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Ross Barkley is flourishing at Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri‘s management, after joining the Blues from Everton on a £15m move in January 2018.

The midfielder became the first Englishman to score in three consecutive Premier League games for Chelsea since Frank Lampard, after scoring against Southampton, Manchester United and Burnley earlier last month.

However, Barkley is aware that Everton fans won’t reserve him a positive reception when he’ll get on the pitch in a Chelsea shirt at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

He said: “I don’t think it [the reception] will be the best. I was approaching 25 and I felt looking back I could have improved a lot more at Everton. Here I knew I’d improve a lot quicker around better players, world-class players”.

“I’m not nervous, I’m excited to play against my former club and team-mates – I understand how some of them play, so that could be an advantage for me”.

“On the day I might get a few nerves as it will feel a bit strange. I’m looking forward to catching up with some of the staff there who I used to get on really well with.”

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Most of Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge were waiting for tonight’s clash more to welcome back Blues legend Frank Lampard than for the game itself against Derby County, who Chelsea all time top-scorer has been coaching since the start of this season.

Nobody had doubts that the former midfielder would have got a rapturous reception from his ex supporters ahead of the match and even got a standing ovation from the fans of both sides at the end of the game, as shown in the video below:

Lampard, besides being Chelsea all-time top scorer having netted 211 goals in 648 appearances for the club, also won 13 trophies while playing for the Blues, including the Champions League and three Premier League titles.

Chelsea loanees Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount, who were granted permission by their parent club to play, started the game but the defender was one of the two Rams players who scored an own goal in the first half.

Before the game Lampard claimed:

“I realise how important Chelsea were in my life and what I owe for that in terms of thanks.

“I’ll be proud and honoured to be taking my team to a club that was my home for 13 years and still feels like home.

“I’ve got great affiliation with Derby already, I’m working hard to do something good here and I love it, but I can’t forget 13 years of my career.

“I was lucky to be part of a strong era, the infrastructure that was laid by Roman Abramovich, it’ll be special to be back there and feel that atmosphere again.”

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Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has confirmed he won’t face a normal clash as Derby County will take on the Blues in the Carabao Cup round four on Wednesday 31st October.

The former Chelsea midfielder, whose side remain 5 points behind current leaders Leeds United and Middlesbrough following the 1-1 draw against Norwich City last night, told journalists: “Of course it will be very special to go back to Stamford Bridge. It was my home and my club for 13 years and the opportunity to go back and see the fans and the people behind the scenes is an incredible occasion for me”.

“It’s a club that took me in. I moved across London from a so-called rival and they took me in instantly. I was fortunate enough to spend successful years there and it was a family. It still feels that way but the club moves on. It’s a nice story and nice emotions around it personally, but the great test is for the players”. 

“It’s a very tough game for us to win again, but I think the test for the players against such a fantastic team is going to be a great one for them”.

Derby County booked a place into the fourth round of Carabao Cup after getting a massive win on penalties at Old Trafford last month.

Lampard added: “We came through the Manchester United game so well with a mixture of the younger players and the experienced players and to go and perform at Old Trafford like we did is a credit to them. It’s a similar occasion for them to go to Stamford Bridge and give a good account of ourselves whatever the result may be.

 

 

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Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has confirmed he would be “open” to the idea of John Terry returning to the club after the 37-year-old turned down a lucrative offer from Spartak Moscow earlier this week.

The Italian boss told journalists: “Last time I spoke to him he told me he wants to play for another season. That was about a week ago. I don’t know now the situation”.

“Chelsea is his home. I am open to the idea [of him returning], of course. For sure he would be a point of reference for me, for everybody I think”.

“I don’t know if there is a chance; he told me he wants to play. It’s up to him. If he wants to play for another season, it’s right he tries to play. If he wants to help us, I am really very happy”.

John Terry spent last campaign at Championship side Aston Villa, having left Chelsea in 2017, and is reportedly considering a staff role at Stamford Bridge.

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Yesterday Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata and his agent met Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici so many interpreted this meeting as the first step for a possible return of the Spanish player to the Italian champions.

However, today, Juventus general manager Giuseppe Marotta denied the club is interested in Morata: “These are simply rumours. I want to deny them, we don’t want to deceive anyone”. Marotta said during the launch of a book about Juventus. “We already have a great attack of international calibre, so it’s an area where we don’t have to make any bets. Therefore, at this point, any operation seems totally utopian”.

Giuseppe Marotta also claimed there’s the chance Morata himself would love to play again for Juventus as he remembers the time he spent with the “Bianconeri”: Now we are in the most important phase of the transfer market, so as always, every day, they link Juventus with many players,” Marotta went on. “That also applies to the Morata affair which is on the agenda today. The fact is that the most important players of this Agnelli cycle who have gone away all carry with them a great memory of Juventus, and almost all of them want to savour the Juventus climate”.

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Alvaro Morata could leave Chelsea at the end of this season after a £ 65m move from Real Madrid to Stamford Bridge that happened only last summer.

A return to Italy could be on the cards for the Spaniard, who is married with an Italian model that he met during his spell at Juventus: the couple would love to return to Morata’s wife country, with their twins expected to be born in the end of this spring.

The Spanish striker scored 27 goals in 93 games during a three-year spell in Turin before heading back to Real Madrid in 2016 and then on to the Blues a year later.

But after a mixed first year in west London, where Morata partially failed to reach expectations, Juventus have approached Chelsea about bringing back the striker to Serie A, according to Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport.

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Former Chelsea star Ramires revealed he would be happy to return to Stamford Bridge before the end of his career:

“Chelsea? I’ll always have special affection for them and I want to play for them again before finishing my career,” the Brazilian, now at Jiangsu Suning, said speaking to UOL Esporte.

“I know the doors of Stamford Bridge will always be open to me and that wearing their jersey again would be spectacular.

“There’s been lots of talk about Inter, but nothing concrete has come my way, at least until today.

 “Everyone knows Inter are a great club and that playing in Europe again is a wish of mine, but for now I’m thinking about helping Jiangsu have a great 2018.”

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In its recent history Chelsea has often appointed Italian managers and Serie A players, so with the reports of Antonio Conte potentially leaving at the end of the season rumours about a possible substitute have started to go around.

Blues legend Gianfranco Zola was asked about potentially returning to Stamford Bridge along with current Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri, one of the canditates to replace Conte, should he leave:

Will we both head to Chelsea? Every other week they link me to Chelsea in some capacity- he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

But I know nothing about this hypothesis. On top of that after Birmingham I decided to take a sabbatical year.

“What is Sarri’s style like? They memorize their plays, they have schemes that are hard to stop.

“The way they dominate possession reminds me of the Napoli from my days with Maradona and Careca. I think this is the right year for the scudetto”

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Marcos Alonso can complete a return to Real Madrid next summer: the Spanish left-back, who grew up as a player in the Merengues academy, can sign again for the Spanish giants since he is one of the first name that Zinedine Zidane submitted to chairman Florentino Perez in order to revamp his squad for next season.

Alonso left Real Madrid in summer 2010, when he signed for Bolton at the age of 20: he then moved to Fiorentina, who loaned him to Sunderland for some months in 2014, and after impressing in his last two seasons in the Tuscan side signed for Chelsea in summer 2016 in a £ 25m move.

The Spaniard made an impact in this first year and half at Stamford Bridge, at the point to attract the attention of Real Madrid again, with Zidane that aims to sign him next summer to replace Marcelo, who is not performing at the same levels of the past seasons, as Don Balón reports.

 

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