Napoli have first refusal on Chelsea man who Lampard said ‘sleeps’

Date published: Tuesday 12th January 2021 9:42 - Matthew Briggs

Unwanted Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko could finally leave the club permanently this summer with Napoli reportedly holding first refusal on him.

Bakayoko, 26, is currently on loan with the Naples club – his third loan spell since signing for Chelsea in 2017.

The defensive midfielder is playing under Gennaro Gattuso, the manager who got the best out of him at AC Milan.

The one-cap France man has scored once in 13 Serie A appearances and seems to be at home in Serie A.

The Serie A side are serious contenders for his permanent signature and have first refusal on him in June.

As reported by Simone Guadagno (via the Daily Star) Bakayoko’s agent said: “Redemption at Napoli?

“Too soon to talk about it, there are still so many things to see.

“Neither the club nor the player spoke to each other. Staying in Naples would be a good chance.

“We will see at the end of the season. However, Napoli has priority over his future for June.”

Bakayoko’s career has not gone to plan since he joined Chelsea from Monaco in 2017 for £40m. The midfielder only made 43 appearances for the Blues before they loaned him out to AC Milan in 2018 and back to Monaco in 2019.

Bakayoko moved away from Stamford Bridge for a third time this summer, when Napoli took him back to Serie A on loan.

His contract expires in the summer of 2022 and Chelsea will be keen to move him on this year and recoup some of the fee that they paid for him.

 

 

According to Gazzetta Dello Sport and La Repubblica, Chelsea will allow Bakayoko to move to Napoli permanently for €18m. Given that the loan cost the Serie A side €2m, that would make the final cost €20m.

Lampard will likely sanction any sale of the player, who he claimed “sleeps” in games before he was named manager of the club.

“He sleeps,” Lampard said on BT Sport after a 1-1 draw with Atletico in 2017. “His concentration goes and at this level, you sleep for a second and it’s an easy goal for Atletico.”

Chelsea look to bring back old boy

Meanwhile, TEAMtalk sources understand Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is considering bringing Avram Grant back to the club in some capacity.

Grant, 65, is currently talking to a number of clubs, mainly in the Middle East having served as a football consultant in Indian football.

Grant previously served as director of football and manager of Chelsea, before similar spells with West Ham and Portsmouth.

The Israeli was in charge of Chelsea during the 2007/08 campaign when they finished as runners-up in the Premier League, League Cup and Champions League.

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