Authors Posts by Francesca Ceciarini

Francesca Ceciarini

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Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa was unveiled as a new Atletico Madrid player today.

A return for the Brazilian born forward, who already played for five years in the Spanish side until 2014, when he signed for the Blues.

The Spain international has been training with Diego Simeone and his team-mates for three months, but was forced to stay in the sidelines until today as he was signed outside of the transfer window and the Spanish giants had their transfer ban still in force until January 1.

Costa, anyway, doesn’t forget the three years in West London, where he won two Premier League titles and League Cup:

“The fans, the people and the team-mates helped me a lot. Chelsea is a great club,” the ex Blues said.

“I have a special affection for them, I only have good memories.”

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Despite falling out with him last summer Chelsea boss Antonio Conte claims he maintains good memories about Diego Costa, who was unveiled as a new Atletico Madrid striker today, a return for the Brazilian born forward, who already played for five years in the Spanish side until 2014, when he signed for the Blues:

“It’s not right to talk about players who are not in my team and squad,” Conte told Sky Sports.

“But I thank him for his commitment and behaviour during the season.

“We won together, so I will always remember him in a positive way. We fought together and won together.”

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Chelsea finish their 2017 with a super win and display against Stoke City: 5 goals to please the fans who came at Stamford Bridge for the last match of the year.

The Blues immediately took the lead with Rudiger, who scored with a header after 3′, then Danny Drinkwater sealed the score on 2-0 with a fine volley at 9′.

Mid-way in the first half and Pedro put his name on the score-board with a great shot from the box limit (23′).

The Blues seemed more relaxed in the second half, trying to control the game: the only risk was when Berahino dribbled past Cahill and failed to beat Courtois, who saved a goal that could have give confidence for a come-back to the Potters.

Morata then failed the chance to score the 4-0 shooting on Butland ( 61′) and was promptly replaced by Batshuayi.

It was Willian to net the 4-0 ball, anyway, with a penalty lavishly conceded by referee Kevin Friend at 73′.

Davide Zappacosta, who entered in the beginning of the second half for Moses, sealed the score on 5-0 at 88′.

Chelsea are currently second in the table with 45 points, 13 less than Manchester City ( 58) 2 more than Manchester United ( 43) but the two Manchester sides still have a game on hand to be played in this fixture ( against Southampton and Palace).

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Chelsea are trashing Stoke City at home in this last clash of 2017, already leading 3-0 after 45′.

A first half that has seen three goals from the hosts: a header from Antonio Rudiger, Danny Drinkwater’s fine volley and a lovely goal from Pedro.

They’re firmly in control and you really can’t see how Stoke will get back in this contest in the second period.

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Antonio Conte revealed that he will be happy to give another chance to left-back Abdul Baba Rahman.

The Ghana international signed for Chelsea from Augsburg in summer 2015 but never really impressed at Stamford Bridge, so he was sent on loan to Schalke 04, but he picked up a really bad knee injury while at the Bundesliga side.

Almost one years has gone by since he got injured, but Baba is not fully recovered yet: the 23-year-old is trying to re-get his fitness at Cobham Training ground, so Antonio Conte has got the chance to supervise his work day by day and confessed he would like to give him one more chance:

This player is coming from a bad injury, he’s struggling a bit to recover his best form.

“I don’t know what will happen with Baba, under the human aspect I would like to give an opportunity to come back stronger, now he’s facing recovery, he is showing a great patience because he’s struggling a lot, I would be happy to give him a chance, because there is not just the player, there is also the human aspect.”

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Thibaut Courtois, whose deal with Chelsea will expire in summer 2019, hasn’t renewed his contract with the Blues yet and Eden Hazard, whose deal with the Stamdford Bridge side will end in summer 2020, is in the same situation.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke about this in today’s press conference, stressing the fact that the club is doing everything to offer them a new deal so to keep them in West London but, as we could understand from his words, the Italian boss is not sure the negotiations will be successful.

Real Madrid are believed to be really keen on both of them with another Spanish giant, Barcelona, and PSG ready to enter in possible race two sign the two Belgian players:

“He’s got a contract also for next season with Chelsea,” Conte said speaking about Courtois.

“He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world and my staff and I are proud to have him as keeper, we’re proud to create this synergy with the 3 goalkeeper, I am very happy to have them, I hope to keep them for the next season.

“As you know very well there is a private conversation between the agent and the club, of course I hope he will stay, he is a very good goalkeeper and a very good guy.

“For sure when you are in a great club, a great project, you want to stay, I guess the family is not a big issue, there are private conversation among club, agents and players and of course I will be very happy if he will stay with us, with this great synergy also with the other goalkeepers and the goalkeeper coach.”

Eden Hazard  is believed he rejected a new contract with Chelsea and was also very close to join Real Madrid last summer, but his ankle injury stopped the deal:

“My answer is always the same, this is a private conversation among club, agents and player. I can say the same I just said for Eden, I am proud to have him in my squad, I am very happy to work with him, he’s a really good guy, he’s space to improve but I repeat the club and agents take care of this.”

About him staying at Chelsea next season and the upcoming transfer window, Conte said:

“I am very happy to stay here and to work with these players, I guess the transfer market and this window can be important if we are able to bring the right players. I am a coach, I have to work with my players, the club take care of th transfer market, they will decide if they have to improve the team.

“You’re talking about two important players for us, for sure it will be very important to continue with this kind of players, it’s very important to improve your team, not to sell your best players.”

 

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke ahead of tomorrow’s clash against Stoke, claiming there are no fresh injuries:

No, no news,all the players are available, the same of the last games,” the Italian tactician said.

“Musonda and David Luiz are improving and I think their recover is very close, for sure against Norwich they will be available.

“I guess tomorrow it will be a very difficult game against Stoke City, last season in the same period we suffered a lot to beat them at home, I remember that match very well.

“We have to go game by game, it’s normal when we have to play every two days, I have to make rotations. I give all my players the same credit. I trust all of them, it doesn’t matter if there are some changes in the starting XI.”

About the competition to finish in the Premier League top 4, he said:

“I think it’s always successful to finish in the top 4 in this league, there are six teams fighting for the title and there are just 4 spots for Champions League and 2 for Europa League, it’s normal when your competitor is doing so well, like Manchester City, it’s tough to fight for the title. But to do it for our fans and to improve our work.”

Thibaut Courtois, whose deal with Chelsea will expire in summer 2019, hasn’t renewed his contract with the Blues yet:

“He’s got a contract also for next season with Chelsea,” Conte said.

“He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world and my staff and I are proud to have him as keeper, we’re proud to create this synergy with the 3 goalkeeper, I am very happy to have them, I hope to keep them for the next season.

“As you know very well there is a private conversation between the agent and the club, of course I hope he will stay, he is a very good goalkeeper and a very good guy.

“For sure when you are in a great club, a great project, you want to stay, I guess the family is not a big issue, there are private conversation among club, agents and players and of course I will be very happy if he will stay with us, with this great synergy also with the other goalkeepers and the goalkeeper coach.”

Eden Hazard is in the same situation and it is believed he rejected a new contract with Chelsea:

“My answer is always the same, this is a private conversation among club, agents and player. I can say the same I just said for Eden, I am proud to have him in my squad, I am very happy to work with him, he’s a really good guy, he’s space to improve but I repeat the club and agents take care of this.”

And about him staying at Chelsea next season and the upcoming transfer window, Conte said:

“I am very happy to stay here and to work with these players, I guess the transfer market and this window can be important if we are able to bring the right players. I am a coach, I have to work with my players, the club take care of th transfer market, they will decide if they have to improve the team.

“You’re talking about two important players for us, for sure it will be very important to continue with this kind of players, it’s very important to improve your team, not to sell your best players.”

On the Premier League Christmas period schedule, he said:

“Personally I am very happy to stay here, to work here, to have this time of Christmas period, I think is great not only for me but also for the players, there is a fantastic atmosphere, but I would like after this period to have a little period of rest, it would be important to have a little rest for everyone in England to prepare for the final rush, after this busy period to play after three days is tough, you pay it later, when the Champions League restart, it’s difficult to play after this period.”

About Baba Rahman, who is recovering from a bad ACL injury, he said:

This player is coming from a bad injury, he’s struggling a bit to recover his best form.

“I don’t know what will happen with Baba, under the human aspect I would like to give an opportunity to come back stronger, now he’s facing recovery, he is showing a great patience because he’s struggling a lot, I would be happy to give him a chance, because there is not just the player, there is also the human aspect.”

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SINGAPORE - JULY 29: Milan Skriniar of FC Internazionale challenges Alvaro Morata of Chelsea FC during the International Champions Cup match between FC Internazionale and Chelsea FC at National Stadium on July 29, 2017 in Singapore.

Chelsea are set to make a move for Inter defender Milan Skriniar.

The Slovakia international impressed in his first five months at the Nerazzurri and he is attracting the interest of some European top sides, among them the one owned by Roman Abramovich.

The Blues are ready to splash clash on the 22-year-old, who signed for Inter for £ 15m plus bonuses last summer from Sampdoria,  but it won’t be easy to to prise him away from the San Siro as his current deal with Serie A side.

His deal with the Nerazzurri expires in the summer of 2022. So Chelsea will need to place a huge offer if they are to win the race in pursuit of the player.

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte confirmed he will speak to the club directors regarding the possibility to spend on some new signings in this winter transfer window:

“We have 18 senior players, but I think this consideration must be done with the club. I will give my opinion when I speak with the club,” the Blues manager said after the win against Brighton.

“But in the end the club has always the last word, like in the summer.

“Then we will divide the responsibility with me and with the club. We will do it together.”

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte commented the Boxing Day win over Brighton with these words:

“In the first half we had the right chances to score but didn’t take them,” the Italian coach said.

For this reason it becomes difficult because your opponent stays with 10 players behind the ball.

“In the second half we settled very well and created many chances. It was a good performance with good intensity.

“It’s the same performance against Everton, against them we showed 25 times we had shots on goal but today we scored twice. We are in a good moment of form and just continue this way.”

Speaking about title race he claimed:

“This season is different to last season. Last season a lot of times we won games and were a bit lucky, like against West Brom here, Sunderland. This season sometimes we could have more luck.

“We have great respect for Manchester City because they are doing an extraordinary thing.”

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