Davide Zappacosta and Marko Pjaca have joined Genoa on loan from Chelsea and Juventus respectively.

Zappacosta, 28, spent last term in Serie A with Roma but made only nine league appearances, having suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury while in the capital.

The right-back joined the Blues in 2017, yet, having featured regularly across his debut campaign, he earned just one Premier League start in his second term.

He appears to have fallen down the pecking order under Frank Lampard following the emergence of Reece James, but is under contract until 2022.

Winger Pjaca, 25, has been at Juventus since 2016 after signing on a five-year deal from Dinamo Zagreb.

However, the Croatian has failed to establish himself in the Bianconeri's first team – for whom he last played a Serie A game in March 2017 – and his spell at Genoa will be his latest loan away from the club after stints with Schalke, Fiorentina and Anderlecht.

Genoa, who finished 17th in Serie A last season and narrowly avoided relegation, begin the new campaign at home to Crotone on Sunday.

Andrea Pirlo was untouchable at the height of his playing career, a footballer whose grace and prowling presence drew widespread admiration and struck fear into rival teams.

As a coach, we can surmise but really it is a guessing game as to what we will be getting from Pirlo as the dugout rookie leads Juventus into the 2020-21 season.

On Sunday evening in Italy, the man who was a World Cup winner in 2006 takes charge of his first Serie A game with Juve, who play Sampdoria in Turin.

Maurizio Sarri's Juve reign lasted just one season, albeit another Scudetto-yielding campaign for the most successful club in the league's history. Pirlo will be expected to deliver at least that level of success, and encourage a swagger too.

He joins a host of significant former players plucked for leadership roles at an elite level, typically on a hunch rooted in familiarity, the chosen ones often still fresh from their playing days and with scant experience to call on. Top marks in coaching exams provide no guarantee that success will follow.

Many times, the gamble on a colt coach has paid off, with presidents and owners rightly sensing the novice harbours the innate expertise to lead and to inspire, and crucially to bring results. On other occasions, it has ended in frustration and tears, and in some instances the jury remains out.

Here is a look at just some of those cases, illustrating how there are no guarantees attached to such appointments.

PEP GUARDIOLA

The go-to example for any club that wishes to justify appointing a club legend to sudden seniority on the coaching side, former midfield general Guardiola was just 37 when he took charge at Barcelona in 2008, after a year coaching the B team. He departed four years and 14 trophies later, including three LaLiga titles and two Champions League triumphs, and was vaunted as the world's best coach.

Further successes have come with Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Plainly, Pep was born to lead and Barcelona were wise to the fact.

ZINEDINE ZIDANE

How would Zidane, the mercurial playmaker – the only rival to Brazil striker Ronaldo when assessing the greatest player of their generation – take to coaching? Could the erstwhile Galactico tease out the best from those who can but dream of matching the twinkling feet and god-gifted balance with which he was blessed? Could the former Real Madrid maestro really be a suitable fit for the Bernabeu job that has swallowed up many an experienced coach?

Three Champions Leagues and two LaLiga titles later, we probably have a decent idea of the answer to those questions. There have still been ups and downs, and a brief split along the way, but 18 months in charge of Madrid's B team – Castilla – hardened Zidane for the obstacles he would face in the top job. His Madrid sides have at times lacked the verve that was his signature as a player, but they have delivered results and abundant trophies, and ultimately that is what counts.

MICHEL PLATINI

Before there was Zidane, France had Platini. A wonder of an attacking midfielder with Nancy, Saint-Etienne and Juventus, Platini was also a goalscoring titan of the France team that won Euro 84 and reached semi-finals at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups. It followed, to those that knew him, that Platini would go on to become a great national-team coach too, and at the age of 33 he was appointed to lead France, having retired as a player a year earlier. Platini took over with France already at a low ebb and defeats under his charge against Yugoslavia and Scotland meant they missed out on reaching the 1990 World Cup.

Could Platini bounce back? It seemed he might when France reached Euro 92 in style, with eight wins from eight qualifiers, Platini nurturing the likes of Didier Deschamps and Laurent Blanc, but Les Bleus flopped at the tournament itself as they and England bowed out of a group from which Sweden and Denmark advanced. Platini resigned not long afterwards, began to forge a solid reputation in football administration, and by the late 1990s had built a strong, ultimately fateful, alliance with the then FIFA secretary general Sepp Blatter. He would never coach again.

DIEGO MARADONA

If there were ever a case of being blinded by celebrity, then some of the presidents who have given Diego Armando Maradona coaching work surely have fallen victim. The biggest star of his generation, Maradona retired from playing in 1997 and, with barely a sniff of coaching experience and just about as much baggage as an airport carousel, was named boss of his native Argentina in 2008, tasked with taking the Albicelestes to the World Cup two years later. Argentina scraped their way into the finals and were thumped 4-0 by Germany in the quarter-finals. Maradona's contract was not renewed.

He has continued to pick up coaching work, one curious-looking appointment after another, most recently with Gimnasia in the Argentinian top flight. Maradona the coach has been no match for Maradona the player, and it was naive surely for anyone to think that was ever remotely possible.

FRANK LAMPARD

Pirlo was an artist of the 21st century game, and he is considered a deep thinker, while the common theory is that English midfield counterpart Lampard achieved much of his success through hard graft and maximising his rather more rudimentary talent. Whether either categorisation fits the bill is a moot point, but Lampard has a wiser head on his shoulders than many footballers, was top of the class in his school days, and his IQ is reputed to be through the roof.

Derby County gave him a first break in coaching but it took Chelsea just a year to pounce and parachute Lampard into his first Premier League manager's job. A Stamford Bridge great as a player, Lampard had an acceptable first season as Blues boss but the acid test comes in this new term after a spree of big-money signings. A high-stakes London gamble will play out in the coming months.

ALAN SHEARER

As Pirlo takes charge of those in the Bianconeri stripes he once wore – Cristiano Ronaldo and all – it bears remembering that returning black and white messiahs can fail. Former Newcastle United striker Shearer returned to St James' Park in April 2009, the club's record goalscorer aiming to rescue the team from the threat of relegation, but a dismal return of five points from eight games saw them sink out of the Premier League.

Shearer left and has not coached since, happily staying in his niche as a television pundit. There are pressures but also a certain comfort to that studio role. Two months at Newcastle was the sum of Shearer's coaching career: as Pirlo may yet find out, that can be all it takes to destroy the notion of it being a natural next step.

Liverpool's transfer activity is ramping up.

After securing the services of Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara, Diogo Jota is reportedly next on the list.

Could there be more arrivals?

 

TOP STORY – JOTA LIVERPOOL BOUND

Premier League champions Liverpool are set to complete the signing of Wolves star Diogo Jota, according to Goal.

Liverpool announced the arrival of Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich on Friday as they look to retain their Premier League crown in 2020-21.

Now, Jurgen Klopp's men are poised to bring former Atletico Madrid forward Jota to Anfield amid widespread speculation.

 

ROUND-UP

- RMC claims Porto full-back Alex Telles has agreed terms with Manchester United over a five-year deal. However, Paris Saint-Germain are also considering a move for the 27-year-old Brazilian following Juan Bernat's knee injury.

- Liverpool have enquired about Schalke star Ozan Kabak, reports Chris Williams. Bundesliga strugglers Schalke are reluctant to sell the 20-year-old centre-back.

Atletico Madrid are finalising a deal for Bayern Munich utility Javier Martinez, says Marca. Martinez played for Athletic Bilbao before joining Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern in 2012.

- The Daily Mail claims Manchester City are eyeing Sevilla defender Jules Kounde as an alternative to Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly. Pep Guardiola's City have been tipped to sign Koulibaly, though they have struggled to find an agreement with Napoli as PSG reportedly circle.

Milan have overtaken Barcelona in the race to sign Lyon captain Memphis Depay, according to Sky Italia. Tipped to reunite with former Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman at Barca, Depay could now join Milan in a swap deal involving Lucas Paqueta.

- The front page of Saturday's Mundo Deportivo says Barca are looking to sell Nelson Semedo to fund new arrivals, with Ajax sensation and Bayern target Sergino Dest, City defender Eric Garcia and Depay wanted.

- Goal confirmed Juventus are working to bring Everton forward Moise Kean back to Turin in addition to signing Roma's Edin Dzeko. Juve are interested in a loan deal, though Everton are asking for a permanent transfer or loan with an obligation to buy.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard expects "incredible" Gareth Bale to give Tottenham a major boost if he secures a return to the Premier League club.

Bale left Spurs for Real Madrid in 2013 for a then-world record fee of €100milion (£85m) and he went on to enjoy huge success in Spain.

But the past few years have been tumultuous for the Welshman and he finally appears set to leave Madrid in favour of a return to Spurs, having already arrived in London to complete a deal alongside Sergio Reguilon, a team-mate of his at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Bale developed into one of the Premier League's best players during his first spell with Spurs, during which time he regularly played against Lampard.

And, presuming the deal goes through without a hitch, Lampard believes Chelsea's potential top-four rivals are getting one of the world's finest players.

"Gareth Bale is an incredible player, an incredible individual talent who we remember very well from his Premier League days and the successes he's had at Real Madrid," Lampard told reporters on Friday.

"If he does go to Tottenham, which I keep seeing is going to happen, then I think he'll be a big addition to their squad.

"Of course, they've got very good individuals at Tottenham, they're a team that's expected to challenge in the Champions League places and above.

"They have fantastic individuals and if they get Gareth Bale they'll have another for sure. He's one of the best players in the world in my opinion over the last four or five seasons."

 

Liverpool and Manchester United could be set for another transfer battle.

The Premier League rivals were both reportedly interested in Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who is set for a move to Anfield.

Now it seems they could be targeting the same player once more.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL, MAN UTD TARGET SARR

Liverpool have enquired about Watford star Ismaila Sarr, according to the Daily Mail.

It reports Watford want at least £36million for the 22-year-old forward, who scored five goals and provided four assists in 28 Premier League games last season.

Meanwhile, The Independent says Manchester United are looking at Sarr as they continue to be frustrated in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

 

ROUND-UP

- What is next for Luis Suarez? Goal reports Roma striker Edin Dzeko is set to join Juventus on a two-year deal, dashing Barcelona forward Suarez's hopes of heading to the Serie A champions. Fabrizio Romano says Atletico Madrid are considering a move for Suarez, while he also claims Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik is getting closer to a Roma switch.

- Gareth Bale's return to Tottenham is almost done. Sky Sports reports the Real Madrid attacker will fly to London from Spain on Friday after completing a medical, returning to Spurs after leaving for the LaLiga giants in 2013.

- Staying at Tottenham and The Sun claims Spurs had a transfer enquiry for forward Danny Ings rejected by Southampton. Ings enjoyed a prolific 2019-20 season, scoring 22 Premier League goals.

- After a difficult first season at Real Madrid, Luka Jovic is apparently considering his options. According to Marca, the Serbian forward is studying a temporary loan move from the LaLiga champions.

- At Madrid's rivals, Barcelona, more movement is also expected. Mundo Deportivo reports Ronald Koeman wants Ajax full-back Sergino Dest if Nelson Semedo leaves the club.

- Could Chelsea's spending spree continue? The Independent reports West Ham star Declan Rice is yet to decide whether to push for a move to Stamford Bridge, where the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva are new arrivals.

Tottenham could face Chelsea in the fourth round of the EFL Cup, while Liverpool will meet Leicester City or Arsenal if they advance.

With the early rounds of this year's competition packed into the month of September due to the coronavirus pandemic, the fourth-round draw took place on Thursday before next week's third-round fixtures.

The premature process means Spurs and Chelsea each have work to do - against Leyton Orient and Barnsley, respectively - if they are to set up a mouth-watering last-16 meeting.

Former Blues manager Jose Mourinho will hope to guide Tottenham towards their first piece of silverware since 2008, when they won this competition.

With Spurs advancing in the Europa League, they are still on course to play a staggering nine matches before the October international break.

Meanwhile, the pick of the third-round ties takes Arsenal to Leicester, yet the winners are likely to face another difficult fixture as Liverpool will be their opponents if they beat Lincoln City.

Holders Manchester City must beat Bournemouth to reach a trip to either Millwall or Burnley, while Manchester United will go to Preston North End or Brighton and Hove Albion if they get past Luton Town.

 

EFL Cup fourth round draw in full:

Lincoln City or Liverpool v Leicester City or Arsenal
Millwall or Burnley v Manchester City or Bournemouth
West Brom or Brentford v Fulham or Sheffield Wednesday
Fleetwood Town or Everton v West Ham or Hull City
Bristol City or Aston Villa v Stoke City or Gillingham
Leyton Orient or Tottenham v Chelsea or Barnsley
Newport County or Watford v Morecambe or Newcastle United
Preston North End or Brighton and Hove Albion v Luton Town or Manchester United

Could Tottenham and Gareth Bale reunite?

Bale, who left Tottenham for Real Madrid in 2013, is not wanted in the Spanish capital.

While Manchester Untied are reportedly interested, former club Spurs are Bale's preference.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS LEAD BALE RACE

Tottenham are ahead of Premier League rivals Manchester United in the pursuit of Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale, according to ESPN.

Bale has reportedly been told he can leave Madrid after falling out of favour with head coach Zinedine Zidane.

The Welshman wants to return to former club Tottenham after leaving Spurs for Madrid in 2013 and the Telegraph claims Dele Alli could be included in a deal to bring Bale back to London.

While United's interest is believed to be serious, it all depends on whether they are able to sign number one target and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Transfer Podcast reports United believe that if they leave final negotiations for Sancho until the last week of the transfer window, Dortmund will eventually cave in and sell the England international. Dortmund have refused to budge on their €120million (£108m) valuation.

- The Mirror claims Arsenal are close to offloading unwanted trio Sead Kolasinac, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira. Kolasinac has been linked to West Ham, Valencia are considering Guendouzi and Torreira has been tipped to join Torino. The Gunners want to keep full-back Hector Bellerin but he may be sold to Paris Saint-Germain.

Roma are poised to sign Juventus full-back Mattia De Sciglio, reports Fabrizio Romano. It comes as Juve close in on Roma striker Edin Dzeko, while Roma Press says the latter are set to complete the capture of Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla. He had been linked to Inter, Lazio and Juve.

-  Luis Suarez's move to Juve has collapsed, says RAC1. The Barcelona veteran had been tipped to leave Camp Nou for Turin but a delay in an Italian citizenship test has reportedly scuppered the deal. Atletico Madrid are now an option for the Uruguayan.

- The Mail claims Bayern Munich are ready to renew their interest in Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi. The Englishman was linked to Bayern last year before opting to sign a new deal. Now, Hudson-Odoi could swap London for Munich before the October 5 deadline, with Juve also reportedly eyeing the Chelsea star.

- Diario AS reports Turkish giants Fenerbahce are eyeing Atletico's Diego Costa. Fenerbahce just sold striker Vedat Muriqi to Lazio and may use the transfer funds to bring Costa to Istanbul.

United had been favourites to land Sergio Reguilon from Madrid but the Telegraph and widespread reports say Tottenham are poised to sign the Spanish full-back. United have been reluctant to include a buy-back clause in any deal with Madrid.

- According to Sport Bild, Liverpool have contacted Bayern regarding Thiago Alcantara but the asking price is too high. United and Barca are also reportedly interested.

Frank Lampard insists he is happy with Kepa Arrizabalaga despite him conceding another long-range goal in Chelsea's 3-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Chelsea followed a close season of ambitious transfer statements with a win after second-half goals from Reece James and Kurt Zouma secured the points, Lucas Trossard having cancelled out Jorginho's 23rd-minute penalty.

Trossard restored parity nine minutes into the second half, Kepa allowing a strike from outside the box to dip under his right hand and into the bottom-left corner.

The Blues are said to be close to signing Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, but Lampard is at least publicly backing a player the club paid £71.6million for in 2018.

"I'm very happy with Kepa," he told Sky Sports. "With the shot, I'm not sure if he could have done any better but I saw a bit more confidence in how he was playing..

"I'm happy with him, Kepa's here, he's our keeper and I'm happy with him. If we are bringing in competition it'll be competition. That's the nature of Chelsea. That goes throughout the squad so we'll see."

Kai Havertz and Timo Werner each made their Chelsea debuts following moves from Bayern Leverkusen and RB Leipzig respectively.

Werner won the penalty that Jorginho converted and Lampard felt he saw positives from both players in what was at times a disjointed Chelsea performance.

On Havertz, Lampard said: "I liked him. I thought there were moments of real quality and calmness.

"It's a big ask, there's a lot on his shoulders for the signing that he was, the fact that he's young, coming to a different league.

"He plays at such a pace in terms of his quality. I thought we saw a few glimpses of that, we also saw him sprint back 80 yards to make a defensive tackle having given the ball away.

"Everything I've seen about him in terms of his character is spot on and his quality is going to come through. We're going to see a lot more of him."

Of Werner, he added: "I love the way that Timo pops up in different areas, he's not a frontman that attaches to centre-backs so much, sometimes he can start from a little deeper but when he goes, he goes.

"We saw that with the burst of pace because I think for the penalty the ball was slightly overplayed and he still gets there. He has that about him and he has a real hunger to score goals and be ruthless in those areas. I thought we saw a lot of signs from Timo of what he's going to bring."

Timo Werner won a penalty on his Chelsea debut as second-half goals from Reece James and Kurt Zouma ensured they began the Premier League season with a 3-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Werner and Kai Havertz, the marquee signings of a free-spending transfer window for Chelsea, were each named in a front three for the visit to the Amex Stadium.

The former was key in breaking the deadlock, which Jorginho did in the 23rd minute after Werner was brought down by Mat Ryan.

Lucas Trossard briefly restored parity but a spectacular strike from James and a fortuitous one by Zouma sealed maximum points for Frank Lampard's men.

Neither goalkeeper was troubled in the first 20 minutes before Brighton gifted Chelsea the opening goal with some careless play in their own half.

Steven Alzate conceded possession and Jorginho pounced with a well-weighted throughball to Werner, who was felled by the outstretched knee of the onrushing Ryan.

Craig Pawson showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Jorginho tucked away the penalty with his trademark hop on the run up as he sent Ryan the wrong way.

Alzate went closest to producing a response when his drive drew a diving stop from Kepa Arrizabalaga before Ryan had to be alert to prevent Werner beating him at his near post.

Nine minutes after the second-half restart, Brighton were level with a goal that will raise more questions about Kepa's place in the team.

The Chelsea goalkeeper allowed Trossard's effort from outside the box to sneak under his hand and into the bottom-left corner, but parity lasted just 99 seconds.

Ryan was left with no chance as James fired a ferocious long-range effort into the top-right corner, and he was similarly helpless 10 minutes later when Zouma's tame effort deflected in off Adam Webster.

Those goals were separated by Lewis Dunk spurning a great chance to equalise, however, there was little threat from Brighton after Chelsea's third.

Jadon Sancho has been tipped to swap Borussia Dortmund for Manchester United.

But the England international remains in Germany and United are growing frustrated.

Could United move on from the Dortmund sensation?

 

TOP STORY – UNITED READY TO PULL PLUG ON SANCHO

Manchester United are ready to give up on signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Star.

Sancho has emerged as United's top transfer target, but the Premier League giants have been unable to negotiate a deal with Dortmund.

With United and Dortmund apart in their valuation of Sancho, the Red Devils are frustrated and could turn to alternative targets.

Juventus attacker Douglas Costa, Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix and Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale are possible options.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca claims Barcelona are contemplating a loan move for Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, who left Camp Nou for the Gunners in 2011. Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked, while Barca will only target the Spaniard if they are able to part with Nelson Semedo.

- Staying at Camp Nou and Barca are targeting Sevilla's star centre-back Jules Kounde. The front page of Saturday's Mundo Deportivo says Barca could wait 12 months to secure a deal. Mundo Deportivo also reports Emerson could be included in a deal to prise Lyon captain Memphis Depay to the embattled LaLiga giants.

Tottenham have had an offer for Torino striker Andrea Belotti rejected, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. Spurs proposed a loan deal with an option to buy the Italy international for €50million (£46m). Di Marzio also claims Tottenham will not be signing Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik, who has been linked to Roma and Juventus.

Chelsea are ready to loan out winger Calum Hudson-Odoi, says 90Min. The Englishman has previously been linked to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

- Remaining at Stamford Bridge and Fabrizio Romano reports Chelsea will consider a move for West Ham's Declan Rice after having a bid accepted for Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Inter are ready to sell defender Milan Skriniar as they eye Hellas Verona's Marash Kumbulla, according to Calciomercato. It comes as Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte tries to sign Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante and full-back Marcos Alonso.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is adamant a story claiming Mason Mount was concerned for his place in the Blues' team following the arrival of Kai Havertz was "fabricated".

Mount, 21, enjoyed a breakthrough season with Chelsea last term, as he returned to the club following a year-long loan with Derby County, where he had previously played under Lampard.

The midfielder played 37 times in the Premier League, scoring seven goals and setting up another five, while he has also accumulated seven England caps since 2019-20 began.

But the signing of Havertz in a reported €71million (£65.3m) deal from Bayer Leverkusen led to some suggesting Mount's position could be under threat.

A report emanating from Germany went a step further and claimed Mount was concerned as well – though Lampard insists there is no truth to such stories.

"I saw the story about Mount, I know it was absolutely fabricated by somebody, particularly as it came from the German end," Lampard told reporters in Thursday's pre-match news conference ahead of a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday.

"I'm not sure if he has any family or friends out there he would talk to, but it was a strange angle for that to come from Mason.

"What I do know is that, with the young players in the team and the way football is at a club like Chelsea, if you're a young player that's got a foot in and then the club brings players in around you, that raises levels, or we hope they raise levels, then the other players should, and hopefully will, raise their levels, and everybody improves.

"I will be fair when I pick the team, I don't pick the team on whether you've come from the academy or not, I pick it every week on how we've been training or performing.

"Everyone should be positive going into the season, training and playing as well as they can, and worry about the unity of the squad and the results we get as a team."

Havertz's comfort both as an attacking midfielder or central striker could potentially help Mount's cause, with Lampard revealing the Germany international has not requested to be played in a specific position.

"Kai, with his qualities, is flexible to play in different positions, so I haven't changed my view after two or three days of seeing him," Lampard added.

"I think we can use the versatility. One of the pluses when I spoke to him was that he's very comfortable, he's not saying he wants to play in 'this' position, he's actually very happy to help the team and he can give us different qualities in different areas.

"It's not one we have to nail down."

Chelsea have entered discussions to sign Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy but have not yet agreed a fee, the French club's president has confirmed.

A new number one appears to be on the agenda for Frank Lampard's side as they continue to make moves in the transfer market.

Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Kai Havertz have all arrived at Stamford Bridge ahead of the new Premier League season.

But Chelsea still want a keeper after Kepa Arrizabalaga endured a dismal second year in England in 2019-20.

The Spain international was dropped for veteran Willy Caballero, and the Blues have been linked with a host of replacements.

Mendy is the latest, and Rennes' Nicolas Holveck acknowledged negotiations were under way, but there is work still to do on the potential deal.

"Discussions have been initiated. We are at the stage of discussions," president Holveck said. "There is really no agreement for the moment, far from it.

"We know what Edouard's value is as a player and as a man, too, because in our locker room, he's a very important player.

"It's part of the transfer window. I am quite unable to tell you what will happen, but for the moment Edouard is a Rennes player."

Senegal international Mendy, 28, only joined Rennes from Stade Reims last year but quickly made an impact as his new side qualified for the Champions League.

Chelsea had been linked with Jan Oblak, Andre Onana and Dean Henderson before moving on to Mendy.

Adama Traore to team up with Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin?

The Wolves winger has been linked to some of Europe's biggest clubs, but Juventus could sign the Spain international.

Watch this space…

 

TOP STORY – TRAORE OFFERED TO JUVE

Juventus have been offered Wolves star Adama Traore by agent Jorge Mendes, according to Calciomercato.

Juve, Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona have been linked with Traore following his exploits for Wolves in the Premier League.

Traore could be made available to Serie A champions Juve for €70million (£63m) as Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi reportedly near exits.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport claims Barcelona have lodged their first bid for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia. The 19-year-old, who is out of contract in 2021, join City from Barca in 2017. Barca have offered €8m (£7.2m) plus another €2m (£1.8m) in potential add-ons, though City are asking for €40m (£36m).

- According to Tancredi Palmeri, Juve have struck a deal with Barcelona for veteran forward Luis Suarez. Unwanted by new head coach Ronald Koeman at Camp Nou, Suarez is set to join Ronaldo in Turin.

Moise Kean wants to return to Juventus, however, Calciomercato says Borussia Dortmund are preparing an offer for the Everton forward.

- Gianluca Di Marzio claims Roma are closing in on a permanent deal for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling. The English centre-back spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Roma and the Serie A club have reportedly agreed personal terms.

Leeds United have submitted a new bid to sign Dinamo Zagreb sensation Josko Gvardiol, says Fabrizio Romano. The newly promoted Premier League side have offered £19.9m (€22m) plus 20 per cent of a future sale amid interest from RB Leipzig.

- Brescia and Italy star Sandro Tonali will undergo a medical on Wednesday ahead of his move to Milan, reports Tuttomercatoweb and Sportitalia.

Chelsea have not made contact for Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara, reports Romano. Alcantara is wanted by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, while United have held talks with the Spaniard's agent. He has also emerged as a possible target for former club Barca.

With the asking price for Memphis Depay reportedly set, Barcelona also apparently want Thiago Alcantara back.

Ronald Koeman is preparing a rebuild at Camp Nou after a tumultuous 2019-20 season in which Barca finished trophy-less.

The former Netherlands coach wants Depay, while an ex-Barcelona midfielder may also make a return.

 

TOP STORY – LYON WANT €30M FOR DEPAY

Lyon want €30million from Barcelona for Depay, according to Mundo Deportivo.

After the Netherlands' Nations League loss to Italy, Depay said he was aware of interest in him, but remained unsure about his future.

Meanwhile, the cover of Mundo Deportivo also says Barcelona want to negotiate with Manchester City for defender Eric Garcia.

ROUND-UP

- Widely expected to leave Bayern Munich, Thiago has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool. However, Sport Bild reports Barca are interested in bringing the midfielder back to Camp Nou, seven years after he left for Bayern. 

- Chelsea's spending spree seems set to continue. Goal and The Athletic report the Premier League club are pushing to seal a deal for Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. Chelsea have been linked with numerous goalkeepers amid pressure on Kepa Arrizabalaga.

- Manchester United's interest in Alex Telles has reportedly intensified. A Bola says the Porto left-back's representatives are in Manchester for talks over a possible €30m (£26.9m) move, while Sevilla are also reportedly interested.

- Aleksandar Kolarov is seemingly close to an Inter switch. Sky Sport Italia reports the Serbian has landed in Milan for a medical ahead of joining from Roma.

- With Kai Havertz having left for Chelsea, Bayer Leverkusen are likely to be looking for a replacement. Le 10 Sport claims the Bundesliga club are interested in Paris Saint-Germain attacker Julian Draxler.

- Aston Villa are looking to strengthen. The Sun says they want Liverpool forward Rhian Brewster in a £20m move, while The Athletic understands they have made a second bid for Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Arsenal will travel to Leicester City in the third round of the EFL Cup, while holders Manchester City are to face Bournemouth or Crystal Palace and Liverpool will meet the winners of Bradford City's clash with Lincoln City.

With the competition being squeezed into a tightened schedule due to the late end to last season because of the coronavirus crisis, the draws for the second and third round were both made on Sunday.

The pick of the ties is the Gunners' trip to the King Power Stadium, while City – who defeated Aston Villa to win the trophy for the third year running in February – will have the comfort of a home game.

Liverpool will hit the road to face lower league opposition and Manchester United are also away at Championship opposition against either Reading or Luton Town.

Everton have to get past Salford City in round two with the victor of that match going on to play either Fleetwood Town or Port Vale.

Leyton Orient or Plymouth will host Jose Mourinho's Tottenham in the third round, while Chelsea entertain Middlesbrough or Barnsley.

Round two south region draw in full:

West Ham v Charlton Athletic
Ipswich Town v Fulham
Oxford United v Watford
Bournemouth v Crystal Palace
Leyton Orient v Plymouth Argyle
Southampton v Brentford
Bristol City v Northampton Town
Reading v Luton Town
Millwall v Cheltenham Town
Brighton and Hove Albion v Portsmouth
Newport County v Cambridge United
Gillingham v Coventry City

Round two north region draw in full:

Burnley v Sheffield United
Burton Albion v Aston Villa
Bradford City v Lincoln City
Leeds United v Hull City
Everton v Salford City
Wolves v Stoke City
Fleetwood Town v Port Vale
Rochdale v Sheffield Wednesday
West Brom v Harrogate Town
Middlesbrough v Barnsley
Derby County v Preston North End
Newcastle United v Blackburn Rovers
Morecambe v Oldham Athletic

Round three draw in full:

Bradford or Lincoln v Liverpool
Bristol City or Northampton Town v Burton Albion or Aston Villa
Morecambe or Oldham Athletic v Newcastle United or Blackburn Rovers
Reading or Luton Town v Manchester United
Derby County or Preston North End v Brighton and Hove Albion or Portsmouth
Ipswich Town or Fulham v Rochdale or Sheffield Wednesday
Manchester City v Bournemouth or Crystal Palace
Millwall or Cheltenham Town v Burnley or Sheffield United
Chelsea v Middlesbrough or Barnsley
Wolves or Stoke City v Gillingham or Coventry City
Leicester City v Arsenal
West Brom or Harrogate Town v Southampton or Brentford
Newport County or Cambridge United v Oxford United or Watford
Fleetwood Town or Port Vale v Everton or Salford City
Leyton Orient or Plymouth Argyle v Tottenham
West Ham or Charlton Athletic v Leeds United or Hull City

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