Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Fabregas, Morata report for Chelsea FC pre-season training

Fabregas, Morata report for Chelsea FC pre-season training

Mateo Kovacic, now starring for Croatia in the World Cup and coming off a Champions League win at club level with Real Madrid is said to be an alternative for Manchester City should they miss out, as they look to replace the departed Yaya Toure and ageing Fernandinho in the centre of their midfield. However, a contractual dispute with Napoli has reportedly prevented Chelsea from snapping Sarri up, leaving Conte at the helm after he regularly challenged the hierarchy's authority with comments about their transfer policy in the most recent campaign. To date, City have failed to meet Napoli's €60m asking price and the Blues could make a late attempt to hijack the move to enhance their prospects of signing Sarri.

The Italian side are keen to wring as much money out of the deal as possible, even though they have already bought a replacement for him in the form of £26million Fabian Luiz.

The problem remains in that City are not willing to go over their £50million valuation, whereas Napoli are apparently holding out for a figure closer to £60million for Jorginho.

While there had been suggestions last week that Pep Guardiola had secured his top midfield target for a compromise £48m, that seems to not be the case.

Meanwhile, the west London giants have begun pre-season training without the involvement of current boss Antonio Conte and this appears to give a clear indication that the 48-year-old should end his association with the club in the coming days.

City's first pre-season friendly sees them take on Borussia Dortmund on July 21.

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