Leeds complete signing of Chelsea starlet Lewis Bate

Leeds have completed the signing of Lewis Bate from Chelsea, making him their fifth summer addition.

England youth international midfielder Bate has signed a three-year deal after travelling to Leeds yesterday to finalise his move and undergo a medical.

An Official confirmation of his arrival is expected this morning.

Leeds are now set to pay £1.5m plus add-ons for the 18 year-old. Chelsea have also secured a sell-on clause in the agreement though no buy-back clause.

Mailonline revealed on Monday that Bate was subject of interest from a number of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals, including Leeds.

Leeds emerged as frontrunners as talks progressed quickly, ahead of the likes of Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton who had also spoken to Chelsea about a deal.

Bate, who has been at Chelsea since he was eight, had one year left on his Chelsea deal but opted against signing a new one due to concerns about his potential pathway to first-team football.

He will initially be part of Mark Jackson’s under-23 setup but Leeds have convinced Bate that Elland Road is the best place for the next stage of his career due to their track record of progressing players into the first team from their youth sides.

Bate joins left-back Junior Firpo, winger Jack Harrison, attacking midfielder Shaun McGurk and winger Amari Miller as a new arrival at Leeds during this window.

Man City friendly at Troyes cancelled because of coronavirus travel restrictions.

Manchester City’s planned pre-season friendly at sister club Troyes later this month has been cancelled due to coronavirus travel restrictions affecting France.

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The scrapping of the July 31 fixture leaves Pep Guardiola’s side with just two other games, including the Community Shield against Leicester, before they begin their Premier League title defence at Tottenham on August 15.

The club say they have no plans to replace the friendly with another pre-season fixture.

City cancelled the game after this week’s tightening of quarantine rules for travellers returning from France, by the UK government, made it impractical to proceed.

France is now classified in an ‘amber-plus’ category for travel, meaning that people must still isolate for 10 days after entering the UK, even if they are fully vaccinated.

The news comes after City announced this week that their first pre-season friendly, against Preston on July 27, will be played behind closed doors at their Academy Stadium. This decision was taken as a precautionary measure after a number of positive tests for Covid-19 forced the closure of their academy building last week.

A club statement read: “Manchester City are disappointed to confirm that our planned pre-season friendly at fellow CFG (City Football Group) club ES Troyes AC has been cancelled.

“Both clubs explored all avenues to be able to play the game, but the recent UK government changes to quarantine rules for travellers returning from France, has made the required restrictions too difficult to overcome.

“Pep Guardiola’s first-team squad will remain in Manchester and continue their pre-season preparations at the City Football Academy. There are no plans to replace the ESTAC friendly with another pre-season fixture.”

Troyes, who were promoted back to Ligue 1 last season, would have provided strong opposition for City in the build-up to the new campaign. The club became part of the CFG stable last year.

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Guardiola’s squad began pre-season training on Monday but a number of senior stars are yet to report back after being involved in international tournaments over the summer. The Community Shield takes place on August 7.

Barca ‘offered the chance to sign Van de Beek’

The Holland international endured a difficult first season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with the United boss handing him just four starts in the Premier League and 15 in across all competitions.

Spanish publication SPORT claim the United midfielder was ‘offered’ to Barca with the LaLiga club considering sending Samuel Umtiti in the opposite direction.

But the Manchester Evening News claim Van de Beek wants to stay and nail down a starting spot at United.

Sources close to the player told the publication that the midfielder is ‘fit, fresh and ready for the challenge’ as he works his way back to fitness.

The 24-year-old was forced to withdraw from Holland’s Euro 2020 squad due to a groin injury and he has been training separately with the club’s medical staff.

He and Anthony Martial, who is also recovering from injury, are expected to rejoin the rest of their team-mates on Monday.

Van de Beek joined United in a £40million deal last summer after impressing at Ajax.

The Dutchman scored on his debut against Crystal Palace but then struggled for game time.

Solskjaer opted to play Scott McTominay and Fred in the defensive midfield roles while Bruno Fernandes was the main man in the central attacking spot.

Van de Beek looked short of confidence during his cameo appearances last season and was unable to hide his disappointment while he sat on the bench or when he was taken off early in games.

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United legend Mark Hughes claimed the midfielder looked ‘lost’ during his performances.

‘Clearly it’s difficult, he hasn’t had enough game time and you can see that in his play,’ he told Stadium Astro in March.

‘He’s wandering and not really getting on the ball, doesn’t know how to affect the game, can’t demand the ball of his team-mates because they’re not quite sure whether or not they have enough confidence in him.

‘He looks like a guy who’s wandering around lost on the field. Okay, some of that responsibility he has to take on himself, he has to be more demonstrative, he has to be a key player.

‘He’s a big-money signing he’s come from a big club in Ajax so he’s used to being a top player of influence.

‘But clearly, since he’s come to United he hasn’t shown anything like what the level he needs to be at to remain a Man United player.

‘He can only have so many opportunities, at some point he’s going to have to take them or United will move him on. I think they’re edging towards that decision if he’s not careful.’

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