Rumour Has It: Chelsea and Milan considering swap deal involving Pulisic for Rafael Leao

By Sports Desk October 05, 2022

Chelsea's admiration of 23-year-old Milan forward Rafael Leao is not a secret.

The Blues, along with several other clubs including Manchester City, are keen on the Portuguese.

Chelsea have also been linked with Christopher Nkunku in recent days but are plotting ways to land Rafael Leao too.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA AND MILAN PLOTTING SWAP DEAL

Chelsea and Milan are considering a swap deal whereby Rafael Leao would join the Blues, claims Calciomercato.

Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi would be part of the deal, although the Italian champions would still demand a £90million fee for the Portuguese.

According to the report, Milan will use their Champions League game on Wednesday against the Blues at Stamford Bridge to talk with Pulisic, along with Trevoh Chalobah.

ROUND-UP

– 90min claims that West Ham midfielder Declan Rice is top of Chelsea's transfer wish list. The Hammers slapped a £120m price tag on the England international in the off-season, although that will likely drop as the length of his contract shortens.

– Football Insider claims Arsenal have reached an agreement in principle with 21-year-old winger Bukayo Saka on a new contract. Saka's current deal expires in 2024.

Everton are eager to use the option-to-buy trigger in Conor Coady's loan deal from Wolves, claims The Times. Coady would cost the Toffees less than £10m.

Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper could be sacked by owner Evangelos Marinakis, according to The Mail, with The Guardian linking Rafael Benitez with the role along with ex-Burnely boss Sean Dyche.

– Fabrizio Romano reports that former Inter and Lazio midfielder and Red Star boss Dejan Stankovic has reached a full agreement with Sampdoria to become the Italian Serie A club's new manager to replace the sacked Marco Giampaolo.

Jose Mourinho is set to be offered a new contract by Roma, potentially keeping him in the Italian capital until 2026, reports La Repubblica.

– Sport1 claims ex-Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has declined the opportunity to take over at Bayer Leverkusen amid their poor start to the season.

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    Trinidad and Tobago's Head coach Angus Eve has included two new overseas-based players in a 26-member squad to face Jamaica in a two-match friendly series this weekend.

    The two games to be held Friday and Sunday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, and the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar, are being used to help Eve finalise his Soca Warriors squad for the Copa America playoff against Canada, on March 23, while the Jamaicans are also in preparation mode of their Concacaf Nations League semi-final clash with United States, scheduled for March 21.

    Kick off for the friendly encounters are scheduled for 3:00pm and 4:00pm Trinidad and Tobago time.

    Canadian League One midfielder Kai Garvey (Simcoe County Rovers FC) and English League Two forward Justin Obikwu (Coventry City), are the overseas-based players called up by Eve, with Jamaica-based forward Nathaniel James, midfielder Kaile Auvray (both of Mount Pleasant) and defender Josiah Trimmingham (Montego Bay Utd), also included.

    Also breaking into the senior team is in-form Under-20 forward Michael Chaves (QPCC), who just concluded their Concacaf Championship campaign on Tuesday.

    Uncapped players such as Shervohnez Hamilton (Club Sando), Rhondel Gibson (Eagles FC), Liam Burns (AC Port of Spain) and Kai Moos (Club Sando) were also selected.

    The remaining players all hail from the Trinidad and Tobago Premier Football League (TTPFL) tier one and includes regulars such as Duane Muckette, John-Paul Rochford, Nathaniel Garcia, Michel Poon Angeron, Denzil Smith and Christopher Bigette among others.

    Eve is expecting players to give of their best, especially with spots on the line for the Copa America playoff.

    “We had a mini camp over the Carnival period where we saw some new players and we wanted to see them in a real match environment, and now this is an opportunity for them to get proper match practice so we could see them play. We have some new players. Unfortunately, some of them got injured in the last couple games in the TTPFL matches so they’re not here right now," Eve shared.

    The Soca Warriors play Canada on March 23, at the Toyota Stadium in Texas, with the winner to progress to Copa America Group A, alongside FIFA World Cup champions Argentina, two-time champions Peru and Chile.

    Eve expressed pleasure with the continued expansion of his talent pool continues to grow. He also expressed gratitude to former national coaches Dennis Lawrence and Stephen Hart for their role in getting Obikwu and Garvey on board.

    “When these types of coaches recommend people, you must take a look at them. We’ve seen tapes of them, and this is our opportunity to see them live,” said Eve.

    Meanwhile, Friday’s game will be closed to fans due to a setup being done at the venue for Carifta trials this weekend. However, spectators can view Sunday’s match at Larry Gomes Stadium at a cost of $50.

    Both Games can be seen on SportsMax and SportsMax 2.

    Trinidad and Tobago Squad -Denzil Smith (Club Sando), Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Christopher Biggette (Defence Force), Alvin Jones (Police FC), Jamal Jack (Club Sando), Justin Garcia (Defence Force), Robert Primus (Police FC), Josiah Trimmingham (Montego Bay FC), Shervohnez Hamilton (Club Sando), Ross Russell Jr (La Horquetta Rangers), Duane Muckette (AC PoS), John-Paul Rochford (ACPoS), Justin Sadoo (Defence Force), Kaile Auvrau (Mount Pleasant), Kai Moos (Club Sando), Kevon Goddard (Defence Force), Liam Burns (AC PoS), Nathaniel Garcia (Defence Force), Michel Poon Angeron (AC PoS), Kai Garvey (Simcoe County Rovers), Rhondel Gibson (Club Sando), Kaihim Thomas (Defence Force), Nathaniel James (Mount Pleasant), Jem Gordon (1976 Phoenix FC), Justin Obikwu (Coventry City), Michael Chaves (QPCC)

  • Stefano Pioli urging Milan to be more ruthless as they chase second-placed Juve Stefano Pioli urging Milan to be more ruthless as they chase second-placed Juve

    Stefano Pioli called for his AC Milan side to be more “cynical” in front of goal ahead of their Serie A trip to Lazio as they look to turn the heat up on second-placed Juventus.

    Milan were held to a 1-1 home draw by Atalanta in their last fixture – having lost to Monza and Rennes in their previous two matches – leaving them four points behind Juve in the Serie A standings and just five ahead of in-form Bologna in fourth pace.

    The Rossoneri will now be eager to get back to winning ways against Lazio on Friday and coach Pioli wants his side’s performance to be consistent, calling for additional cutting edge up front.

    “We want to produce the same performance as last week whilst aiming for a different result,” Pioli said on his club’s website.

    “We analysed the positives after Atalanta but also tried to understand why we couldn’t score one more than them because we had the chance to. We need to be more cynical”.

    Lazio have lost three of their last five Serie A matches, winning the other two, and will also be keen to get back on track after surrendering a half-time lead to lose 2-1 at Fiorentina last time out.

    That was the second time in three matches Lazio have ended up empty-handing after taking the lead, and left them eighth in the table, eight points off the top four.

    Pioli believes Maurizio Sarri’s “motivated” team will bring the fight to them at the Stadio Olimpico, where Lazio are playing only their second home match in six league outings.

    Pioli also ruled out resting any of his players ahead of next week’s Europa League last-16 first leg at home to Sparta Prague.

    “They (Lazio) are a team with great quality that comes off the back of an unsatisfactory performance,” said Pioli.

    “They will be motivated but can also be thrown off by playing with intensity. The game against Slavia Prague will be very important, we are studying them but are fully focused on Lazio.

    “Then we will have an almost full week, there won’t be changes in Rome in order to rest players. I believe that both sides will try to play with different ideas. The midfield battles will be very important”.

    While Milan will still hold hope of overhauling Juve in second spot, Pioli concedes that city rivals Inter are unlikely to be caught by any team.

    Runaway leaders Inter sit 12 points at the top of the table having won 22 of their 26 matches this season, losing just once and conceding only 12 goals.

    Pioli said: “I think that the top spot in the league is decided, Inter are recording incredible numbers as Napoli did last year.

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    It is understood the 25-year-old France international, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has told the club he wants to join Real Madrid this summer, a move which has been touted for a number of years.

    “It doesn’t cross my mind that the team will be weaker next season. I’m absolutely sure,” Enrique told a press conference ahead of Friday’s match against Mbappe’s former club Monaco.

    “If everything goes well, I think and I’m convinced that we’ll have a better team next season.

    “Me, I always want to try to improve the team and I think there is always a way to improve.”

    PSG, who have an 11-point advantage at the top over Brest, have lost just once in Ligue 1 this season – back in September and are on course for a 10th title in the last 12 years.

    “I am very happy with all the efforts we made, with the results we obtained,” added Enrique.

    “We are following a very good trajectory. Now we are entering a difficult period, the key period, the best of the season.

    “It’s all or nothing, and it’s a feeling we love. We have to continue to be true to our idea, to what got us here, to try to dominate the matches from the start.

    “We don’t need to improve the general idea, but we need to improve the details.”

    While Monaco are currently third they are 13 points behind and have lost six times this season, including four at home.

    “Monaco are one of the best teams in the league and a direct competitor of ours in the title race,” said the PSG boss.

    “We know that we’ve got a tough game ahead of us tomorrow, so we’ll put out a highly competitive side.”

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