Branislav Ivnovic, Chelsea’s defender has been rumored to be in a shock move to the Spanish side, Barcelona.
This came on the heels of the failure of the Catalans coach, Luis Enrique, to successfully replace Dani Alves.
According to reports from several news agencies, once the upcoming transfer window opens, the Serbian defender will likely make the shock move to Barcelona. For eight years, Ivanovic had enjoyed a wonderful spell at Chelsea, after he moved to the London club from Lokomotiv Moscow.
However, since Antonio Conte took over as Chelsea’s coach, Ivanovic has found playing time with the club hard to come by. Also, with Chelsea not quite keen on extending the contract of the defender, which expires at the end of the current season, it is only expected that he would leave in the coming transfer window. Continue reading
Due to an unimpressive start at the beginning of the season, the Serbian was unable to set himself in the heart of the starting XI of Antonio Conte’s men. This has left him struggling for regular playing time over at Chelsea.
The right back for the Blues
who is currently 32 years old has not featured in any of his team’s matches since their unfortunate 3-0 loss to Arsenal. So far, Cesar Azpiliceuta and David Luiz have manned that position, leaving him with nothing.
This has led the Serbian right back to begin weighing up offers from clubs in the Far East and Europe, according to reports from The Mirror. Ivanovic moved out of Lokomotiv Moscow in 2008 and has been with the Blues ever since then. His contract however, would be coming to an end this season and several clubs are preparing to go after him already.
Some of these clubs include Inter Milan and Marseille who have been said to be on the lookout for him. Another club, a Chinese one already has an interest to sign him onto their team.
Ivanovic is already being urged to make the big move to the Chinese club where his former team mate, Ramires is also plying his trade.
However, alleged rumors claim that some of the Premier League clubs could send him an offer at the expiration of his contract with Chelsea. These EPL clubs are Crystal Palace and West Ham. Continue reading
Chelsea coach Antonio Conte has admitted that he is finding it difficult to get his summer transfer top targets due to the lack of European football as a lure.
The former Italy national team coach has only successfully signed N’Golo Kante and Michy Batshuayi
this season from Leicester City and Marseille respectively. Following the underwhelming performance, and subsequently poor finish in the last term, a lot of changes were expected. The management is open to more additions but with no prospect of playing Champions League football, targets are looking away from Stamford Bridge.
“I must be honest, I think we’ll have a problem to reach our targets. I still hope with this transfer market to improve the squad and the team with some new players, but we understand our targets are very difficult to reach.
“But we have a game against Burnley for now which is more important than the transfer market. Then, after that, I hope some more players than now [are gotten] before the deadline,” Conte told reporters.
With few days to the deadline, if Chelsea struggle to win another game, the pressure to get reinforcements would increase – if not this summer, then January unfailingly.
While Branislav Ivanovic goes down to put Antonio Conte in agony, the news of rapid improvement in the condition of Kurt Zouma would relieve the coach as the France international hopes not to remain out for more than 60 days now.
Ivanovic was looking to win back the fans after losing some of them courtesy a below average PL season. However, now, it’s all uncertain for him as someone might grab his place during the time he recovers.
Zouma, on the other hand, was in form and had held the back line together. He was one of the favourite defenders of Guus Hiddink who deployed him as centre back in most of the games in his reign before the youngster injured himself quite awfully which ended the possibilities of him playing his first major tournament for his nation.
Zouma doesn’t curse his luck too much for getting injured at the wrong time and believes if one plays the game, he has to be ready for injuries as injuries can happen at any time.
In Zouma’s words, “Having a positive standpoint really helps. You can’t be getting depressed thinking ‘Oh I missed an opportunity of playing a major’, you just have to be motivated to go through the recovery and gain more and more strength.”
“It’s not that this is something only I have faced. Many Footballers are victims of such injuries or even worse, but, it’s your perspective, how you take the situation, whether you let it get you down or get you motivated.”
“I try to be cheerful even when I am battling an injury. A joke here and there with mates, a bit of a giggle and it really keeps you positive and that’s what I want, only positivity.”
Everton has joined the race for getting the players they want.
Their interest currently lies in Tim Krul. Ronald Koeman is a long term fan of Krul and he wishes to get the player for his goal keeping skills. You might have seen Krul in his goal keeper position as he has been a constant figure for Newcastle United and adhered to the training sessions as was required of him. The transfer market coming alive will certainly see Krul was part of a tug of war. His current team would probably be resisting his transfer while Everton would be looking to place a lucrative bid for the player. Their interest is not without purpose. The new boss of the team, Ronald Koeman would be looking at Krul as he has great admiration for his skills.
Ivanovic joins other players that are not in full fitness as they take on the newly crowned English Premier League champions, Leicester City.
Ivanovic along with goal keeper Thibaut Courtois, Striker Diego Costa and Chelsea player of the season, Willian are most unlikely to feature in the last round of games as the season ends. Captain John Terry would also miss out due to suspension and could have played his last game for Chelsea, though the player is reported to have been offered a one year deal.
Chelsea in 9th position would host Leicester City as Leicester complete their fairy tale season but the host needs to win to avoid recording the lowest points total by a defending champion which is currently held by Leeds United. Leeds United earned only 51 points in the 1992/93 season just a year after winning the old first division.
Stamford Bridge has not carried the fear factor this season that it had in the past as only Aston Villa have won fewer games than The Blues this season. Leicester City will receive a thoroughly deserved guard of honour from their hosts to mark the hugely stunning season for a club who were also relegated last season from top flight football. It would be particularly sweet for Claudio Ranieri, Leicester’s tactician, as he returns to Stamford Bridge for the first time since being sacked by Roman Abramovich at the end of the 2003/2004 season. Continue reading
Top English Premier League outfit, Chelsea lost in an away match to Swansea on Saturday.
The loss which many soccer betting fans would not have preempted was a big setback to their campaign. With few games to go and Chelsea in 10th place, many soccer betting fans would have thought The Blues would have done anything to get European action next season.
Chelsea defeated Aston Villa by four goals to nothing in the last game in an away match and had played a 2-2 draw with sixth-placed West Ham United. After West Ham played a draw with Arsenal, dropping points each, many would have thought The Blues would have defeated Swansea to get closer to the European opportunity, even if it was the Europa League. Chelsea have had a disappointing season but with interim manager, Guus Hiddink, soccer betting fans would have thought the team would have tried to salvage some pride, as the season gradually ends.
The defeat which was the first under the current interim Coach saw an early goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson give Swansea victory. It was a disappointing end to the week after Italian coach Anthonio Conte was announced as new Manager at the Stamford Bridge. Continue reading
Former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins claims that the arrival of Guus Hiddink has once again made Chelsea a calm place for the players. The club has been going through a turbulent season, which resulted in the sacking of manager Jose Mourinho after just a few months of winning the league title. The club have constantly been in the headlines since the start of the campaign when Mourinho launched a verbal attack on club doctor Eva Carneiro. Since then, they have been in the headlines for one reason or the other. Players have been dropped for several matches altogether.
Since the departure of Mourinho, though, performances have improved tremendously and the club marked with his improvement with a 3-0 win over arch rivals Crystal Palace a few days ago. A major reason for this sudden improvement is the improved atmosphere in the dressing room according to Wilkins, who has been in the dressing room during troubled times and during the good times as well. Hiddink may have not enjoyed much success in his recent roles as the Dutch national team boss, but he is someone who knows Chelsea very well after having been in this position back in 2009. The club will now look towards climbing up the league table after flirting with relegation so far.
“I never worked with Jose Mourinho, but having had the pleasure of working with Guus, if the atmosphere was intense under Jose it will be completely the opposite with Guus. He will demand they train well and demand they play to a very high standard but the training will be of a very jovial fashion. Straight away, he wants them to work hard but it will be fun all the way with Guus. Last time he was here he was adamant it was from the February through to the end of the season,” said Wilkins.
Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has termed Chelsea right back Branislav Ivanovic as the toughest of that he has come up against.
Arsenal have struggled to get results against the blues in the last decade. This is exactly the opposite of what history used to say about these two teams coming up against each other. Much of the turnaround in history has been facilitated by the presence of top quality defenders like John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho, and Branislav Ivanovic in the Chelsea team. While Cazorla has branded Ivanovic as the toughest defender, he also terms Chelsea as a very difficult unit to score against.
Jose Mourinho has built a Chelsea team to be extremely difficult to beat and this has been the hallmark of the club over the last decade. Even though Arsenal supporters have criticised the blues has been boring, Mourinho can point out to the Premier League and League Cup medals that his team lifted last season. Arsenal played beautiful football and ended up with yet another FA Cup title to their name. They have become the record holders of the FA Cup. Cazorla is now hoping to go one step forward and lift the league title with the gunners. Continue reading