Frank Lampard faces a baptism of fire in his first season as Chelsea head coach. The legendary Blues midfielder inherits a squad that managed to earn a place in the Champions League, finishing third in the Premier League last term.
However, it was not enough to keep former boss Maurizio Sarri in place as the Italian and his squad along with the Stamford Bridge faithful failed to see eye-to-eye on the philosophy during his one season in charge. Lampard is the third man in three years to take the dugout and faces the toughest challenge given the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. The club’s transfer embargo has prevented Lampard from replacing the superstar Belgian. Continue reading
The seedings and pots for the playoff round of the Europa League have been confirmed, and it could throw up some very interesting ties.
For starters, Torino and Rangers are not seeded but both Wolves and PSV Eindhoven are. It means the Midlands outfit could theoretically play either Torino or the Gers in their playoff round should all teams beat their respective third qualifying round opponents.
The official draw takes place on Monday.
Romelu Lukaku has been linked all summer with a switch to Italy, with Antonio Conte and Inter said to be particularly interested, but United have now proposed an exchange deal with Serie A champions Juventus that will see Paulo Dybala move in the opposite direction.
Here are the Italian media reactions to the news of the potential transfer- it was on the front page for both TuttoSport and Corriere dello Sport (see pictures below). Gazzetta however chose to focus on the Nicolas Pepe’s link with Napoli.
Rising Dutch star Matthijs de Ligt has finally ended months of speculation by officially opting to sign for Serie A champions Juventus. De Ligt was linked through out the summer to both Barca and PSG, but has chosen to further his career with the Bianconeri. He was an integral part of the Ajax side that reached the semifinals of the Champions League last season and beat Real Madrid, and somewhat ironically, Juve themselves, in the knockout stages of the tournament before being eliminated in heartbreaking fashion by Tottenham Hotspur. The reported value of the deal is £67.5m (around 75 million euros)
Tuttosport lead the way, dedicating their front page to the young defender. Gazzetta had a smaller welcome, but nevertheless had him on the front page, as can be seen below.