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CFC

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Diego Pablo Simeone

Chelsea believe that Atletico Madrid’s recent transfer ban has improved their chances of appointing Diego Simeone as their new manager at the end of the season.

Atletico, along with inter-city rivals Real, were both handed transfer bans for the next two windows starting from the summer earlier this week, as well as hefty fines, for irregularities in signing young players.

And the Daily Star believes that, now that he has no power to complete transfers, Simeone can be tempted to agree a move to Stamford Bridge.

However, it also makes potential signings difficult – with Atletico now even more likely to defend players such as Antoine Griezmann, who has attracted much Chelsea interest in recent windows.

Simeone is however apparently the first choice of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, with fellow target Pep Guardiola supposedly moving to Manchester City.

 

 

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Some of the Chelsea players enjoyed tonight NBA stars at O2 Arena in London.

Eden Hazard, Kurt Zouma, Loic Remy, Thibaut Courtois, Kenedy, Asmir Begovic and some friends of theirs gathered to East London to watch Toronto Raptors v Orlando Magic.

Begovic, who grew up in Canada as a kid, was weating a Toronto Raptors jersey.

Also Chelsea legends Didier Drogba and Michael Ballack were spotted in the arena.

Here some photos that the Blues players posted on social media to share this special moment with the fans:

Schermata 01-2457402 alle 23.44.20

 

nba_3200 nba_cfc_3199 nba_cfc_3201

 

 

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Chelsea Ladies boss Emma Hayes has lauded the signing of Karen Carney and has spoken of the potential she will bring to the side. 

The double-winning Blues signed Carney from WSL1 rivals Birmingham City earlier in the transfer window, and Hayes has said that Carney’s leadership qualities are a huge plus:

“This is a player I know inside-out,” said Hayes to the Chelsea website.

“This is the third time I’ll be working with her and it’s important for our fans to know we have a truly world-class talent.

“It’s no coincidence that every team Karen plays in is successful.

“She’s not a quiet leader – she is incredibly vocal on the pitch and I felt we’ve lacked that at times.

“We have a lot of quiet leaders, but what you’ll get from Kaz is she reads the game so well and if adjustments need to be made in the flow, she’s very clever – she’ll pick them out and share that information with her team-mates.”

As well leadership, Carney is well-known for her skill with a set-piece, and Hayes has said that this will combine well with the skill already in the side:

“For the height we’ve got in the team, and players who are very good in the air, we didn’t threaten enough from set-pieces,” added Hayes.

“Kaz brings that ability, to hit a set-piece from anywhere and put it on someone’s head. She’ll also be involved with the creation and strategy of them – she’s intelligent, a real thinker with an aptitude for learning and being involved in the decision-making process. I enjoy that.”

Hayes and Carney know each other well, having previously worked together with Arsenal and Chicago, and the manager feels now is the perfect time to rekindle the relationship with the striker, who has over 100 England caps, which has previously yielded silverware.

“I worked with her when she was 19, then in her early 20s and now she is 28 – it is the right time to once again work with someone who I know very well and knows me very well,” Hayes added.

“We can certainly elevate Chelsea’s play to the next level.

“It’s the right time for her and I’ve heard her mention that. Before, it wasn’t. She’s at a stage in her career when she can make the impact that will see her move from a player in the world’s top 40 to one who is in the top 10.

“I think now we will see the most well-rounded version of her. Someone who can handle the pressure of being at this club and excel.

“She’s got a fair bit of nous and she won’t be afraid to say something to me or to others – she’s honest and opinionated. She’ll challenge people.

“I’ve always said to players looking to come here that the challenge either ignites your passion or it doesn’t, it terrifies and paralyses.

“It’s the opposite with her – all we are thinking about his how far we can take this club.

 “I think after almost four years of me being here, what excites me most is that we can bring a world-class player here and they can talk so positively about how we are the biggest women’s football club in the country now.”

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The agent of Paris Saint Germain star Ezequiel Lavezzi has said that a host of clubs, including Chelsea, are interested in his client.

Alessandro Moggi said that the Blues, as well as Italian side Inter Milan and Spanish champions Barcelona are all interested in the 30-year old:

“Inter are certainly showing the greatest interest in the player,” Moggi said.

“But there are also many other clubs in Europe keen on him, including Chelsea and Barcelona.”

Lavezzi’s current deal at the Parc de Princes runs out this summer, with Chelsea in dire need of forward options with Diego Costa their only fit striker at present.

The Argentinian, who has also played for Italian side Napoli, has scored over 30 goals in almost 160 appearances for PSG.

It is unclear as to whether Chelsea are truly interested in a deal, with the French champions unlikely to sell mid-season.

 

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Chelsea are looking to take advantage of confusion at London neighbours Charlton Athletic and secure a deal for striker Ademola Lookman, according to the Independent.

The Championship strugglers sacked their fifth manager in two years yesterday after a 5-0 defeat to Huddersfield on Tuesday night.

However, both Chelsea and Manchester City are looking to sign 18-year old Lookman, who is considered to be one the brightest young prospects in the division.

He has 18 months left on his current deal at The Valley.

Charlton insist they do not want to sell Lookman, and they have not received a formal offer close to their valuation. But given their current plight, and the likelihood of relegation to League One, they would find it very difficult to turn down anything close to £5 million.

Tottenham, Arsenal, and Liverpool are also said to be interested, as well as League 1 promotion contenders Coventry, who if promoted are supposedly looking to table a £9 million bid for the striker.

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Eden Hazard © Francesca Ceciarini

FIFA just announced to have banned Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid from signing new players for the next two transfer windows: summer 2016 and winter 2017 for illegal actions in the young players market.

The two clubs can still be operative and sign players in this section, winter 2016, and they can still sell players if they want in the next two.

Chelsea star Eden Hazard was linked to Real Madrid more than once over the past months, and it is rumoured that his bad form this season is due to the interest of the Spanish giants, that would distract him.

With just this session left and then having the market blocked for one year, will Real Madrid try to get Hazard before the end of January?

The Blancos are used to sign at least one top player every summer, but since next summer they won’t be able to do any signing, it’s possible they will try to get as many players as they can in this winter transfer window.

Everyone knows that Eden Hazard has been on their and Zidane‘s top list for months: Chelsea could ask around 60/65m £ to sell the Belgian star but they also can try a swap with some Real Madrid stars: James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale are on Abramovich‘s wishlist in case the deal can be completed.

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DIEGO COSTA
Diego Costa was top scorer for Chelsea last season © Francesca Ceciarini

It was a nervous Diego Costa the one we saw last night at the final whistle: he clashed with West Brom’s goalkeeper Boaz Myhill in the middle of the pitch and the two had to be separated by Chelsea captain John Terry and full back Cesar Azpilicueta.

During the game he also quarreled with Claudio Yacob and Jonas Olsson.

The Spaniard left the pitch so furious that he had to punch the wall in the dressing room tunnel to relieve his tension: the result was a big hole.

When manager Guus Hiddink was asked about this in the press conference straight after he joked:

“A hole in the tunnel wall? We can repair that easily, it’s not a problem.

“He’s an emotional guy and I like that very much. If you have to push players it’s difficult to survive in the Premier League, but if you have to control them it’s much better.

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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois thinks that the 2-2 against WBA tonight came also because of the attitude of Pulis‘ guys on the pitch: according to the Belgian they kept provoking Chelsea players, so to destabilise them in a match that was already tense between two teams that are struggling at the bottom of the table:

We are very disappointed,” said the Blues keeper.

It was a tough game with them playing the long ball and, second ball, trying to provoke players.”

 

 

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The ghosts were back to Stamford Bridge tonight to haunt Chelsea players and fans in what seems a season curse.

The team seemed to have improved under Hiddink in attitude and confidence but tonight not one, but twenty steps back were made.

Chelsea seemed again the team we saw from August 2 to December 14, when Mourinho was in charge this season: sloppy attitude, poor confidence, low pace.

WBA get a well deserved 2-2 in west London and remain 3 points ahead of Chelsea, that is still 14th in the table, with 27 points, while the Blues collected 24 until now, just 6 more than Sunderland -18- that would be the last team to relegate if the Premier League ended tonight.

Almost 20 points behind the two teams in the top of the table- Arsenal and Leicester- that both lead with 43 and 12 point from the 4th place, the last Champions League spot ( after playoff) where we find Spurs with 36 points: in between ten teams.

Too many, probably, to reach the fourth spot in the remaining four months if the attitude and the determination will be the same Chelsea showed tonight and in many other games this season.

Is Hiddink’s magic touch already finished after nearly one month? We hope not.

But tonight we saw a movie we’ve already seen many times in this campaign: Chelsea starting well, with a good rhythm and pace, trying to dominate the opponent, then getting the equalizer from the opponent and having a mental collapse.

The Blues found an early goal- at 20′ with Cesar Azpilicueta after Diego Costa incredibly missed the ball on an almost perfect cross by Ivanovic, concluding a nice playing by Willian, again the best player in his team- and then relaxing and conceeding too much to the rival instead of trying to find the 2-0 to virtually close the game.

And the sloppy attitude was evident in Pedro’s superficial mistake, when the Spaniard lost the ball on Chelsea midfield and Fletcher was quick to serve Craig Gardner, who beat a numb Courtois that dived way too late to try to save the ball. It was minute 33 and Chelsea, like it happened in other matches before, lost all their confidence after the opponent scored.

West Bromwich then went very close to score 2-1 and Chelsea seemed to become a little nervous.

At half time Pedro leaved the pitch for Kenedy, and – like it happened on Sunday with another youngster, Ruben Loftus-Cheek – the young substitute immediately brings freshness to the team, creating chances and opening up space for the team-mates with his speed.

Also Diego Costa seemed to be very dangerous with Kenedy supporting him, and the Brazilian youngster gets his reward where after a good playing by Fabregas and Willian he provokes McAuley own goal, with the WBA defender deflecting the ball behind Myhill with his knee.

It seemed that Chelsea could go home with the 3 precious points, but the team relaxed again conceding too much to the rival, that never lost the faith and continued to attack, being dangerous especially on corners.

And, at the end, also WBA got their reward and McLean canceled his mistake on the own goal when with a great shot beat Courtois – again not reactive enough – with just 4′ to go.

Chelsea had little nervous reaction to try to get the victory, but West Bromwich kept calm and at the end almost risked to win with a couple of chances around 90′.

When referee Anthony Taylor blew the final whistle the “boos” from Chelsea fans invaded Stamford Bridge again: the ghosts were back, let’s hope Hiddink can shoo them away again.

 

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Ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with West Brom at Stamford Bridge (19:45 GMT KO), the official lineups have been announced.

The Blues are looking secure back-to-back league wins for the first time this season against a West Brom side who the Blues beat 2-3 in the away encounter.

Lineups:

CHELSEA: Courtois, Ivanovic, Terry, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Mikel, Fàbregas, Willian, Oscar, Pedro, Costa

Subs: Begovic, Kenedy, Ramires, Remy, Cahill, Matic, Loftus-Cheek.

Manager: Guus Hiddink

 

WEST BROM: Myhill, Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Evans, McClean, Fletcher, Yacob, Brunt, Morrison, Rondon

Subs: Foster, Chester, Gardner, Anichebe, Berahino, McManaman, Sessegnon

Manager: Tony Pulis

 

Referee: Anthony Taylor    Assistant Referees: Simon Long, Darren Cann    Fourth Official: Jon Moss

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, UK.

Kick Off: 19:45pm GMT

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