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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte gave a hint about transfer market after the win against Brentford in FA Cup this afternoon.

Speaking of Blues legend Branislav Ivanovic, that today scored the third of four goal and that is considering offers from a couple of clubs, he said:

“Ivanovic is a legend here. He has played a lot of games and won a lot.

“In this season he is not playing in the same way as the last few years.

“We must wait over these next three days and we will see. It is the same for Asmir [Begovic].

“He is important for us. In his position we need to find the right substitution, otherwise he is happy to stay with us.”

 

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During today’s press conference to preview Hull City clash Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was asked, again, about Diego Costa’s future:

“I think now it’s important to be concentrated on the present, not the future, we have to be strong now, then we see. He is not distracted, he is a good player, a good person, he just missed one game, the last one, but now he’s ready to come back with us. He’s back to fight until the end, to fight to win the title.

The Spanish striker was officially out last week for back pain but was also the protagonist of many speculations of a possible move to China after a huge offer came to him:

“Diego is available, he trained very well, he’s fit, he doesn’t have pain in his back, so he is available,” the Italian coach revealed in the beginning of his press conference.

“Sunday and Monday he trained with a fitness coach to join us again on Tuesday, he restarted to train and he did it very well, to prepare his coming back on Tuesday, he did it only to prepare his body to have a good session on Tuesday.”

Conte was asked if he had a private chat with Costa to discuss his situation:

“I have chats with my players every week, single meetings and all together.

“I think Diego wants to stay at Chelsea, he’s very happy with us, this idea [to move] is very far in his mind, he’s happy to stay here. I don’t see any problem about him.

“After the game against Leicester I told you the truth[ about Costa], I read a lot of speculations about Diego, the most important thing now is that he trains with us. Diego is an important player for us and we all know this.

“I will see on Sunday if I will start him against Hull City.”

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

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke before Hull City game claiming that all players in the squad are available for Sunday’s game against the Tigers.

The Blues manager started speaking about Diego Costa, who was officially out last week for back pain but was also the protagonist of many speculations of a possible move to China after a huge offer came to him:

“Diego is available, he trained very well, he’s fit, he doesn’t have pain in his back, so he is available,” the Italian coach revealed in the beginning of his press conference.

“Sunday and Monday he trained with a fitness coach to join us again on Tuesday, he restarted to train and he did it very well, to prepare his coming back on Tuesday, he did it only to prepare his body to have a good session on Tuesday.”

The Italian boss also revalead that all the players are available for Sunday’s clash and he has no injuries concerns.

Conte was asked if he had a private chat with Costa to discuss his situation:

“I have chats with my players every week, single meetings and all together.

“I think Diego wants to stay at Chelsea, he’s very happy with us, this idea [to move] is very far in his mind, he’s happy to stay here. I don’t see any problem about him.

“After the game against Leicester I told you the truth[ about Costa], I read a lot of speculations about Diego, the most important thing now is that he trains with us. Diego is an important player for us and we all know this.

“I will see on Sunday if I will start him against Hull City.

Should the Spanish striker play on Sunday it would 100th app for him with Chelsea:

“It would be a great achievement for him, I hope to celebrate this with a win,” Conte commented on this.

Asked if Costa is the best striker he has worked with, the Italian manager replied:

“It’s always difficult to say that a player is better than another one, for sure Diego is a really good striker.”

Bournemouth placed a 10m offer for Chelsea second keeper Asmir Begovic and Conte admitted the club and him are considering it:

“Asmir is an important player for me, on and off the pitch, he knows that. It’s true there is this offer, the club and I are evaluating this offer, it’s right to find the right solution. We are evaluting this, the club and Asmir knows my position, that is that he is an important player for me.

Asked about who will he choose for his attack since all of his players are in good form, he said:

“It’s not easy to make a decision at the moment, it’s not easy because all of my attacking players are in a good form. It’s good when you have many players to choose, maybe I sleep one hour less to take the best decision, I know that I have to pick three players, if someone stays out is not for punishing him or other reasons, I also consider who is the opponent, for me it’s not easy to take the best decision.

Conte was also asked if Nathan Ake came back to stay or if he was called back from Bournemouth to be sold like Patrick Bamford, who moved to Middlesbrough a couple of days ago:

“He came back with us because I evaluated our situation and I think he is a good strengthening for us, I think he improved a lot in this one year and half where he played more, he has been working with us for two weeks, he is starting to go in our idea of football, I am pleased to help him.

Conte was asked, again, about Diego Costa’s future:

“I think now it’s important to be concentrated on the present, not the future, we have to be strong now, then we see. He is not distracted, he is a good player, a good person, he just missed one game, the last one, but now he’s ready to come back with us. He’s back to fight until the end, to fight to win the title.

Speaking about Chelsea third goalkeeper Eduardo, that can become the second one should Begovic move from the Blues in this transfer window, Conte said:

“He is a great sign for us, for sure, he arrived to be the third goalkeeper, the positions are very clear in my mind and my team, he is working very well, he’s helping me, Thibaut and Asmir, he helps the goalkeepers coaches. Now he is the third keeper, for Sunday we have this situation for sure, then we will see.

Former Dutch striker Marco Van Basten has joined FIFA executive board and proposed to change some football playing rules, like offside, that he wanted to eliminate:

“I don’t like this suggestion, I think if you start to change a lot of rules is not good, because football is this. This rules make football very attractive, football is football, I don’t like ideas taken from other sports.

The Italian manager revealed also which is the challenge that expexcts his team in the Hull City game:

“Our challenge with Hull is to keep the right concentration. This kind of game are really important. For me Hull City is a good team, they played a great game against Bournemouth, they changed the coach and this usually brings motivation to the players, we need to play 100% to beat them.”

 

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Ex Manchester United and Liverpool midfielder Paul Ince shared his opinion about a Diego Costa’s potential move to China:

“You also have Diego Costa at Chelsea. He’s scoring goals and enjoying his football, yet he’s still open to leaving for China,” Ince wrote in his blog for Paddy Power.

“Why? £2m a month tax free is an obvious attraction, but that doesn’t substitute for winning medals and performing with the very elite in your game. That’s just pure greed.

“Whether it’s now or at of the season that isn’t the point. Costa is 28 years old. He could play at Chelsea for the next two years, earn good money, and still go to China when he’s 30. Carlos Tevez has just made the switch and he’s 32.”

 

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

Chelsea striker Diego Costa is in the middle of a transfer market saga after receiving a couple of stunning offers from China even if, officially, he was dropped for Leicester clash and trained alone for a week because of back pain.

The Spanish forward came back to train with the rest of the squad today and posted this picture on his Instagram profile to share his joy:

Schermata 01-2457772 alle 19.40.24

 

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patrick-bamford
Bamford has piqued the interest of a number of clubs after his loan spell at Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough have just announced the permanent signing of Patrick Bamford from Chelsea.

The 23-year-old already played at Boro two seasons ago in the Championship, where he impressed scoring 19 goals and helping the team to reach the Playoffs finals, being also named Sky Bet Championship Player of the Year.

The official statement read:

Middlesbrough have secured the signing of striker Patrick Bamford from Chelsea for an undisclosed fee.
The 23-year-old has penned a four-and-a-half-year deal to return to Teesside to further strengthen Aitor Karanka’s squad.

 

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According to reports coming from Spain Thibaut Courtois is desperate for a move to Real Madrid.

Ok Diario reports that the Belgian goalkeeper is “crazy” to go back to La Liga, a championship where he has already played three years when he was on loan to Atletico Madrid from Chelsea,

The Champions of Europe have been looking for a top-keeper after failing to sign David De Gea on summer 2015 transfer window deadline day and have been keen on the Belgian player for a while.

Should Courtois move to the Florentino Perez’s club, Chelsea would ask Colombian winger James Rodrigues in part exchange.

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LOUIS VAN GAAL MANCHESTER UNITED

Ex Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Ajax and Barcelona manager Louis van Gaal announced his retirement from football after rejecting a four-year-deal with a Chinese Super League side that was offering him £44m for four seasons.

The Dutchman, 65, wants to be close with his family, that is going through a tough moment after one of his daughters lost her husband in the past month, a fact that has weighed heavily on his decision:

“I could go there, but I’m still here: so much has happened in my family,” the ex Red Devils boss claimed.

He said after leaving United that he was interested in coaching again, but that door now seems to have closed.

“I thought maybe I would stop, then I thought it would be a sabbatical, but now I do not think I will return to coaching,” he said.

Van Gaal started his managerial career in 1991, and besides Manchester United in the past two seasons he was in charge also at Ajax, Barcelona and AZ Alkmaar but was also Netherlands national team coach in two occasions: from 2000 to 2002 and from 2012 to 2014.

Van Gaal won 3 Dutch titles, 1 Champions League and 1 Intercontinental Cup with Ajax -1 Dutch title with AZ,  1 Spanish league, 1 Spanish Cup and UEFA Super Cup with Barcelona – 1 German league, 1 German Cup and 1 German Super Cup with Bayern Munich and 1 FA Cup with Manchester United.

He also brought Netherlands to a third place in World Cup 2014 and lost two Champions League finale, one of this against his ex “pupil” José Mourinho, who was his assistant for three years at Barcelona in the late 90’s, in 2009-2010 against Inter in Madrid.

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Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez reacted angrily to being substituted after completing the scoring in the Gunners’ 4-0 win at Swansea City on Saturday, but their manager Arsene Wenger has now suggested that his Stamford Bridge counterpart Antonio Conte has far greater concerns with his own star striker.

“I’d rather have someone who always wants to be involved than someone who doesn’t want to play,” the Frenchman told reporters.

“I have enough problems, I don’t need a Costa problem on top of that.

“Alexis is a guy who wants to fight everywhere, sometimes where he shouldn’t. But that is a part of his game. All my players want to play for every minute but for me this is not a story.”

Tottenham made their case for being Chelsea’s sternest title rivals by extending their winning run to six Premier League matches in emphatic fashion, dispatching West Brom 4-0.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino gave his opinion on the Spanish striker situation as well and was happy to report no similar rumblings of discontent at White Hart Lane.

“Have there been any offers from China for my players? No, my reaction to the Costa story was indifference because, luckily, it is not my problem.

“What can you do when an offer like this arrives from a country that is like this?

“It’s crazy money. It looks like they broke the market. If the offer to Costa is true, it’s unbelievable, unbelievable. But we will see what happens.”

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