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Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri spoke ahead of today’s clash between the Blues and Manchester City, who bounced back from their unexpected defeat at Newcastle with two comfortable wins against Arsenal and Everton last time out.

The Italian boss, speaking at a press conference, said: “You know very well that the midfield of Manchester City is one of the best in the world, with Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, David Silva”

“Technically I think they have the best midfield in Europe at the moment so it will be very difficult to be in control of the match, but I think the match is more than just the strikers”.

Sarri added: “They are able to play if you can stop Fernandinho and I think we are able to play also if you stop Jorginho. We have options. Maybe they have more options than us because they have worked on this for three seasons, but I remember in Naples it wasn’t a big problem if there was a man on Jorginho, so I hope it will be the same here in the future”.

“Of course, we have another striker, but we can make other decisions and maybe we will play with a false nine. I have to decide, the situation is not unlike in the other matches”.

On his rival Pep Guardiola: “I expect his team to always want to be in control of the match and always be in possession of the ball, and they are able to do it so it is a very difficult match”.

“We are used to having the ball possession and today it will be very difficult, so maybe we will have to defend lower. We will try to play our football, but if they are able to play their football, of course you have to stay lower. In the first match, they were able to press us in our half, it wasn’t a choice, it was a necessity and I think this match will be the same.

“We were lucky to score and then in the second half, especially in the first 20 or 25 minutes of the half, they gave us spaces, so it was a little bit easier”.

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On Monday afternoon Chelsea Under-19s became the first team to successfully retain their UEFA Youth League title after a 2-1 victory over Paris Saint Germain.

Goals from Kasey Palmer and Fikayo Tomori ensured the Blues victory, but where will the youngsters go after retaining their European crown?

This time last year Chelsea first won the UEFA Youth League title, beating Shakhatar Donesk in the final. Twelve months on and only one player has played a significant role in the first team- Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The Blues handed first team debuts to members of that team such as Izzy Brown, Dominic Solanke as well as Jake Clarke-Salter this season.

Will these players be given a proper chance in the first team? Both Izzy Brown and Dominic Solanke have since been shifted on loan to Vitesse Arnham all season along with former FA Youth Cup winner Lewis Baker. While players terrible transfers such as Falcao and Pato have come in on loan.

Yes, it may benefit some of this young squad to go out on loan and receive first team football in the Championship or lower divisions. Just as Patrick Bamford did last year, going on to become Championship Player of the Year. But the development of these players needs to continue. Look at Bamford now, six months wasted at Crystal Palace and is struggling to get a look in at lowly Norwich.

Not all of the players in this UEFA Youth League squad will go on to be good enough for the first team. But some definitely will, and it’s now to recognise that and not let them slip through, like Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku. Yes these two didn’t come through the Chelsea academy, but the Blues let them go far to early, with no chance of regular first team football, and look what they have gone on to accomplish for Everton and Manchester City.

These youngsters need to play, Tammy Abraham, Kasey Palmer, Ola Aina could well be the next stars of the football club in the future. They need to be given a chance at the top and not sent out on countless loan spells. Since being involved with the first team Ruben Loftus-Cheek has developed well. Chelsea fans would have hoped to see a lot more of him up until this point, but it wasn’t to be but the 20 year-old is a bright hope for the future.

Next season, with the arrival of Antonio Conte, it will be more difficult to attract the big names due to no Champions League football. But those returning from loan spells and the youngsters coming through, as well as the quality in the first team already, should really be enough to secure first team football. The likes of Nathan Ake, Andreas Christiensen and Juan Cuadrado have all excelled away from Stamford Bridge.

It is key to the development of the young Chelsea players, that they play consistently either out on loan or in a chance with the first team. The youngsters are in action next Wednesday as they take on Manchester City in a bid to retain their FA Youth Cup title.

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As Chelsea took on Manchester City at Stamford Bridge, the Blues with next to nothing to play for, while City are aiming to secure a Champions League spot.

Both went with their strongest teams and to the delight of Chelsea fan 20 year-old academy product Ruben Loftus-Cheek started in behind Diego Costa.

After a frantic start to the game at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea went closest as a mix up at the back for City meant the ball fell to Pedro to strike past Hart only to have the ball cleared off the line by Otamendi.

The returning Diego Costa started the game very sharply and was nearly rewarded as pressure upfield by Baba Rahman played Costa in behind the City defence for him to slot home. Only for the assistants flag to be raised and the goal chalked off for offside.

The first clear cut opportunity fell to City as Yaya Toure played in former Chelsea man Kevin De Bruyne as he was left one on one with Courtois who managed to smother his low drive.

With the Blues defence all at sea they were sliced open again as Nasri was played in by Aguero only to delay his shot slightly to late and toe poking it straight at Courtois.

Just after the half hour mark the City pressure told as a quick break away from a Chelsea corner fell to Kevin De Bruyne who raced up field, squared the ball to Aguero on the edge of the box who managed to bend it past Courtois via a slight deflection off Gary Cahill to deservedly put City 1-0 up.

The second half began with Chelsea putting their stamp on the match, playing at a higher tempo and penning City in their own half with no clear cut chances to speak of. This lasted for just 10 minutes as another Blues attack was broken down and De Bruyne raced clear again finding Nasri who held the ball up before playing in Aguero who slotted past Courtois to give City a 2-0 lead.

After the second goal the Blues looked deflated, and nearly conceded a third as Aguero played in Nasri on the left hand side only for his finish to be straight at Courtois. The Belgian has made a string of good saves after the Chelsea defence has been extremely poor.

It went from bad to worse for Chelsea as the game was moving into the final stages Fernandinho ran clear beating two men only to be brought down by Courtois and the Belgian was judged to have been the last man and was subsequently sent off by Mike Dean. Which left Sergio Aguero to step off and round off his hat-trick sending substitute keeper Asmir Begovic the wrong way.

One of the worst Chelsea performances of the season- and that is saying something. Twenty year-old Ruben Loftus-Cheek provided the only spark. The players and the fans seem as though they can’t wait for the season to end.

CHELSEA – Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic (c), Baba Rahman; Mikel (Begovic 78′), Fabregas; Willian (Traore 69′), Loftus-Cheek, Pedro (Kenedy 69′); Diego Costa.

Subs: Begovic, Miazga, Matic, Pato, Falcao.

Red Card: Courtois 78′

Manager: Guus Hiddink

MANCHESTER CITY – Hart; Zabaleta (Sagna 66′), Mangala, Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Toure (c), Navas, De Bruyne, Nasri, Aguero (Iheanacho 84′)

Unused Subs: Caballero, Demichelis, Fernando, Delph, Bony.

Manager: Manuel Pellegrini

Yellow cards: Zabaleta 28′, Otamendi 44′ Nasri 50′

Goals: Aguero 33′ 53′ 79′

Referee: Mike Dean

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, UK

Kick Off: 5.30 pm GMT

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Manchester City interest in Kevin De Bruyne is stopped by Klaus Allofs’ declaration. German club tries to resist the assault from the European top club. City need a great name to overhaul the team after a trophy-less campaign. The former Chelsea midfielder is one of the most talented young players of the Bundesliga.

Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs claims the Belgium star, who scored 15 goals this season and provided 28 assists, is “unsellable” but admits that may change.

Paris Saint-Germain are also keen on the player, but the negotiation seems hard to continue in this period.

“At the moment, I’d call him unsellable” told the director to Doppelpass. Wolfsburg have probably the strength to keep the best players.

“I am 100 per cent convinced he will play for us next year”. No doubt about De Bruyne’s destiny.

“However, in football things can develop so rapidly, that you can’t say this now”. We are ready for the next episode of this transfer market story. It will go on for the all summer.

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De Bruyne has attracted wide interest from across Europe

Former Chelsea midfielder Kevin de Bruyne says that he is happy with the decision he made to leave Chelsea.

The Belgian left the Blues in January 2014 for German side Wolfsburg and has been a huge hit with the club this season. He has scored 15 goals and grabbed 26 assists in all competitions this campaign.

The 23-year old signed for Chelsea in January 2012 from Belgian side KRC Genk for around £8 million. However, he made just three appearances for the Premier League side in his two year spell at Stamford Bridge.

During his spell at Chelsea, de Bruyne was loaned out twice. After signing for the Blues he was immediately loaned back to Genk for the rest of the season, before being loaned out to German side Werder Bremen for the 2012-13 season. He made 33 appearances, scoring 10 goals in the process.

After being sold to Wolfsburg for £13 million, he has attracted interest from Manchester City, Bayern Munich and PSG.

De Bruyne has said to EuroSport that he doesn’t know where he will be playing his football next season, but also said that he is happy he left Chelsea:

“Mourinho told me to come back and that’s what I did,” he said.

“After six months of not playing a lot I told the club that I wanted to leave and I didn’t want to go on loan anymore because if you come back you will be always in the same situation and I think the decision that I made to come here was a great decision and at the end I think that I’m doing well right now so I’m very happy with all the decisions that I’ve made.”

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De Bruyne was unable to break into Chelsea's first team.

Former Chelsea midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has said that he doesn’t know whether he will stay at German side Wolfsburg, as transfer speculation continues to mount.

In an interview with EuroSport, de Bruyne said that he was uncertain of the future ahead as the Mirror reported that Manchester City lead the race to his signature, despite interest from Bayern Munich and PSG.

The Belgian has turned his career around after a disappointing spell at Stamford Bridge, becoming a huge success at Wolfsburg. He has scored 15 goals in 26 assists this season in all competitions. The Blues are not believed to have a sell-on clause, but they have already made a profit of just under £10 million.

It’s these statistics that have drawn attention from a host of clubs across Europe, with de Bruyne’s agent Patrick de Koster stating that all three clubs have made ‘informal contact’.

The 23-year old is reportedly worth £35 million, with City hoping to land his signature by loaning Stefan Jovetic to Inter Milan.

De Bruyne said that, despite enjoying his time with the Bundesliga outfit, he was unsure of where he would be come next season:

“What will happen in the summer I don’t know,” De Bruyne told Eurosport. “As a player it is so stupid to say that I will stay here and then some big club is coming in and offer Wolfsburg a lot of money that they want and they say you can go or something like that.

“I’m very happy here and I think I will play here next season but I can’t give you a 100% guarantee.”

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Former Chelsea attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne admits he could leave Germany in a big-money transfer this summer – even though he expects to stay at Wolfsburg.

He never really impressed Chelsea’s managers during his period in London, spending most of his time on loan in both Belgium for Genk and at Werder Bremen in Germany.

He only played three official matches in a Blues’ jersey before moving definitely to Wolfsburg.

Due to his great performances with the Bundesliga side, with 11 goals and 20 assists in 31 appearances, de Bruyne has caught the eyes of many.

But recently, he spoke about his future: “A club might step in and make an offer that pleases Wolfsburg and also makes me happy.

Right now, I say that I will stay in Wolfsburg. But I don’t like it when players say they’ll stay no matter what and are gone after the first offer.”

He has been linked with with some of Europe’s top clubs with Barclays Premier League pair Manchester City and Manchester United, as well as Bayern Munich and Paris St Germain, all reported to be interested.

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Kevin de Bruyne moved to Wolfsburg from Chelsea in January 2014

Some may say that Kevin De Bruyne was perhaps sold too quickly by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, a year and three months ago. Nevertheless, even what would seem a shocking counter-move such as Nemanja Matic’s transfer is possible in the transfer market.

Kevin De Bruyne’s agent, Patrick De Kosser, has announced that several clubs are interested in his client. And among them  he mentioned several English clubs: Manchester United and Arsenal… and Chelsea.



He spoke to a Belgian radio station, saying Kevin is fully concentrated on achieving the most with his current club. Furthermore Wolfsburg do not want to sell him and will offer him a new contract with better terms at the end of the current season.

“We will consider any offer we have now and seems to appear before the end of current season, but the situation is like this: Wolfsburg have decided not to allow his departure but the money, offered by any interested party, Chelsea, Manchester United or other, can make them, change their decision.”

“At this moment, Kevin wants to achieve all goals with his current club only and will think about changing the club in summer only.”

Yet, De Kosser added: “I think, a lot can happen in summer, this is football and everything may change.”


Chelsea assistant coach Gianfranco Zola believes "all the players believed in what we were doing" despite Maurizio Sarri had some issues during his first season abroad as...