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Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois reveals he’s got a permanent bond with Spain and Madrid and he will be back in the Spanish capital one day.

Transfer market rumours have been linking him to Real Madrid in the past couple of years and the Belgian player fostered them claiming he will be back in the city where he lived three years with Atletico one day:

“My personal situation is related to the city of Madrid,” the stopper said to Sport/Foot Magazine (H/T the Evening Standard).

My two children live there with their mum. I have my daughter every day on FaceTime. She often tells me that she misses me. My son is still too small to communicate like that.

“Whenever I have the opportunity, I try to return to Spain. As a situation, it is not always easy. Yes, my heart is in Madrid. It is logical and understandable.

“If they want me, they have to contact Chelsea. We’ll see. But they have not done that. What is certain is that one day I will return to Madrid. I love Spain, I love the city, I spent three wonderful years there [with Atletico Madrid]. It is there that I became an adult.

I understand that the rumors are coming back today, as we are talking about a new goalkeeper there [at Real]. But I do not pay much attention to that, I stay focused on Chelsea.”Courtois also revealed that renewal talks are heading in a positive direction, also noting that the Blues’ intention to renew compatriot Eden Hazard‘s deal is a huge factor.

“We agreed to meet again in February because the club had more urgent issues to deal with in January,” he added.

“There is no rush, I am under contract until 2019. Normally, there is no problem, I will extend. I am happy here and I see a club that still wants to win a lot of titles. The signs are positive.

“Their desire to also extend Eden Hazard’s deal reassures me.”

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Leicester City boss Claude Puel welcomes rumours linking Riyad Mahrez to Chelsea and Arsenal.

The Algeria international seems keen to move to London, or even to Liverpool, as the Reds are looking for a talented player to replace Philippe Coutinho, who transfered to Barcelona for a £ 140m record fee.

After the Watford game, Puel was quizzed about Mahrez’s future.

“It is a good thing people always ask me about Riyad because it shows he is playing well.

“I get asked about his future and it is a good thing because we have a good feeling.

“He gave an assist and scored a goal, and he is showing good consistency with and without the ball. He is a good player.

“Because he is an experienced player with good maturity and he can give a good example with his play also.”

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Sky Sports pundit and Spanish football expert Guillem Balague claims Real Madrid will do everything to sign two Chelsea stars: Belgian internationals Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard.

“Real Madrid need big names and they have lined up Courtois, they want Hazard,” the Spaniard revealed.

“Those are the kind of names they want for next season. Doesn’t mean they will get them, but that’s the shopping list they have.

“It’s becoming clearer in the minds of the directors of Real Madrid they need another striker, that Karim Benzema has to be sold. He doesn’t even have the backing of the fans.

“Real Madrid will always do their plan of getting a Galactico every year or couple of years and they realise their front men are getting older, it’s more difficult for them to score.”

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Despite all the rumours about his possible move to Real Madrid next season, Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is focused on Chelsea and tonight’s London derby vs Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

I think it’s important over the Christmas period, with a lot of games, that you pick up as many points as possible, especially now we are playing a big rival who are below us, because if we can win there it will be good for us and we will go up to second again,” – Courtois told the official Chelsea website. – “We want to try to close the gap to Man City as much as possible in case they drop points. We are in good form, we are defending well and not conceding goals so hopefully we can keep that run going, but the most important thing against Arsenal is to win.”

Chelsea’s good run has been determined so far also by impressive defensive performances and Courtois is aware of this aspect:  “It’s good to know that sometimes you need just one goal to win a game, so if you are capable of keeping clean sheets and defending well that’s good,’ – Courtois said – “At the beginning of the season we struggled to not concede, we gave away some silly goals at times but then we changed. Since then we’ve worked better defensively as a whole and if you can match that with scoring, that’s good. In the last 12 games we’ve had eight clean sheets and only conceded four goals, which is great. In a big game anything is possible, it might be 4-3 or whatever, but hopefully we can have a good game defensively, score and win”.

According to The Times Chelsea star Eden Hazard has rejected a new deal with the Stamford Bridge side.

The Premier League champions wants to tie Hazard down to a new contract despite his current one having another two and a half years to run.

The club owned by Roman Abramovich offer Hazard a £300,000-a-week deal, making him the highest-paid player in the club’s history.

But the Belgian star is believed to have turned down the offer in the hope of securing a move to Real Madrid.

The Spanish giants have been keen on him for a while and speculations claimed he already agreed personal terms with them for a move to be completed last summer, but his ankle injury changed everything.

According to Spanish outlet Diario Gol, the Champions of Europe manager Zinedine Zidane recently phoned Hazard for a confidential conversation.

As reported in the same article, Cristiano Ronaldo’s position at the club is no longer “untouchable” and he would have a real competition for his place if Hazard arrived.

The 26-year-old has been in magnificent form for Chelsea this term scoring nine goals and impressing again with top performances and assists for his team-mates.

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With Italy who failed to qualify for the World Cup and coach Giampiero Ventura sacked, speculations and rumours are rising on who will be the next Italy’s manager.

Chelsea coach Antonio Conte remains one of the principal candidates, and Conte himself said, during his press conference before tomorrow’s Premier League game vs West Bromwich: “I think must be honest, I think now it’s very difficult because in this moment it’s not simple. – Conte said when asked if he would quit the Blues for Italy – “There are a lot of rumours, a lot of news, but I think for the federation it’s right to take the right time to find the best solution for the football in Italy. I think that this is not a great moment for us, for my country, because to miss the World Cup after 56 years it means that it’s a disaster for us. You know very well how important football is in Italy. But it has happened and now for sure the federation has to find the right solution to improve this situation.”

 

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Former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is in pole position to become new Italian coach after the Azzurri were incredibly eliminated by Sweden at Russia 2018 playoffs amid a Chelsea return rumours.

FIGC are trying to convince Ancelotti to join, as the Italian looks to move on from his sacking at Bayern Munich.

A four-year project till the Qatar World Cup of 2022 can be offered to Ancelotti, who rejected two big offers from China as he believes that he can still coach at the highest level.

While it won’t be easy to convince Ancelotti into joining the Azzurri, Chelsea have already drawn links with their former boss. AC Milan too will look to get him, depending on whether Vincenzo Montella holds onto his job or not.

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WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Jamie Vardy of Leicester City celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City at The Hawthorns on April 29, 2017 in West Bromwich, England.

Rumours linking English star Jamie Vardy to Chelsea were dismissed today.

In the past week reports suggested the Blues were looking for another striker to add to their squad and that they had targeted the England international.

But according to the Leicester Mercury, a source that is really close to the Foxes, Vardy has no chance to leave the Midlands side.

The Leicester newpaper reported:

“The Mercury understands there is no possibility of any deal and the player himself does not want to move.

Vardy signed a new long-term contract last summer after Arsenal‘s much-publicised transfer bid and wants to cement his legendary status at the club and among the fans.”

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Speaking to Radio Kiss Kiss in Italy Lorenzo Insigne‘s agent Franco della Monica commented the reports who wanted his client linked to Chelsea in a £ 45m move:

“I would start by saying the offer reported in the articles would be low and he has always been in the sights of many clubs.

“The priority for Lorenzo, though, is to be wearing the Napoli shirt and to be rewarded in an important way by his team. Now he has both and he is happy as well,” he concluded.

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Speculations were linking Eden Hazard to Real Madrid in the past days, with the Blancos allegedly ready to splash £ 100m to sign the Belgian star.

But Hazard himself dismissed the rumours claiming he wants to stay at Chelsea at least another couple of years:

“I’m good here. I’m at one of the best clubs in the world and I think I’m going to stay for a couple of years. I’m very happy,” the 26-year-old told The Straits Times.

“It’s going to be hard but we know [people] expect a lot from Chelsea now.

“But now is the time to think about holidays”.

 

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