The rumours linking Diego Costa with a move away from Chelsea do not seem to be going away even after the appointment of Antonio Conte.
The striker has been linked with an imminent return to Atletico Madrid, where he became a legend in the last few years. Costa was a major factor in helping Chelsea lift the league title in the 2014-15 season, but he had a very poor season the last time around. His poor form was especially pronounced in the first half of the season when José Mourinho was the manager. Incredibly, Costa’s form including dramatically after Mourinho was sacked and Guus Hiddink was appointed.
The patchy form for the Spaniard in the last two seasons may have been one of the reasons, while language issues have also been spoken about. Costa has scored 36 goals in the last two campaigns, which is a good return for someone who cost only £ 30 million. At 27 years of age, the striker still has plenty to offer for the club if he manages to strike good form. After having been an extended holiday due to Euro 2016, Costa was seen only towards the latter end of the Chelsea’s pre-season. It remains highly doubtful if he would start the game against West Ham on Monday night.
The second half of the campaign has been excellent for Chelsea, according to interim manager Guus Hiddink.
He replaced Jose Mourinho midway through the campaign. At the time of his arrival, there was even a possibility of relegation battle for Chelsea. Such was the incredible fall from grace for the 2015-16 champions that Hiddink was largely expected to not make much of an impact in terms of league position. This has been true to a certain extent, as Chelsea have been only able to make it back into the top 10 of the table.
They have missed out on top four qualification and will not be playing in the Champions League or Europa League next season. This will be the first time Chelsea are without any form of European football since the arrival of Roman Abramovich in 2003. However, Hiddink says that the damage was done in the first half of the season. Since his arrival, Chelsea have lost only a handful of matches in all competitions. Just like in his first spell as the interim manager, Hiddink has revealed that he will not be staying at the club beyond the end of the campaign. The club decided to go for Italy boss Antonio Conte on a three-year contract. Continue reading
Liverpool legend Didi Hamann claims that Chelsea should stop their pursuit of a new manager and instead look at the possibility of appointing Guus Hiddink on a permanent basis.
The Dutchman has come back to Chelsea for a second spell as the interim manager. It looks almost certain that he will not stay at the club beyond the season. Chelsea have been linked with a number of managers like Pep Guardiola and Massimiliano Allegri. However,Hamann says that Chelsea are failing to recognise that they have a wonderful manager on their hands already. Hiddink suffered only one defeat in his previous spell as the interim manager.
This impeccable record looks set to continue, as he has so far been able to avoid defeat in all competitions. If that can be a complaint on Hiddink, it can be the lack of victories. Chelsea have been involved in a number of draws since the arrival of the Dutchman. They are not good enough to help the club get in contention for the top four. Just one league victory in the last five matches means that the club are still several points away from getting into the top six. After the Guardiola option was recently ruled out, Massimiliano Allegri has been made as the favourite to take over. Continue reading
Thomas Vermaelen might be back playing in the English top flight next summer and that too for Chelsea.
It has been known now that John Terry’s contract is not going to be extended at Stamford Bridge.
So, his departure is almost certain and in that case, the Blues would definitely need an oily defender to fill his shoes and there would be very few better options than Vermaelen.
Veramelen is currently at Barcelona, but, his position over there is not good as he is not getting to play as many games as he probably should be.
So, he would not be that reluctant either to move away from the Catalan giants’ camp.
If he does so and comes to Chelsea, it would be pretty similar to what Cesc Fabregas had done.
Fabregas had also left Arsenal to join Barcelona and then, after a couple of years, came back to England to join Chelsea.
The Arsenal faithful, since then, have been very angry with Fabregas and even now, they don’t let go of any opportunity to have a brutal verbal go at the Spanish playmaker.
Vermaelen should also be ready to take the flak if he makes his way to Stamford Bridge.
Vermaelen was actually rumoured to be on the target of Manchester United as well in the earlier parts of the mid-season transfer window, but, Luis Enrique, the Barcelona head coach, had denied that possibility at that time terming Vermaelen a vital cog in the team’s set up. Continue reading
In June of 2014, Thibaut Courtois made his return to Chelsea as the Belgian goal-keeper ended his loan deal with Athletic Madrid and sparked a shockwave in Stamford Bridge and the Premier League as the 22 year old player is arguably one of the best players of the top tier league with sublime performances in every match he plays in.
The remarkable season that Courtois is going through is great news for Chelsea as the club has only conceded 26 goals in 30 matches but at the same time this also brings negative consequences for other players who have had to be sidelined for the majority of the season and Petr Cech is the player who has had his spot snatched away from him.
Rumors are now claiming that Chelsea are prepared to sell Petr Cech and have placed a price tag of €10 million for the experienced shot-stopper who is being linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge.
Petr Cech has a contract with Chelsea which extends until the end of the 2015-16 season but if the contract could be terminated depending on the situation of the player and the club. If Mourinho wants to sell Cech, then he could be offloaded and it does seem like Cech will be exiting Stamford in the summer transfer window as the player has already stated on a number of occasions that he wants to join a club where he can have a secured regular starting spot. Continue reading
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is delighted that the club are back in the title race this season, and is relishing the end of season run-in, according to Sky Sports.
The club were fourteen points adrift of champions Manchester United last season, while they were twenty-five short of Manchester City’s winning tally of eighty-nine points in the 2011-12 campaign.
However, with eight games left to play, they are in pole position, four points ahead of both Arsenal and Liverpool and six in front of Manchester City, and despite those sides having games in hand over the Blues, Lampard is up for the fight.
Meanwhile, Didier Drogba believes that his former club are on course for success, and that Jose Mourinho can build “another great team” at Stamford Bridge, the Daily Star understands.
The Ivory Coast international, who returned to his former stomping ground on Tuesday evening as his Galatasaray side crashed out of the Champions League, has been strongly linked with a return to Chelsea in some capacity in the future.
Elsewhere, the club have been linked with a move for Southampton striker Sam Gallagher, according to the Metro.
The teenage, who is the latest in a long line of young talents to break into the Saints’ first team, scored his first Premier League goal in a 4-2 win over Norwich City last weekend.
Chelsea return to Premier League action tomorrow afternoon with the short trip to bottom of the table Fulham.
Eden Hazard and Jon Obi Mikel should feature, though neither completed ninety minutes against Galatasaray midweek after shaking off their respective knocks, while David Luiz will be assessed ahead of the game.
Goals from Oscar and Mikel secured victory for the Blues when the sides met at Stamford Bridge back in September, and another three points for Jose Mourinho’s men will ensure that they stay in first place.
However, if they fail to win Arsenal will be able to leapfrog them into pole position with victory at Stoke City, while third place Manchester City are playing in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Ashley Cole has been named in Roy Hodgon’s England squad for next Wednesday’s friendly international against Denmark at Wembley.
The 33 year old will have the chance to win his 107th cap, though he will be up against fellow left-backs Leighton Baines and reported Chelsea target Luke Shaw – the latter of which the only as yet uncapped player in the thirty-man party.
Fellow Blues defender Gary Cahill has also been included, as has midfielder Frank Lampard.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is confident he can wrap up deals for both Edinson Cavani and Luke Shaw before this summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil, according to the Mirror.
A striker and a left back are high on the Blues’ boss’s list of targets with his current selection of strikers struggling for consistency, and with Ashley Cole’s time with the club seemingly drawing to a close.
Cavani appears to be the club’s first choice striker, with Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney set to sign a new contract at Old Trafford while Shaw is expected to be pursued by a number a clubs come the end of the season, with Chelsea and United currently the front runners in the race to secure his services.
The Blues are expected to part-fund the deals by selling fringe players such as Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku, the latter of which is yet to play for the club having spent the last eighteen months out on loan first with West Bromwich Albion and then Everton.
There is also a doubt over three of the clubs senior players, with John Terry and Frank Lampard, along with Cole, not certain of new deals at the West London outfit.
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill is eager to taste title winning success with Chelsea this season, the Express understands.
The England international, who has won the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League since joining from Bolton Wanderers two years ago, has said that he ‘is striving’ to finish the seasons as Champions, as are his teammates.
Many of the current Blues squad have won the Premier League including John Terry, Petr Cech and Frank Lampard, who were involved in all three of the club’s title winning campaigns this century.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are bracing themselves for a possible bid from Manchester United for out-of-favour midfielder Juan Mata, according to the Telegraph.
The Spain international has been regularly linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge since the start of the season, with the current Premier League champions often mentioned as potential suitors.
It has been reported that United would have to offer around £37m for any deal to be possible, and such a fee would see them break their transfer record, usurping the £30.75m they paid Tottenham Hotspur for Dimitar Berbatov in September 2008.
Mata has started just half of Chelsea’s matches in the Premier League so far this season, completing the full ninety minutes just twice.
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.