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EPL: Chelsea Finally Identify N’golo Kante Replacement

Timothy Aiyeku

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Donny Van Der Beek To Consider England Transfer

West London giants Chelsea are keeping tabs on Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare who’s seen as a long-term replacement for key player N’Golo Kante.

The interest of Chelsea in Boubakary Soumare was confirmed by The Athletic with Kante linked with a move away from the club.

The French international player was previously linked with a transfer to Real Madrid last year though the Spaniards have since moved on from him to other midfield options like Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Donny Van Der Beek who’s expected to sign for the Los Merengues this summer after an agreement of £47m was reached for his transfer as per the report from various media outlets.

N’Golo Kante has uncharacteristically missed several games for Chelsea this season due to several injuries stemmed from his decision to play through the pain barrier for the Blues in the Europa League final last season.

Kante was rushed back from injury to face Arsenal in the final of the Europa League which ended in a 4-1 win for Chelsea.

Boubakary Soumare is only 20 years but he has enhanced his reputation after his impressive performances for Lille since the start of this campaign.

Soumare is also attracting interest from Premier League rivals Manchester United.

Timothy Aiyeku is a Mass Communication graduate from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is a sports, everything football analyst.

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Chelsea

Chelsea’s challenge in Kepa’s proposed swap deal emerge

Timothy Aiyeku

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From all indications, West London outfit Chelsea are willing to let go of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in this summer transfer window.

The shot-stopper has been criticized for his unsatisfactory performance with commentators insisting that he should be part of the players that should be shown the exit door of the Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have, therefore, been linked with Jan Oblak, the Spanish La Liga club Atletico Madrid goalkeeper who is valued at £110 million, a fee the Blues cannot meet.

In a bid to ensure a deal for Jan Oblak, it is reported that Chelsea are proposing a swap deal that will have Kepa Rrizabalaga go the other direction which is already being rejected by the Spanish side. While Atletico Madrid fancies the idea of a swap deal, they are not ready to have Kepa Arrizabalaga as part of it.

This makes the situation more complicated for the West London outfit who will find it difficult to sell Kepa, even at the £71.6 million that was invested in him while the weekly wage continues to be a challenge as well.

Atletico Madrid have been able to let go of David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois in the past to EPL clubs but they seem to value Jan Oblak more than his predecessors in the team.

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Inter add Giroud to list of wanted players from Chelsea

Timothy Aiyeku

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Olivier Giroud

English Premier League outfit Chelsea will have to brace up for what is to come as Italian Serie A club Inter Milan are keen to raid the club of its players.

Inter Milan boss, Antonio Conte is a former Chelsea manager who is knowledgeable about the players in the Stamford Bridge. He is hoping to reunite with some of them and has a number on his wish list.

Having already captured Victor Moses, Conte is seeking to add Emerson Palmieri to his squad in Italy and he is not stopping at that. France international Olivier Giroud is the latest to be mentioned as those that will receive offers from Inter Milan as soon as the summer transfer window is opened.

The future of Emerson Palmieri is uncertain at the Stamford Bridge as the full-back has not been graced with enough appearances under manager Frank Lampard and has reportedly requested to leave. We will wait to learn if his request will be granted by the club.

However, it is not clear if the West London outfit will be willing to part ways with the former Arsenal man anytime soon but that will be determined by the nature of the offer and the replacement that would be available in the market.

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Chelsea

Solskjaer’s job has been made more difficult ahead of transfer window

Timothy Aiyeku

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has his attention on securing qualification to the Champions League next season with just a few games left. The Red Devils face big competition from Chelsea and Leicester City for the ticket.

Afterwards, the attention would be shifted to the summer transfer window as that remains another big challenge for the Red Devils boss because the success in the market will largely affect the club’s performance next season.

One of the players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer intends to keep, Andreas Pereria has made his decision to leave the club known and that remains an issue for the manager who is keen to build a formidable team for next season’s challenge.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already told the young midfielder that he is part of his plans for the club but Andreas Pereria is concerned with his lack of playing time especially with the arrival of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon in January and the fitness of France international Paul Pogba.

Andreas Pereria cannot be guaranteed a role in the team anymore and will be seeking to leave the team with interests available for him, according to Dutch outlet, Het Belang van Limburg.

This remains a challenge for the Red Devils boss who seeks to have the 24-year-old as cover for the two major midfielders in the team.

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Chelsea, Tottenham to lose starts to Bayern Munich

Timothy Aiyeku

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The English Premier League seems to be attention for most European clubs to equip their teams. Big European sides have been heavily linked with a number of players in Premier League sides.

The latest to seek for a raid is German Bundesliga giants, Bayern Munich who are interested in the signature of Two English Premier League stars Tanguy Ndombele and Tiemoue Bakayoko of Tottenham and Chelsea respectively.

Le 10 Sports reports that the two London clubs will be willing to let go of the player but they are keen to earn in the deal. Tottenham only signed Tanguy Ndombele a year ago and they will not be willing to go lower than the money they invested in him.

The same goes for the Blues who are willing to part ways with Tiemoue Bakayoko but will not accept anything less than £31 million for the former Monaco man.

Chelsea have already secured two signings and are hoping to do more deals as soon as the summer window is finally opened which makes it necessary for them to do away with some players who are not in the plans of manager Frank Lampard.

The target for the Blues next season is to play in the Champions League and win titles.

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How Willian further complicates transfer issues for Lampard

Timothy Aiyeku

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Willian

Chelsea is yet to sort out the future of Brazilian international, Willian as the player is yet to agree on a new deal while there is no statement on his move away from the club.

Against the contract policy of the West London club, Willian who is over 30 years of age is requesting a three-year deal while the club is offering him a two-year-deal. The proposal of the club has been rejected by Brazilian international and it is expected that he would be moving in this summer window.

Surprisingly, Willian is reported to be rejecting offers, more lucrative than that of Chelsea. David Beckham’s Inter Miami is reported to have contacted the player and ready to hand him a 3-year deal which he reportedly turned down.

This complicates issues for manager Frank Lampard who does not know how to plan for the summer window. He is not sure if Willian will be staying or leaving the Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, manager Frank Lampard has made it very clear that he wants to work with Willian in the coming season and hopes the player is able to reach an agreement with the club hierarchy before the end of the summer transfer window.

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Chelsea might be close to another big summer announcement

Timothy Aiyeku

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Ugurcan Cakir

English Premier League outfit, Chelsea might be close to making an announcement of a new transfer ahead of the summer transfer window with reports that they had agreed on another deal.

Haber356 reports that the Blues have had their bid for Ugurcan Cakir accepted by Super Lig 1 club Trabzonspor ahead of the summer transfer window.

It is claimed that a bid of £22.5 million has been submitted and accepted by the Turkish outfit which makes a deal close to being sealed.

Ugurcan Cakir has been superb for his club, having had 39 appearances this term across all competitions. Chelsea has been monitoring the 24-year-old and is convinced already.

The West London outfit are keen on a replacement for Spanish shot-stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga who has been struggling to impress between the sticks.

It is believed that Ugurcan Cakir will bring in the needed competition and could take over as first-choice if he deserves it.

Chelsea have shown big ambition this season, having already concluded deals for highly rated forwards, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech with reports that more deals will occur as soon as the summer transfer window is open.

The ambition for the Blues is to qualify for the Champions League and win titles next season.

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How Chelsea’s defeat will help their summer transfer activities

Timothy Aiyeku

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Frank Lampard

West London club Chelsea suffered a bitter 3-0 defeat to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday and they are yet to get over it.

The defeat has seen their chances of making it to the Champions League reduced as they could be forced to the fifth position especially if Leicester City defeats Bournemouth on Sunday and Man United best Southampton on Monday.

Away from the poor form, loss of points and threat to Champions League qualification, former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness stated that the defeat will help manager Frank Lampard to know his summer transfer stance.

According to him, the defeat has been able to expose the players and the team in general which will help Frank Lampard to know what he needs and who to sell at the club.

He stressed that with the defeat, the former Blues player would have known the players he can not trust and that should inform his transfer decisions.

However, Frank Lampard blasted his team for not being sharp in the game, stressing that Sheffield United was stronger both physically and mentally and that gave them the victory.

Meanwhile, the race for the Champions League spot will not be decided until the last games of the season. Both Man United, Chelsea and Leicester City are in the contest.

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Who Chelsea fans should hold responsible for defeat

Timothy Aiyeku

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Frank Lampard

Chelsea suffered a 3-0 defeat to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday and that has got everyone talking.

The chance of getting into the top four positions is now slim because they could be reduced to the fifth position if Leicester City and Manchester United beat Bournemouth and Aston Villa respectively.

In his analysis, former Arsenal player Ian Wright noted that Blues’ defender Andreas Christensen was bullied by Sheffield United attackers and could not hold on.

More so, he claims that manager Frank Lampard should be held responsible for the defeat because he was naive, especially for trying to play in a shape like Man United.

According to the Gunners legend, Chelsea players were unable to have their stance on the pitch as their midfielders and defenders were overpowered.

While admitting that Frank Lampard will be disappointed, Wright stated that they lacked intensity and pace to keep down the pressure from their opponents.

It is now obvious that fans will have to wait until the end of the season to know who joins Liverpool and Man City for the Champions League ticket.

The contest is between Man United, Chelsea and Leicester City with the Red Devils looking real for the challenge.

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