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Chelsea transfer rumors: €50m Lacazette, €35m Witsel, €18m Rudiger

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A bit of idle chatter to help drive away your midweek doldrums.  Silly Season, after all, never sleeps.  Or takes a break.  It just keeps coming, wave after wave.  Sometimes you gasp and manage to draw fresh air, but mostly, you just get drowned in nonsense.

First up, Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette.  The 24-year-old has been linked with various big name clubs for a couple years now, but Lyon have stayed firm in their aims to keep him happy and keep him at the club.  But after Liverpool's latest influx of cash, the rumors are back, prompting Lyon's president to set a minimum price.

"Of course, if a €50-60m (£35-42m) bid was tabled, I will no doubt have to prepare for his exit and wish him good luck."

"I really feel like he wants to stay."

-Jean-Michael Aulas; source: L'Equipe via Team Talk

Lacazette has three years left on his current contract and there are talks ongoing about a new and improved deal.  While the player has played a bit coy with Lyon about his future, it's probably all just negotiating tactics.  That said, every player has his price, and apparently his starts at €50m.

Slightly older and slightly cheaper would be Axel Witsel, whose going rate from Zenit St. Petersburg would be around €35m.  The 26-year-old has mostly been linked with a move to AC Milan this summer, but the Rossoneri are apparently done signing midfielders.  With Manchester United also done in that regard, Zenit's / Witsel's / Agent Mendes's only hope of cashing in may be with a soon-to-be Vidal-less Juventus.  Or perhaps Chelsea.  Rather far-fetched rumors in Belgium are claiming that Roman Abramovich himself is flying out to negotiate a deal.  Because he does that ALL the time, right?

Lastly, we come to 22-year-old Antonio Rudiger.  Interest in the young defender had been previously confirmed by his agent, with Chelsea supposedly vying with Wolfsburg for top billing.  But now, apparently, Juventus have thrown their hat in the ring as well, so Stuttgart director Robin Dutt has decided to clarify the situation.

We have no need to sell quickly and Rudiger, because his contract expires in 2017. We know that some top European clubs are following him, having regard to its quality. But it is clear that to sell it you will have to accept the demands of Stuttgart. It is also in our interest to understand what you really want to make the player to be able to plan the rest of our market. If the boy were to go away, we should find a replacement that has its own quality. And we should do it on time, not at the last moment.

-Robin Dutt; source: Tuttosport

The €18m-rated Rudiger has yet to utter any word of actually wanting to leave Stuttgart, so chances are this is just more idle speculation of things that may be should the planets align and suspend reality.