Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko has reportedly undergone a successful medical with Chelsea ahead of his proposed move later in the week.
The France international was one of the many standout performers for Monaco last season as they ended Paris Saint-Germain’s stranglehold on the title. Bakayoko was initially associated with a move to Old Trafford, but Antonio Conte managed to convince him to join the Blues with the assurance of regular first-team football.
According to The Express, the player has already had a series of medical tests with the west London giants, and the move will become official as early as Saturday – when the transfer window reopens. Monaco were initially said to have been playing hardball in negotiations over Bakayoko, but they have eventually agreed on a £35m sum in order to sell the former Rennes man. Continue reading
Chelsea are reportedly stalling on their potential approach for James Rodriguez after knowing of Real Madrid’s £70m asking price for the Colombia international.
The South American attacker has been constantly linked with a Premier League move after he was found applying for a UK working visa earlier in the January transfer window. Rodriguez eventually opted to stay put at the Bernabeu under the advice of agent Jorge Mendes with a view to resolving his future in the summer.
Rodriguez was partially used by Zidane Zinedine during the course of the previous campaign with most of his goals coming off the substitutes’ bench. The most surprise decision of them all was his surprise exclusion from the Champions League final squad despite training with the squad prior to the showpiece event against Juventus. Los Blancos eventually won the premier competition to become the first side ever to retain the title in the modern era. Continue reading
Chelsea’s interim manager Guus Hiddink believes that defender and captain John Terry is worthy of a new contract.
The 35-year-old is set to leave the club at the end of the campaign as his contract runs out in a few weeks. Chelsea confirmed six months ago that they would not be extending the deal of their talisman even though the player himself expressed his desire to stay. After his recent sending-off against Sunderland, Terry will be unavailable for the last two games against Liverpool and Leicester City. This denies him a chance to put on a Chelsea shirt for one final time at Stamford Bridge.
After having given impeccable service to the club over the last decade, Hiddink feels that Terry deserves a great sending-off if he is to leave the club. However, he has urged the club to reconsider their decision since he feels that a player like Terry is invaluable in the dressing room. The presence of Terry is especially important next season considering that new manager Antonio Conte comes to the club to replace Hiddink. He has no experience of managing outside England and any help from experienced players with the Chelsea squad will be immense. Terry is last of the old guard left at the club. Continue reading
Premier League leaders Chelsea will hope to put some distance between themselves and the chasing pack as they welcome third place Arsenal to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
Victory for Jose Mourinho’s men will see them regain a seven point advantage over their London rivals and Liverpool, who travel to Cardiff City later in the day while Manchester City in fourth face Fulham at Craven Cottage.
David Luiz may return to the Blues starting line-up after being fit enough to be named on the bench for Tuesday evening’s Champions League last sixteen second leg victory over Galatasaray, though Ashley Cole is set to remain on the side-lines with the knee problem that saw him miss out midweek.
Brazilian internationals Willian and Ramires miss out having both been sent off in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa.
Should Chelsea lose to the Gunners in what is Arsene Wenger’s 1000th game in charge, it would give all of the three sides below them the chance to overtake them in midweek.
Arsenal host Swansea City and Manchester City travel to neighbours Manchester United on Tuesday evening, while Liverpool host a struggling Sunderland side twenty-four hours later.
Chelsea’s hopes of winning a first league title in four years were dealt a blow at the weekend as they lost 1-0 at Aston Villa.
Fabian Delph’s back-heel eight minutes from time was enough to secure all three points for Paul Lambert’s side, who moved into the top half of the table.
However, the Blues’ lead at the top has been cut to four points, with second place Liverpool and third place Arsenal winning at Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively, whilst fourth place Manchester City, who also took all three points from their game at Hull City, are a further two behind.
All three of the chasing pack have games in hand over Chelsea; one in the case of Liverpool and Arsenal and three for Manuel Pellegrini’s men who have been reinstalled as favourites by the bookmakers.
The Blues will now turn their attention to tomorrow evening’s Champions League last sixteen second leg with Galatasary, before returning to league action against Arsenal on Saturday lunchtime.
Lose to the Gunners, they could fall to as low as fourth by the time of thier game at Crystal Palace the following weekend, with the other sides in the Champions League places all playing in midweek.
Chelsea can extend their lead at the top of the table by as much as nine points with victory against Aston Villa in Saturday’s late kick off in the Premier League.
With Arsenal and Liverpool not playing until Sunday afternoon, Jose Mourinho’s men will be keen to tighten their grip at the summit though they must attempt to do so without the injured Ashley Cole while David Luiz and Fernando Torres are both doubtful having missed last weekend’s 4-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
Mourinho is likely to select his side with Tuesday evening’s Champions League last sixteen second leg against Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge in mind.
Ryan Bertrand, who is on loan at Villa for the rest of the season, will be ineligible to face his parent club.
The Blues ran out 2-1 winner when the sides met at Stamford Bridge back in August, while they also recorded the same result in last season’s corresponding fixture in May – the day Frank Lampard broke Bobby Tambling’s goal-scoring record for the club.
Elsewhere, Paris Saint Germain striker Edinson Cavani has insisted he is happy in France, despite reported interest from both Chelsea and Manchester United.
The Uruguay international has rebuffed claims there isn’t pleased with his role in the team, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic often playing as a sole striker in Laurent Blanc’s side.
Aston Villa are keen to secure a permanent deal for Ryan Bertrand when his loan spell is complete, the Mirror understands.
The England full back swapped London for Midlands back in January, joining up with Paul Lambert’s side for the rest of the season.
He has made seven Premier League appearances since arriving at Villa Park, having made just ten in the whole of 2013 for Chelsea, just one of which coming since Jose Mourinho returned to the club.
The 24 year old has two years left on his contract with the Blues, but is understood to be open to the idea of moving on.
He is unable to feature in the game against his parent club this weekend, but is confident that he can help the side achieve a top half finish for the first time in three years, according to Sky Sports.
Meanwhile, the Daily Star understand that the club are yet to open talks with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois regarding his future, according his father.
The Belgium international is currently enjoying a third successive season with La Liga title challengers Atletico Madrid, and is reportedly wanted by both Atleti and their city rivals Real on a permanent basis.
Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points by beating Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
After a goalless first half Samuel Eto’o, who was only on the field as Fernando Torres withdrew after picking up an injury in the pre-match warm up, put the hosts in front eleven minutes after the break.
Eden Hazard fired in his fifteenth goal of the season from the penalty spot shortly after to double the Blues’ advantage before a late brace from substitute Demba Ba put the result beyond doubt.
Jose Mourinho’s men are now seven points clear of Liverpool and Arsenal in second and third place respectively, though both have a game in hand, while fourth place Manchester City are nine points off the top with a three game advantage on the leaders.
The Blues’ boss has insisted that Manuel Pellegrini’s men are still favourites to reclaim the Premier League from their neighbours, saying that he would ‘prefer to be in City’s position’.
The club will now turn their attention to next weekend’s visit of Aston Villa, before facing Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge in the second leg of their Champions League last sixteen tie.
Chelsea remain without Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic for Sunday afternoon’s visit of Premier League champions Manchester United.
The pair are unlikely to return until later this month, so Ashley Cole is set to continue at left back with Cesar Azpilicueta playing on the right.
New signing Nemanja Matic could be included to make his second Blues debut, ironically in place of David Luiz, the man for whom the Serbia international was used as a makeweight to land in 2011.
The sides played out a goalless draw at Old Trafford back in August, while there last meeting at Stamford Bridge ended in a 1-0 win for the Blues in the quarter finals of the FA Cup.
Last season’s corresponding league match was won by United in October 2012, while Chelsea won in extra time when the sides met in the League Cup four days later.
Meanwhile, Ryan Bertrand has been loaned to Aston Villa for the rest of the season, Sky Sports understands.
The full back has been used sparingly this season, making just one appearance in the Premier League, and two in the League Cup.
He could make his debut tomorrow afternoon when Villa travel to Anfield to face Liverpool.
Jose Mourinho will not be repeating the success of his first season in his first spell as Chelsea manager, as the Blues lost the League Cup quarter final with Sunderland after extra time at the Stadium of Light.
The visitors dominated the majority of the ninety minutes, and took the lead when Lee Cattermole turned into his own net just after the break.
Former Chelsea forward Fabio Borini then drew the hosts level late on to send the game into extra time, and with the tie heading towards a penalty shoot-out, Ki Sung Yueng thumped in the winner for Gus Poyet’s men.
The Blues will now turn their attention to Monday evening’s clash with Premier League leaders Arsenal, where victory will see them top the table for Christmas, should Liverpool fail to beat Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon.
Last night’s result has led to Mourinho claiming that he may rethink his attacking approach, while he may still add another striker when the transfer window reopens next month.
The Metro understands that Porto’s Jackson Martinez and Christian Benteke of Aston Villa are both options as his current front line continue to struggle.
Fernando Torres, Demba Ba, Andre Schurrle and Samuel Eto’o have just sixteen goals between them in all competitions this season.
Tags: Andre Schurrle, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Cardiff City, Christian Benteke, Demba Ba, Fabio Borini, Fernando Torres, Jackson Martinez, Porto, Samuel Eto'o, Sunderland