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FCB

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It will be a hot summer for Chelsea in the transfer window: not only for the players that might be signed by the Stamford Bridge outfit but also for the ones that could leave, since the impressing form of the team and of some players attracted the attention of many top clubs in Europe, now ready to invest money in the Blues stars.

Cesar Azpilicueta, who moved from Olympique Marseille to West London in summer 2012, has been targeted by Barcelona and the Spanish full-back admits to be flattered by the interest of the Blaugrana:

Right now I am only thinking about Chelsea and I feel loved here. I’ve been here five years now and I extended my contract not long ago,” he told The Guardian.

“It’s flattering to be linked to Barcelona: it means you’re playing well. I wasn’t hearing those sort of stories last season. That’s a consequence of us being top of the Premier League, things are going well.

 “My objective since I arrived was to grow as a player and a person. I’ve adapted to the city, to the country. I feel settled, I’m comfortable with the language, my family is very happy. Right now my only objective is to continue with Chelsea.”

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Cesar Azpilicueta Pedro Chelsea

Cesar Azpilicueta scored yesterday the goal that, at the end of the game, brought the first three points of the season to Chelsea, his first goal in the Premier League.

The Spanish defender was obviously satisfied after the game and also spoke about the latest additions to the Blues squad, Baba Rahman and Pedro, his Spanish fellow-mate was also the man of the match:

Their arrival will help everybody. We will have more competition and that can only benefit the club.

“I know Pedro very well and knew he would fit very well in the team. I know his ambition, he is hungry to help the team and to get trophies. But to start like that in his first game is amazing.

“Pedro is a top player. He played for Barcelona for many years and will fit into the Premier League and our team. He knows a few of the players already and I think he is going to do a really good job.

“He has trained with us for only one week. He has just played his first Premier League game and has already scored. So I’m sure he will get better.”

Azpilicueta continued: “He doesn’t need any advice from me. He has won the World Cup, the European Championships and three Champions Leagues. He has all the experience. 

“Of course there are a few details about playing in England, there are a few differences like the pace and how the opposition always push until the end, especially when they are losing. There is not much to say to him, honestly. He scores goals, he does everything!”

The left back was also asked if the new arrivals felt like a warning to the squad and he claimed: “We know in football you can’t rely on what you did in the past, you have to prove yourself every day. 

“We won the League last season, but we have to show in every game and every day in training that we are ready to perform in every game.”

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pedro henry

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry knows new Chelsea signing Pedro really well, having played with him two seasons at Barcelona, between 2008 and 2010.

Speaking about the move of the Spanish winger he revealed:

“The perfect team-mate, the perfect professional – he is that guy.

“He pressures from the front, but he’s also the player that any manager would love to have. You know what you’re going to get with Pedro, always 100 per cent.

“The way he plays, the way he trains, he doesn’t talk, he doesn’t create any problem for you, he’s a team player who had exactly what you would love to have as a team-mate, as a player, or if you’re the boss.”

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JOSE MOURINHO
Chelsea manager José Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

Speaking to Chelsea official website José Mourinho analysed the two weeks of pre-season the team spent between Canada and USA.

Tonight Chelsea will face the Champions of Europe, Barcelona, in Washington then they will go back to London to get ready for Community Shield game against Arsenal at Wembley next Sunday:

It’s the best training session we could have. The game against Paris was a very good one; against Barcelona it can be an even better one.

I’m not worried with tactical aspects, and I’m not worried with the result. I’m just worried about the possibility to play at a higher intensity and prepare ourselves for the Premier League.

“I need to give players minutes. I need to give players different experiences, playing with each other and also playing in different positions. It’s just about preparation. Obviously nobody likes to lose even in training but if we wanted to win we would choose opponents where we could win easily.

“This time, because we have a short pre-season and not a long time to be ready for the Premier League, we decided to play proper opponents and have proper training matches to raise the level.

“Defenders I have to give 90 minutes to because at this moment I have only five. Between the five we must have four on the pitch and so for the defenders I have to do it.

I prefer the others to play high intensity football and to not reach their fatigue levels, giving everybody a chance to develop their condition.

About the pre-season experience in Canada and USA, he said:

“The conditions have been good to train and to rest. The distances of travel have also been very short. We haven’t spent a lot time on buses or at airports or on planes.

“We have had very good opponents. For the objective of a short pre-season I think everything went very well. If we don’t get any injuries against Barcelona we will have done fantastically, amazingly well by having a pre-season without one single injured player. Let’s hope the game doesn’t give us problems“.

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Chelsea manager José Mourinho was interviewed by Chelsea TV after PSG game in Charlotte.

The Portuguese coach seemed quite satisfied for his team performance and progress:

It was a fantastic training session, they started before us, they had four matches before this one, their intensity was obviously much higher than ours but, as a training session, as a complement for what we are doing it was very good for us.

We go step by step, the players have some more ‘happiness’ in the legs, you still feel that some of them have an accumulation of fatigue, some of them have slow moves, slow thinking, they recover the ball too slowly, they think too much when normally the press, they take the ball and they score…it’s normal but, step by step, we’re coming.

Falcao, Willian and Cuadrado joined Chelsea squad just three days ago but they already played:

Falcao, Willian and Cuadrado played tonight because we thought than 20 minutes of playing would have been richer and would have more ingredients than a small group of three [players training] so we decided to give them these 20-25 minutes which is also good for them.

“These three players cannot start against Barcelona, but I guess they can go from [playing] 20 to 30 minutes.

Victor Moses played a good game, scoring a very nice goal that gave Chelsea the 1-1 draw:

Victor Moses was two seasons on loan but he had a lot of hopes and I could feel his hope and desire to come to Chelsea and standing, when he was on loan he played every game, every weekend so it’s a very different situation but he’s very keen to stay so we have to discuss, but he’s a very good player.

 

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falcao training chelsea

Watch new Chelsea signing Radamel Falcao in his first training with the Blues during pre-season training camp in Montreal, Canada.

Falcao is expected to play his first Chelsea game against Barcelona on Wednesday 29 July but, if Mourinho will need him, it’s possible he will make his Blues debut already tonight against PSG in Charlotte, USA.

 

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PEDRO

The Sun reports that Manchester United joins the race for Chelsea target Pedro.

Red Devils manager Louis Van Gaal seems very keen on the Spanish striker that was linked to the Blues and Liverpool in the past weeks.

Chelsea need to revamp their squad, having bought just striker Radamel Falcao and second goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, to replace Didier Drogba e Petr Cech.

With Loic Remy probably on his way to Crystal Palace, José Mourinho needs another forward to complete his attack but Manchester United seem ready to pay Pedro’s £22m buy-out clause to secure him for the next seasons.

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ARDA TURAN

Arda Turan’s agent Ahmet Bulut hints an arrival of his player to the Premier League, where Chelsea and Manchester United are challenging to sign him:

He intends to leave Spain this summer. It is his will to go out to play in the Premiership, that is where he would like to continue his career at this time,” Bulut said to the Spanish paper AS.

Meanwhile,  Barcelona presidential candidate Josep Maria Bartomeu sparked off speculation that Turan could be joining the La Liga champions over the transfer window.

“He’s [Arda Turan] a good player, with great quality and perfectly matches what Luis Enrique is wanting this coming season, which is why I, as a pre-candidate, urge the interim committee to take the necessary steps to sign the player. When all parties are in agreement, and above all the manager, that the player is the one we need, the thing to do is to bring him in under the best conditions possible,” he was quoted as saying by Marca.

Also Barcelona player Andres Iniesta was quoted by Marca, stating about Turan: ““A really great player, sensationally talented. If he ends up coming, he’ll be welcome. He’ll add to the squad. It’s always important to improve the team”.

Barcelona got a FIFA market ban for the whole 2015, that means that Arda Turan or any other player “signed” in this session will be able to play only from January 2016.

A reason why Chelsea and Manchester  United got an advantage over them in the race to the Turkish star. Who will win?

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