Chelsea are close to signing AS Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko. The Daily Mail says Blues boss Antonio Conte has made it clear he wants Bakayoko, 22, who made his debut for France last month. The midfielder enjoyed a fine season in the Monaco side that won Ligue 1 and reached the Champions League semi-finals.Chelsea are now close to signing Bakayoko for £35million. Conte has been at odds with Chelsea's top brass over summer transfer deals and his text row with Diego Costa, however it seems they have delivered him one of his No 1 targets.
Stoke City's 36-year-old striker Peter Crouch is not contemplating hanging up his boots anytime soon and the club's top scorer last season believes his age has made him "hungrier" to continue playing.Crouch netted his 100th Premier League goal last season as he helped Stoke's finish 13th in the standings and the former Liverpool striker is hopeful of achieving more."Getting to a certain age where people are supposed to be retiring has made me hungrier," Crouch told BBC Radio Stoke. "I want to stay around for a lot longer yet. I love what I do. Coming in every day and playing football, then having a match at the end of it all, to work towards, is something that I've always loved and still want to do."The former England international's career has included spells at Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Portsmouth.
Arsenal forward Takuma Asano will return to VfB Stuttgart for a second successive season on loan, the English Premier League club said on Thursday.The 22-year-old Japan international joined Arsenal in July last year and was loaned out to Stuttgart shortly after for the 2016-17 campaign, where he scored four goals in 26 league appearances as the club won promotion to the top tier."Takuma Asano has re-joined Bundesliga side Stuttgart on loan for the 2017/18 season," Arsenal said on their website (www.arsenal.com). "We'd like to wish him all the best for the upcoming campaign."
The Monaco midfielder has been linked with a series of clubs this summer and admits he would think about joining the Old Trafford outfit.Fabinho has described the prospect of joining Manchester United as a "tempting invitation". The Brazil midfielder was an influential star of a Monaco side that ended Paris Saint-Germain's stranglehold on the Ligue 1 title last season, while the principality club also reached the last four of the Champions League.United are looking to bolster their squad after qualifying for Europe's top table by winning the Europa League last season and Fabinho is said to feature on Jose Mourinho's list of transfer targets.And Fabinho, who transitioned to centre midfield from right-back, is open to the idea of a move to Old Trafford, but insists he will discuss his options with Monaco first.Speaking to Esporte Interativo, he said: "It's a tempting invitation.”I would first talk to my agent, Monaco too, to decide everything right. "But it's a great club, sure enough I would think well about it."Fabinho made 37 Ligue 1 appearances last term, scoring nine goals for Leonardo Jardim's champions.
Banega only left Sevilla to join Inter on a free transfer last summer but the 28-year-old has divided opinion at the Serie A giants, although his cause has not been helped by the fact they continue to change managers.The 28-year-old has been linked with a move to PSG where he would reunite with Emery, his former Sevilla manager, but his agent, Marcelo Simonian, has confirmed his client is ’99 per cent’ set to return to Spain his summer.“Ever will 99 per cent go to Spain for a sum far inferior to the €13m (£11.4m) that is doing the rounds in the media over the last few days,” he told Tuttomercatoweb, via Football Italia. “An agreement has been reached.There has been speculation whether Banega would move to Espanyol but Sky Sport Italia claim a return to Sevilla is done for €9m (£7.9m).Banega failed to nail down a regular starting berth at Inter last season as they switched between formations that did not accommodate his creative qualities but he was still an effective force when turned to.In fact, of players that started at least 20 games in Serie A last season Banega required the fewest minutes per key pass (1 every 26.8 minutes of action).