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Eden Hazard against Everton last season © Francesca Ceciarini

Neymar chose to join to Paris Saint Germain in the most sensational transfer market move in football history: Barcelona are about to cash a world record € 222m (£ 199m) fee for the Brazilian star, even tough the way this will happen is a little bizarre.

In fact, it’s rumoured that the company linked to PSG owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Qatar Sports Investments, are going to pay Neymar € 300m ( £ 260m) to be the Qatar 2022 World Cup testimonial, so the player himself can pay his release-clause and join the French side as free-agent, so that the huge expense won’t be recorded and they can avoid FFP.

With such a big amount to invest on the market and the necessity to re-invest them and find a replacement for Neymar, Barcelona are ready to splash this cash on some of the best players in Europe.

The Blaugrana targeted three major footballers: Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, Juventus’ Paulo Dybala and Chelsea star Eden Hazard.

The Catalan club wants to sign at least two of this stars to substitute Neymar and to show their power on the market after losing one of the best players in the world.

The Blues forward is still recovering from a broken ankle injury and won’t be back on the pitch until September, at least, but Barcelona are ready to place a £ 100m ( € 120m) to secure his services.

It would hard for Chelsea to reject such an offer and the Blues will have also to find a player to replace the Belgian star, but with £ 100m to re-invest it will be easier.

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Real Madrid are ready to splash £ 100m ( € 115m) on Chelsea star Eden Hazard.

According to speculations coming from Spain the Blancos have been in contact with the Belgian player for months, and – as also ChelseaNews24 reported a couple of months ago-  Hazard already visited the Champions of Europe training ground in Valdebebas, where he also met the chairman Florentino Perez.

Actually, this was something not legal from both parts, as FIFA regulations clearly express that a player cannot negotiate with another team without the express authorization of his original club, but it’s not so uncommon in modern football.

Furthermore, it seems that Real Madrid have met with Hazard’s entourage on three separate occasions in 2017 and that is the first target of the Spanish giants to revamp their squad next summer, with their manager Zinedine Zidane – that is Eden’s childhood hero- who never hid his huge admiration for Hazard, one of his favourite players:

“After Messi and Ronaldo, Hazard is my favourite player. It is spectacular to see him play. Do I see him going to Real Madrid? I love the player, that’s all I will say,” the Frenchman said in 2015.

Recent reports have claimed Chelsea have been in talks with Hazard over a new contract, but the club may have cause for concern over his future now, as Real Madrid are ready to tempt both the player and the club with a monster offer ( £100m, at least £10m for Eden) that would become the all-time-record transfer fee.

 

 

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Conte celebrates at the end of the FA Cup semifinal against Spurs © Francesca Ceciarini

Antonio Conte revealed that Chelsea are not targeting only the FA Cup in this end of the season, but the team still have to reach Premier League wins record and have to help Thibaut Courtois to win the Golden Glove.

On Sunday Chelsea legend John Terry will play for the last time at Stamford Bridge as a Blues player. This is what Conte said about this:

“John Terry deserves the best and for this reason I think we will start what happens on Sunday, it’s important to make the best decision to find the best solution for his career, he’s been very important to win this title.

“John has the chance to continue his career, we all know that he prefers to play regularly, for this reason he decided to lave, I think he’s got the possibility to do this because he’s still strong and he showed it when I called him to play.

“When you arrive at this point in your career, you have to feel your body, your mind, your desire to play and John has got all of this. 

“It’s very difficult to find a lot players that were at one club their whole career, John was all his career at Chelsea, for sure Totti, Del Piero, Maldini played for just one club in their whole career, I wish him the best.

“When you are in this stage of your career it’s important to take the best decision, the decision must come from the players, not coach or clubs. John knows very well my thought about him.”

About his future, Conte said:

“First of all it’s important to repeat I have a 2 years contract to go, I’ve always told you is very important to finish this season, to be focused on our target, on Sunday we can win 30 games, an unbelievable record, and we have to help Thibaut to win the Golden Glove.

“Then manager and players we have the time to discuss with our club. Now it’s important to be focused on this target, they’re more important than a single person.
We have this chance to reach this target, and we will do that.”

About this title campaign, the Italian boss claimed:

“I think that every season is very difficult to win the title in England, don’t forget that winning the title this season for us was incredible, because nobody trusted us to win the title.

“It’s very important to have the situation very clear. Sometimes winning is not so easy, for sure it will be a difficult season but if we work in the right way, we will be ready to face this situation.

“First of all the player must have pleasure to stay in Chelsea, this is the most important thing, if they have this pleasure we work together.

About the tactical changes that transformed Chelsea this season, Conte said:

“I think to change our system was really important because we found the right suit for these players, we continue to work very hard, it seems a simple word, but when I say “hard work” it means hard work, we worked really hard every single day, I found the will to change what happened last season, I think this was the secret, this link. Every single manager can have a good idea of football, but if then players don’t go into the idea, it’s very difficult for every coach to go into the idea.”

Gary Cahill can be next Chelsea captain:

“I think that Gary is our vice-captain in this season and he put the armband every time John didn’t play, he’s got a good prospect to be next captain, but to speak about next season is very dangerous because we still got targets to reach.

This will be the celebration weekend, with guys like Marcos Alonso, Victor Moses and Michy Batshuayi that never celebrated a title before:

“It’s important to celebrate, because this is a great win. It’s important for me, the club, the fans to celebrate in the right way. to celebrate this league is very important, I can’t wait to do this with my players, with the fans, and we have not to forget also that Steve Holland is leaving after 8 years and he is an important man in this club. I have the pleasure to work with him in this season.

“It’s good for these guys that haven’t won titles before, it’s good because it wasn’t easy to win, half of my squad won in the past, the other half started to win. It’s very important for Marcos, for Moses, for Michy, for many guys that were with us in the squad to win the league.”

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Chelsea’s manager Antonio Conte reacts after his team victory vs Watford tonight at Stamford Bridge: “It was a big night for us- Conte told Sky Sports – because, despite a lot of changes in the team we scored four goals. Yes, we conceded three goals but we won the game. Now we can write another record this season: if we are able to win next game vs Sunderland, we will win 30 games in this league. I think this will be a great achievement for the club”.  

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Chelsea are new Kings of London derbies © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea are the new Kings of London: after winning 2-1 the derby against West Ham last night the Blues reach 118 victories in the English capital derbies played in the Premier League.

Before last night Antonio Conte‘s side was sharing this particular record with Arsenal, that temporarily remains at 117.

Premier League leaders Chelsea obtained 118 wins from 229 games, meaning they have taken 417 points from a possible 687.

Here is the Premier League London Derbies table:

Schermata 03-2457820 alle 14.22.28

 

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Antonio Conte spoke to Sky Sports minutes before Spurs derby kick-off, this is what the Blues boss said:

“This will be a tough game, for sure, but I hope we can continue our wins run, it’s important to do a good performance here.

“The record? No, it’s important to win to continue our run and 3 points that would be really important for our table. 

“Of course 13 wins in a row is a great achievement for us and we want to continue but we also know that Tottenham are a really strong team.

“Looking at the players in Tottenham line-up I think they could play with a 3-4-3 like us, but we will see on the pitch which will be their real tactical system.”

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Cesc Fabregas made his 100th Premier League assist against Stoke City, an historical record that has to be remarked.

Writing his column for Daily Mail, ex Liverpool and Spurs player Jamie Redknapp, now a football pundit, praised the Spanish midfielder as well as other players of the Chelsea squad for the incredible job they are doing this season:

Cesc Fabregas always seems to be singled out for what he can’t do. He is criticised for not covering every blade of grass, or not always tracking his runners.

 “What he does have is the ability to pick a pass in a pressure moment to win a game. To reach 100 assists in the Premier League is a phenomenal achievement.

“A third of his Chelsea assists have been for Diego Costa and that doesn’t surprise me.

“You never see Costa running in behind when N’Golo Kante or Nemanja Matic get on the ball as he knows they won’t find him.

“As soon as Fabregas gets on the ball Costa sets off. He knows the midfielder will pick him out.

“His pass to set up Costa at Man City was worth the admission fee alone.

“This year he has had to knuckle down but keeps showing he is still a match winner.”

 

 

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Shanghai SIPG general manager Sui Guoyang claims that Oscar has chosen to leave the Blues for China in pursuit of regular football.

The Brazilian didn’t get much playing time under Antonio Conte, and this is one of the reasons why he decided to move to China:

“It played a key part in his desire to leave. He felt terrible to sit on the bench and not be involved,” Guoyang reveals.

“He is so young. Oscar wants to come back to the Brazil national team. Some of his compatriots play in the CSL and they still get called up to the national team.

“So it helped him to make the decision to move to China. And of course, the appointment of Andre Villas Boas is a plus. Oscar knows we are an ambitious club.”

 

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Gary Cahill is back to his top form this year © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill is really satisfied after the 11th win in a row, a new record for a Premier League manager at his debut.

The Italian won 14 out of his first 17 games in the English championship, another record broken, and Cahill explains how all this was possible:

“We feel very confident. We feel we’re a very strong team, we’ve worked hard at it.

“Physically we’re in good shape and we’ve got some fantastic players in top form.

“We step out on the pitch confident we’re going to do the business. It’s a record we should be very proud of.”

 

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