Soccer transfer news, rumors: Chelsea close in on Kalidou Koulibaly; Barca announce Raphinha agreement

What’s better than a fresh glass of orange juice and the latest transfer news? Join in as CBS Sports provides the latest updates from around the world and what they mean to your favorite teams. As we approach the middle of July, the summer transfer window has stepped up a notch in intensity with some big names now on the verge of switching clubs. SSC Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly is edging closer to a Chelsea move while Leeds United’s Raphinha is closing on his dream of joining Barcelona. AFC Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez and Sassuolo’s Gianluca Scamacca also remain hot names when it comes to the soccer business headlines. The transfer latest:

In the six-yard box

The biggest transfer stories of the day. These are the deals that are happening, or at least on the verge of getting done.

Raphinha to Barca

The Brazilian’s future has been up in the air for most of this summer so far, but he is finally getting close to his destination of choice with the Catalan giants expecting his arrival shortly after announcing an agreement. The 25-year-old will sign a contract until 2027 with his medical also part of the formalities before this transfer can be signed off on. As if that were not enough, Barca remain intent on adding Bayern Munich hitman Robert Lewandowski to their ranks despite their dubious financial situation.

Barca president Joan Laporta told the media on Wednesday that this week they’ll unveil Raphinha as well as announce the re-signing of Ousmane Dembele.

Sterling confirms City exit

Raheem Sterling has confirmed that he is leaving Manchester City with his Chelsea switch expected to be made official shortly. The England international has agreed a deal until 2027 and is likely to be followed by a defender to boost Thomas Tuchel’s squad. Sterling is now set to join up with the Blues in the United States for their preseason tour.

Koulibaly to Chelsea

The Senegal international to the London giants is now considered a “matter of time” according to CBS Sports insider Fabrizio Romano, who has revealed that the player and his agent have already agreed terms of around $10 million net per year as the clubs discuss a fee. Chelsea will propose in the region of $40 million, which is an improvement of around $5 million from their opening proposal and should be accepted by Napoli, who are already preparing for his exit.

“I hope he stays as he is a top player, and Kalidou would be our captain this year,” said coach Luciano Spalletti. “But in case Kalidou decides to join another club, we will thank him.”

Entering the penalty area

These moves may not be imminent, but there’s a lot of transfer fire in all the smoke these players and teams might be blowing.

United & Ajax to meet

The two giants of European soccer will meet on Wednesday to negotiate over Martinez with the talks now approaching a critical juncture. The Red Devils’ latest offer was rejected, but the Dutch outfit are finally ready to let the Argentina international go on their terms with the Premier League the 24-year-old’s priority.

Celtic keen on PSG’s Michut

After losing Xavi Simons to PSV Eindhoven this summer, Paris Saint-Germain could see another talented youngster depart with Edouard Michut set to go. Scottish giants Celtic are expected to table an opening bid in the region of $2.5 million with the French champions unlikely to stand in his way.

Hammers in for Scamacca

The Italian is one of the hottest properties in this summer’s market, and the Premier League outfit are interested in him and Armando Broja of Chelsea. Scamacca’s price tag upwards of $50 million has put PSG off, who will now focus on Stade de Reims’ Hugo Ekitike instead. West Ham United have already verbally signaled their intent to pay around $40 million.

Bernardeschi to TFC

Major League Soccer outfit Toronto FC are inching closer to signing Federico Bernardeschi after Lorenzo Insigne and Domenico Criscito’s arrivals in Canada with the finer points of the proposed deal now being thrashed out by the player’s agents before completion.

Build-up play

These moves might be speculative but they’re ones to keep an eye on.

Blues want Gnabry

With Raphinha Barca-bound, Chelsea is starting to investigate the possible availability of Bayern’s Serge Gnabry after recent contract talks between the Germany international and his club stalled as Lewandowski pushes to leave Allianz Arena. Per Romano, Manchester City and Arsenal have yet to approach the Bundesliga giants for the 26-year-old.

Bayern target De Ligt still Juve’s

At least for now. Asked about the Netherlands international, Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri replied that La Vecchia Signora will be “ready to replace him in the best way, in case he leaves” before adding that he “is still our player right now.” Meanwhile, the Italian added that Weston McKennie is going nowhere anytime soon.

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