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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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Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has put the pen to paper on a new deal until June 2023, an official statement from the club has confirmed.

The Argentine has been recently linked with a move to Chelsea as he emerged among the candidates to take over the job if Antonio Conte leaves the club in the summer.

He said: “I am honoured to have signed a new long-term contract as we approach one of the most significant periods in the Club’s history and be the manager that will lead this team into our new world-class stadium”.

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Chelsea are keen on signing Manchester United winger Anthony Martial, according to The Guardian, should he choose to leave in the end of this campaign.

The French player move to Old Trafford in summer 2015 as a £36 million signing from AS Monaco.

He has since made well over 100 appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions, netting 36 goals, but could be on his way out next summer.

Since Alexis Sanchez joined Manchester United from Arsenal during last winter transfer window, Martial has found himself struggling for game time under manager José Mourinho.

With only 17 league starts this season, he is understood to be frustrated and has already attracted interest from other clubs.

Spurs, Inter and Juventus are among those monitoring his situation, but with his contract not running out until the end of next season, he would not come cheap.

Chelsea are one club who could match the £45 million the Bianconeri are reported to have committed to spending.

 

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte also underlined the importance of showing “passion and enthusiasm” on the pitch this evening, when the current Premier League champions face Tottenham Hotspur in a “massive London derby”.

He told Chelsea’s official website: “It’s very important for the players to show their passion and enthusiasm during the game. Passion is the first important thing in football: for the coach and the player. If you don’t have passion, it’s very difficult to reach something good in football, as a player and a manager. When I was a player, I showed in every moment my passion during the game, on and off the pitch”.

Marcos Alonso sealed a crucial win in the last game against Spurs at Wembley, scoring twice before and after Batshuayi’s own goal, which could have compromised the final result.

 

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed both Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defender Andreas Christensen are still in doubt ahead of Premier League clash against Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge.

Conte told journalists: “We have to check on a couple of situations in Courtois and Christensen. We will see what their physical condition is and if they are able to play on Sunday against Tottenham. At the moment, it’s very difficult to tell you with accuracy which is my choice for Sunday. We have to check these situations first”.

“I have to wait three days before making the best decisions for the team on Sunday. For sure now, we have two problems in Courtois and Christensen that we have to check but the most important thing is to have the right physical condition to play a good game. I have to make this decision”.

Antonio Conte had his say also on David Luiz and youngster Ethan Ampadu, who recently suffered a broken ankle with Chelsea’s development squad. “David Luiz is out, at least for around another three weeks” said Conte. “He’s recovering from a problem in his knee. The solution would be to play Cahill in the middle but we will try to recover Christensen. Ampadu is injured and unavailable for the rest of the season”.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Gary Cahill of Chelsea and David Silva of Manchester City battle for possession during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on September 30, 2017 in London, England.

Antonio Conte stated again that it will be very difficult for Chelsea to close the gap with Manchester City, who are the absolute Premier League leaders and masters, that is 14 points at the moment.

But, in contrast to what he claimed after the West Ham defeat last Saturday, the Italian tactician keeps a little hope to be back in the title race:

Manchester City is not a surprise for me, but maybe also for you, at the start of the season all people said this league was for two contenders, the Manchester sides, they did a great transfer market. Man City is building a strong team to lead in Europe and in the world, not only in England.

“We must pay great attention because they are a really good team, when you have a 15 wins in a row run you must be also lucky, in many games they had last minute winners, we are tying to find a solution to contend the title, also Man United, Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal have to do this.

“Time is moving on and they are continuing to win, we must be realistic because in the last nine games we won seven and drew one, against Liverpool, to maintain a 14 points gap….we must go game by game, we have to look at ourselves. When you play at home and you have a bad defeat like they did against Leicester there is a great attention from the players and the coach because you don’t want a bad run, Man City won against them only at 96′.”

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After qualifying for last 16 as second in Group A behind AS Roma, Antonio Conte claims the biggest obstacles for Chelsea Champions League glory are not PSG or Barcelona but Premier League:

“With five teams to go through to the next round means the level of this league is very high,” the Blues boss said speaking ahead of Liverpool‘s bid to progress on tonight and with Manchester City, United and Spurs already confirmed group winners.

“Don’t forget here this season is very tough. You have to play a lot of games, but when you arrive at the final stage to play for quarter-finals, semi-finals the English teams have a lot of games in their legs. For this reason.”

The Italian coach is not very positive about his side chances to success in the major European competitions for clubs:

“I think it could be problematic to win the Champions League.

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Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville believes Premier League title race will be a two-horse race between the two Manchester clubs, who are leading the table at the moment, stating that Chelsea have no many hopes to challenge them:

“It definitely remain a Manchester duel for the title. At this moment in time, it is United who are closest to Man City but I don’t think Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal or Chelsea are right this season,” he said on the Gary Neville Podcast, as noted by Sky Sports.

“You have to retain hope if you’re Man Utd and think that something could happen in a couple of weeks’ time in that Manchester derby that could start a run of results that will put doubt in Man City’s mind,” the former Manchester United defender claimed.

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BBC pundit Danny Murphy reckons Chelsea need to emulate Spurs’ performance to get a positive result at Anfield this weekend.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side obtained a comfortable 4-1 victory over Liverpool at Wembley Stadium last month.

Chelsea will have the chance to close the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester City with a win and extend their advantage over Liverpool to six points.

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Reports claim Antonio Conte was furious with Chelsea board after failing to sign Fernando Llorente on transfer market deadline day because of a derisory bid to Swansea.

In fact, it seems the Blues directors only offered £ 5m to secure the Spanish striker services, but the Swans rejected the bid and preferred to sell Llorente to Spurs, who offered £ 11.5m.

Conte was really keen to sign the 32-year-old and it’s believed he was really upset after the deal was called off.

Llorente could have been a precious substitute of Alvaro Morata, who picked up a hamstring injury against Manchester City and will probably be out for the rest of the month.

 

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