Authors Posts by Lorenzo Semino

Lorenzo Semino

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Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan has confirmed had been targeted by Chelsea before choosing to remain at Roma despite Premier League rumors.

The 28-year-old confirmed he entered talks over a potential summer move, then he decided to stay in Italy extending his contract until June 2020.

When asked about those rumors, Nainggolan told Sky Sport in Italy: “Yes, there was contact, but then I quickly decided to remain.”

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Chelsea are set to offer their striker Diego Costa a new and improved deal following the Spaniard’s stunning start to the season with 13 goals in Premier League so far, according to exclusive reports in the Daily Mirror.

It is understood he was close to joining back Atletico Madrid last summer after a disappointing 2015/16 campaign, anyway he reportedly decided to stay at Stamford Bridge until the end of his football career.

After signing the new contract, Diego Costa would reportedly commit his future to the Blues until June 2021.

Diego Costa shows his passion celebrating the winner against WBA © Francesca Ceciarini
Diego Costa shows his passion celebrating the winner against WBA © Francesca Ceciarini

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Former Chelsea defender Alex will soon retire from football due to a serious knee injury suffered recently.

The 34-year-old told Globoesporte: “I’m retiring, I made the decision with my family,”

“I would need to have surgery and then it would take nine months to come back. I just couldn’t put up with that pain.”

Brazilian star Alex joined Chelsea from Santos in 2004 spending three years on loan at PSV Eindhoven before coming back to Stamford Bridge in 2007.

 

He won With the Blues several titles: the Premier League, two FA Cups and the Champions League final in 2008.

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Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci has committed his future to the Serie A champions after signing a new five-year contract to stay in Turin.

The 29-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea, as his former boss at Juventus Antonio Conte looks set to strengthen the defense in January transfer market.

Now Bonucci will stay at the Juventus Stadium until 2021, as Juventus official website confirmed.

“I’ve chosen to stay at a place where I’ve become a great among greats. I have one goal, I want to keep on winning!” he said.

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Chelsea made a last attempt to persuade Axel Witsel, according to The Sun. 

It is understood the Belgian midfielder, who’s out of contract at Zenit St-Petersburg, prepares to join Juventus in the January transfer market window, anyway Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is reportedly still considering to land the 27-year-old to Stamford Bridge.

Witsel has reportedly rejected the move as he wants to remain loyal to the Serie A champions, who failed to sign him on Deadline Day last summer.

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Chelsea star Willian has confirmed Oscar is set to leave Stamford Bridge as the Brazilian midfielder will join Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG in January.

“I wish Oscar and his family all the best. A footballer’s career can be quick, and when an offer like this comes in you have to think of your family” Willian told ESPN Brazil.

“You want to be prepared for when you have to stop playing He has already said goodbye. He’s a good friend and a great player”. 

David Luiz Oscar

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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is showing a great shape with the Blues so far, conceding only 2 goals in the last 8 Premier League games.

The Belgium international told the club’s official website: “It’s going very well, I didn’t have so much work on Saturday, there was one save low down to my left and I came to claim a couple of high balls well, so after that they had to put the crosses further away from me”.

Chelsea won last away game against Crystal Palace thanks to Diego Costa‘s header.

‘In the first 20 minutes of the second half we suffered but I think when Cesc came on we found more balls between the lines and it became calmer for us. We had some good chances, we didn’t take them, but I think we deserved to win”.

“It was a good clean sheet, good work from all the team and another victory so we’re happy. Now we want to enjoy Christmas and after that we have another important game against Bournemouth.”

About Diego Costa, who will be ruled out of next game against Bournemouth, Courtois stated: “It’s a big blow because he’s a top striker, He scored his 13th goal of the season and he’s in top form”.

“He’s been one booking away for many games now, so if he’d had a bit more luck he would have stayed like that until the New Year, when it’s gone, but hopefully Michy, or whoever the manager plays there, will do well”.

Chelsea staff can count also on a ‘good bench’, as confirmed by the goalkeeper himself.

“For the manager, it’s not easy to choose players. With Cesc, Michy, Pedro, Ivanovic and Zouma we had a good bench and to be champions you need not only 11 players, but 18 or 22, the whole squad. We have a good team and we try to prove that every week.”

Then Courtois added: “That defeat to Arsenal hurt us but we’ve come back stronger with the new tactics and system. It works well, everybody is doing their job and we keep on winning. The spirit is very important”.

“This week was good because we played against smaller teams but they defend well and it’s hard to break them down. To win all three games 1-0 is very good and we’re happy”.

Bournemouth and then Stoke City will travel to West London as they will face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.

“We now have two home games in front of our fans so we need to win them both.”

 

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Chelsea will face Bournemouth on Boxing Day next week, and manager Antonio Conte is sure that his players can maintain a good shape to extend the Blues’ winning sequence.

The Italian manager told the club’s official website: “On Christmas Day the players will stay together like the normal situation before a game,”

“We’ll have a dinner in the hotel at nine o’clock, then we sleep, and the next day we will play the game when we hope to continue to win. Now we have a good pressure – after 11 wins we have positive pressure that we want to continue to win.”

Chelsea have been linked with several players as the transfer market window will reopen in January.

“We must be very pleased for the achievement we have reached now”, he said “But it is logical that I look with my club for a solution to arrive in a good position at the end of the season”.

“I don’t know what will happen in January but in this situation it is important to talk with my club – we have a fantastic relationship – but I have my idea and I prefer to discuss this with the club.”

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Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta spoke after his side’s away win against Crystal Palace last time out.

The Spaniard is playing as a centre-back in a three-man defense, with Marcos Alonso playing as a wing-back.

“It is a new position but since we have changed the formation we have worked a lot on it during the week, - Azpilicueta told Chelsea TV – So we try to keep improving and I try always to give my best for the team and I am really happy with the wins”.

Chelsea will face Bournemouth, Stoke City and the Tottenham: “Obviously it’s a busy period but we are professional, we know what we have to do”.

‘At Christmas you can feel there is a different atmosphere inside the stadiums, the fans enjoy it and I do too. It’s a busy period and a time when you have to get as many points as possible. We have to be ready to face that challenge.’

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte admitted now he can see ‘a strong mentality’ in his players’.

The Italian manager told the club’s official website: “To play this physical game against Crystal Palace and to have the right behaviours, to understand the way to fight to win, to fight in the same way like Crystal Palace is not simple”.

“The best thing you can see is these players with great talent and great commitment are putting their talent in the team. This is fantastic for me, and also for the fans, to see this commitment, this will to fight for every ball”.

Chelsea earned their 9th clean sheet so far this season, and Conte is pleased with this reward.

“I appreciate, it’s fantastic because it’s not easy to not concede goals in this league,”

“Whenever there is a corner or a throw-in or a free-kick, the opponent can always have the opportunity to score a goal,”

“I think we could have scored more goals on Saturday, but we only got one, and it was the same at Sunderland. We can improve and be more clinical because when you have this type of game you are at risk until the end”.

“At Sunderland we were at risk when only a great save from Thibaut allowed us to win and we can improve on this aspect.”

“After the defeats we changed something in me, in my players, in the club as well, we understood the way to go and have a different season compared to last season”.

“We found the right solution with the formation, but also improved the quality of our work in all aspects – the tactical aspect, the physical aspect and I am pleased for this because after these two bad games, we changed a lot”.

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