CHELSEA LOOKING TO BUILD AHEAD OF NEXT SEASON

Chelsea have endured a mixed season in Maurizio Sarri’s first year in chargeof the club. The Stamford Bridge outfit are known for their counterattacking football and back to wall approach. However, the appointment of Maurizio Sarri was meant to change all of that.

He started well with his sarri-ball looking smooth as silk in the early stages of the season but it became obvious who the facilitator of the team was too many teams. Mark Jorginho and Chelsea stop playing became the aim of most teams after the defeat away to Tottenham in November.
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BARCELONA CONSIDER MOVE FOR IVANOVIC

Former Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has emerged as a surprise target for Spanish giants FC Barcelona as they look to bolster their defense.

Barcelona lack depth in defense and are said to be considering a move for the former Serbian international as they seek to bolster their defensive options.
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IVANOVIC: NO CERTAINTY ON FUTURE

Serbian defender, Branislav Ivanovic has insisted he is fully focused on his duties at Zenit, but refused to rule out a potential move to Spanish giants, Barcelona.

Branislav Ivanovic has refused to rule out a move away from Russia next year, with Barcelona knocking on the door to acquire his services.
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Nemanja Matic: Jose Mourinho still one of the best managers around

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has said that Jose Mourinho is still one of the best managers around despite the team making an average start to the Premier League. The Portuguese tactician had come under fire after the side lost back-to-back games versus Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur but the reply was perfect versus Burnley after they secured a comfortable 2-0 win.

Speaking after the game, Matic highlighted that the manager was very confident leading into the encounter and Marouane Fellaini was deployed to curb the long-ball threat from the opposition, he said: “He was very confident before the game he prepared the game in a very good way. We knew where they could cause us problems with the long balls, that is why [Marouane] Fellaini played close to our defence, to stop the long balls and I think this performance shows that how we need to play football and we still can compete for the title. Of course, he knows what he is doing [in press conferences] for sure. You probably know that also. It’s good for us also. He is one of the best managers in the world, you know what he won in his career so that shows you everything.”
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SERBIA TO QUALIFY FROM GROUP OF DEATH?

Serbia have a tough job to make it past the group stage of the forthcoming World Cup in Russia. They have favourites Brazil in Group E, the likely team to top the group. For the runner-up, the shot is pretty much open as Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia could get the notch.

Serbia have a balance of experience and youth in their ranks. Former Chelsea man BranislavIvanovic, though a shadow of his former self, has a lot to offer in Russia. TheZenit St Petersburg star would be captaining the side as they feature in their 12th World Cup.
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CHELSEA SIGN EDEN HAZARD’S BROTHER KYLIAN

Chelsea have agreed a deal with Eden Hazard’s brother Kylian from Hungarian club Ujpest.


The 22-year old would join the development team at the club. Kylian featured in 42 games for the club in the last two years. He gets to be close to his brother while developing himself at Stamford Bridge.

The Belgian would be involved in development team’s clash with Sunderland, according to reports. The game is slated to happen at home on Sept 9. Moving to the club is not guarantee that he would feature in the first team, with his brother. Eden’s other brother Thorgan also signed for the Blues where he was from 2012 to 2015. He never made any first team appearances.

Thorgan played on loan at Zulte-Waregem and Borussia Monchengladbach before he eventually agreed to join the German Bundesliga side on a permanent basis. Continue reading

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SANCHEZ’S CONTRACT STALL DRAGS ON

Arsenal playmaker Alexis Sanchez is yet to sign a new deal with the club.


This was expected to be wrapped up as soon as the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia was over. However, up until now the Chilean is yet to agree to new terms with the north London side.

If the club fails to get him to commit now they could lose him for free months down the line. The FA Cup champions have added two playersin a bid to boost the ranks. A decent left back and a top striker have joined with the intent that Sanchez would remain and help the club win the Premier League or return back to playing Champions League football.

The former Barcelona striker could walk for free if he signs pre-contract in January or stalls until June next year, racking up serious sign-on bonus, leaving the Gunners high and dry despite their player loyalty. The 28-year old is a very good player and a game influencer. He is highly sought after across the continent and it is affecting many things at the club.

Sanchez had revealed his intention of exiting the team but Arsenal had hoped to convince him to remain. This process has been going on for a year without success. And as it continues to drag on, Arsenal might be the biggest losers.

Back in 2008, Sir Alex Ferguson had this same issue with his star player Cristiano Ronaldo. After the club convinced him, the Portuguese remained at the club for another year before his record breaking move to Real Madrid. Continue reading

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Ivanovic to get Premier League medals

Former Chelsea player BranislavIvanovic is set to receive a Premier League medal following Chelsea’s triumph in the Premier League.


Despite the fact that the player is now at Zenit St Peterburg, he made enough appearances for Chelsea at the start of the season to be in contention for a medal.

Indeed BranislavIvanovic has been a solid performer for Chelsea at the start of the season until Antonio Conte made the chance to a 3-4-3 formation.

A player can obtain a winning medal if he has played more than five matches for the winning team during the whole campaign. BranislavIvanovic made more than five appearances at the start of the season before deciding that it was time for him to change club.

Oscar is another player that qualifies for a Premier League winning medals for having made the required number of appearances for Chelsea at the start of the season. Just as BranislavIvanovic, he was found to be surplus to requirement and he ultimately made a move to China. Continue reading

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CHELSEA STARS LAUDS CONTE’S PHILOSOPHY AND HIGH DEMAND FROM PLAYERS

Chelsea maintained their nine-point lead with 14 games left after an impressive 3-1 win over Arsenal on Saturday.


A result that means the Blues have lost just two of their past 18 top-flight matches. This statistics has however made players and Premier League watchers realized that Antonio Conte has created something new and lasting at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues’ winning streak is no longer a novelty item, as people now understand how the 47-year-old former Italy boss turned around a team that finished 10th last term to a strong force plus setting a new standard for the Premier League.

Chelsea stars: Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard and Willian took turns to reveal how Conte turned around the club and bringing the best out of the players by imposing high demands on his players in training and on game day.

Courtois, 24, relishes the demands from his new boss and said that has lead to his improved performances this season earning him the praise of former greats such as Iker Casillas. This, the goal keeper believes can take his play even further.

“It’s good to have a manager who is demanding a lot. You have to be at your top every week, and that makes you a champion. I think I’m on a very good level, but I know I can improve myself,” he said. Continue reading

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