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Chelsea flop Tiemoue Bakayoko agrees loan to Napoli after AC Milan and PSG pulled out over Blues’ £30m transfer demands

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chelsea flop tiemoue bakayoko agrees loan to napoli after ac milan and psg pulled out over blues 30m transfer demands scaled

CHELSEA have agreed to loan £40million flop Tiemoue Bakayoko to Napoli.

The Blues had been in talks with AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain over a £30m deal for the French midfielder, which would see an initial loan turned into a permanent transfer next summer.

France midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko appears set for his third loan spell away from Chelsea, this time with Napoli

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France midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko appears set for his third loan spell away from Chelsea, this time with NapoliCredit: Getty – Contributor
Chelsea have already offloaded Ross Barkley on loan, with fellow midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek possibly following

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Chelsea have already offloaded Ross Barkley on loan, with fellow midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek possibly followingCredit: PA:Press Association

But neither Milan or PSG were prepared to meet the valuation Chelsea put on the 26-year-old and both clubs have ended their interest.

Napoli have now swooped in to take the midfielder on a season-long deal after agreeing to pay a £4.5m fee.

Bakayoko will travel to Italy tomorrow to rubber stamp the move.



But Chelsea have been left frustrated as they were unable to include an option to buy in the negotiations.

Nonetheless, Sky Sports Italia say Bakayoko is “enthusiastic” about the chance for a fresh start.

He has made just 24 Premier League starts for the Blues since joining in July 2017.

His last two years have been spent on loan with AC Milan and Monaco.

And it is Milan who came closest to a deal before Napoli pounced for a temporary switch.

AC reportedly wanted a loan ahead of a £23m move next summer – not enough for Chelsea.

The Blues have also offloaded Ross Barkley on loan to Aston Villa, with a third midfielder, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, also tipped for a temporary exit before Monday’s transfer deadline.

Frank Lampard admits he has been playing Chelsea new boys Havertz and Werner out of position due to injuries in squad

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Fabinho reveals Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has told him to step up in Van Dijk’s absence

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fabinho reveals liverpool boss jurgen klopp has told him to step up in van dijks absence

Fabinho has revealed how Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has turned to him to step up and fill the void in the Reds squad after Virgil van Dijk sustained a major knee injury.

The 26-year-old Fabinho produced a magnificent display away against Ajax in the Champions League on Wednesday night, dropping back into defence and partnering Joe Gomez in the Dutchman’s absence.

As well as producing a string of crucial tackles and blocks, Fabinho acrobatically cleared Dusan Tadic’s lob off the line in the first-half to ensure Liverpool’s continental campaign began with a win.

Fabinho was superb in defence for Liverpool as they beat Ajax 1-0 in the Champions League

Fabinho was superb in defence for Liverpool as they beat Ajax 1-0 in the Champions League

Fabinho was superb in defence for Liverpool as they beat Ajax 1-0 in the Champions League

Fabinho produced an acrobatic goal-line clearance to keep Liverpool level in the first half

Fabinho produced an acrobatic goal-line clearance to keep Liverpool level in the first half

Fabinho produced an acrobatic goal-line clearance to keep Liverpool level in the first half

The Brazil international, who typically plays in Liverpool’s midfield three, said after the match that Klopp has told him to be more vocal on the pitch, especially when he is playing as a centre-back.

‘Tactically, I have to be ready for the long balls and try to organise the team,’ he said. ‘It’s not easy but I have to do a little of what Virgil always does – talk to the team and try to be a leader.

‘Of course I am not really but I will do my best. It was very important for me and for the team to keep the clean sheet today for confidence.

‘The manager said to me I have to talk more to the team, to try to organise the team. Sometimes, a little bit I was like “second ball”, “be ready” to try to press good. I try to be in this role as well, I try to do my best.’

Van Dijk is almost certainly facing the remainder of the season on the sidelines after being crocked by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s brutal early challenge in Saturday’s Merseyside derby.

The Brazilian is usually in Liverpool's midfield but could find himself in defence this season

The Brazilian is usually in Liverpool's midfield but could find himself in defence this season

The Brazilian is usually in Liverpool’s midfield but could find himself in defence this season

Fabinho said that team-mate Virgil van Dijk (right) is the best defender in the world

Fabinho said that team-mate Virgil van Dijk (right) is the best defender in the world

Fabinho said that team-mate Virgil van Dijk (right) is the best defender in the world

It leaves Gomez and Joel Matip as Liverpool’s remaining out-and-out centre backs but Fabinho has played in the postition before – notably earlier this season when Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

‘When I knew Virgil was out for a long time, it was a little bit of a shock,’ Fabinho admitted. ‘First of all, I think he’s the best defender in the world. And he’s a leader on the team and in the dressing room – he keeps a good mood and a good atmosphere.

‘We will miss this but we have to keep going and win the games for him.’

Liverpool are back in action again in Saturday’s late Premier League kick-off when they host Sheffield United at Anfield. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Dias showed what he is about by bouncing back from error to shine for Manchester City against Porto

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dias showed what he is about by bouncing back from error to shine for manchester city against porto

Manchester City‘s detractors might say that Ruben Dias has settled in already. He strode out from the back, purposefully attempted to pass through the lines, gave away possession and the opposition scored on the break.

A fair few central defenders have done that in this stadium over the years and it was not the £64million signing’s finest moment in what has been an encouraging start to his City career.

But he has bashfully rejected comparisons with Vincent Kompany, and severe criticism would be premature. If nothing else, City at least appear more stable for the inclusion of Dias, which is a significant step forward.

Pep Guardiola will take heart from how Ruben Dias recovered after his early mistake

Pep Guardiola will take heart from how Ruben Dias recovered after his early mistake

Pep Guardiola will take heart from how Ruben Dias recovered after his early mistake

Pep Guardiola’s hunt for someone to slot alongside Aymeric Laporte has been a long one, taking in at least five targets over the last 18 months.

City settled on Dias and have already benefited from his rugged defensive ability — a bit of grit in a unit that has been far too porous.

In that sense, the 23-year-old has borrowed a fair amount from his mentor Pepe, described by those around the Portugal squad as something of a father figure. 

Pepe — who captained Porto on Wednesday night — has been one of the best, an unashamed master of the old art for well over a decade. City need that. 

The 23-year-old defender has injected a bit of grit and leadership into City's backline

The 23-year-old defender has injected a bit of grit and leadership into City's backline

The 23-year-old defender has injected a bit of grit and leadership into City’s backline

There will be time to finesse Dias’s distribution when they finally get the chance to take training sessions that are not focused on recovery from the last match or preparation for the next.

What they do not need to hone is his leadership. Although young, Dias has that in abundance, with a ‘mentality of a champion’, according to those who know him. 

His English is flawless and Guardiola will take heart from how he approached this game after his early mistake — notably when he jockeyed Luis Diaz for 20 yards and held him up as Porto threatened to nudge ahead for a second time.

Many who went before him wilted in adversity. There was some evidence here that Dias is made of stronger stuff.

Dias speaks to Eric Garcia during Wednesday's Champions League victory over Porto

Dias speaks to Eric Garcia during Wednesday's Champions League victory over Porto

Dias speaks to Eric Garcia during Wednesday’s Champions League victory over Porto

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Klopp praises Gomez and Fabinho but warns his players ‘there is a lot to improve’ after Ajax win

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klopp praises gomez and fabinho but warns his players there is a lot to improve after ajax win

Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool‘s battling qualities that enabled them to emerge from a ‘pressure situation’ in Amsterdam with a confidence restoring victory.

Liverpool beat Ajax 1-0 thanks to an own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico but their performance in their opening Group D fixture was characterised by the way midfielder Fabinho moved back into central defence and never put a foot wrong.

The highlight of his display came just before half-time, when he acrobatically scooped Dusan Tadic’s lob off the line. Ajax were a nuisance throughout and they came close to grabbing an equaliser when Davy Klaassen hit a post early in the second period.

Jurgen Klopp was impressed with how his Liverpool team battled to win three points at Ajax

Jurgen Klopp was impressed with how his Liverpool team battled to win three points at Ajax

Jurgen Klopp was impressed with how his Liverpool team battled to win three points at Ajax

An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico in the first half was enough for Liverpool to win the game

An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico in the first half was enough for Liverpool to win the game

An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico in the first half was enough for Liverpool to win the game

Klopp conceded there is still significant room for improvement in Liverpool’s form but, after a turbulent week that began with Virgil van Dijk being ruled out for the majority of the season, the manager was delighted with his team’s determination.

‘Was there pressure in the situation? Yes,’ said Klopp. ‘It (a clean sheet) is huge but we are not dumb enough to think we didn’t need a bit of luck as Fabinho needed to make a proper stretch to get that ball from the line and they hit the post.

‘The clean sheet is one information but we could have done better. I don’t care in the moment. We wanted to win the game and we have done that but now we don’t hang the clean sheet too high because there were two situations where we were not far away from perfect.

Liverpool registered a clean sheet and Klopp was complimentary of Joe Gomez's performance

Liverpool registered a clean sheet and Klopp was complimentary of Joe Gomez's performance

Liverpool registered a clean sheet and Klopp was complimentary of Joe Gomez’s performance

Fabinho was also a standout performer and made a vital goal-line clearance in the first half

Fabinho was also a standout performer and made a vital goal-line clearance in the first half

Fabinho was also a standout performer and made a vital goal-line clearance in the first half

‘But the result is absolutely OK. Now on Saturday night a completely different challenge. Sheffield United have had their legs on the sofa and we need to recover quickly. It was a good performance but there is a lot to improve – and that is good.’

All eyes were on Fabinho and Joe Gomez, given the injuries to Van Dijk and Joel Matip, but Klopp did not have any doubts about whether the Brazilian would be able to cope with the different demands that were asked of him.

‘For the two at the back, it was their first game together,’ said Klopp. ‘They need to get used to each other, they need to get used to the verbal demands. Fabinho can play the position, he likes playing it actually. If I asked him to play right back I don’t think he would enjoy it as much.

‘In our situation we have to keep those boys fit. I’m not surprised Fabinho plays in the position, otherwise I would have thought about a different solution. That would have been tricky but I’m really pleased.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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