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Chelsea yet to make contact with Gianfranco Zola

Gianfranco Zola could return to Chelsea (Picture: Getty)

Gianfranco Zola’s agent insists Chelsea are yet to make contact with the Italian over the possibility of a sensational return to Stamford Bridge.

The former Chelsea star has been tipped to form part of Maurizio Sarri’s backroom staff if, as is expected, the former Napoli boss takes charge in west London.

Zola spent seven years at the club before leaving in 2003 and fueled speculation he was set for a return on Tuesday by bidding farewell to his fellow studio guests on South African TV while covering the World Cup.

‘At the moment there are a lot of rumours about me, but we’ll see what happens and what happens in the future — at the moment, it is only talking but nothing is decided,’ said Zola.

Zola would be interested in working with Sarri (Picture: Allsport)

But Zola’s agent Fulvio Marrucco has denied claims his client is imminently set for a move to Stamford Bridge but he insists Sarri’s appointment is not dependent on a move.

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‘Gianfranco is a Blues legend and his arrival is not dependent on that of Sarri,’ Marrucco said.

‘I can only speak on behalf of my client and reaffirm that there has not yet been any meeting with the Chelsea management.

For Sarri to go to Chelsea, three things need to happen: Conte has to be sacked, Napoli and the Blues have to reach an agreement and, finally, Sarri has to reach an agreement with the club.

‘It [working with Zola] is a hypothesis, but we’d have to see what the roles would be and how their duties would be split.’

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gossipMaurizio Sarri requests THREE major transfers in private meeting with Chelsea board

Napoli star Koulibaly seems to confirm Sarri to Chelsea as he reveals what fans can expect

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Sarri is believed to have held talks with Chelsea in Italy

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Chelsea enter race to sign Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic?

Chelsea have reportedly identified Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic as a potential transfer target.

Earlier this week, it was suggested that Chelsea’s transfer plans had been left in disarray with the Blues still to make an official decision over the future of head coach Antonio Conte.

Former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri is expected to eventually replace Conte and according to Corriere dello Sport, the Blues have reacted by considering a move for a player who has spent much of his career in Serie A.

Pjanic has enjoyed an excellent two years in Turin, with 14 goals being scored in 89 appearances in all competitions, while the Bosnia-Herzegovina international still has three years remaining on his contract.

However, Barcelona have already been credited with an interest in the 28-year-old and it appears that Chelsea are ready to rival the Catalan giants as they look to strengthen in the middle of the park.

The report has suggested that Juventus will demand in the region of £70m to part ways with Pjanic.

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Maurizio Sarri requests THREE major transfers in private meeting with Chelsea board

Maurizio Sarri is expected to take over at Chelsea (Picture: Getty)

Maurizio Sarri has told Chelsea he wants to sign Gonzalo Higuain, Dries Mertens and Kalidou Koulibaly as he prepares to take over as the club’s new manager.

The saga surrounding current boss Antonio Conte appears to be over after Napoli defender Koulibaly said Chelsea would be in good hands with Sarri in the Stamford Bridge hot-seat.

Conte, who won the Premier League in his first season in England, was expected to be sacked in the aftermath of Chelsea’s FA Cup victory over Manchester United at Wembley.

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The Italian cut an increasingly frustrated figure in west London during the 2017-18 campaign and clashed with the Chelsea board over incoming signings.

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Chelsea expect Sarri to replace Conte in the coming weeks and Goal say the club have spoken to their prospective new manager about his transfer preferences.

Sarri, 59, is naturally an admirer of several of his former Napoli players and intends to bring a number of them to Stamford Bridge with him.

Sarri is keen to bring Dries Mertens to Stamford Bridge (Picture: Getty) Prolific striker Gonzalo Higuain is another target for the incoming Chelsea boss (Picture: Reuters)

It is claimed he is keen for Chelsea to pursue centre-back Koulibaly, forward Dries Mertens and striker Higuain, who left Napoli to join Juventus in 2016.

The Blues have also shown interest in Jean-Michael Seri, the Nice and Ivory Coast midfielder, and Poland ace Robert Lewandowski, but speculation over Chelsea’s management situation has prevented the club from making their first signing of the summer.

Chelsea’s current players are also reportedly anxious about the situation, knowing their futures could be affected by the incoming manager.

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Gianfranco Zola’s agent

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Chelsea youngster ready to answer England's call

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (file pic). Ruben Loftus-Cheek (file pic).

RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK said he is ready to start England’s second Group G match at the World Cup against Panama if Dele Alli is ruled out through injury.

Alli picked up a thigh strain in England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday and his fitness is being monitored ahead of the trip to Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday.

Chelsea midfielder Loftus-Cheek played the last 10 minutes of England’s opening match, during which period Harry Kane scored a stoppage-time winner, and he said he is ready to be part of Gareth Southgate’s starting line-up if called upon.

“I am happy if I start or if I don’t,” Loftus-Cheek said in an interview on England’s official YouTube channel.

“I will be ready to come on again if I get the opportunity.”

Reflecting on his positive, attacking approach to his World Cup debut, the 22-year-old said he did what came naturally to him.

“It was a natural instinct when the game is like that, with not long left, to go and be direct and try to make things happen,” he said.

“It felt good. When you’re playing you don’t think about it but after you let it sink in and it’s like ‘I just played in a World Cup’ – it’s crazy.”

The appearance was Loftus-Cheek’s fifth for the Three Lions, having made his debut last November in a friendly against Germany.

Even before Alli’s injury news, there have been calls for Loftus-Cheek to be included in Southgate’s starting XI, with former England international Joey Barton praising the youngster.

“I was really impressed by Loftus-Cheek when he came on,” Barton told talkSPORT. “He looked lively and had that ability to go past a player from midfield.

“I just had a funny feeling, and I’m not comparing them by any stretch, but my first World Cup as a kid was Italia 90 and Gascoigne obviously started that tournament as a squad player — he had the number 19 on his back and by the end of the tournament he’d really been

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Chelsea legend opens up about possible return to the club as a coach

Gianfranco Zola has played down rumours linking him to a coaching role at Chelsea and reveals that no decisions have been made yet, according to a report on Sky Sports.

The Chelsea legend has been widely tipped to be part of the coaching staff when Maurizio Sarri is appointed as the new manager, with the Italian boss seemingly on the verge of taking charge at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian made over 200 appearances for the Blues and knows exactly what it means to be part of the club, which could be one of the reasons they want him to be part of the coaching team.

Zola confirmed that he has undergone talks with the club but there has not been any agreement yet.

When speaking about the matter, Zola said:

There is a lot of rumours about me at the moment and nothing has happened. And we’ll see what happens in the future.

I don’t know. Really, I don’t know. But honestly, at the moment it is only talking. Nothing is decided.

The former Watford and West Ham manager has not had the best of times when being appointed as the man in charge, which is why Chelsea are keen to give him an assistant role at the club.

Sarri’s agent is reportedly in London to finalise his deal to become the new Chelsea manager.

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Chelsea want Rugani

As published by football-italia.net Reports in Italy suggest Chelsea want Daniele Rugani, but Juventus won’t let him go for less than €30m. The Blues look set to appoint Maurizio Sarri as Coach, and he worked with the...

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Real Madrid transfer news: Chelsea star Eden Hazard makes MASSIVE decision on his future

Real Madrid have been linked with Chelsea forward Hazard with interest dating back to his time in Ligue 1 with Lille.

Zinedine Zidane was understood to be hellbent on signing the Belgium international this summer but, in a big twist, the Frenchman quit the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid have since named former Spain boss Julen Lopetegui as their new manager as they aim to beat Barcelona to the La Liga crown next term.

And Spanish outlet Don Balon say Hazard is eager to quit Chelsea for the Bernabeu.

The player is currently at the World Cup with Belgium.

But, speaking recently, he flirted with a move away by admitting his Chelsea future was up in the air.

“If I stay then it would be because they are going to improve on last season,” he said.

“I am not going to remain if they are going to be worse.

“Real Madrid could be interesting for me as everyone knows. They know what they have to do if they want me.

“If it is going to Madrid just to go there then no. I need a project and at Chelsea I have one.

“If I have a good World Cup then it will all be a lot easier. I don’t want to speak about transfers at the moment because I have been asked a lot and in London I have won everything except for the Champions League. I am at this stage of my career thanks to Chelsea.”

Don Balon say, though, that Real have other ideas.

New boss Lopetegui does not have Hazard on his transfer list with Neymar instead their priority target.

But how Hazard’s transfer saga plays out remains to be seen.

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'Sarri will change Chelsea' – Koulibaly backs former Napoli coach to be a success

Kalidou Koulibaly is confident Maurizio Sarri will be a success at Chelsea and believes the former Napoli coach would ‘change’ the style of football at Stamford Bridge.

Sarri has been holding talks with Chelsea over a deal to take over from Antonio Conte and he has already been replaced at Napoli by Carlo Ancelotti.

If Sarri is appointed manager at Chelsea, he is keen to target some of his former players, including Senegal international defender Koulibaly.

Related Sarri requests Higuain, Mertens & Koulibaly as Chelsea talks speed up Chelsea prepare club-record bid for Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly Hazard opens Chelsea exit door with transfer message to Real Madrid

The centre-half was the subject of a summer-long pursuit by Chelsea in 2016, and was again wanted 12 months ago, but he has suggested he will be staying at Napoli to work with Sarri’s successor Ancelotti.

“They [Chelsea] can expect nice football because he is a very good coach,” Koulibaly told Talksport about Sarri.

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“I’m disappointed that he leaves like this, but we have now a big coach [Carlo Ancelotti]. We know we can win something with him.

“I hope he will win something with Chelsea because he’s a nice coach. When a coach like this comes he needs time. So, I think they have to give him time because he will change the football of Chelsea, I think.

“At Napoli we enjoyed it very much as players and the supporters enjoyed it very much. At Chelsea I think it will be the same.”

Koulibaly signed for Napoli in 2014 from Belgian side Genk and has become one of the best, and most sought-after, defenders in world football after four impressive seasons in Serie A.

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However, despite fresh interest from Chelsea this summer, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has identified Koulibaly as one of the players who is too important to lose.

“Not just one!,” said De Laurentiis, when questioned about the players who cannot leave the club.

“Koulibaly is unapproachable and with him also [Piotr] Zielinski and with them [Marko] Rog.”

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Birmingham City linked with move for Chelsea starlet – reports

Birmingham City are one of three Championship teams hoping to sign Chelsea youngster Kasey Palmer, according to reports.

The Daily Mail claims Blues are rivalling Norwich and Sheffield United to strike a loan deal for the 21-year-old.

They also claim that Newcastle are ‘keeping an eye’ on the situation for a player who started last term on loan with Huddersfield.

However, he was a bit part-player with David Wagner’s impressive Terriers team and ended up being re-loaned in the January window.

Then Blues manager Steve Cotterill wanted to bring him to St Andrew’s and looked to have set up a deal only for it fail to come to fruition, with Cotterill suggesting the transfer hit the rocks in the boardroom.

Derby ended up taking the youngster until the end of the season and he played 14 times and scored twice during his time at Pride Park.

Palmer signed a new Chelsea contract until 2021 last summer.

Blues could be looking for options in the wide positions but have not played with a No. 10 since Garry Monk took charge.

Indeed if the Blues manager does choose to look in that position, he has Che Adams and Jota as options, with the up and coming Charlie Lakin also looking for first team opportunities.

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Aston Villa and Birmingham City are interested in Liverpool youngster Sheyi Ojo, according to reports.

Goal.com claims the Second City rivals are two of four clubs interested on taking the winger on loan next season.

Stoke City and Derby are also linked in the report which suggests Liverpool are trying to obtain first team opportunities for some of their brightest stars.

The 21-year-old came through at MK Dons before the Anfield giants won the race against some of the biggest clubs in Europe to sign him as a 14-year-old.

Since then he spent the 2015/2016 season on

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Chelsea, Man Utd boosted as €25m World Cup target learning English

Date published: Wednesday 20th June 2018 2:03

Chelsea have been given a boost in their pursuit of Russian star Aleksandr Golovin, after his father revealed that the midfielder is learning English.

Golovin has impressed so far at the World Cup, helping host nation Russia to two wins from two games.

His form has led to links with Juventus, Manchester United and Chelsea, with the former eager to seal a deal for him before his market value rises further. However, his father dealt the Serie A champions a blow by revealing that the 22-year-old midfielder is currently learning English.

”Aleksandr doesn’t want to read any news as he’s focused on Russia and the World Cup,” he said in an interview.

“I’m sure my son will be able to play at a new level. It’ll be difficult even with a new language, but he’s already started to learn English.”

The quotes will have alerted Premier League pair Chelsea and Manchester United, who are both keen on giving the player a chance in England.

Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea’s probable next manager, is a fan of Golovin, who scored an eye-catching free kick in Russia’s World Cup opener against Saudi Arabia.

United boss Jose Mourinho also heaped praise on him whilst working as a TV pundit for the World Cup following the initial Group A clash.

Golovin is currently valued at around €25m by CSKA Moscow.

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Chelsea midfielder looking set for Stamford Bridge exit as new club enters the race

Birmingham City are the latest Championship club to show an interest in Chelsea’s attacking midfielder Kasey Palmer who is sure to leave Stamford Bridge this summer.

The talented 21-year old enjoyed a successful spell with Huddersfield as they won promotion to the Premier League two years ago but struggled to establish himself in the Derby side for the second part of last season.

However, another move is highly likely and the Daily Mail are reporting that Garry Monk is keen on bringing the youngster to St. Andrew’s.

After keeping Blues in the division on the final day last season, Monk will be looking to add quality to his side which will enable them to enjoy a better campaign.

Yet, they will face serious competition to land the midfielder with the same report stating that Sheffield United and Norwich are also interested in the player.

Worryingly, for all three Championship sides, they state that Newcastle United are also looking at Palmer and a move to the Premier League is sure to appeal more to the England U21 international.

The Verdict

It’s easy to see why Birmingham are after Palmer as he is a hugely talented midfielder and would add a lot to the team in the final third.

Obviously, the issue is going to be the other clubs that are interested in him as they face fierce competition and Newcastle are going to appeal to the player.

However, Monk should be able to offer him first-team football and encourages a positive style of play which will help Blues.

Thoughts, Birmingham fans? Let us know in the comments below.

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Why Chelsea must beat Tottenham to the signature of this £40m-rated Birmingham-born starlet

Jack Grealish was one of the Championship’s best performers last season and he played a key role in Aston Villa’s journey to the playoff final. Unfortunately, they lost to Fulham and missed out on a chance to secure promotion to the Premier League.

Nevertheless, Grealish was one of their standout players and it comes as no surprise that he has attracted attention from some of the big clubs in the Premier League.

As per a report by the Daily Star, London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are interested in signing Grealish this summer.

The report further states that Spurs have tabled an initial bid of £15m for the Birmingham-born youngster. But given the circumstances, the Blues must do everything they can to acquire Grealish ahead of Tottenham.

Jack Grealish

It has been claimed that Villa value Grealish at £40m, meaning Chelsea still have a good chance of acquiring their target. After all, Blues owner Roman Abramovich is known for his deep pockets and considering they are yet to make a new signing in the summer, it is imperative for them to land someone of Grealish’s calibre.

Over the course of the last season, the youngster thrived in the role of an attacking midfielder. He is a solid No.10 and he went on to score 3 goals and provide 6 assists.

According to Squawka, the 22-year-old also created a total of 47 chances in 25 Championship appearances. Blessed with incredible dribbling skills and an innate ability to hold on to the ball, Grealish has all the attributes required to succeed in the Premier League.

Chelsea finished in the 5th spot last season and their performances were extremely lacklustre at times. They lacked a solid goalscorer and to make matters worse, the attackers did not receive ample service from the midfield area.

To that end, a move for Grealish could massively revamp their fortunes. If Chelsea want to win trophies in the upcoming season, they must sign Grealish.

Now, it remains to be seen if they are willing to meet Aston Villa’s valuation of Grealish. Abramovich might not be too happy

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Chelsea And Juventus Trail Serie A Giants In Chase For Roma Star

 

Chelsea are interested in signing Roma full-back Alessandro Florenzi this summer but they are trailing behind Inter in the race to land the Italian.

A winger by trade, Florenzi played a key role playing as a full-back in Roma’s run to the Champions League semi-finals last season and also helped them to finish in Serie A’s top four.

With his contract expiring at the end of next season, Roma are aware that they could lose the player this summer and have been in talks to extend his current deal.

However, the full-back is in demand both in Serie A and abroad and it has been claimed as many as three clubs are interested in snaring him away from Roma in the ongoing window.
 

Chelsea and Juventus are keeping close tabs on his situation at Roma, but according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter are currently leading the race to sign Florenzi.

The Nerazzurri are giving it a real push to land the 27-year-old and are believed be in talks with Roma and the player’s representatives to land the defender this summer.

Chelsea remain in the race but for the moment Inter are putting in the legwork to take Florenzi away from the Stadio Olimpico.

The Blues could step up their efforts after they appoint Maurizio Sarri as their new manager.
 

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Napoli star appears to confirm appointment of new Chelsea boss

Date published: Wednesday 20th June 2018 1:47

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has seemingly confirmed the appointment of Maurizio Sarri as the new Chelsea boss.

The former Napoli boss has been linked with taking the Stamford Bridge hotseat amid reports that Antonio Conte is set to be sacked by the Blues.

The Daily Star on Wednesday claimed that Sarri is even making transfer plans already, and wants to bring Napoli forward Dries Mertens with him to London as his first signing.

Koulibaly – who has himself been linked with a move to Chelsea – has now seemingly confirmed that the 59-year-old will take over from Conte.

“I think that Chelsea fans can expect good football from him, because he’s a great coach,” Koulibaly told reporters after Senegal’s 2-1 win over Poland on Tuesday.

“I feel sorry because he’s no longer the Napoli coach, but now we have Ancelotti, who’s another great manager and we know we can win with him.

“I hope he [Sarri] can win something with Chelsea, because he is a great coach. I think the club has to give him some time, because he will change the way the team plays football.

“In Naples, both players and fans fell in love with his game and I think in London the same thing will happen.”

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Lampard identifies 12-goal Chelsea old boy for Derby County revival

Frank Lampard has earmarked former Chelsea player Salomon Kalou as the man he wants to fire Derby County into the Premier League, according to German paper SportsBild, via the Derby Telegraph.

Kalou was a team mate of Lampard’s for six seasons at Stamford Bridge, scoring 60 goals in 254 appearances. He’s now playing in the Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin.

The report suggests Hertha Berlin might be willing to part with the 32-year-old for a “double-digit million offer”. He’s scored 43 goals in 130 appearances for the German side after they paid just £2.4m for him from French side Lille. Last season he netted 12 times as Berlin finished 10th in the Bundesliga.

The Ivory Coast international, capped 97 times by his country, only cost Chelsea around £8m in 2006 when he joined from Eredivisie side Feyenoord.

Since taking over at Derby, Lampard has been linked with a move for former Chelsea team mate John Terry too as he settles into his first management role.

The Verdict

Would Derby sanction a ‘double digit’ bid for a 32-year old? Surely there’s better options than Salomon Kalou for the Rams. It is inevitable Lampard will be linked with Chelsea old boys, but this link does seem tenuous at best.

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Zola set for role similar to Emenalo’s at Chelsea, telephone conversations taken place

Despite Gianfranco Zola’s agent trying to pour some cold water on the stories sending his client to Chelsea as part of Maurizio Sarri’s staff, Gazzetta dello Sport believe the ex-Chelsea forward is closer than ever to a return to Stamford Bridge.

The former Birmingham manager left South Africa, where he was a commentating for Supersport during the World Cup, to fly to London, which the Italian newspaper sees as a sign a deal is close.

Zola is described as the ‘key’ to Chelsea sacking Antonio Conte and bringing Sarri in, as he would be the new manager’s right hand man in a ‘technical director’ position, which would end up being a similar to role to that of Michael Emenalo.

The former footballer is also adept in English, and knows Premier League football well; attributes that could help Sarri in his early days in charge.

Embed from Getty Images

While official meetings have not taken place between Chelsea and Zola, phone conversations have, according to Gazzetta, and that’s all you need these days to agree on deals.

Zola’s contract with Supersport was meant to go on until Thursday, so the Italian newspaper feel it would take something rather important for him to cut it short.

Gazzetta feel Sarri could end up signing his Chelsea deal by the end of the week, which would, in turn, kickstart the club’s transfer market.

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Chelsea transfer target could be key to keeping Eden Hazard

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Chelsea are close to bringing in Maurizio Sarri, who has made his number one transfer target clear.

Antoine Conte had a good two years at Chelsea. He won the Premier League in his first season, and the FA Cup in his second.

However, things weren’t meant to be for the Italian boss. He fell out with the Chelsea hierarchy over a lack of backing, and it looks like he’ll be on his way out fairly soon.

The Blues finished fifth place in the league, off the back of a title win. This isn’t good enough, especially for a club with a highly demanding fan-base who are accustomed to winning.

Maurizio Sarri looks set to join, which has caused divide upon fans and pundits alike. One thing’s for sure, he won’t tolerate any nonsense from the Chelsea players and backroom staff.

He could also be the key to acquiring some new signatures. Telegraph report the manager could bring in Dries Mertens, who he has spent time with at Napoli.

Will he benefit Eden Hazard?

Chelsea fans should see this as good news, because not only is Mertens a talented player, but he has experience with Belgian countryman Eden Hazard.

Hazard is known for doing work by himself for Chelsea, something he doesn’t experience with Belgium. That said, he will be licking his lips at the thought of playing with Mertens next season.

Of course, Mertens is getting on a bit now, but he still has a few years left in him. A new manager and strike partner will do Hazard the world of good in his decision on whether or not to leave the London club.

He seemed to fall out with Conte, although nothing was said vocally. He grew frustrated with Conte’s tactics at Chelsea, as it often left him isolated and made him do all the work up top.

How does he differ to Chelsea strikers?

It will be good for

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Championship transfer gossip: Aston Villa and Boro line up centre-backs, Derby want ex-Chelsea forward

First up, a confirmed Championship transfer.

Lukasz Fabianski is leaving Swansea City to stay in the Premier League and, as expected, signing a three-year deal to join West Ham for an undisclosed fee.

That’s the second keeper moving this week – Dean Henderson went from Man Utd to Sheffield Utd on loan – but otherwise it’s been pretty slow going for getting deals over the line.

Maximiliano Meza and Lionel Messi put pressure on Hordur Magnusson during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Argentina and Iceland at Spartak Stadium on June 16, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Image: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Hordur Magnusson, the left-sided Bristol City and Iceland defender, will stay in Russia however, after a switch was sealed to CSKA Moscow for about 2.5m euros, according to the Bristol Post.

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Aden Flint, his teammate at Ashton Gate – in fact, he was wearing an Iceland shirt in support over the weekend – could be on his way too. He’s wanted by Middlesbrough, whose boss Tony Pulis had previously been linked with him at Stoke and West Brom.

The towering defender could go for more than £5m, say the Mirror.

Aden Flint has been a key man at Bristol City since 2013. (Image: Harry Trump/Getty Images)

The Reading Chronicle has picked up whispers in the Italian media that Paul Clement wants to bring in Genoa forward David Milinkovic, but Ipswich are also being chucked in the frame.

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John Terry’s replacement at Aston Villa could be Huddersfield fringe centre-back Michael Hefele, say the Mirror, after the centre-half only made six appearances under David Wagner last season.

SportBild – via the Derby Telegraph – are suggesting that Frank Lampard wants his former Chelsea pal Salomon Kalou at Derby County. If there’s a player Lampard played with, it seems he’s on his way to Pride Park.

Derby are also being linked with Liverpool winger Sheyi Ojo, by Goal.

Down Brian Clough Way, the Nottingham Post are reporting that neither Hull have agreed personal terms with defender Eric Lichaj… but

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Sarri requests Higuain, Mertens & Koulibaly as Chelsea talks speed up

Chelsea have spoken to prospective new manager Maurizio Sarri about his transfer preferences as he targets a host of Napoli stars from past and present, Goal understands.

Talks over a deal to appoint Sarri to replace Antonio Conte continue to progress positively and, in conversations with Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia, he has stated his admiration of various Napoli stars, including Kalidou Koulibaly, Elseid Hysaj, Piotr Zielinski and Dries Mertens.

However, Chelsea will have the final say on transfers, just as they did with Conte and remain cautious about offering players aged over 30 a contract lasting longer than one year.

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This policy may scupper Sarri’s interest in signing Belgium international Mertens and also Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain, whose future with the Serie A champions is the source of renewed doubts.

Higuain retains a strong bond with Sarri from their time together at Napoli, despite controversially swapping the title challengers for their fierce rivals in the north of Italy.

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Koulibaly and Mertens both interested Chelsea in the past under Conte and the Senegal defender was the subject of an ultimately failed summer-long pursuit in

Napoli have always proved difficult to work with for Chelsea as discussions continue to remove Sarri from his contract, despite club president Aurelio De Laurentiis having already signed Carlo Ancelotti to replace him.

Sarri had a £7 million ($9.4m) release clause to be paid as compensation but that expired on May 31. Chelsea had sought to pay less than this clause, as they also face a possible £9m bill to remove Conte from his position as head coach.

Talks have continued between Sarri and Chelsea, as they work on their strategy to secure his appointment, although Laurent Blanc remains a frontrunner, should the negotiations collapse.

Chelsea have shown an

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Napoli star confirms Italian is on his way to Chelsea

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly believes that Maurizio Sarri will become the new manager of Premier League side Chelsea, according to a report on the Daily Star.

The Senegal centre-back had a good relationship with Sarri at Napoli and admits that the Blues will be better off with Italian in charge.

The London club is expected to appoint Sarri as their new manager this season after a disappointing Premier League campaign under Antonio Conte last season.

However, Conte did guide the side to FA Cup glory but it looks like that wasn’t enough to save his job at Stamford Bridge.

When speaking about Sarri’s potential move to Chelsea, Koulibaly said:

(Chelsea fans) can expect nice football because he is a very good coach. I’m disappointed that he leaves like this. I hope he will win something with Chelsea because he’s a nice coach.

When a coach like this comes he needs time. So I think they have to give him time because he will change the football of Chelsea, I think.

Chelsea want to give Sarri enough time before the season starts to build the squad to his desire and the Blues are already being linked with some high profile Serie A players, including Napoli’s Dries Mertens.

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West Ham Put In Contract Offer For Arsenal And Chelsea Midfield Target Jean-Michael Seri

 

Arsenal and Chelsea linked midfielder Jean-Michael Seri has received a concrete offer on his table from West Ham, it has been claimed.

Seri has a year left on his contract with Nice and is almost certain to leave the Ligue 1 club as he has a number of suitors interested in signing him this summer.

Arsenal and Chelsea have long held an interest in the Ivorian midfielder and Serie A giants Roma and Napoli are also working on deals to take him to Italy in the ongoing window.

But for the moment he seems closer to a move to England and West Ham are claimed to be the ones who are currently leading the race to land the much coveted midfielder.
 

According to Italian outlet Tutto Mercato, the midfielder has a concrete offer on his table from West Ham for a proposed move to the London Stadium this summer.

Manuel Pellegrini is carrying out the retooling of the Hammers squad and he is exploring the possibility taking the Nice midfield man to England in the ongoing window.

With talks between the club and his representatives ongoing, West Ham are hopeful of a positive outcome after losing out on signing Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Javier Pastore.

They recently completed deals to sign defender Issa Diop from Toulouse and goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski from Swansea City.
 

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Kalidou Koulibaly on Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea

New manager

Chelsea are closing in on landing a new manager, and it seems the Blues have finally settled on former Napoli manager, Maurizio Sarri, who of course left the Serie A side this summer, and was replaced by former Chelsea manager, Carlo Ancelotti.

Now, one of Sarri’s former players, Kalidou Koulibaly, has come out and made it clear he think Sarri would be a good manager in the Premier League and that the style of football will certainly be something Chelsea fans enjoy.

Football 411 report  he said: “(Chelsea fans) can expect nice football because he is a very good coach.

“I’m disappointed that he leaves like this but we have now a big coach (in Carlo Ancelotti). We know we can win something with him.

“I hope he will win something with Chelsea because he’s a nice coach.

“When a coach like this comes he needs time. So I think they have to give him time because he will change the football of Chelsea, I think.

“At Napoli we enjoyed it very much as players and the supporters enjoyed it very much. At Chelsea I think it will be the same.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 17: Mario Vrancic of Norwich City tackles Willian of Chelsea during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay between Chelsea and Norwich City at Stamford Bridge on January 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Players

One thing that does need to be sorted as Chelsea appoint their new manager is of course the players who are concerned over their futures.

The likes of Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois are yet to sign new deals and could well leave, with Hazard making it clear he was waiting on a new manager and the summer activity Chelsea undertake before he was willing to put pen to paper.

There are of course also the players who could be set to leave – and may now decide to stay if Antoino Conte leaves, such as Willian, who had been linked with Manchester United.

See also: England fans filmed singing pro-Hitler, anti-Semitic Tottenham songs in Russia

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Chelsea close to signing top class target, agent in London to finalise move

Maurizio Sarri is closing in on a move to Chelsea this summer.

The Italian has been linked with the Blues for a while now but it seems that the transfer is close to completion now.

As per Sky Sports, Sarri’s agent is in London to finalise the move.

The former Napoli manager is still contracted to the Serie A side and therefore the Blues will have to pay £4.4m to release him from Napoli.

Chelsea had a poor season under Antonio Conte last year and the fans will be expecting immediate improvement under Maurizio Sarri.

Conte failed to guide his side to a top-four finish last season and Chelsea won’t be playing in the Champions League next season.

Napoli played attractive football under him and it will be interesting to see whether he manages to implement the same style of play in England now.

Meanwhile, reports claim that ex-Chelsea star Gianfranco Zola will join Sarri’s backroom staff.

Chelsea have been linked with the Napoli forward Dries Mertens. Apparently, Sarri wants the Belgian as his first summer signing at Stamford Bridge.

West Ham agree deal to sign Lukasz Fabianski, fans react

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Inter In Touch With Chelsea To Take Wing-Back On Loan

 

Inter are probing Chelsea for the signature of full-back Davide Zappacosta on an initial loan deal this summer.

Chelsea snapped up the Italian full-back from Torino last summer, but he struggled to nail down a place in the starting eleven throughout last season.

Only 12 of his 22 Premier League appearances came in the starting eleven and he started half of Chelsea’s Champions League games during the 2017/18 campaign.

With Maurizio Sarri expected to pursue Napoli’s Elseid Hysaj once he becomes Chelsea manager, there are questions marks over Zappacosta’s long term future at Stamford Bridge.
 

Inter are prepared to offer him a route back to Italy this summer and according to Gazzetta dello Sport, they are in touch with Chelsea to probe the possibility of signing the defender.

It has been claimed that the Nerazzurri are trying to convince Chelsea to let them sign Zappacosta on an initial loan deal with an option to buy at a later date.

While it is still unclear whether Chelsea are considering letting the defender go, Inter are trying their luck and have identified Zappacosta as a possible summer target.

The 26-year-old has a contract until 2021 with the west London club.
 

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England must start Chelsea and Manchester United stars after Panama reveal tactics

London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea have recieved a huge boost in their pursuit of Russian maestro Aleksandr Golovin, after the play-maker’s father revealed he is currently learning English, in quotes via Russian outlet Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Italian giants Juventus are said to be courting the CSKA Moscow midfielder closely, with some reports even claiming a deal had been agreed between the two clubs (Calciomercato). However, the new revelation from the player’s father suggests the move is anything but a formality, and Chelsea and Arsenal remain in the race.

“He [Golovin] now has one thing on his mind: the Russian team. But if such proposals are made, I believe that he will go abroad, play abroad,” the Russian international’s father claimed.

“Their football is of a different level, there is nowhere to hide. Speeds are different. I’m sure my son will be able to play at a new level. It will be more difficult with a foreign language. But I know that he has already started learning English.”

Photo: Getty Images

Arsenal have no plans of slowing down in the transfer window after agreeing a deal for 34-year-old Stephan Lichtsteiner and closing in on Lucas Torreira. SportBILD claims that a deal for Bernd Leno is also close to being completed, as personal terms have been agreed. And now it would appear Unai Emery is keen on continuing the pursuit for Golovin.

However, they will face stern competition from west London, as Chelsea have expressed an interest in signing the 22-year-old, with the Express claiming that the club are looking to quickly encore the managerial appointment of Maurizio Sarri with the Italian’s long-spanning target.

CSKA are said to want £22 million before they would be willing to do business for a player they regard as one of the most influential in their squad, while they also assert that a sell-on clause will be part of any deal, to ensure they dont miss out should the player’s market value drastically increase in the future, according to The Sun.

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World Cup star learning English with Chelsea and Arsenal considering moves

CSKA Moscow’s Aleksandr Golovin is reportedly learning the English language as he continues to be linked with moves to Arsenal and Chelsea.

According to a report from PremiumSportHD, as cited on Calcio Mercato, the player’s father has confirmed that he is putting plans in place, in case a Premier League move is on the cards.

Golovin has been one of the stars of the World Cup so far and is also attracting interest from Juventus.

Both Chelsea and Arsenal have been long-term admirers of the player, who is highly thought of in Russia. The Blues are said to view the player as one for the future, which may boost Arsenal’s chances of pipping their London rivals to a deal.

It was reported that Juventus were closing in on a deal, but interest is expected to rise following his performances during the World Cup.

Golovin has scored in Russia’s opening game and was originally valued at close to €25 million, however that is likely to increase following the tournament.

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Koulibaly confirms Sarri will join Chelsea

20 June at 13:15

Afte his country, Senegal, beat Poland by two goals yesterday, Napoli defender Koulibaly spoke to reporters about Maurizio Sarri’s departure, while confirming that the manager will join Chelsea. 

“I think that Chelsea fans can expect good football from him, because he’s a great coach. I feel sorry because he’s no longer the Napoli coach, but now we have Ancelotti, who’s another great manager and we know we can win with him. 

“I hope he [Sarri] can win something with Chelsea, because he is a great coach. I think the club has to give him some time, because he will change the way the team plays football. In Naples, both players and fans fell in love with his game and I think in London the same thing will happen,” Koulibaly concluded ¨

Sarri had been linked with Chelsea for quite some time but it looks like the deal will finally materialize. 

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Chelsea in talks with Inter over swap deal to sign World Cup midfielder

Date published: Wednesday 20th June 2018 12:11

Davide Zappacosta has been handed a possible exit route from Chelsea, which would involve the Blues signing a star Serie A midfielder.

According to Calciomercato, Chelsea and Inter Milan are in talks for a swap deal that would see Matias Vecino move to Stamford Bridge and Zappacosta return to Italy.

Zappacosta joined Chelsea from Torino last summer, but failed to establish a regular starting role in the Premier League side.

The decision of Manchester United and Wolves target Joao Cancelo to join Juventus after a loan spell at Inter last season has opened up a space in the San Siro club’s line-up for a right-back, and they are understood to be keen on Zappacosta.

In return, Chelsea would ask for Inter’s Uruguay midfielder Matias Vecino, who moved to the Nerazzurri from Fiorentina last summer. Vecino played 29 times for Inter last season as they secured Champions League qualification with a fourth-placed finish in Serie A.

Potential new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is a long-term admirer of Vecino, who started Uruguay’s World Cup opener against Egypt and was replaced late on by Arsenal target Lucas Torreira. If Sarri does take over at Stamford Bridge, he is expected to sanction the Vecino-Zappacosta swap deal.

Vecino has also been linked with Tottenham, who could be about to lose Mousa Dembele, while Chelsea will be keen for new midfielders in case N’Golo Kante leaves for PSG.

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Chelsea will rival Barcelona to sign £70 million international star

Chelsea will rival Barcelona for the signature of Juventus star Miralem Pjanic this summer.

Italian media outlet Corriere dello Sport has claimed Barcelona were leading the race to sign the midfielder, but will now face competition from the Premier League club.

Both clubs are understood to be able to offer more lucrative terms to the Bosnian than he is currently on in Turin.

Juventus will demand around £70 million for Pjanic as they want to reinvest funds in Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

The towering Serb is also on Manchester United’s radar and impressed for his country in their World Cup opener against Costa Rica.

Pjanic has emerged as a target for Barcelona after they missed out on Antoine Griezmann, who opted to stay at Atletico Madrid.

He previously played for Metz and Lyon in France, before signing for Roma in 2011. Pjanic went on to score 30 goals in 185 appearances in all competitions for the club.

He joined Juventus in June 2016 and has played 91 times, scoring 15 goals.

Pjanic has won 81 caps at senior level for Bosnia-Herzegovina and bagged 11 goals.

Blow for Newcastle as West Ham outbid them for international star

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Chelsea Legend Flies To London Amid Blues Closing On Maurizio Sarri Appointment

 

Gianfranco Zola left for London on Tuesday to hold talks with Chelsea as the club prepare to appoint him as Maurizio Sarri’s number two at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are close to solving their managerial conundrum and are expected to announce the departure of Antonio Conte in the coming days to pave the way for a new manager.

A contract has been agreed for Sarri and he is expected to sign on the dotted line with Chelsea by the end of the week to become the new manager at Stamford Bridge.

Zola has been reportedly tipped to become the assistant manager at Chelsea, but the former Blue has remained coy when asked about his possible return to his former club.
 

But the wheels are in motion and according to Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport, Zola left Russia, where he was working as pundit in the World Cup, on Tuesday for London.

The Chelsea legend will hold talks with the club over becoming Sarri’s number two.

The Blues are not expecting any more hurdles towards getting Sarri and Zola, and starting a fresh new chapter in the club’s history this summer.

There are also suggestions Sarri could look to retain some of Conte’s men as part of his backroom staff.
 

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Chelsea transfer news: Blues join Barcelona in £70m race for Juventus star Miralem Pjanic

JUST THE PJAN

Italian media claim the Premier League side want the playmaker to provide competition for Cesc Fabregas

JUVENTUS are demanding £70million for Miralem Pjanic after Chelsea joined Barcelona in the chase for the playmaker.

The Bosnian’s representatives have allegedly already been contacted by the La Liga giants regarding a possible move.

Getty

Chelsea are reportedly plotting a move for Juventus ace Miralem Pjanic

Now Corriere dello Sport claim the Premier League Blues have entered the race for the ace.

The report states the FA Cup holders want him to provide competition for Cesc Fabregas at Stamford Bridge.

And Pjanic is set to be quids in with both Barca and Chelsea set to offer him a more lucrative deal than he currently gets in Turin.

Barcelona are looking for fresh talent following Andres Iniesta’s exit.

Reuters

The Italian giants are demanding £70m for Miralem Pjanic

EPA

Barcelona want the Bosnian as a replacement for Andres Iniesta

If Maurizio Sarri replaces Antonio Conte as expected in West London, then the Italian coach will be familiar with the Juve midfielder’s abilities after seeing him in Serie A action.

But Pjanic will not come cheaply.

The Scudetto winners want the huge figure in order to finance a swoop for a replacement.

They have targeted Lazio towering Serbian Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to fill Pjanic’s boots should he depart.

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE All the latest action, news, goals and gossip from the World Cup

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‘Sarri needs time at Chelsea’

As published by football-italia.net Kalidou Koulibaly expects ‘nice football’ from Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri but warns the former Napoli boss ‘needs time’ to implement his philosophy. Sarri is increasingly likely to replace...

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Profile: Is Matias Vecino the solution for Chelsea's midfield?

20 June at 13:00

Chelsea fans will be underwhelmed to discover that the latest name they’ve been linked to, Matias Vecino, was essentially replaced at Inter by Rafinha and Roberto Gagliardini in the second half of last season.

He managed to get the last laugh, however, when his last-gasp goal against Lazio on the final day of the season handed the Nerazzurri a return to the Champions League, after a six-year absence.

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Fans of the Pensioners have learned to view Antonio Conte’s Serie A signings with some caution: for every Marcos Alonso, the Italian has brought in a series of men (Rudiger, Morata, Zappacosta) who have yet to prove that they can perform at a high level over the long term.

Surely someone who flopped after a strong start is not what the Blues need, right?

Well, maybe. But the truth is more complex than that. Acquired for €24 million, the Uruguayan international – who is starting at the World Cup, at least for the moment – is probably still worth that sum now. It’s not every day that you find a midfielder capable of doing everything.

Especially not one who helped put the Nerazzurri back on the map and revolutionise their football last Fall. Alongside Borja Valero, he was a building block on which Luciano Spalletti could impose his own vision, allowing the Nerazzurri to briefly lead the Italian league, if ever so briefly.

While Vecino seemed to flop after Christmas, this may be explained by fatigue, having played non-stop under Paulo Sousa at Fiorentina along with Valero. The former Swansea Coach bled his two midfielders (three with Milan Badelj) dry, because they were so fundamental to his system. Remove one of them, and everything fell apart.

So what’s so special about Vecino? Well, he was one of the unsung heroes of the first half of the campaign, the cool-headed passer every midfield needs. A strong presser, the Uruguayan makes a lot of tackles (almost two per game according to Whoscored), is a good runner off the ball (and into the box) and works diligently in keeping possession ticking.

Rarely the kind of player to try the through

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Chelsea linked with a move for Tottenham Hotspur midfield target

Chelsea have been linked with a move for Inter Milan midfielder Matias Vecino.

According to Tuttosport, the 26-year-old could end up at Stamford Bridge as part of a swap deal involving defender Davide Zappacosta.

Tottenham Hotspur have also been touted as a possible destination for Vecino.

He started his professional career in 2010 with Central Espanol and switched to Nacional for the 2011/12 season.

Vecino agreed to join Fiorentina in January 2013, but the transfer was delayed didn’t become official until the next transfer window in August.

He made his competitive debut for the Serie A club in a 2-1 away defeat against Inter during September.

However, his first team appearances were limited and he was subsequently loaned out to Cagliari until the end of the season.

Vecino spent 2014/15 season on loan at Empoli, but he returned to Florence in mid-2015 and became a member of the first team.

He signed for Inter in August 2017 and has gone on to make 31 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring three goals.

Vecino has been capped 23 times by Uruguay and is part of their squad at this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Fabian Schar would be a fantastic signing for Celtic

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