Tiemoué Bakayoko to finally complete Chelsea move? | Michy Batshuayi to Besiktas? | Olivier Giroud to Borussia Dortmund?
Despite all the gnashing of teeth and wagging of fingers that the decision provoked at the time, nearly everyone now accepts that Claudio Ranieri had to be bundled out of Leicester City. And now is the time to starting bundling out most the players brought in under the Italian last summer. The message from the club seems to be: “We’re not saying it’s all your fault, but there’s the door and here is a boot.”
Ron-Robert Zieler has already been offloaded to Stuttgart and the Foxes are hopeful that Bordeaux will relieve them of Nampalys Mendy. Leicester are also said to be open to offers for Ahmed Musa and Islam Slimani. The club have not completely given up on finding usefulness in the rarely-seen Polish midfielder Bartosz Kapustka so have only loaned him to Freiburg. Tom Lawrence, a young Welsh international midfielder who was reared at the club rather than purchased last summer, could be sold to Derby County. Meanwhile, Leonardo Ulloa, who six months ago vowed never to play for the club again after being denied a move away by Ranieri, is now poised to sign a new contract at the club.
Now all Craig Shakespeare has to do is complete the signing of Kelechi Iheanacho from Manchester City and bring in someone, possibly Gylfi Sigurdsson, to replace the Spain-bound Ryad Mahrez, and he’ll be set fair to restore last season’s Champions League quarter-finalists to where they belong. The Mill is not sure, admittedly, what that means.
Meanwhile, the team who preceded and succeeded Leicester as champions are suddenly getting busy again. At least that’s what someone at Chelsea wants Antonio Conte to think. Thursday’s papers are full of announcements of imminent arrivals at Stamford Bridge. For starters, the door may finally be opened to Tiemoué Bakayoko, who has been standing in the car park for several weeks now, and someone is trying to convince Conte that the club are also going all out to lure Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund. That’s partially because Tianjin Quanjian have pulled out of a move for the striker. Is that because the Chinese club have decided to go back in for Diego Costa? Do they just get their kicks out of teasing the world’s top strikers? The Mill is not for a moment suggesting it’s all some kind of communist pastiche of the folly of football’s rampant individualism and capitalism.
Chelsea are also keen to give the impression that they’re competing very hard against Juventus for the signing of the Real Madrid right-back Danilo. You wouldn’t blame Conte if he decided to ring his old club to ask whether that’s true. Eden Hazard, meanwhile, has reportedly been on the blower to Zinedine Zidane to say he’s decided to stay at Chelsea now that he’s been picked to model the club’s new kit. That’s a dream come true for the lad, although he’s not sure about the slogan that the club have chosen to accompany the jersey launch. “We are the pride” has a decidedly naff ring to it. Maybe there’s an implied second line, something like “and we’re taking you for a ride”.
Michy Batshuayi is welcome to leave Chelsea for Besiktas, while Kurt Zouma could be off on loan to Stoke, Nathaniel Chalobah is on his way to Watford, and PSV Eindhoven want to take Marco van Ginkel on loan again. You’d forgotten about him, hadn’t you?
Borussia Dortmund have joined Everton, West Ham and Stoke in wooing Olivier Giroud. “I can’t change that I’m gorgeous,” said the Frenchman.
Spurs are holding their hands over their ears and pretending they’re not hearing offers from the Manchester clubs for Eric Dier and Kyle Walker. But they’re going to have to free up one hand to greet Juan Foyth, a 19-year-old defender set to join them from Estudiantes.
Manchester City are on the verge of completing an agreement to sign the 19-year-old Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz from Vasco da Gama.Read more at theguardian.com