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Frank Lampard says he is “done” with the Premier League as he prepares for his final two games in the top flight of English football.

“I’ve been very fortunate to play for such a long time in this league with some great players and managers and against some great opponents,” Lampard said, speaking to Sky Sports.

“But it’s certainly time for me to move on. It’s time for me to look back and be that old bloke who says ‘I used to play there’. I’m very ready for that. ”

“Nothing could persuade me more than the idea of Christmas with the family where I can have a bit more turkey and stay up a bit later with the family. That’s me done.”

 

Despite a career stretching two decades, Lampard only played for four clubs: West Ham, Chelsea, City and Swansea, where he spent eight games on loan as a teenager. A fifth will be New York City FC, which Lampard Lampard will join at the end of his loan spell with Manchester City.

Lampard added a curious fact about his early career: he believes that a short spell in south Wales as a 17-year-old was a crucial experience.

There he suffered a relegation and also learned what he calls the “ruthless world” of the dressing room.

“It was Harry Redknapp who sent me on loan to Swansea When he said it I thought: ‘Do I need to go on loan to Swansea?’ I had only just passed my driving test and it was a good four hours. I was in my comfort zone at West Ham as a kid.”

“My mum used to be my cooking and washing for me and then I went to Swansea and I was amongst grown men. It was a man’s dressing room and I was a boy. They used to dig me out for my puppy fat. It’s a ruthless world, the football dressing room at times. ”

“It was then I realised the game wasn’t all beautiful. There were some difficult parts to it, especially fighting at the bottom of the old division two. It really opened my eyes.”

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LOUIS VAN GAAL MANCHESTER UNITED

Dutch manager Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United’s opponents on Sunday, Arsenal, are a better team than the newly crowned Premier League champions Chelsea; according to him their only problem was a lack of consistency to claim the title.

The two sides meet at Old Trafford in a game that has always been quite intense, to claim third place and avoid a Champions League play-off.

Van Gaal said: “I believe that Arsenal have a better team than Chelsea but they cannot finish like Chelsea. That comes from talent and experience from having people like John Terry and Gary Cahill.”

Speaking of his own experiences, the Red Devils’ boss said: “We were equal to Chelsea at home and much better there in spite of what Jose Mourinho was saying.”

“Against Tottenham we were better both times. The result against Liverpool at home (3-0) was exaggerated but at Anfield we played fantastic football.”

“The difference is not the level of performance but how you finish off the game – and Chelsea have done that the best.”

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Toure has been very influential in City's recent successes

Chelsea are planning on a summer move for Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, according to reports in the Sunday Express.

The Ivorian midfielder is unsettled at City, and according to his agent, Dimitri Seluk, Toure is “90 percent certain” to leave the Etihad this summer.

Toure, who is 6ft 3in tall, has attracted interest from across Europe with clubs including Juventus, Paris Saint Germain and Inter Milan all interested. Milan are also managed by former City boss Roberto Mancini. And now, according to Seluk, Chelsea have registered their interest in his client.

City are reportedly resigned to letting Toure go, but saving £220,000 a week on wages and any transfer fee will help them re-shape their squad.

Toure joined the club from Barcelona in the summer of 2010 for around £16 million. He has also played for Monaco and Olympiakos.

However, despite being hugely important in recent City successes, things have gone stale for the 32-year old. He has made 36 appearances in all competitions this season but has scored just 10 goals – he scored 20 last season as Manchester City won the title.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is a big admirer of the midfielder, who is also good friends with veteran Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who is also Ivorian.

The Blues boss believes that Toure, who won the African Cup of Nations with his country earlier this year, still has the desire to play in the Premier League.

City are apparently wanting to get back at least £10 million for Toure, and Chelsea aren’t set to take no for an answer as they turn their attentions to planning for next season.

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Jose Mourinho has confirmed that the current season is over for three of his first team players: Oscar, Ramires and Kurt Zouma will miss the rest of the campaign.

The Portuguese manager added that Petr Cech might feature in the last game of the season, with the veteran very likely to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

Ramires did not played in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace that won them the Premier League title. The Brazilian was hospitalized prior to that game and the Express confirmed he will not play again this term.

As for his compatriot Oscar, he will also not feature in Brazil’s Copa America campaign in the summer, due to a quadricep problem.

In addition, French defender Zouma was hurt in last week’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool and has suffered a knee injury.

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Dzeko has fallen down the pecking order at Manchester City

Chelsea are lining up a shock move for Manchester City striker Eden Dzeko, according to the Daily Mirror.

With 37-year old Didier Drogba set to leave in the summer, Jose Mourinho views Dzeko as an ideal replacement of the physical power that will be lost by Drogba’s suspected departure. The Chelsea boss is also looking to ease the burden on Diego Costa, with his recurring hamstring injury a constant fear. Loic Remy impresses only in short stints.

It has been a disappointing season for Dzeko at City, with just six goals in 32 appearances in all competitions this campaign. This downturn in form has seen him lose his place in attack to Wilfried Bony.

The 29-year old joined City in January 2011 from German side VFL Wolfsburg, for a fee of around £26 million.

He signed a four-year contract last year, and is known on the blue side of Manchester as being a scorer of ‘heavy goals’, according to City fans – he has scored at several crucial times in the club’s recent success. It’s this knack that has caught Mourinho’s eye.

With many players, and possibly the manager, expected to leave the club in the summer, City are prepared to listen to offers for their 6ft 4in striker.

Reported interest from Juventus, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, and his former club Wolfsburg prompted a price tag of £15 million to be quoted.

However, there have been no official bids at that price, so Mourinho apparently is looking to snatch the striker for around £10 million.

But, City aren’t keen to sell to another English club, so may change Dzeko’s valuation to try and find a foreign buyer.

 

 

 

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Cech can leave Chelsea this summer

Manchester United have taken a surprise interest in Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, according to reports in the London Evening Standard.

After 11 years at the club, Cech has been given permission to negotiate a move away from Stamford Bridge after a season mostly spent on the bench.

The signing of Thibaut Courtois last summer has resulted in Cech making just 16 appearances this season, and he is now looking for more regular football elsewhere.

A number of teams are reportedly interested in the Czech, including Arsenal, Besiktas, and now United.

With a huge amount of speculation regarding the future of current number one keeper David de Gea, United have long aimed to sign Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris. However, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is rumoured not to be keen on the idea of negotiating with United, after bad experiences with previous transfers.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has previously stated that, if Cech were to leave, he would prefer it if the veteran keeper went abroad.

But, with the 32-year old’s future still undecided, there have been no official bids from any club as of yet.

 

 

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Wolves’ Aaron McCarey has retired from football after failing a drugs test.

The 23-year-old goalkeeper has been suspended by the Football Association after failing the test for a non-performance enhancing substance.

He is the third football player revealed to have tested positive for these illegal substances, after Jake Livermore and Jose Baxter.

A Wolves statement said: “Aaron McCarey has failed an out of competition Football Association (FA) drug test for a non-performance enhancing substance. As a result, the Wolves goalkeeper is now subject to an immediate FA suspension from all competitive forms of football.

“The immediate suspension is a standard procedure whilst the FA’s investigation is concluded.

“Aaron McCarey strenuously denies deliberately taking any banned substance.

“The club is extremely disappointed and concerned that one of its players has failed a drugs test. Neither the player nor the club will be making any further comment whilst the FA investigation is underway and not until the matter has been fully concluded.”

He has missed the last two games for the Championship side, officially for family reasons. McCarey joined Wolves from Irish League side Monaghan United in January 2010, having agreed to sign in September 2009.

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Karanka spent three years as Mourinho's #2 at Real Madrid

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has said that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is his greatest influence.

Karanka took charge of the Teesiders in November 2013, and has masterminded a brilliant 2014-15 season, which will culminate next weekend in the play-off Championship final against Norwich.

Should Middlesbrough win the Wembley tie, which is considered the most expensive game in world football with an estimated value of between £120-40 million, then Karanka will meet Mourinho again. He worked under Mourinho as assistant manager at Real Madrid.

Boro won 25 of their 46 league games this season, drawing 10 and losing 11. They finished fourth at the end of the regular season, and faced fifth place Brentford in the play-off semi-finals.

They won the first leg away from home 2-1, and then strolled to the final with a 3-0 win at Riverside.

Karanka keeps an old calendar Mourinho gave him – with the Special One’s picture and words of advice on every page – on his desk at Boro’s training ground.

Should Middlesbrough win the game on May 25th, the 41-year old ‘anointed Special One’ will be able to rub shoulders with the original, and Karanka was quick to praise someone who has provided a guiding influence over the years.

“Jose has been the biggest influence, for sure.

“I spoke to him before the Brentford game, but he is always there for me.”

 

 

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Arrived at Chelsea in the summer of 2012 he was a 15-year-old promising defender from Ligue 1 playing for AS Monaco previously.

In these years he played pretty much in Under-16s squad and lately regularly for the Under-19s making his European debut against Steaua Bucharest.

But this season he had only made 10 appearances while battling a few injuries, and earlier on Saturday, U18 manager Joe Edwards confirmed that Brady has left the club. The manager declared: “George and the club decided it was in his best interests to continue his career elsewhere. Obviously we’d like to wish him all the best now moving forward.”

It’s not decided where he’s going to play next season but we are keen to see if he will be able to show all his talent.

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LOUIS VAN GAAL MANCHESTER UNITED

Ahead of today’s game with Arsenal, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal stated that, in his opinion, the Gunners have a better team than Chelsea, even though the Blues are the Champions.

The Red Devils manager knows very well José Mourinho, that was his assistant at Barcelona for three years back in the 90s, and he knows that he could bring an important and fundamental quality to Chelsea squad:

“I think that [a winning mentality] is the quality of the champion”

“Of course, we have improved a lot but we still have to learn the way Chelsea can play and finish off games because that is the difference”

The Dutch manager explained that experience and talent played a key-role in Chelsea winning season:

“I believe that Arsenal have a better team than Chelsea but they cannot finish like Chelsea. That comes from talent and experience from having people like John Terry and Gary Cahill”.

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