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Wolves sign Leander Dendoncker on initial loan from Anderlecht

Wolves sign Leander Dendoncker on initial loan from Anderlecht

ESPN

Barcelona maintain that Ousmane Dembele is not for sale this summer despite reported interest from Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, sources have told ESPN FC.

Journalist Kike Marin reported on Thursday that Arsenal had made an offer worth €100 million for the France international, hours before the transfer window closed in England.

Earlier in the day, reports in France had suggested Dembele was also a target for PSG, who have until the end of the month to complete a deal.

However, Barca have said throughout the transfer window that their plan is to keep hold of the forward and insist that nothing has happened to change that stance.

Dembele, 21, became the club's most expensive player (since replaced by Philippe Coutinho) when he joined from Borussia Dortmund for an initial fee of €105m last summer, following Neymar's move to Paris.

However, an injury three games into his Barca career, which left him sidelined for four months, hindered his adaption to his new surroundings.

Ernesto Valverde then left him on the bench for some of the club's biggest games at the end of the season, leading to rumours about his long-term future with La Liga's champions.

The signing of Malcom, another young forward who primarily plays wide, from Bordeaux in July only served to enhance that speculation.

But Barca, through president Josep Maria Bartomeu and coach Valverde, have always rejected any reports placing Dembele's future in doubt.

"Let's hope this will be his season," Valverde said in a news conference last month. "He's an extraordinary player. The past year has been complicated because of the injuries, but, even so, he has brought us a lot.

"The important thing is that there is competition within the team. There are a lot of matches and we cannot handle them with only 11 players."

Dembele, a World Cup winner with France, returned to training with Barca last weekend and is in the running to start Sunday's Spanish Super Cup final against Sevilla in Morocco.

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer believes record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga will be confident playing out from the back.
ESPN's Alison Bender and Liam Twomey discuss Kepa Arrizabalaga arrival and the possibility of Michy Batshuayi leaving Stamford Bridge on loan.

LONDON -- Chelsea's club-record signing, Kepa Arrizabalaga, insisted his £71.5 million price tag is not on his mind as he was unveiled at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.

Kepa became the most expensive goalkeeper when Chelsea decided to meet the buyout clause in his contract with Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday, eclipsing the £56m that Liverpool paid Roma for Alisson last month.

That status could be a considerable burden for the 23-year-old to bear as he adapts to a new country, club and league, but Kepa is adamant that the figure will not enter his thinking at Chelsea.

"In terms of the price, it's something I don't think about," Kepa said via a translator. "I'm just going to be myself and try to give my best.

"It's not in my mind. Chelsea has made a great bet in taking me. I'm really happy to be here and I'll put everything in to repay the trust in me.

"I don't think there will be additional pressure [from the price tag]. The only pressure I experience is the pressure I put on myself. I demand a lot from myself so I'll just try to give everything I can to the team."

Kepa said he became aware of Chelsea's interest in signing him to be the replacement for new Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois several weeks ago, and that Athletic had rebuffed several offers from the club before his buyout clause was met on Wednesday.

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri is believed to have personally identified Kepa as the goalkeeper to replace Courtois, and Kepa backed himself to prove a good fit for Sarri's distinctive system and playing style.

"I think I will be able to adapt," he said. "I find his style and ideas very attractive. I have references on him from players like Pepe Reina and other players. On the other hand, Maurizio's style is not unlike the style at the Spanish national team."

Kepa has signed a seven-year contract that commits him to Chelsea until his 30th birthday, and he has high aspirations for his time at Stamford Bridge.

"I expect to achieve a great growth, a personal growth and a collective growth as a team," he said. "I hope we will win many titles and at the end of these seven years I can look back and be very proud."

Wolverhampton Wanderers have continued their summer spending hours before the Premier League transfer deadline by finalising a loan with Anderlecht for midfielder Leander Dendoncker.

Dendoncker, 23, will move to the club next summer on a permanent deal. He is the sixth signing for Wolves and will be available to make his debut in the club's opener against Everton on Saturday.

#WelkomLeander

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