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7 Players Who Could Leave Napoli in Wake of Scandal & Where They Could Go

​Napoli are a shambles on and off the pitch these days.

After being held to a 0-0 draw by Genoa on Saturday, Carlo Ancelotti’s side are seventh in Serie A, five points off the Champions League qualification spots and 13 behind leaders Juventus. However, that is far from the biggest issue surrounding the club.

SSC Napoli v Genoa CFC - Serie A

​I Partenopei’s poor run of results saw owner Aurelio Di Laurentiis take matters into his own hands following a stalemate against Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday, ​scheduling extra training sessions for the squad. However, both the manager and players refused to turn up for the organised retreat and are set to face the consequences which could range from fines, to legal action to being sold…

Here’s a look at who could be forced out or ready to jump ship at Stadio San Paolo in the wake of this ugly mutiny and where they may be headed next.


Dries Mertens

Ories Mertens

It’ll be a tragedy when, not if, Dries Mertens moves away from Naples. He’s fallen for the fan-base and they have likewise fallen for him, but this love affair is set to go the way of Romeo and Juliet.

Having only recently surpassed Diego Maradona into second place on Napoli’s all-time top scorers lisr, the Belgian may be close to joining rivals ​Inter after ​’practically agreeing’ a two-year contract with the Nerazzurri.

It’s a sad, sad end to what had been a heartwarming story for Mertens and his adoring supporters.

Probable Destination: Inter


Kalidou Koulibaly

FBL-EUR-C1-NAPOLI-SALZBURG

If anyone is to depart I Partenopei, it will be Kalidou Koulibaly. It’s very simple – the colossal centre-back is too good to be at a club so deeply embroiled in crisis, and he knows it.

So, where is the Senegalese likely to end up? At another club that’s in the midst of a crisis! ​Manchester United have been tracking him for years and may return with a new bid if they feel they can get a discounted price amid the chaos.

United may have splashed out big on Harry Maguire in the summer, but their defensive issues aren’t quite fully solved. The likes of PSG, Man City Juventus and many may well be interested if word gets out that Napoli are ready to entertain bids but expect the Red Devils to be at the front of the queue.

Possible Destination: Manchester United


Fabián Ruiz

Fabian Ruiz

Back in October, ​Real Madrid representatives ​made contact with Fabián Ruiz as they looked to lure him back to his native Spain. Now, there’s added incentive for Los Blancos to press ahead with a deal.

A player of the midfielder’s calibre will not want to hang around on the sinking ship that is Napoli when he could go and be the heir to Luka Modrić’s throne at the Bernabeu. 

​Barcelona and ​Manchester City are also thought to be interested, but neither can guarantee him a starting berth. Madrid most certainly can as they prepare for life without their ageing Croatian playmaker, whilst Ruiz is also thought to favour Madrid due to it’s proximity to his family home.

Possible Destination: Real Madrid


José Callejón

Jose Maria Callejon

While the Chinese Super League has been suggested for Callejon, Italian journalist Ciro Venerato has claimed ​AC Milan are looking to secure the Spaniard’s signature once his deal with I Partenopei expires in the summer, as reported by club news outlet ​Sempre Milan.

The Rossoneri were keen on bringing him to San Siro over the off-season, yet they couldn’t come to an agreement with his current employers. 

However, they won’t need Napoli’s good graces after his deal runs out and it’s understood Milan goalkeeper Pepe Reina could play a part in convincing Callejón to move up north.

Possible Destination: AC Milan


Lorenzo Insigne

Lorenzo Insigne

Until they got slapped with a one-year transfer ban, ​Chelsea had rather fancied the idea of bringing Lorenzo Insigne to west London. 

​The Blues wanted the forward to come in for Madrid-bound Eden Hazard at Stamford Bridge and – obviously – haven’t been able to purchase any replacements as of yet.

Christian Pulisic is beginning to blossom under Frank Lampard, but Pedro will surely be on his way soon, whilst it can’t hurt to have a make-shift back-up for Tammy Abraham, despite the clear differences in his and Insigne’s style of play.

Like with Koulibaly, expect many of Europe’s major players to take an interest in local hero Insigne is made to leave his hometown club.

Possible Destination: Chelsea


Kostas Manolas

Konstantinos "Kostas" Manolas

​Arsenal were allegedly ​close to signing Greek centre-back Kostas Manolas before his switch from Roma to San Paolo in the summer – who’s to say they won’t resurrect that interest?

No one is pretending David Luiz is a long-term fix for the Gunners’ defensive woes and Napoli may hold the answer to their problems.

He has just been backed by the Arsenal board, but there’s only so much more poor form the club’s hierarchy can tolerate before sacking Unai Emery. Whoever they appoint after him, the new man would probably look to sort out that leaky backline immediately.

Possible Destination: Arsenal


Allan

Marques Allan

At the back-end of the 2018/19 campaign, numerous reports surfaced suggesting Allan ​had his heart set on joining Paris Saint-Germain, the Brazilian informing Ancelotti and co of his desire to go.

Apparently, his compatriots at the Parc des Princes had spoken to him about the prospect of a transfer to Ligue 1, with the midfielder swiftly deciding he wanted a new challenge in France.

A deal never materialised, yet the situation is different following the latest Neapolitan scandal. Di Laurentiis could be looking to start afresh and Allan could be getting his wishes met.

Possible Destination: Paris Saint-Germain


For more from Ed Alexander, follow him on Twitter!

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90min’s Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 12

So, the biggest game of the season is quite possibly already behind us. 

Liverpool came out victorious in their long-awaited battle against Manchester City, defeating Pep Guardiola’s side 3-1 on Sunday at Anfield. However, the table-topping clash wasn’t without its fair share of drama, suggesting that an international break is perhaps what we all truly need right now to decompress.

But before we get ready to cheer on our respective nations once more, here’s a look at the best performers who made it into 90min’s team of the week for matchday 12.


Goalkeeper & Defenders

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-MAN CITY

Ben Foster (GK) – 36-year-old Foster excelled in Watford’s first win of the season, making two special saves against Jamal Lewis and Kenny McLean in the second half of Friday night’s away victory over Norwich.

Ricardo Pereira (RB) – Leicester City just keep excelling this season – and although their attacking players undoubtedly play a big role in their excellent results, their back-line is also impressive. Pereira was Leicester’s star man at the weekend as the Foxes defeated Arsenal 2-0. The right-back’s speed and determination to get forward saw him play a crucial part in both goals.

James Tarkowski (CB) – 26-year-old Tarkowski was at the heart of Burnley’s defence as his side comfortably beat West Ham 3-0 at Turf Moor. He also assisted Ashley Barnes’ goal from a corner during the opening stages of the game.

Federico Fernández (CB) – Newcastle managed a 2-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday, with Fernández the Magpies’ best defender. The Argentinian denied the Cherries again and again, making an impressive nine clearances for his team as Steve Bruce’s side walked away with all three points after going down 1-0 early in the first half. 

Andrew Robertson (LB) – ​Liverpool’s back four are no strangers to 90min’s Team of the Week, with Robertson earning another nod thanks to excellent display in Sunday’s 3-1 win over City. The Scotsman’s assist for Mohamed Salah’s header was his highlight of the day. However, he also made some crucial interceptions to deny City in the second half. 


Midfielders

Fred

Fabinho (DM) – ​Arguably Liverpool’s most important player, Fabinho completely stole the show on Sunday afternoon with a superb strike within the first ten minutes to give the Reds the lead. Although not a regular on the scoresheet, the Brazilian proves his importance through his continuously excellent midfield display and his most recent performance against the reigning Champions showed just how crucial he is.

Fred (CM) – Things are looking up for ​Manchester United. After their comfortable 3-1 victory against Brighton on Sunday, Fred was the Red Devils’ star man as he put in an all-too-rare excellent performance. The 26-year-old produced one of his best displays in a United shirt – showing off his leadership qualities as well as his excellent range of passing.

James Maddison (CM) – It’s hard to think back to a time before Maddison was one of the most exciting players in the Premier League. The attacking midfielder put in another excellent performance against the Gunners this weekend, contributing to Leicester’s 2-0 victory. The 22-year-old continues to perform as one of the Foxes’ star players and constantly looked a threat against a fragile-looking Arsenal side.


Forwards

Gerard Deulofeu

Gerard Deulofeu (LW) – The Spaniard scored the first goal for the Hornets in the first two minutes before coming extremely close for a second. He also assisted Andre Gray’s goal in the second half, making him Watford’s key man on the club’s best day of the season so far.

Jamie Vardy (ST) – Oh, Vardy. Will this guy ever stop scoring? According to Leicester City’s recent form, it appears not. The Englishman scored the first goal against Arsenal before assisting Maddison’s in the second half. Brendan Rodgers’ side are on fire at the moment – and with a man like Jamie Vardy upfront, it’s easy to see why.

Willian (RW) – In a team full of youth, Willian has proven why experience is still important in Frank Lampard’s side. The Brazilian played a big impact in Chelsea’s 2-0 victory against Crystal Palace on Saturday, assisting Tammy Abraham’s opening goal in the second half. Despite being one of the oldest players on the pitch, the 31-year-old was full of energy and has proven to be one of the Blues’ most crucial players.


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Frank Lampard Suggests Reece James Could Play Further Upfield For Chelsea in the Future

​Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has suggested that Reece James has the potential to become a midfielder at Stamford Bridge in the coming years.

James started for the Blues against Crystal Palace in a 2-0 victory and thoroughly impressed when facing up against tricky winger Wilfried Zaha.

Lampard’s youthful revolution is well underway, with the likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori all becoming key starters for Chelsea this season.

Mason Mount,Tammy Abraham

Reece James’ game time has been significantly less than some of his teammates this campaign, but the 19-year-old is beginning to get more minutes under his belt and Lampard believes he has a potentially bright future in the centre of the park.

As reported by The Metro, Lampard said: “Right-back would be his favoured position.

“Whether it be there, right wing-back or right of a three. As he’s coming in to the team, you’d see him there but he does have that all-round game that he could handle playing centrally in midfield if needs be.”

James operated competently in a defensive midfield role 13 times last season while on loan at Wigan in the Championship.

Lampard continued: “At the moment we’ve got good players in there who are used to playing in there anyway, but he could always do that as he matures through his career.”

Reece James,Wilfried Zaha

James started ahead of ​Cesar Azpilicueta on Saturday in an unexpected alteration to ​Chelsea’s starting lineup, however, Lampard knows how important rotation will be as the season progresses.

He claimed: “He [Azpilicueta] took it, as I thought he would do, as a perfect professional and it was not a problem.

“He wants to play, of course he does, but I think he also understands the quality of Reece.

“He’s [Azpilicueta] played every game barring the Carabao Cup, and every minute of the games, so I don’t think it’s the worst for him to have a bit of a rest and now he can go away and have a rest.”

Cesar Azpilicueta,Frank Lampard

Lampard has given Chelsea a new lease of life this season, with the Blues currently sitting in third place in the ​Premier League and playing some breathtaking football this season. 

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Fantasy Premier League: The Dream Team From Gameweek 12

Guys, I don’t know about you, but I had my first good gameweek in about two months this past matchday.

Bringing Jamie Vardy in for Roberto Firmino proved to be an exquisite shout, while usual big hitters Sadio Mane and Tammy Abraham were also among the points again.

On average, managers picked up around 48 points this week, down from gameweek 11’s average of 53, but a fair few bosses are losing faith with previous fantasy shoo-ins like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Teemu Pukki and Raheem Sterling.

This gameweek’s Dream Team is another eclectic collection of ragtag Premier League stars.

So, let’s get into it, shall we?


Goalkeeper

Nick Pope

Nick Pope (9pts) – West Ham are on something of a downward curve at the moment, but Burnley don’t care. Neither does Nick Pope, who made four stops against the Hammers on the way to a save bonus, two regular bonus points and a clean sheet.


Defenders

Fikayo Tomori

James Tarkowski (12pts) – Alongside Pope, Tarkowski also makes his way into the Dream Team. The England international teed up Ashley Barnes, nodding Dwight McNeil’s corner back across goal for the striker to shoot and score.

Ciaran Clark (10pts) – Newcastle have a weird reliance on goalscoring defenders. In the Premier League, Clark is the Magpies’ joint top scorer, alongside Jonjo Shelvey, with Joelinton the only out-and-out attacker to have netted for Steve Bruce’s side. He scored again in the 2-1 win against Bournemouth, also picking up two bonus points.

Fikayo Tomori (9pts) – The former Derby loanee is turning out to be a great differential as a cheap defender playing for a top side. The 21-year-old has been in the ​Chelsea team since the 2-2 draw with Sheffield United, and his ownership among managers has increased ever since. Tomori’s latest display saw him earn a shutout against Crystal Palace, also picking up three bonus points.


Midfielders

Bernardo Silva

Ruben Neves (11pts) – On paper, Ruben Neves should be a fantasy manager’s dream. Reasonably priced and an attacking-minded midfielder with an outrageous eye for goal, Neves’ returns this season and last term have been disappointing. However, he was brilliant against Aston Villa, scoring a well-worked opener on his way to three bonus points, grabbing 11 in total.

Tom Davies (10pts) – Everton youngster Davies is usually good for a couple of goals a season, and one of them came during Everton’s vital 2-1 victory at Southampton. He arrived at the back stick to head in Mason Holgate’s flick before the Toffees secured a dramatic win late on.

Harry Wilson (10pts) – The Welshman is slowly establishing himself as a key player in Bournemouth’s set-up. He’s the club’s second highest league goalscorer so far this season with four, one of those coming in the 2-1 defeat at Newcastle on Saturday. He was subbed in the 65th minute, but still managed to grab three bonus points.

Anthony Martial (10pts) – It looks like Martial is going to be pretty important for ​Manchester United’s fortunes this season. The Frenchman is back playing up front after missing five league games, and now has a goal and two assists in his last three starts. Those two assists came during the 3-1 win over Brighton, with Martial also awarded with his first two bonus points of the campaign.

Bernardo Silva (10pts) – It does seem a little weird that Bernie Silva has earned a spot in the Dream Team while no other ​Liverpool player features, but that’s just the crazy world of Fantasy Premier League for you. The Portugal international netted in the 78th minute as Manchester City tried to claw their way back at Anfield, but he couldn’t stop Liverpool winning 3-1. Still though, a decent return, including three bonus points, if you put your faith in the midfielder.


Forwards

Kelly Cates,Gerard Deulofeu,Gary Neville

Gerard Deulofeu (12pts) – For his price, Deulofeu is often a good differential, but you need to pick him up while he’s enjoying a good spurt of form. Watford have been pretty useless for most of the season but the former Everton attacker now has two goals and an assist in his last two games, racking up 12 points against Norwich on Friday night, and it looks like he’ll be pivotal in his side’s battle to avoid the drop.

Jamie Vardy (12pts) – Vardy is officially a must-have in this year’s game. ​Leicester have created so many chances, thanks to players like James Maddison, Youri Tielemans and Ayoze Perez, but Vardy also turned provider against Arsenal as well as scoring en route to a 12-point haul. If you haven’t brought him in already, it’s time. Stop lagging behind and join the party.


For more from Jude Summerfield, follow him on Twitter!

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Ross Barkley & Tom Heaton Ruled Out of England’s Upcoming Euro 2020 Qualifiers

England moved to the verge of qualification after a 6-0 thumping of Bulgaria in October, in a game that was remembered for the ​incidents of racism rather than the sublime football on display.

Gareth Southgate’s England side are set to take on Montenegro at Wembley Stadium on the 14 November – in England men’s 1,000th international fixture – before travelling to the Fadil Vokrri Stadium in Kosovo’s capital city of Pristina on the 17 November in their final Euro 2020 qualifier. 

Gareth Southgate

However, the ​FA have confirmed Southgate will have to make do without duo Ross Barkley and Tom Heaton, as the pair have sustained injuries with their respective clubs. 

Chelsea midfielder Barkley has been suffering with an ongoing ankle injury which he sustained against ​Newcastle United in October. The 25-year-old has struggled stay included in Frank Lampard’s side, having completed 90 minutes only once so far this season in the 3-2 away win against ​Norwich City 

Meanwhile Aston Villa goalkeeper Heaton picked up an unspecified injury whilst in training on Saturday, which inevitably ruled him out of the West Midlands derby loss against ​Wolves. The 33-year-old veteran goalkeeper has featured in all bar one of Villa’s Premier League games this season, thus illustrating his importance to the newly promoted side.

Dean Henderson

Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson has been called up to replace Heaton in goal, and will be eager to prove his credentials after being named on the England bench for the last two qualifiers against Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. 

However there has been no call up to replace Barkley, as Southgate deems his England midfield to be well stocked ahead of both fixtures. The likes of Declan Rice, Harry Winks, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Maddison and Mason Mount are all able to fill in. 

England can guarantee qualification with a win over Montenegro and, given England’s record so far in Group A (P6 W5 L1), victory should be a formality. 

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