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McManaman: Real Madrid need Bale to take more prominent role

30 July 2018

New Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is seeking talks with the goalkeeper, who wants a return to Madrid, where he spent two years on loan with Atletico Madrid earlier in his career.

Speculation has since developed since Pickford's exploits in Russian Federation, with Chelsea having reportedly lined the player up as a potential replacement for Thibaut Courtois, who looks set for a move to Real Madrid.

Willian, meanwhile, appears to have emerged as a target for the club.

The Brazilian had been the subject of interest from Manchester United and Barcelona in recent weeks.

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According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea want to raise the stakes even further and demand he become the first £200 million player in history.

Chelsea would then have until the end of the month to tie-up a deal with Madrid to send Courtois to Spain because La Liga's window will remain open until August 31. Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain could also make the switch to London after Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Juventus.

Chelsea have reportedly submitted a second offer for the centre-back, expected to be around £40m.

Chelsea are happy to sanction Courtois' move as long as they can secure a replacement of their own, with Jack Butland looking increasingly likely to fill his gloves at Stamford Bridge.

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Rowett told Stoke's official website: "I don't believe any rumours if I'm honest".

"That shows the level of player we've got at this club".

The Gunners midfielder is now in talks over a potential new deal.

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McManaman: Real Madrid need Bale to take more prominent role