stephan Lichtsteiner – a right back, who can also play on the right of midfield. Conte has wasted no time in looking to replace Branislav Ivanovic who visibly struggled throughout the season. Manchester United’s Matteo Darmian could head the other way in a move that would see him return to Italy after a year.

Hammers hunt Vermaelen

Having played just 21 times in two years in all competitions for Spanish giants Barcelona, Thomas Vermaelen could be heading back to Premier League with West Ham United and Liverpool both eyeing a move – according to reports.

Spain Soccer FC Barcelona

The Belgian has endured injury ravaged seasons since his move from Arsenal in 2014, but the Hammers seem keen on adding a defender with top class pedigree before moving into the Olympic Stadium.

Liverpool are certainly in need of a defender, with question marks over the futures of Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure, even on top of acquiring exciting Joel Matip from Schalke.

Vermaelen is contracted to Barcelona until 2019 and has an eye-watering release clause of €80m.

Klopp eyes Porto player

Ruben Neves might only be 19-years-old but the midfield sensation is rumoured for big things.

Portugal Soccer

Jurgen Klopp seems keen on the Porto player and is prepared to pay Neves’ £31m release clause in a bid to bolster his midfield.

The teenager is a great creative force, has an eye for a spectacular goal and would immediately challenge Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana for their berths in the team.


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Robbie Purves