Defender Davide Zappacosta’s four-year Chelsea career is over after he rejoined Atalanta.
The 29-year-old right-back spent last season in Serie A on loan at Genoa and he returns to his boyhood club where his career started in 2014.
Zappacosta played 52 times for the Stamford Bridge club after his 2017 arrival and featured for them during this pre-season.
However, he looked unlikely to earn a regular place in Thomas Tuchel’s side as he was behind Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James in the pecking order.
It is the third time in his career that he moves to the Italian side. He joined their youth setup in 2011 and then after a spell away spent the 2014/15 season with them.
Having arrived on a flight from London yesterday evening, he revealed to Gianluca Di Marzio his thoughts on the transfer.
“It’s thrilling [to be back], I am happy, I haven’t spoken with [Atalanta manager] Gian Piero Gasperini as I still need to undergo my medical examinations, so let’s wait,” Zappacosta said.
“I’ve missed Bergamo a bit, it’s a special place for me, I made my debut here, so it’s thrilling to be back. I am here to help the team and make myself available, I’ll give my best.”
Chelsea, Man Utd battle for Saul Niguez
Meanwhile, Manchester United and Chelsea are in a fierce race to sign Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid with a deal imminent, according to a report.
Spanish publication AS, via Sport Witness, claims Saul is now on the verge of leaving Atletico Madrid permanently and is destined to play in the Premier League this season.
The Spain midfielder has been linked with a move to England all summer. Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United are all interested in a deal.
Saul no longer fully fits in Diego Simeone’s plans. Despite starting Atletico’s first two LaLiga games Atletico are open to seeing the midfielder depart for the right price.
Whether they will be able to get the fee they want initially is unlikely. Suggestions from Spain are that a loan deal with an obligation to buy is most likely.
But just who sits in pole position for Saul is open for debate and dependent on which AS article you take in.
Apparently Saul is “very close to leaving Atlético Madrid for good”, with his “destiny being the Premier League”.
And report “the club with the most ballots at the moment is Manchester United, who are beating Chelsea”.
That however changes in an alternative piece from the same source, who report “in the last hours it is Chelsea that has taken the lead”.