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Cesc Fabregas is edging ever closer to joining AS Monaco in January, as French publication L’Equipe wrote on Wednesday.

The midfielder, who came off the bench to replace Ross Barkley in the Blues’ goalless draw against Southampton last night, tweeted earlier this morning: “500 games in English football, the best and most competitive football in the world, what a ride it has been! A proper dream come true to reach these numbers. Another proud moment in my career. I will see you all at the Bridge on Saturday”.

The Spaniard, who has been heavily linked also with a move to AC Milan, is expected to play his last game for Chelsea against Nottingham Forest, in the FA Cup Third Round on Saturday.

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Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has admitted he ‘did not know anything about Christian Pulisic on Tuesday’ before the Premier League giants announced a £58m move which will land the USA International to Stamford Bridge at the end of current season.

The Italian boss, speaking after the goalless draw against Southampton on Wednesday night, told SkySports: “I don’t know. I didn’t know anything about Pulisic on Tuesday. The club asked my opinion about him about one month ago. My opinion was positive. Today I have known that the deal is done but I didn’t know anything”.

“I don’t know, I am not in control of the market. I have to think about the pitch, improving my team and the offensive phase”.

“We are good to build up the action, we have to improve in the last 20 metres. The club know my position, it is up to the board. As I said before I am not in charge of the market, it is difficult for me to talk about the market or the deal of Pulisic”. 

About a potential signing to revamp Chelsea’s attacking options, Sarri added: “The club knows very well my opinion. I think we need something different for characteristics,”

“I’m not in charge of the market. I have to try to improve my players, my team, my offensive phase, or better my offensive phase in the last 20 metres. The club knows my position, my opinion. It’s up to the board.

“At the moment we’re in trouble with the offensive players.”

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Chelsea failed to reduce the gap on Man City and Tottenham as Southampton held on for a point at Stamford Bridge, a bad-tempered draw for the Blues following two away wins in a row.

Maurizio Sarri‘s men had several chances to open the scoring in a tough first half against the Saints, but goalkeeper Gunn made two brilliant saves to deny Alvaro Morata’s header as well as Eden Hazard’s effort in the 34th minute.

Winger Willian was forced to leave the pitch after suffering a knock from defender Yoshida earlier in the first half.

Southampton created their first chance of the game in the second period as Armstrong tried to beat Kepa Arrizabalaga through a fine shot, which was deflected by the Chelsea star. The Spaniard also stopped a low effort from former Chelsea midfielder Oriol Romeu.

Alvaro Morata managed to put Blues in front with 20 minutes left to go but was flagged offside in a controversial call. The Chelsea forward had been brilliantly assisted by Cesc Fabregas, who replaced Ross Barkley in the second half.

Another save from Southampton goalkeeper Gunn denied Morata’s shot from a close range in the 78th minute, before Marcos Alonso tried to break the deadlock from 20-yards-out, then appealing for a penalty in the extra-time.

 

Tonight’s goalless draw at Stamford Bridge means Chelsea remain 4th in the Premier League table just three points behind Man City, who face Liverpool tomorrow night. Manchester United are rising up the table after grabbing their fourth win in a row since Gunnar Solskjær replaced José Mourinho.

Maurizio Sarri’s men will take on Nottingham Forest on Saturday (FA Cup Third Round) before facing Tottenham Hotspurs in the first leg of Carabao Cup semi-finals. The next Premier League clash for Blues is scheduled on Saturday 12nd January (against Newcastle United at home).

CHELSEA (4-3-3) – Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, David Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley (Fabregas 69′); Willian (Loftus-Cheek 37′), Morata, Hazard

SOUTHAMPTON (3-4-3) – Gunn; Bednarek, Yoshida, Vestergaard; Valery, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Cedric; Redmond (Stephens 90+5′), Ings (Long 45′), Armstrong (Austin 90′)

Bookings: Rudiger, Bednarek, Romeu

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“It is with a heavy heart that I announce that I will be entering my final months at (y)our world-famous club,” wrote Christian Pulisic in a classy message to Borussia Dortmund‘s fans earlier this morning.

The 20-year-old gave his first thoughts after both Chelsea and the Bundesliga giants confirmed an agreement has been reached for his permanent move to the Blues at the end of 2018/2019 season (on a fee in the region of £57m).

The USA international, who will spend six months on loan at Borussia before linking up with new teammates at Chelsea for the forthcoming season, admitted he’s “looking forward to working with Maurizio Sarri and his technical team”.

However, he also asked BVB fans to not doubt his “passion, determination and 100% commitment to the team right until the last ball is kicked this season”.

Here’s the full message published by Pulisic via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram earlier this morning:

“It feels like only yesterday that I arrived in Dortmund as a raw, excited, very nervous but exceptionally proud 16-year-old from a small American town called Hershey. I had no idea what lay ahead but I soon discovered that as a young Schwarzgelben, I would be in the best possible hands.

“I would not be where I am today without the club and their believe in giving young players a chance. It’s been an honor and a dream to pull on the black-and-yellow in front of the Sudtribune!

“Many, many memorable moments stand out – to have experienced all of them before my 20th birthday still feels, at times, like a dream. I would like to thank all those coaches who I have played under and who gave me these opportunities.

“And to my amazing teammates throughout the years: You took me in as a young boy, shared your experience with me, helped me to develop and grown into a professional footballer. For this I sincerely thank you.

“To our unbelievable fans: It’s been a privilege to stand with you on the Sudtribune and to experience how you support your heroes. I feel honored to have been able to make the trip from being a supporter, to being supported. You have taken me in as one of your own. Thank you.

“I would also like to thank Mr. Watzke and Mr Zorc. It was very important to me that I handled my situation in as fair and professional manner as possible towards the club. So I thank them for finding a solution that was a win-win for everyone.

“In summer of 2019, I move on to Chelsea and to and to a new competition, the English Premier League. It’s a privilege to have signed for such a legendary club and I look forward to working hard towards being a contributor to their team of world class players. Looking forward to working with Maurizio Sarri and his technical team.

“But for the next six months, it’s all BVB! Please do not doubt my passion, determination and my 100% commitment to the team right until the last ball is kicked this season. We all feel that this is ‘our year’ and we are determined to achieve the best possible results in a ll competitions”.

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Christian Pulisic gave his first thoughts after Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea confirmed an agreement has been reached for the permanent move of the USA international to the Premier League giants in the 2019/2020 season.

The 20-year-old, who will spend six months on loan at the Bundesliga side, told Chelsea’s official website: “In summer I move on to Chelsea and to a new competition, the English Premier League.

It’s a privilege to have signed for such a legendary club and I look forward to working hard towards being a contributor to their team of world class players”.

In a letter to BVB fans published on his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts, he added: “I would also like to thank Mr. Watzke and Mr Zorc. It was very important to me that I handled my situation in as fair and professional manner as possible towards the club. So I thank them for finding a solution that was a win-win for everyone.

“In summer of 2019, I move on to Chelsea and to and to a new competition, the English Premier League. It’s a privilege to have signed for such a legendary club and I look forward to working hard towards being a contributor to their team of world class players. Looking forward to working with Maurizio Sarri and his technical team.

“But for the next six months, it’s all BVB! Please do not doubt my passion, determination and my 100% commitment to the team right until the last ball is kicked this season. We all feel that this is ‘our year’ and we are determined to achieve the best possible results in a ll competitions”.

Borussia Dortmund had previously released a statement regarding Pulisic, confirming the Blues will pay a fee in the region of £57m for the USA international star.

On the other hand, an official statement from Chelsea read: “Chelsea Football Club and Borussia Dortmund have today agreed terms for the permanent transfer of Christian Pulisic. Pulisic will spend the rest of the campaign on loan with Dortmund before linking up with the Blues ahead of the 2019/20 season”.

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Chelsea have released a statement regarding Christian Pulisic, confirming the 20-year-old will join the club next season after spending six months on loan with his former club Borussia Dortmund. The Blues will pay a fee in the region of £57m for the USA international star.

The statement read: “Chelsea Football Club and Borussia Dortmund have today agreed terms for the permanent transfer of Christian Pulisic. 

Pulisic will spend the rest of the campaign on loan with Dortmund before linking up with the Blues ahead of the 2019/20 season”.

An official statement from Borussia Dortmund read:Borussia Dortmund has agreed a fee from Chelsea for the transfer of Christian Pulisic with immediate effect. The British side will loan the player until the end of the current season to Borussia.

Pulisic’s transfer will be completed until the 2019/2020 season. The transfer fee to be paid by Chelsea for Pulisic, whose BVB contract would have expired at the end of next season, is 64 million euros”.

BREAKING – Borussia Dortmund confirms Pulisic will join Chelsea next summer

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Borussia Dortmund has just announced Christian Pulisic will join Chelsea next summer, in a £57.6m move from the Bundesliga giants.

The 20-year-old will be loaned back to the German club for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.

An official statement read:Borussia Dortmund has agreed a fee from Chelsea for the transfer of Christian Pulisic with immediate effect.

The British side will loan the player until the end of the current season to Borussia. Pulisic’s transfer will be completed until the 2019/2020 season. The transfer fee to be paid by Chelsea for Pulisic, whose BVB contract would have expired at the end of next season, is 64 million euros”.

Borussia Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc said: “It was always Christian’s dream to play in the Premier League. That certainly has to do with his American background, and as a result we were unable to extend his contract, “

“Against this background, we have decided to accept an extremely lucrative bid by Chelsea, given the low contract maturity.”

“Christian Pulisic, is a perfect player. I am sure that in the coming months he will do everything in his power to bring his high quality to the team and to achieve his sporting goals with his Borussia Dortmund teammates. “

More to follow…

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Jorginho decided to accept Chelsea‘s offer instead of joining Manchester City earlier last summer, when both clubs had bid accepted from Serie A side Napoli.

The Brazilian born midfielder has revealed his mother made him choose to reunite with Maurizio Sarri: “A lot of things happen and then, of course, it comes down to preferences. I’m really happy with my choice to be here at Chelsea…what’s happened has happened and I’m happy to be there now”.

“My mum was a big influence in me coming here. Every decision, I speak to my mum and this one was the same. My mum has always been by my side for every decision I take.”

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Callum Hudson-Odoi remains a doubt for Chelsea as the Blues take on Southampton at Stamford Bridge later today.

However, manager Maurizio Sarri has confirmed he’s confident the 18-year-old “has the potential to become a very important player” for the club in the years to come.

The one against Watford on Boxing Day, when Hudson-Odoi shuddered a minor muscular injury before the final whistle due to a muscular problem, has been his 10th senior appearance for Chelsea.

Sarri told the club’s official website: “I think that Hudson-Odoi is a very good player. The potential is for him becoming a great player and now he has to improve.

With the ball he is a very good player, he has to improve with movement without the ball. As a winger he has to improve in the defensive phase but he has the potential to become a very important player”.

He added: “It is not easy at this level to take the young players from the Academy but not only here, everywhere in Europe. Sometimes there is one or two young players in Barcelona from their academy, sometimes one or two in Real Madrid, zero in Juventus, zero in Paris St-Germain. It is not easy”

“I think we are lucky because we have Ampadu, we have Christensen, we have Hudson-Odoi, so we have players from the Academy. The Academy is really very good.

In Europe there are few players 18 years old with eight appearances at this level [this season] and Hudson-Odoi has in this season played in six or seven matches”.

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Chelsea striker Callum Hudson-Odoi was brought off with 5 minutes left to go despite he came off the bench himself in the first half, due to Pedro Rodriguez‘s injury.

When asked to explain the reason behind his decision to substitute the 18-year-old, Blues’ manager Maurizio Sarri told journalists: “He played for the first time this season in the Premier League, he played for 55 minutes very well.

He had a little injury with his hamstring one week ago and ten minutes to go he had pain in the same point. So we preferred to change.

“I can understand [the fans were not happy], but there wasn’t another solution, it was too dangerous.”

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