Branislav Ivanovic is set to return to the Chelsea line-up for this evening’s top of the table clash with Arsenal.
Cesar Azpilicueta is likely to switch to left back, with Ashley Cole dropping to the bench while Michael Essien will miss the game after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season in the League Cup quarter final defeat to Sunderland last Tuesday evening.
Victory for the Blues will see them leapfrog the Gunners, while only an unlikely win by seven or more goals will see them finish the evening in first place.
Jose Mourinho’s men follow this evening’s game with home fixtures against Swansea City and Liverpool before travelling to Southampton on New Year’s Day.
Manchester City are currently favourites to reclaim the Premier League title, with Chelsea second favourites and Arsenal third.
Meanwhile, the club have been alerted to reports that Porto striker Jackson Martinez has failed to agree a new deal.
Mourinho has been linked with a move for a new striker in recent weeks as his current front line continue to misfire, with Martinez one of a number of names linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge.
The Colombia international has 47 goals in 65 games since moving to Porto last year.
Posted in Chelsea News
Tagged Arsenal, Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic, Cesar Azpilicueta, Jackson Martinez, Liverpool, Manchester City, Michael Essien, Porto, Southampton, Swansea City
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.
Posted in Chelsea News
Tagged Andre Schurrle, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Cardiff City, Christian Benteke, Demba Ba, Fabio Borini, Fernando Torres, Jackson Martinez, Porto, Samuel Eto'o, Sunderland
Liverpool are plotting to bid £8m for Ryan Bertrand when the transfer window reopens, the Metro understands.
Reds’ manager Brendan Rodgers is keen on bringing in cover for Jose Enrique, who is side-lined until February after undergoing knee surgery.
Bertrand has played just sixty-four minutes of Premier League football this season, with two other appearances coming in the Capital One Cup.
He has previously had loan spells with Bournemouth, Norwich City, Reading and Nottingham Forest but could now be set to secure a permanent move away from the club.
Should the 24 year old leave, the Blues may well step up their interest in Wolfsburg’s Ricardo Rodriquez, who they are reportedly eyeing as a long term replacement for Ashley Cole.
Meanwhile, the club are in secret talks with Porto’s Jackson Martinez, according to ESPN.
Jose Mourinho is keen on bringing in a new striker in January, and has identified the prolific Colombia international as his top target.
The 27 year old moved to Europe last July, and has scored an impressive thirty-four goals in just forty league appearances, whilst internationally he has eight in twenty-five senior caps, and is almost certain to be involved at next summer’s World Cup finals.
Netherlands coach Louis Van Gaal has urged Wesley Sneijder to accept Jose Mourinho’s offer and join Chelsea, the Express understands.
The midfielder has been long linked with a move to the Premier League, and was subject to a deadline day bid by champions Manchester United which was rejected by his current club Galatasaray.
However, Van Gaal is sure that the Blues remain interested in signing the 29 year old, who enjoyed his most successful spell under Mourinho at Inter Milan.
Sneijder scored his 26th international goal in the Netherlands’ 2-0 win in Turkey on Tuesday evening, and will be keen to feature at what would be his third successive World Cup finals next summer.
Meanwhile, the Express have also reported that the Blues are considering bids for promising French duo Gianelli Imbula and Eliaquim Mangala.
Midfielder Imbula, 21, has broken into the Marseille first team this season and got his first goal for the club in the 2-1 win over St Etienne last month.
Managala, a centre-back who has made over sixty appearances in all competitions for Porto, made his full international debut in a friendly against Uruguay during the summer, and has also been linked with Manchester United, Manchester City and Monaco.
Fernando Torres will miss Chelsea’s trip to Norwich City on Sunday afternoon, as the Spain striker serves a one-match suspension following his dismissal against Tottenham Hotspur a week ago, though the injury he picked up midweek would have seen him miss out regardless.
Eden Hazard is also an injury concern for the Blues, so Jose Mourinho could once again hand Juan Mata a starting berth, while Marco Van Ginkel is out for the foreseeable future with anterior cruciate damage.
The Blues are unbeaten in their last seven meetings with the Canaries, winning six of those games, and three points here will see them maintain their place in the top five.
Meanwhile, the club have beaten Bareclona and AC Milan in the race to sign Porto defender Nicolas Otamendi, the Express understands.
Reports in Spain are suggesting that the 25 year old will move to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, despite interest from La Liga and Serie A.
It is believed that a deal has been struck after Jose Mourinho himself requested that the Argentina international be added to his squad.
The centre back has won fifteen caps for his country, and was handed his debut four years ago by then manager Diego Maradona.
Chelsea have completed the signing of winger Christian Atsu from Porto, according to Sky Sports.
The Ghana international has put pen to paper on a five year contract after the two clubs agreed a fee of around £3.5m, though he will spend the rest of this season on loan with Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem.
He made twenty-eight appearances for the Jose Mourinho’s former side last year, having spent the previous campaign on loan with Rio Ave, where he won the clubs Player of the Season award.
Atsu is the eighth new arrival at Stamford Bridge this summer, and is also the fourth to be loaned to Vitesse, with Gael Kakuta, Patrick van Aanholt and Lucas Piazon also having made the switch.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are set to sign Victor Moses on a season-long loan deal, the Mail Online understands.
The Nigeria international, who has not yet made an appearance under Jose Mourinho, is set to fall further down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge following the arrival of Brazil international Willian.
Elsewhere, Demba Ba is reportedly on Arsene Wenger’s radar going into transfer deadline day, according to the Mirror.
Lie Moses, the Senegal forward is set to see his chances limited after Samuel Eto’o was re-united with Jose Mourinho last week.
Posted in Chelsea News
Tagged Arsenal, Christian Atsu, Demba Ba, Gael Kakuta, Liverpool, Lucas Piazon, Patrick van Aanholt, Porto, Rio Ave, Victor Moses, Vitesse Arnhem, Willian
Chelsea are on the verge of completing a deal for Anzhi Makhachkala striker Samuel Eto’o, the Express understands.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho has been linked with the man who played for him during Inter Milan’s treble winning season of 2009/10, after being unable to complete a deal for top target Wayne Rooney.
Eto’o, who’s agent was in the stands for Monday’s goalless draw with Manchester United , is thought to have agreed personal terms with Chelsea, who have bettered the offer of the Cameroon strikers former club Inter Milan.
Meanwhile, the Express have also reported that the Blues appear to be winning the race to sign Porto winger Christian Atsu.
Tottenham Hotspur and Everton are also interesting in the 21 year old, who has recently entered the final year of his contract with the Portuguese champions.
Elsewhere, Newcastle United are attempting to resign Demba Ba on loan before Monday’s transfer deadline, according to the Mail Online.
The Senegal international scored 29 goals in 54 appearances for the North East club before Chelsea met his release clause back in January, but has failed to make a real impression since moving to Stamford Bridge.
He was left out of the match day squad for Monday’s game at Old Trafford, where Mourinho opted to start without a striker, and had Fernando Torres and Romelu Lukaku on the bench.
Even though he appeared more than willing to transfer to Stamford Bridge just a couple of months ago, Porto striker Hulk has now backed his commitment to his current club and claimed that he has not held any discussions with Chelsea.
It was only a couple of months ago that the Brazilian claimed he would be open to a move to the Blues yet since then, speculation has quietened down. In fact, Hulk has said over recent weeks that he is more than happy to remain in Portugal and is under no pressure to leave. Continue reading
There have been times this summer where it has appeared as though Hulk is all but certain to arrive at Stamford Bridge. However, events through recent weeks appear to have thrown the move into jeopardy, and Hulk’s most recent comments don’t exactly provide confidence that the transfer is going to go ahead. Continue reading
It has been one of the most talked-about transfer sagas of the summer, yet it actually appears as though Chelsea haven’t even made a bid for Brazilian striker Hulk. Speculation has been mounting over recent months that the Porto striker is set to make a switch to Stamford Bridge, but it is understood that a deal is a long, long way from being struck and the Blues may even miss out on their man. Continue reading