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Manchester United tackle Chelsea, and PSG for Barcelona’s midfield maestro

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Ivan Rakitic

Manchester United are hoping to reignite interest in Barcelona’s 30-year-old midfielder Ivan Rakitic, whose contract wasn’t renewed by the Catalans during the summer.

Paul Pogba is yet to justify his steep price tag with the Red Devils while Fred, Fellaini, and McTominay are yet to offer what the Croatian star would bring to the team.

The Croatian star will reach the end of his deal with the Blaugrana by the end of the 2020-21 season but Valverde is reportedly not coy on offering him a new contract due to his growing age.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is also keeping close tabs on the player’s contract saga at Camp Nou and he’s determined to make move for his signature in the next transfer market.

The former Empoli and Napoli boss is hoping to add more strength to his midfield’s setup in the second half of the season.

He has set his eyes on the Croatian star despite Mourinho’s interest in the 30-year-old man.

Talksport are also reporting that Ligue 1 Champions Paris St-German are equally interested in his services as Thomas Tuchel is hoping to bolster his squad with the player’s acquisition.

Tuchel is hoping to win this season’s Champions League trophy, so, he believes there is a need to add some more quality to his present crop of players.

You Will Decide Your Future, Mourinho Tells His Want-away Stars

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Chelsea

Tammy Abraham set to return to Chelsea

Timothy Aiyeku

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Tammy Abraham

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham is reportedly ready to return to his parent club as soon as his loan deal at Aston Vila expires.

Tammy Abraham has been on loan with Aston Villa so as to secure more playing time and also to progress in his development as an upcoming player as he could not find playing time at the West London outfit.

The youngster has told Sky Sports that he is now ready to fight for a starting role at the Stamford Bridge, knowing that the Blues team are struggling to find a cutting edge in their attack.

The star player has been in great goalscoring form for Aston Villa and there are suggestions that he could replicate the success at the Stamford Bridge if handed the chance to do so.

However, it is unsure if manager Maurizio Sarri will be ready to have Tammy Abraham in his team especially with the presence of Argentina international striker Gonzalo Higuain and the coming of American star Christian Pulisic.

Meanwhile, the Blues team have not been good in the attack so far this season and it was evident when they faced Everton last weekend. They could not score a single goal in the game.

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How Callum Hudson-Odoi reacted to England call-up

Timothy Aiyeku

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Callum Hudson-Odoi

Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi has been handed the benefit of the doubt with a call-up to the England national team despite not being a major part of  Sarri’s team.

The youngster has described the call as a dream come true for him as it is a promotion from the U21 side, having resumed junior team in Bristol on Monday morning, only to be told that he has been called to join the senior team at St George’s Park to link up with the Gareth Southgate team.

He noted that all he has got to do is start working hard to be able to justify the reason for his call and prove he has got to remain in the team.

However, the youngster has been seeking for more playing time at the West London club but he has not had his wish granted by the Italian boss which is the reason why he is seeking for a move away from the club.

German Bundesliga outfit Bayern Munich are desperate to land the English lad with three different offers reportedly submitted for his signature but were all rejected by the Blues.

Meanwhile, he has been tipped to replace Belgium international Eden Hazard who is keen to leave the club at the end of the season.

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Chelsea

Why Chelsea will not qualify for Champions League next season

Timothy Aiyeku

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek

West London outfit Chelsea have been condemned in their bid for a Champions League qualification with a top-four finish in the Premier League table.

The Blues are currently in sixth position on the league table behind Arsenal and Man United with their latest 2-0 defeat against Everton ensuring that they are more distanced from the fourth spot.

The defeat against Everton makes it the Blues 7th defeat in the Premier League this season and that seem to be unacceptable to the fans and the club owner.

However, former Blues midfielder Craig Burley argues that some players deserve more playing time than they are been given by manager Maurizio Sarri noting that the ones who are being played have not been productive enough.

He laments the fact that Ruben Loftus-Cheek has not been given enough playing time while Jorginho has had more than enough, yet the midfield has been unproductive with the defeat always coming from their lack of efficiency at the middle.

The Sky Sports pundit said Chelsea’s problem started with the system of play by the former Napoli boss, noting that N’Golo Kante is being missed in the deep role at the midfield as Jorginho has not been doing his job.

He, therefore, argued that Sarri could be sacked but has the Europa League to save his job.

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Arsenal

Why Chelsea is to blame for Arsenal’s ‘difficult’ situation

Timothy Aiyeku

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Arsenal are now left with no choice than to play their second leg of the Europa League quarter-finals at Naples, away from home, according to Sky Sports pundit and former Man City right-back Danny Mills.

It is claimed that under a number circumstances, the North London outfit are supposed to play the first leg away before playing the second one home because they were drawn out of the hat after the Italian Serie A outfit but that will not happen in this case.

This is because the West London outfit Chelsea were drawn away for the first leg with Slavia Prague and are expected to play at home at the Stamford Bridge for the second leg.

However, because of the rule that clubs from the same city cannot play at home at the same time, one of the teams have to be sacrificed and the Gunners were the victim.

The Sky Sports pundit is of the opinion that the development puts Arsenal in a difficult situation as it would have been best for them to begin away so that they can comfortably seal qualification at home.

He noted that playing the second leg away at the San Paolo Stadium is a big disadvantage for Arsenal because of the atmosphere the Napoli home ground is known for.

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Chelsea

Major relief for Sarri after big claim made

Timothy Aiyeku

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sarri

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has been under fire especially after his team suffered another defeat to Everton at the weekend to keep them distanced from the race for a top-four finish.

The 2-0 defeat suffered against the Toffees makes it the West London’s 7th defeat in the Premier League this season and it has been unacceptable to the fans and the club owner Roman Abramovich.

Suggestions are that the Italian boss would be sacked during the international break by the club owner after due consultations have been made as it is becoming obvious he will not meet with the target of returning the club to the Champion League next season with Arsenal and Man United already ahead.

However, this is the first time the former Napoli boss will have a defence after a former Man United assistant coach Rene Meulensteen said Maurizio Sarri should not be sacked but should be allowed to continue until the end of the season.

He noted that just like every other coach, Maurizio Sarri needs more time to be able to have his team play the way he wants them to before they can be able to secure a good result.

The former United assistant coach said Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp has the same experience and now he is kicking with his team again. He is of the opinion that the same can be said of Sarri if handed more time.

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Sarri’s sack date revealed

Timothy Aiyeku

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sarri

Emerging reports hint that Chelsea chairman Roman Abramovich is already considering the sack of the club’s boss Maurizio Sarri after they were defeated again by Everton in the Premier League tie at the weekend.

The Italian boss had a fast start of his career at the Stamford Bridge with successive wins but the story has changed as he is now struggling to deliver good results at the club.

The embarrassing 6 – 0 defeat suffered against Man City and the 2 – 0 defeat against Arsenal in addition to the defeat against Man United has cast doubt on his ability.

It is speculated that he would be sacked during the international break as soon as they are able to have a successful consultation.

It is suggested that the former Napoli boss can no longer be trusted especially after the incident with goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga where he was publicly embarrassed by refusing his orders to leave the pitch.

However, the Italian boss has made it clear that he is not under any pressure and does not care about what is being speculated about his future, stressing that he is only concerned about how to get his players firing again.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have got a quarter-finals game of the Europa League to face as a major test.

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Chelsea

Callum Hudson-Odoi gets hope of transfer wish

Timothy Aiyeku

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Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi has been seeking a move away from the West London club for the past months over his lack of playing time.

The 18-year-old is, therefore, being wanted by German Bundesliga outfit Bayern Munich, with the European giants submitting three different offers to Chelsea for his signature but they were all rejected.

The West London outfit have insisted on keeping the star player as he has been pointed as part of the club’s future but he has not been convincing enough to manager Jurgen Klopp to hand him regular playing time in the team.

However, there could be hope for Callum Hudson-Odoi with claims that he could be granted his wish to leave the club should they succeed in keeping Belgium international Eden Hazard.

The Blues face a big challenge of keeping Eden Hazard at the club with suggestions that he will be heading to the Spanish capital to join La Liga giants Real Madrid.

With the Blues already securing the signature of Christian Pulisic, there will be no need to keep Callum Hudson-Odoi should the Belgium international agrees to stay. But if otherwise, he would be forced to remain as a cover, having shown big prospect.

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Chelsea

What Eden Hazard is waiting for to decide Chelsea future

Timothy Aiyeku

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Eden Hazard

Belgium international Eden Hazard is still mute over his future despite the many speculations linking him away from the West London outfit Chelsea at the end of the season.

Eden Hazard has refused to sign a new deal at the Stamford Bridge with claims that he has already agreed on a move to Spanish La Liga outfit Real Madrid ahead of the coming season.

However, the speculations have become more serious with Zinedine Zidane returning to Real Madrid for second spell as their manager, knowing that Eden Hazard has been dreaming to work with the manager, who is his idol.

With the West London outfit pushing to have Eden Hazard pen a new deal at the Stamford Bridge, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp said the star player is yet to make any decision as it would be determined by Chelsea’s ability to qualify for the Champions League next season or not.

He is of the opinion that the star player will not want to miss out of the Champions League next season, hence the first option for the Blues is to qualify for the Champions League.

Meanwhile, the qualification for Chelsea is now looking unlikely after they were defeated by 2-0 against Everton at the weekend.

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Cesar Azpilicueta reveals what will happen after Everton defeat

Timothy Aiyeku

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Cesar Azpilicueta

The West London outfit Chelsea lost 2-0 to Everton in their Premier League tie at the weekend which has slimmed down their hope of a Champions League qualification for next season.

They are now sixth place in the league table behind Man United and Arsenal who are also seeking to secure qualification ahead of next season.

The Blues captain Cesar Azpilicueta has revealed that his team must still qualify for the Champions League next season, stating that they will have the defeat behind them and focus on the coming games.

According to him, the remaining eight games left for them until the end of the season would be finals as they will approach it with all seriousness to be able to secure maximum points.

Also, manager Maurizio Sarri expressed his disappointment at the defeat, explaining that his team have mental issues as it cannot be regarded as a physical problem because of the way they played in the first half.

He is of the opinion that they will have to keep the fight on to proceed to be able to achieve the target.

Meanwhile, the Blues will now have about a 2-weeks break before any action as a resut of the international break.

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Sarri says players are mentally blocked

Timothy Aiyeku

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sarri

It is no doubt a disturbing moment for Chelsea boss as he is yet to get over his team’s defeat against Everton on Sunday.

The defeat has now limited their chances of qualifying for the Champions League next season as they sit the sixth position in the Premier League table.

In his reaction, the Blues boss said he is worried about the mentality of the players, citing it as the reason for their defeat against Everton. He explained that his team played their best 45 minutes so far but it suddenly changed, suggesting that they are suffering from a mental block.

He added that the issue with the team is not a physical problem because it wouldn’t have happened in a rush as it did against Everton.

However, Maurizio Sarri who would have loved to have explanations from the players said they will not be able to do that because they are all disappointed and down at the moment.

The defeat remains a setback to the Italian boss and that could be enough reason to get the season down and go without a trophy this season and a Champions League qualification.

Meanwhile, there are fears over the future of the Chelsea boss as he could be sacked any moment from now.

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