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TransferMarket

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Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri, who won an historic Premier League title with Leicester City last season, parted way with the Foxes today.

An official statement, published a few minutes ago, read:

Leicester City Football Club has tonight (Thursday) parted company with its First Team Manager, Claudio Ranieri. 
Claudio, appointed City manager in July 2015, led the Foxes to the greatest triumph in the Club’s 133-year history last season, as we were crowned champions of England for the first time. His status as the most successful Leicester City manager of all time is without question. 
However, domestic results in the current campaign have placed the Club’s Premier League status under threat and the Board reluctantly feels that a change of leadership, while admittedly painful, is necessary in the Club’s greatest interest. 
Vice Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said: “This has been the most difficult decision we have had to make in nearly seven years since King Power took ownership of Leicester City. But we are duty-bound to put the Club’s long-term interests above all sense of personal sentiment, no matter how strong that might be. 
“Claudio has brought outstanding qualities to his office. His skilful management, powers of motivation and measured approach have been reflective of the rich experience we always knew he would bring to Leicester City. His warmth, charm and charisma have helped transform perceptions of the Club and develop its profile on a global scale. We will forever be grateful to him for what he has helped us to achieve. 
“It was never our expectation that the extraordinary feats of last season should be replicated this season. Indeed, survival in the Premier League was our first and only target at the start of the campaign. But we are now faced with a fight to reach that objective and feel a change is necessary to maximise the opportunity presented by the final 13 games.” 
First Team preparations for Monday’s Premier League fixture against Liverpool will resume on Saturday, with Assistant Manager Craig Shakespeare and First Team Coach Mike Stowell taking charge of the squad until a new manager is appointed. 
Assistant Manager and First Team Coach Paolo Benetti and First Team Sport Science and Conditioning Coach Andrea Azzalin have also parted company with the Club and leave with our thanks for their service and best wishes for the future. 
The Board will now begin the recruitment process and will make no further comment until that process is completed.

 

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England and Bath fly-half George Ford spoke about Chelsea after manager Antonio Conte visited his head coach Eddie Jones at Pennyhill Park earlier this morning.

The 23-year-old is a Chelsea supporter and showed his pleasure to meet Conte: “I used to love watching Frank Lampard play so that’s where my support for Chelsea comes from,” he said.

“It was great to meet the manager, you can obviously see why they are successful at the minute, – he added –He is very experienced at what he does and meeting Steve Holland was also great”.

Then Ford ended: “There are 13 Premier League games left, they are in a good spot, so touch wood they can win it.”

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Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci has been dropped from the squad for the clash against Porto after he has been reportedly involved in a row with Bianconeri’s manager Massimiliano Allegri a few days ago.

It is understood Chelsea are still keeping tabs on the 29-year-old centre-back, whose contract is due to expire in June 2021.

Allegri is quoted to have said: “Leonardo Bonucci will not be in the squad tomorrow; it is right to do so on behalf of the club, fans and team”.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is a huge admirer of the Italian centre-back, who is rumored to be considering a move out from the Serie A outfit should the situation be still unresolved at the end of season.

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Swansea defender Alfie Mawson knows ‘it’s going to be a big test’ against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The former Barnsley centre-back said:“The detail the gaffer goes into is incredible and you have to go to places like that thinking and hoping you’re going to do well.”

“We have picked up a massive three points [against Leicester] and the idea is to do the same [at Chelsea]. We played away at Manchester City and played a very good game so we’ll go to Chelsea with the same idea”.

“They’re top of the league, a different kind of team. But we are in the right way and we need to fight for every game. We have to keep working as a team and a unit. We’ve played strong players before and we kept them quiet as well”.

Then Mawson ended: “You know they’re good players but when you step on the pitch, you can’t show too much respect.”

 

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Ex-Chelsea youngster and youth team captain Conor Clifford rates Blues’ legend John Terry as ‘the king of the place’ at Stamford Bridge.

“When Ancelotti was there I was training with the first-team every day. Lampard, John Terry, all of them, – Clifford told RTE – Lampard really took me under his wing when I was there. I looked up to him and I used to speak to him and ask him a lot of questions”.

Clifford left Chelsea in 2013 after spending several seasons on loan (Plymouth, Notts County, Yeovil Town, Portsmouth and Crawley Town).

“We’d sit down together at lunch. I’d try to get in his ear and talk to him. I did a lot of staying back with him and finishing and all of that stuff. It was a brilliant experience to have that. I was telling my friends back home and they would think I was having them on”.

The midfielder, who currently plays in the National League with Boreham Wood, ended: “John Terry was the main man there. Even down eating his lunch he would have a brand new knife and fork brought over to him every day: he was the king of the place.”

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Chelsea star Eden Hazard admitted that ‘it’s always a difficult to come back after a good season’, moreover following a change of management with the arrival of Antonio Conte.

When asked about Blues’ last season and about the manager, he told The Mirror:

“Last season everyone knows I was not good enough, but you learn from your mistakes. I gave everything to come back and now I am in my level”.

“So I started this season well – fit, with no injuries and it is better to play when you are ready. I want to enjoy being on the pitch. So this is the key”.

Then Hazard ended: “It is always a difficult to come back after a bad season, but the boss changed something and tried to give us more confidence.”

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Bristol City striker Tammy Abraham, who’s currently playing from Chelsea on loan, admitted he is severely gutted after suffering a thigh issue in the last game against Leeds.

“Can’t describe how gutted I am to be out injured, – he tweeted – Miss being out there. Hopefully back on the pitch soon.”

Abraham returned to Chelsea to undergo personal treatment on the problem before joining Bristol City again.

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Chelsea backup goalkeeper Asmir Begovic remarked the importance of playing FA Cup Quarter-Finals against Manchester United next month.

The former Stoke City star played last away game against Wolves, when Chelsea won a very tight clash at the Molineux.

“It’s important that when you’re called upon, and you haven’t been playing regularly, you’re able to back up your quality and show what you can bring to the team, – Begovic told the club’s official website – We try to do that, as a team we’ve been doing well so it’s really difficult to change the side on a weekly basis, but when you’re given a chance it’s nice to be able to show what you can do”.

“We take this competition very seriously, we’re in it to win it. Wolves are a good side so it was important for us to play a strong team and put in a good performance”.

“The competition is getting tougher every year. All of the teams are improving and all of the divisions are getting stronger so it’s difficult to not take it seriously. In the time I’ve been here we’ve always taken the cup competitions seriously, it’s instilled within the club”.

Then Begovic: “We have a very good squad so whenever changes are made, for whatever reasons, we have ready-made players. It’s important to give the FA Cup the respect it deserves, it’s the best cup competition in the world”.

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Chelsea backup goalkeeper Asmir Begovic believes defender Kurt Zouma ‘is a world-class defender’.

The Bosnia-Erzegovina star told the club’s official website: “Arguably the best defender in Premier League history, so he has talent and ability,”

“When he’s called to play he’s reliable and he’s there for us to use. We have great competition for places, especially in that defensive area, so regardless of who is called upon to play we’re very comfortable”.

Chelsea faced Wolverhampton Wanderers with a defensive trio formed by Kurt Zouma, John Terry and Nathan Ake.

“The three defenders in front of me were fantastic. They helped out a lot and they covered each other. They had to deal with a lot of high balls and crosses into the box and, as the game went on, we managed to stop those coming in. The three boys did really well”.

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