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Premier League

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Arsenal’s legend Thierry Henry believes Alvaro Morata is a great signing for Chelsea and with Antonio Conte helping him, the Spanish striker will perform in the next Premier League.

“It will be interesting to see how he does. He struggled to play all the time at Real Madrid, but I know a few players who would struggle to play in that front line”. – Henry told Sky Sports – “He was vital in helping Juventus to the Champions League final two years ago and he scored goals whenever he was called upon at Madrid. Conte will make him work exactly the way he wants. Morata will have a good idea of what to expect because, although he didn’t play under Conte, it was the same kind of vibe at Juventus. He will know about that. He will need to get used to the Premier League but then he will perform. I’m very excited about him.”

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Chelsea are interested in signing both Valencia’s Joao Cancelo and Tottenham left-back Danny Rose, according to The Sun.

It is understood Antonio Conte made Juventus star Alex Sandro his main choice, but the Serie A champions stand firm and Chelsea have reportedly turned their attention to the England international left-back, who could replace Marcos Alonso as a wing-back.

Chelsea are plotting a £40m bid for the 27-year-old, according to reports in England.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed that he rates midfielder Nemanja Matic a top player despite the departure to Manchester United.

“Matic knows very well what I think about him, – Conte told SkySportsThe importance for me about this player, who is a really good player, a top player, very important for our team, but sometimes you must accept this crazy transfer market. And sometimes you must accept different decisions. But he is a great loss for us.”

The Serbia international joined Manchester United on a £40m move a few weeks ago.

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Chelsea have made Valencia full-back Joao Cancelo their top target to strengthen their defense ahead of incoming new season, according to SkySports.

It is understood Blues’ star Victor Moses needs a back-up in his role and also Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus are said to be interested in the Portuguese 23-year-old.

Valencia are reportedly asking a fee in the region of €50m for Cancelo, who is contracted at Mestalla until June 2021.

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Atletico Madrid boss Diego Pablo Simeone speaking at a press conference has refused to link Chelsea striker Diego Costa to the club.

“I don’t want to comment too much, – the Argentinian manager said – The fact is he is still with Chelsea.

“The most important thing to me is the work of my club in general, not only in training. I have to work with what I have.

Simeone added: “When I found there was no other possibility to get new players at the club I accepted it.

“Maybe I could improve the quality, but for the moment with this team I can work very well and I’m satisfied with that.”

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SkySports pundit Jamie Redknapp is certain that Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk will leave the Premier League side before the transfer market deadline.

It is understood the Dutchman handed in a transfer request yesterday, with Chelsea and Liverpool reportedly interested in signing the former Celtic and Groningen centre-back.

Here is the statement in full: “It is with regret that I can confirm that I have today handed in a transfer request to leave Southampton Football Club.

Unfortunately I feel I have no alternative after I was given notice of the Club’s intention to impose a disciplinary sanction against me of a fine equivalent to 2 weeks wages. I will be appealing what I feel to be an unjustified sanction and their inability to follow the correct disciplinary protocol in due course.

Over the past six months I have held numerous discussions with representatives of the board, the former manager Claude Puel as well as the new manager Mauricio Pellegrino to inform them all of my desire to leave the club in search of a new challenge.

I am incredibly ambitious and want to achieve as much as I possibly can to fulfil my potential in what is a very short career as a professional footballer. I want to play European football again and challenge for major honours and as such I would like Southampton to consider the interest in me from top clubs should it still exist.

I have been left frustrated by the club’s position that I am not for sale and am disappointed that enquiries from multiple top clubs have been consistently rebuffed.

The period of time that I have just spent injured and unable to play has put a number of things into perspective and made me realise just how important it is to take major opportunities should they arise.

I have consistently relayed my feelings to senior management at Southampton in what I believed to be private and personal conversations. Disappointingly, these conversations have regularly found their way into the media.

I would also like to make clear that I have never once refused to train. I can confirm that I was asked about my frame of mind and for all of the reasons mentioned above I was open and honest in saying that I did not feel I was in a settled mindset given the circumstances.

Following this conversation the manager explained that he only wanted players who he felt were 100% committed to Southampton and told me I would therefore have to train away from the first team.

As a proud professional I am insulted by the suggestion that it was me who refused to train and so feel it is important to point out the true version of events.”

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Chelsea captain Gary Cahill spoke to the Blues official website about yesterday game at Wembley vs Arsenal.

The team’s captain considers the defeat as a disappointment, but believes he and his team-mates have to forget this and be ready for their Premier League‘s campaign.

“I don’t see it as a setback, I see it as a disappointment because it was a game we wanted to win and an opportunity to win a trophy,” – Cahill said – “I don’t care what trophy it is, if you finish your career with six it’s better to finish with seven. We let that slip, obviously penalty shoot-outs are a cruel way to end a game. We’re disappointed but we need to brush it off and prepare for what’s going to be an important season”.

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Chelsea captain Gary Cahill has praised new signing Alvaro Morata, who missed a penalty in the last Community Shield game against Arsenal at Wembley, where he made his debut with the Blues.

The England international is certain of the strength that Morata will bring to Chelsea squad despite a controversial debut: “He’s been welcomed in. I’m sure he feels part of the group already and it’s just a matter of time for him. I can imagine it’s different, you’re bringing all your family over, trying to make that transition”. 

“But there’s no problems with him, he’s a massive player, he’s massively experienced, even at that young age. Of course, the sooner they get a goal, it goes for any forward, you feel like you’re up and running, so the sooner the better for him”.

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Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kanté admits he’s confident despite the defeat suffered against Arsenal yesterday.

The Frenchman told the club’s official website: “I thought we played well, we scored the first goal and we were close to winning. After Pedro’s red card they scored and it became more difficult for us”.

“In the end they won on penalties, – Kante notes – But when it’s like that you can win or you can lose”.

“It’s going to be tough because a lot of teams have strengthened, which makes it more difficult, the season starts next weekend and we have to be ready”.

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Arsenal will lift the 2017 Community Shield as the Gunners won an emphatic penalty shootout following a vivid game.

Kolasinac levelled Moses‘ opener in the second half, before Arsene Wenger’s men beat the Blues in the first appearance of new “ABBA” penalty shootout format. Arsenal scored 5 times, while Thibaut Courtois and Alvaro Morata both missed their chances from the spot.

Pedro was shown a straight red card by referee Madley a couple of minutes before Arsenal gabbed a late equalizer from a close range.

Chelsea Pedro Arsenal

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