Category: Italian

Good riddance: Chelsea given perfect opportunity to cash in on flop – opinion

Tiemoue Bakayoko says it is his “dream” to remain at AC Milan on a permanent basis following his loan from Chelsea, per Calciomercato.

The midfielder moved to the Italian club in the summer and has found his feet in Serie A after a terrible spell with the Blues.

What’s the word?

Bakayoko cost Chelsea £40million in the summer of 2017, per BBC.

However, the Frenchman struggled immensely in his maiden season at Stamford Bridge under Antonio Conte, and was repeatedly dropped to the bench, making a total of 24 starts in the Premier League, per Transfermarkt.

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A loan move to Milan followed at the end of the season, and he has now confirmed that he wants to stay at the club on a permanent basis after emerging as one of the club’s most important players.

He told the Italian outlet: “Staying at Milan is my dream and it is the thought fixed in my mind but I have a contract with Chelsea.

“What would I be willing to do for Milan to keep me? I don’t know. I want to finish the season in fourth place, then we will think about it.”

Wash their hands

Chelsea have the perfect opportunity to wash their hands of a player who clearly does not fit into the way they wish to play.

The likes of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho will always be ahead of Bakayoko in the pecking order and he is unlikely to be given the required time to break into the first-team under Maurizio Sarri.

Instead, they have been given the chance to confirm Bakayoko’s exit, and allow him to continue to thrive in Italy.

It makes too much sense not to happen, and Chelsea can merely write off their signing of the midfielder as a failed experiment, while Bakayoko continues to thrive in Serie A.

Sancho 2.0? European giant weighing move for Everton youngster

AC Milan are lining up a summer bid for Everton winger Ademola Lookman, per Calciomercato.

What’s the word?

Milan completed two deals in January, securing the signatures of Lucas Paqueta from Flamengo and Krzysztof Piatek from Genoa.

The aforementioned report claims that Milan attempted to sign a winger as well, but moves for Yannick Carrasco and Watford’s Gerard Deulofeu were not successful.

As a result, the club’s scouts are reportedly identifying targets for the summer, with Lookman of Everton a possibility.

Lookman has made 16 appearances in all competitions for the club this season, per Transfermarkt, but has played 90 minutes in the Premier League just twice, against AFC Bournemouth and Southampton in the past month.

Another expat?

A number of top young English talents have headed abroad in recent months.

Jadon Sancho moved to Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City, while teenager Rabbi Matondo followed in his footsteps on deadline day, swapping the Etihad Stadium for the Bundesliga as he joined Schalke 04.

Lookman could be the next to depart and he already has experience of foreign football, having spent part of 2018 at RB Leipzig.

The winger has seen his first-team opportunities at Everton limited but he now has the perfect leverage to receive a boost in playing time – a move to Serie A and Milan would surely appeal, and it is down to the Toffees to ensure he stays.

"Never been more excited" – These Southampton fans react to yet another potential exit

Sky Sports in Italy reported on Wednesday night that Inter Milan are in advanced discussions to sign Southampton defender Cedric Soares – and Saints fans have been quick to react to the rumour on Twitter.

Despite being one of the south coast outfit’s more senior players and a Euro 2016 winner, the Portugal international has often found himself behind the likes of Yan Valery, Matt Targett and Kayne Ramsay in the pecking order following Ralph Hasenhuttl’s arrival at St Mary’s last month.

That certainly suggests the Austrian doesn’t fancy the 27-year-old and is keen to move him on if the deal is right – as he has done with Manolo Gabbiadini and Wesley Hoedt already during this transfer window – and if Sky Sports in Italy are to be believed then a deal could soon happen.

Cedric has made 119 appearances in all competitions for Saints, scoring two goals and providing a further 10 assists, as per Transfermarkt, and while he was a reliable performer in his debut campaign at St Mary’s in 2015/16, he has struggled over the course of the past couple of seasons with his attacking impact in particular not being up to scratch.

Southampton supporters have been quick to have their say on the story via social media, and while one said “I think Cedric leaving has been on the cards for a while”, another said “Cedric hasn’t looked like he’s wanted to be here for ages”.

Here is just a selection of the Twitter reaction…

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Opinion: Talented 19 y/o means Saints man won't be missed if reported exit deal goes through

Southampton defender Cedric Soares is in talks over a move to Inter Milan, according to Sky Sports in Italy, with Portuguese media outlet A Bola reporting, via Sport Witness, that a potential deal could be worth €20m (around £17.4m).

The right-back has made 22 appearances for the Saints thus far this season according to Transfermarkt, but has fallen behind Yan Valery in the pecking order since Ralph Hasenhuttl’s arrival at St Mary’s.

What’s the word?

Sky Sports in Italy claim that Inter have identified right-back as a problem position, and are keen to recruit a reinforcement in January.

Inter have seen first-choice right-back Sime Vrsaljko struggle for fitness this season, making just 10 appearances in the Italian top-flight in 2018-19, as per Transfermarkt.

And talks have reportedly begun between the club and Saints, as the Serie A club looks to recruit Cedric prior to the deadline at the end of the month.

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The right-back has been benched for the club’s last two games, but has still played a total of 88 minutes against Leicester City and Everton due to the dismissal of Valery and an injury to Matt Targett respectively.

Take any offer and run

Cedric clearly hasn’t impressed his new manager and his attacking impact has often left a lot to be desired, so if the south coast outfit have received a decent offer from Inter then they should sell.

The Southampton star has sometimes been the subject of the ire of supporters on Twitter after a string of poor displays, notably in the FA Cup penalty shootout defeat to Derby County.

Add to that the fact that 19-year-old Valery is a ready-made replacement and any move makes sense.

If Saints want to look to the future in terms of giving youngsters a chance and boosting their transfer pot, then they must work out a deal with the Italian giants for the Euro 2016 winner.

"Incredible" – Many Chelsea fans react to major transfer news

Chelsea have confirmed the loan signing of Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus via their official website.

The Argentina international arrives for the remainder of the season, after spending the first half of the campaign on loan at AC Milan.

Higuain scored eight goals in all competitions in Italy (Transfermarkt) and has been signed to bolster Maurizio Sarri’s attack at Stamford Bridge.

The pair know each other well, having previously worked together at Napoli in the 2015/16 season.

Higuain hit the back of the net 38 times in all competitions that season, in just 42 games.

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The Blues have struggled for goals thus far this season, and are the lowest scorers of the top six. They have netted 40 goals in 23 games, while Manchester City, leading the league, have scored 62.

Higuain, thus, has been brought in to solidify Chelsea’s position in the top four – they are just three points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal – and help the club hit the goal trail consistently.

And fans are delighted that the Argentina international has finally put pen to paper after a drawn-out transfer saga that has lasted for the majority of January.

Here’s a look at how some Chelsea supporters reacted to the news on Twitter…