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EXCL: The players Chelsea *nearly* signed, Declan Rice loving life at Arsenal, Man Utd contract talks, Joao Felix clarification, and more

Today's exclusive column, featuring Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United!

Chelsea and the deals that nearly happened

We know it was a very busy summer for Chelsea, with a number of young players coming in for the long-term project. We know it will take time for the club and for Mauricio Pochettino to build a squad and to have the results they want.

On top of that, many players were offered to Chelsea this summer. It is absolutely normal for clubs to offer players to other clubs, or for this to be done via agents and intermediaries. Many deals were proposed to Chelsea in terms of ins and outs, for example - Marcelo Brozovic was one player offered to the Blues before he moved to Al Nassr. There were some conversations between Chelsea and Inter for Andre Onana, before he went to Manchester United, as he was one of the players discussed as part of a possible deal for Kalidou Koulibaly. In the end, Chelsea decided not to proceed, and both Brozovic and Koulibaly ended up making moves to Saudi Arabia.

Marco Verratti was also a possibility for Chelsea - he was discussed with many clubs around Europe, but because of his salary and because PSG wanted really important money, something close to €45m, Chelsea decided to go for a different kind of midfielder, both in terms of skills and in terms of age - they preferred to go for Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, while they also had Enzo Fernandez.

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