Napoli are reportedly closing in on a deal to make Tiemoue Bakayoko’s loan move from Chelsea permanent, with the Blues set to bank £16m. Bakayoko joined the Italian side on loan in October and manager Gennaro Gattuso is keen to sign him up long-term.
Gattuso first worked with Bakayoko during his time as AC Milan boss and is clearly a big fan of the Frenchman.
Speaking after Bakayoko’s debut against Atalanta, Gattuso praised the midfielder, saying: “Bakayoko has this technique that is all his own, because he has this first touch and long legs that make him break away from you in the midfield and he’s tough to catch.”
Now, after six appearances in all competitions, Napoli have reportedly reached an agreement in principle with the Blues over a £16m move.
According to a report from La Gazzetta dello Sport, the initial loan move saw Napoli fork out a €2m (£1.8m) fee but no future fee was agreed.
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The report claims that both sides have now reached a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ which will allow the 26-year-old to complete a permanent £16m switch to the Stadio San Paolo.
Gattuso is currently in negotiations with Napoli to extend his contract and it is claimed that his impending renewal will ‘accelerate’ the attempts to sign Bakayoko.
Marcos Alonso could also be on his way out of Stamford Bridge, with the Daily Mail reporting that Crystal Palace are interested in signing the left-back.
The arrival of Ben Chilwell has seen Alonso fall down the pecking order and he has not played for the Blues since he was substituted at half-time against West Bromwich Albion back in September.
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Alonso is one of several options Palace are considering, with first-choice left-back Patrick van Aanholt out of contract in the summer.
The Dutchman is yet to agree a new deal with the Eagles and, as a result, Palace are looking at potential replacements if he decides to leave, with Marseille’s Jordan Amavi also on the list.
Youngster Tyrick Mitchell has deputised for Van Aanholt and manager Roy Hodgson has been delighted with his performances.
He told talkSPORT last month: “I’ve been very impressed with him, I’ve been impressed with him since he joined the first team at the beginning of last season but injury stopped him making the progress we would have liked.
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“It was only towards the end of the season where he could show off what a good player he is.
“We always believed he had that talent and quality, it went very well for him at the very end of last season and he’s started this season in the same vein. He should be proud of himself and what he’s achieved so far.
“But he’s a young man and he realises there’s an awful lot of work to do. To consistently produce those performances over a long season that takes even more.”
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