Chelsea, Tottenham handed transfer blow over Italy international

Chelsea and Tottenham target Alessandro Bastoni plans to stay at Inter Milan.

The Italy centre-back, 23, has been strongly linked with a move to the Premier League this summer.

The Blues want him to help plug the gap left by Real Madrid newboy Antonio Rudiger. Spurs boss and former Inter gaffer Antonio Conte is also after reinforcements in his backline.

And both English clubs will have been heartened by Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta indicating this week they are ready to sell a defender to help balance their books.

He told Radio Rai: “It’s certainly easier to replace a centre-back than a striker.

“We will probably be forced to sell someone in that position.”

But those hopes appear to have been dashed with an update from transfer expert Fabrizio Romano. He quoted Bastoni’s agent Tullio Tinti in a tweet.

It said: “Bastoni will stay at Inter next season as we are used to respecting contracts.”

Newcastle close in on Hazard

Newcastle are reportedly closing in on the signing of Borussia Dortmund star Thorgan Hazard.

The Germans want £12million for the 29-year-old winger, according to Bild.

The 45-cap Belgium star is under contract at Dortmund until 2024.

Bild say he is already one of the top earners at the Bundesliga club.

But they report he is keen to boost his wages to about £6m-per-year – and that is ‘peanuts’ to money-bag Magpies.

The German newspaper also point out Hazard will face competition for his spot next season from the likes of Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, 17, Gio Reyna, 19, and new recruit Karem Adeyemi, 20.

Romelu Lukaku: Chelsea, Inter FINALLY agree terms

Inter have now agreed terms with Chelsea to bring back Romelu Lukaku on loan for €8m plus bonuses and the paperwork is being drawn up, according to Sky Sport Italia and Sportitalia.

The centre-forward only left under a year ago for €113m, but immediately expressed regret about the decision and said in December he wanted to return to San Siro.

It wasn’t expected to be quite so immediate, but Inter need to get the deal done by June 30 in order to continue to benefit from the tax breaks on his salary.

The bonuses are tied to the objectives of the club rather than the player, so will be activated if Inter win the Scudetto, Champions League or Europa League, up to €4-5m.

They are not tied to the achievements of the player, so how many goals or appearances Lukaku makes are irrelevant to the payment.

There will be no option to buy, let alone an obligation, so this is a dry loan.

Lukaku has also accepted a significant pay cut in order to push through the transfer to Inter.

According to FCInterNews.it, the Belgium international will have his medical on Friday at the latest.

The news comes just hours after Inter announced coach Simone Inzaghi had extended his contract to June 2024.

Funnily enough, Lukaku immediately ‘liked’ that post on Instagram, further proving his desperation to get back to Serie A.

Sky Sport Italia also report that lawyer Sebastien Ledure, who is working with Lukaku to get the deal done, arrived this morning at the club HQ hiding in the back of CEO Beppe Marotta’s car.

Gabriel Jesus transfer talks at ‘critical stage’

Arsenal’s talks over signing Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus are a ‘critical stage’.

That’s the latest claim amid suggestions today the Manchester City striker is seriously interested in a move to North London.

The priority for the £50million-rated Brazil star is thought to be regular starts for an elite club.

And Erling Haaland’s arrival at City from Borussia Dortmund will surely reduce his confidence of achieving that at the Etihad.

Goal say there is ‘hope between all parties that an agreement can be reached quickly’ with the Gunners.

Jesus’ representatives are reportedly travelling to England ‘in a bid to push through the transfer’.