‘NEW CHALLENGE’ Napoli sign Chelsea flop Bakayoko on season-long loan transfer as outcast is sent to third club in four years

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190203 Fotboll, Serie A, Roma – Milan: Tiemque Bakayoko of AC Milan reacts during the Serie A 2018/2019 football match between AS Roma and AC Milan at stadio Olimpico, Roma, February 3, 2018 Foto Andrea Staccioli / Insidefoto © Bildbyrån – COP 139 – SWEDEN ONLY

NAPOLI have signed Chelsea flop Tiemoue Bakayoko on a season-long loan deal – the Frenchman’s third club in four years.

The Chelsea flop, 26, had been chased by six clubs, including AC Milan and PSG this summer.

But Napoli have won the race after agreeing to pay a £4.5m loan fee for Bakayoko.

Chelsea had been hoping to sell the former Monaco man permanently.

Many clubs had pursued a loan deal with an obligation to buy – but balked at the Blues’ asking price.

Frank Lampard and Co had hoped to command a total of £32m – with a small payment up front for the loan, with the remainder paid next summer.

But the likes of PSG and Milan opted against a deal.

It appears Napoli have no obligation to buy and will just pay the £4.5m fee for the season.

On their club website, a statement read: “Napoli announces that it has acquired the Tiemoue Bakayoko on loan for the 2020-21 season.

“President De Laurentiis says: ‘Welcome Tiemoue!'”

Meanwhile, Bakayoko himself tweeted: “New team! New challenge!”

Bakayoko has been loaned to AC Milan and Monaco in the past two seasons.

He will now link up with Gennaro Gattuso – under whom he played at Milan – in Naples.

The French midfielder hasn’t played for the Blues since 2018 – only featuring for the club his debut season, where he failed to rediscover his Monaco form in 29 Premier League matches.

Elsewhere on deadline day, Ruben Loftus-Cheek joined Fulham on a season-long loan.

And Fikayo Tomori rejected a loan move to West Ham just TEN MINUTES before the deadline.


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