Chelsea are confident that their captain John Terry will be leading the team to the United States on Thursday for a pre-season tour despite a new bid of £32m for him from Manchester City that is expected in the next couple of days.
City have been encouraged by the fact that Terry has not publicly committed himself to Chelsea since their interest was made known last week. He is understood to want confirmation of his club's continuing ambition from owner Roman Abramovich following the failure to sign any player with a higher profile than the Russian Yuri Zhirkov. But Chelsea's chairman Bruce Buck and new manager Carlo Ancelotti have promised supporters that in Buck's words, any transfer "is not going to happen". City should, however, put one over Chelsea this week by finally signing Carlos Tevez.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have demonstrated their determination to hold on to leading players by revealing that they turned down an offer believed to have been over £50m for Fernando Torres. "It was a proper offer, a big one, but we said no and he also wanted to stay," said Liverpool's manager Rafa Benitez. Benitez also insists that midfielders Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano will not be allowed to leave, despite interest from Spain. "You can't guarantee anything," he said. "But we have wanted to keep the spine of the team and improve the squad, not lose players."
Liverpool yesterday signed the 18-year-old French full-back Chris Mavinga from Paris St-Germain. Striker Nabil El Zhar has agreed a new deal until 2012.