Chelsea are set to make several changes for tonight’s visit to Swindon Town in the Capital One Cup third round.
Cesar Azpilicueta, Ryan Bertrand, David Luiz, Michael Essien and Juan Mata are all likely to come into the starting line-up, while Mark Schwarzer could be handed his debut for the club.
The veteran Australian goalkeeper was part of the Middlesbrough team that won the League Cup in the 2003/04 campaign.
Meanwhile, Azpilicueta has emerged as a potential transfer target for Barcelona, the Metro understands.
The La Liga champions could be forced to recruit a defender if Arsenal and Liverpool target Martin Montoya moves away from the club.
Azpilicutea made forty-seven appearances in all competitions last season, but has barely featured for the Blues since Jose Mourinho returned to the club as manager.
Elsewhere, three former Blues players are among the favourites to become the new Sunderland manager, following Paolo Di Canio’s sacking on Sunday evening.
Roberto Di Matteo, who won the FA Cup and Champions League in a short spell as manager at Stamford Bridge is the currently leading the market, while Watford manager Gianfranco Zola and Gus Poyet, who is currently out of work, are also in the running.
Posted in Chelsea News
Tagged Barcelona, Cesar Apilicueta, David Luiz, Gianfranco Zola, Gus Poyet, Juan Mata, Mark Schwarzer, Michael Essien, Middlesbrough, Roberto di Matteo, Ryan Bertrand, Sunderland, Swindon Town, Watford
Chelsea returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Fulham at Stamford Bridge – a result which took them, albeit momentarily to the top of the Premier League.
They ended the weekend in fourth place following wins for Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, but can reclaim top spot with three points against Spurs next time out.
The Blues had to wait until seven minutes into the second half for the breakthrough, when Brazil international Oscar fired in from close range.
Their advantage was doubled when Jon Obi Mikel grabbed his first league goal for the club six minutes from time.
Juan Mata was again absent from proceedings, but is set to play in the club’s Capital One Cup third round tie at Swindon Town on Tuesday evening.
The Spain international has barely featured under Jose Mourinho, despite clinching the teams Player of the Year in both of his seasons with the club so far.
Meanwhile, Josh McEachran has joined Championship side Watford on loan until January 2nd, according to Sky Sports.
The 20 year old spent the majority of last season with Middlesbrough, where he made thirty-eight appearances, and has also spent time at Swansea City since his last appearance for Chelsea.
Chelsea are bracing themselves for a bid from Barcelona for defender David Luiz, the Mirror understands.
The La Liga champions have been linked with the Brazil international all summer as they look to recruit a new centre half.
The Catalan clubs defensive frailties were exposed last season, none more so than in the 7-0 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals.
Bayern, who went on to win the competition, yesterday ruled themselves out of a move for Luiz, though Blues boss Jose Mourinho has insisted that the 26 year old is not for sale.
Nevertheless, Barcelona are reportedly lining up a £30m offer, with the hope that new signing Neymar can help tempt his international teammate to move to Spain.
Elsewhere, Chelsea are on alert after Brazil international Willian expressed a desire to quit Anzhi Makhachkala, according to the Metro.
The 24 year old has stressed that he wants to play in the Premier League, and is likely to jump at the chance should the Blues come calling.
Meanwhile, midfielder Josh McEachran could be set for a loan move to La Liga side Real Sociedad, the Mail Online understands.
The 20 year old spent last season with Middlesbrough, though the North East club have declined the chance to take him for the forthcoming campaign.
Chelsea are preparing themselves for a bid from Bayern Munich for defender David Luiz, according to the Metro.
Pep Guardiola wants the Brazil international to play in the heart of his defence as he aims to retain the league, cup and Champions League in his first season with the club.
The Spaniards former club Barcelona are also reportedly interested in the 26 year old, who the Blues paid £21m to Benfica for two years ago.
Meanwhile, the Express claim that should the transfer happen, the club could potentially move for Luiz’s international teammate Leandro Castan.
The Roma defender made 30 appearances in Serie A last season, with his last game coming in the 1-0 Coppa Italia final defeat to fierce local rivals Lazio.
Elsewhere, the club are lining up a move for Bayern Munich’s holding midfielder Luis Gustavo, the Mirror understands.
Jose he has identified the 26 year old, who is set to see his chances it the Allianz Arena limited following the arrival of Thiago Alcantara, as his top target in that position following reports that he has doubts over John Obi Mikel’s ability to play that role.
Finally, Fulham, Middlesbrough and Wigan Athletic are all interested in taking eighteen year old defender Nathan Ake on loan, according to the Daily Star.