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Chelsea defender David Luiz was asked to reveal what he told Blues’ goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga when the Spaniard refused to leave the pitch in the extra-time of Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.

The centre-back was the only player of Chelsea seen speaking with Kepa when Maurizio Sarri decided to substitute him with Willy Caballero. 

Luiz, who missed the decisive penalty as well as Jorginho, told SkySports: “I just said to him we have to respect the decision of the coach.

 “But, I don’t know if the coach wanted to change him because he was feeling pain or it was his [tactical] decision.”

“I think the coach he wished to do the substitution because [he was not sure] of the injury, he didn’t understand that.

“[Kepa] was telling us he was good. He was okay. The game sometimes you don’t have much time to explain things, it’s okay”.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is among the candidates to replace Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.

The French boss quit his job at the Champions of Europe with an unexpected decision today, after winning three Champions League in a row and a La Liga title in these past three seasons.

Conte one of the contenders to take his place at Santiago Bernabéu, along with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and Germany coach Joachim Löew.

It seems like the last one could be the favourite but it’s also known that Real Madrid wouldn’t encounter much resistance if they tried to recruit Conte from Chelsea, since the relationship of the Italian boss with the Blues board has fell out lately, with Maurizio Sarri ready to move to Stamford Bridge after he parted ways with Napoli last week.

The Azzurri appointed former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti as their new boss, so this make a return to Santiago Bernabéu impossible for him.

 

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Chelsea are reportedly considering Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic as a potential candidate to replace current boss Antonio Conte, who looks increasingly likely to leave the club at the end of this season.

The 49-year-old, who guided Watford to promotion to the Premier League in 2015 and is trying to do the same for Fulham, was formerly a Chelsea player, where he spent two yearsafter signing from Deportivo La Coruna in 2000.

The newspaper notes that the former Serbian midfielder is seen as ‘someone commanding in the changing room and a coach who prioritizes playing attacking football’.

That is likely to appeal to Chelsea, despite a lack of Premier League experience.

Blues owner Roman Abramovich is no stranger to hiring coaches who have never worked in England before, but Jokanovic at least has a record of success in the Championship and has won titles elsewhere.

He also took Maccabi Tel Aviv to the Champions League group stage in 2015/16, where he actually faced Chelsea.

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After John Terry’s departure in the end of the season Chelsea will have to find another leader in the dressing room and, according to Blues boss Antonio Conte, that will a tough job:

“It’s not easy. Don’t forget this season some very important players for this team, people that made history here, like Ivanovic or Mikel, left and the next season also John Terry will be gone.

“It’s not easy to find the right replacement, for this season I say we are starting to build something important, now we have to find together the right players to replace these players and write again the history for this club. It’s not easy, people have to understand this.”

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Gary Cahill has become Chelsea pitch captain during this season, since John Terry is not a regular starter anymore.

The Blues long-time skipper dealt with some injuries in the last months and Conte found a regular starting XI during his absence, giving his trust to David Luiz, Azpilicueta and Cahill.

The Italian manager, anyway, admitted the importance of John in the dressing room, claiming that Terry is helping him a lot in this first year of his English experience:

“I would never try to fill John Terry’s boots. You can never fill that position,” said Cahill, who has received unstinting praise for his captaincy as Chelsea close in on a domestic double.

“When I took over as captain this season, either through him not being picked or not being available, it was a privilege to do that.

“Firstly, I have learned from how he manages himself, how he plays and how he does things. But secondly, I never thought for one minute, or will ever think, that I’m replacing him.

“He is right at the top and whoever comes in after him is never going to achieve what he’s done at the club.

“Nothing has changed in my game since I had that armband, apart from the fact I’m now 31 and I have learned a lot from someone like him. I will continue to learn from him while he is at the club.”

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According to new Blues boss Antonio Conte Diego Costa is set to stay put at Chelsea, but Sportmediaset.it reports that his agent, Jorge Mendes, offered the Spanish striker to two Serie A sides that are looking for a number 9.

According to the Italian TV network website the Portuguese agent contacted Inter and Napoli to start a negotiation for the ex Atletico Madrid player.

Napoli are trying to replace Gonzalo Higuain, that moved to Juventus, with Inter captain Mauro Icardi, so the Nerazzurri would need a new striker should the Argentian forward moved to the Azzurri. 

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Next Chelsea manager Antonio Conte doesn’t want the Blues to sell their star striker Diego Costa.

According to Spanish newspaper Marca the Italian coach is convinced to keep the Brazilian born striker despite his controversial attitude on the pitch caused him some problems in these two seasons in the UK.

Some Spanish clubs are interested in Costa, especially his ex club, Atletico Madrid, that are looking for a top striker after Jackson Martinez failed to make an impact and moved to China.

Diego Simeone‘s side will probably sell their current star Antoine Griezmann and so they will need to replace him too, but Conte is not keen on offloading Diego Costa, that he considers really important to build his future Chelsea squad.

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Mourinho hugs Van Gaal in his last visit to Old Trafford with Chelsea © Francesca Ceciarini

Ex Chelsea manager José Mourinho is “close” to Manchester United deal.

According to reports coming from England and Italy, the Portuguese coach is negotiating the last details for his contract with the Red Devils.

Mourinho would substitute current Man United manager Louis Van Gaal at the end of this season:

The Dutch manager has another year to run on his contract after this season and it is understood that the Red Devils would like him to see out his deal.

Much will depend on whether United’s form improves between now and the end of the season: failing to qualify for the next Champions League would put huge pressure on him, but the deal with Mourinho can be done anyway since there is the will both from the club and José to work together.

 

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Mourinho Van Gaal Old Trafford 2014
Mourinho and Van Gaal at Old Trafford in October 2014 © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea legend Pat Nevin soke to Newstalk’s Off The Ball and claimed that, in his opinion, ex Blues boss José Mourinho is desperate to get Manchester United job:

“I don’t know if Man United will take Mourinho,” he said.

“I would guess if I had to put my life on it, I’d say Mourinho would love to go to Manchester United, maybe now more than ever.

“I think Manchester United were worried about the problems Jose might bring beforehand [in 2013] but now…”

Nevin also stated that Mourinho could have some issues with those players who are signed by Van Gaal and are into his style of playing:

“You look at the Man United team, he’d have a problem coming in.

“Anyone would have a problem coming in. A number of them are Louis Van Gaal‘s guys. Some of them might not show up.”

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José Mourinho’s agent’s Jorge Mendes dismissed rumours of a done deal between the ex Chelsea boss and Manchester United.

Many reports suggested that the Special One already had an agreement with the Red Devils to replace his friend Louis Van Gaal soon, since the Dutch manager is on the brink at Old Trafford.

But, speaking to Globo Esporte, Mendes dismissed all this:

There is nothing to those rumours,” the agent said.

“We do not know what will happen in the future, but there is no agreement for now, nor is there an official proposal.

“Those rumours are simply not true.”

 

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