Author Archives: mirsinho

Antonio Conte Takes Further Legal Action Against Chelsea Despite £9m Compensation

Inter manager Antonio Conte is taking further legal action against Chelsea, despite receiving £9m in compensation following a Premier League helmed private manager’s tribunal back in April. 

Conte was awarded that sum when it was ruled that he was entitled to the £9m he was set to earn over the remainder of his contract, having failed to agree on a severance package in the aftermath of his dismissal, which occurred on July 13th, 2018.

Antonio Conte

However, according to a report from the Times, the Italian is not done with his litigation yet, and last Friday he began further proceedings against the club, this time in the form of a statutory claim against the club at an Employment Tribunal, with a preliminary hearing held at Central London Employment Tribunal. 

While the details of the claim are as of yet unknown, these cases often revolved around claims of ‘unfair dismissal or discrimination’. 

Thankfully, while Premier League tribunals are kept under wraps, such proceedings as this are made completely public following their completion. One source told the Times that this could shed some light on the reasons behind this effort, positing that the Italian is likely seeking to embarrass the Blues in a public forum. 

Indeed, this line of thinking is bolstered by the fact that, given the settings, the maximum amount of money he stands to gain from any victory sits at around £60,000, a far cry from the £9m he was given earlier this year.

Conte was absent from last Friday’s hearing, choosing instead to concentrate on the task he has in Milan ahead of the start of the 2019/20 Serie A season. For their part, Chelsea have the right to appeal against any verdict reached by the tribunal.


Swap Deals: Assessing 6 of the Biggest Player Trades in the History of Football

​Don’t ask why, but for some reason Barcelona are willing to do whatever it takes to bring Neymar back to the Nou Camp.

Despite frantic efforts from the Catalans to seal the Brazilian’s return before the European transfer window closes on 31 August, he remains a Paris Saint-Germain player, but there have been no signs of his presence in the French club’s first few matches of the 2019/20 season.

​La Blaugrana and the Parisians have both rejected each other’s proposals for the sale of Neymar, with the latter ​holding out for a swap deal involving Ousmane Dembele and Nelson Semedo, plus €100m.

It seems Ernesto Valverde is unlikely to land his man unless the board agree to a trade that includes some of their finest talent. Should that occur, it would no doubt be the biggest deal of its kind in the history of the sport, though ​Juventus are looking to hijack Barça’s attempts to sign the forward.

Here’s a look at six other high-profile swaps and an assessment of which team came off better in the long run.

Gallas for Ashley Cole

Ashley Cole

Gallas was a good servant for ​Arsenal, but the centre-back was no way near achieving the levels of success enjoyed by Ashley Cole at Stamford Bridge following their switch in 2006.

​Chelsea acquired arguably the world’s greatest left-back for the modest price of £5m and a defender who was threatening to score own-goals; it should be pretty easy to see which club got the worse end of the stick here.

Cole was an integral part of a side that won four FA Cups, the 2013 Europa League, one League Cup and a ​Champions League title, whilst also ending ​Manchester United’s run of three successive top-flight triumphs. 

In comparison, Gallas’ finest achievement in north London was finishing third…

Winner: Chelsea

Fabian Carini for Fabio Cannavaro

Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro (C) cel

Fabian Carini spent his time at Juventus as understudy to Gianluigi Buffon, the Uruguayan failing to make an appearance for the Bianconeri in ​Serie A before being shipped out on loan to Standard Liege for two years.

Nevertheless, Inter viewed him as equal in value to Fabio Cannavaro, the Nerazzurri nonchalantly agreeing to a trade. The latter went on to play in all bar two of Juve’s league fixtures in the two seasons that followed, with the club collecting the Scudetto in both.

The Calciopoli scandal saw the Old Lady stripped of both titles and relegated to Serie B – Cannavaro deciding to leave as a result – but that wouldn’t stop Cannavaro captaining Italy to victory at the 2006 World Cup.

Winner: Juventus

Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Samuel Eto’o

Inter Milan's Cameroonian forward Samuel

There can be zero doubts that Inter were the main beneficiaries of this controversial transfer in 2009 after they sent Barcelona tumbling out of the Champions League in Samuel Eto’o’s first campaign at the San Siro.

The Cameroonian didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet in either leg of their semi final encounter, but that is also true of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Fortunately for Eto’o, he ended the season as ruler of Europe, while the Swede ended it in a fit of rage.

Zlatan was unable to cope with the Lionel Messi love-in at the Nou Camp – as well as Pep Guardiola’s infamous intensity – and left Catalonia after just 13 months. It’s ludicrous that Barcelona let go of a first-rate finisher and £59m for a year of tantrums and poor form from Ibrahimovic.

Winner: Inter

David Luiz for Nemanja Matic

David Luiz,Nemanja Matic

On the face of it, this was terrible business from Roman Abramovich. He forked out £20m to bring in David Luiz during the winter of 2011, with Nemanja Matic also joining Benfica to sweeten the deal.

Then again, Luiz was in the starting lineup for what remains the Blues’ finest hour: their penalty-shootout victory over ​Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final. The defender was likewise selected to play against – of all teams – Benfica as they won the Europa League the following season.

So, it seems the Portuguese outfit fared better in terms of financial rewards, whilst Chelsea enjoyed on-field glory. They both have reasons to be cheerful!

Winner: Everyone

Ricardo Quaresma for Deco


Ricardo Quaresma is the king of flattering to deceive. A virtuoso talent who never fulfilled his potential, the forward will likely look back on his career and wonder what could have been.

Eager to be rid of him after a number of altercations, Barça coach Frank Rijkaard must have been counting his lucky starts when Porto bid €15m and the highly-rated Deco to bring him to the Estádio do Dragão in 2004.

During Quaresma’s troublesome time in Spain, his counterpart was busy earning himself a continental crown with Jose Mourinho. Deco would earn another Champions League medal with La Blaugrana, amongst numerous other honours. 

The less said about his countryman’s career back in Portugal, the better.

Winner: Barcelona

Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Alexis Sanchez

Henrikh Mkhitaryan,Alexis Sanchez

In the words of President Donald J. Trump: this has been the worst trade deal in the history of trade deals, maybe ever.

Alexis Sanchez rakes in at least £350,000-a-week at Old Trafford, though that figure is normally bolstered by a further £150,000 in add-ons. What does he do to command such an astronomical wage? I…um…I don’t actually know.

The Chilean has an absolutely dire strike-rate of one goal every nine matches for United, a ratio that is eclipsed by make-weight Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who scores once in every six. More to the point, the Armenian actually tries, something which cannot really be said of Sanchez.

It’s a tragedy and a comedy wrapped into one big tale of decline, disgrace and dumb dealings. The Red Devils tried so desperately to get one up on neighbours ​Manchester City and they’ve only succeeded in making themselves a laughing stock.

Loser: Manchester United


The 10 Highest Paid Teenagers in World Football

A new report has emerged revealing the top ten highest paid teenagers in world football, with five entries from the Premier League featuring alongside four from La Liga.

In case you missed it, Jadon Sancho rose to the top of the list after ​agreeing a new £190k-per-week deal with Borussia Dortmund​ that will see him more than double his earnings, as the Bundesliga club successfully fended off interest from European sides.

With just under £10m set to be heading Sancho’s way each year in Germany, the ​Mail listed all the current footballing prodigies aged 19 and under who are earning big-money to ply their trade, which makes for rather interesting reading.

10. Takefusa Kubo – Real Madrid (£17k-per-week)


The Japanese sensation was was asked to join ​Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy back in 2011 and scored a frightening 74 goals in just 30 games during his debut season in Catalonia.

He was ineligible to join the latter stages of the youth academy after La Blaugrana had been found to have violated FIFA’s international transfer policy, therefore the youngster returned to his native Japan. Talent doesn’t stay hidden for long though, and in June this year Kubo signed with ​Real Madrid on a five-year deal worth £17k-per-week, placing the 18-year-old among the highest earning teenagers in world football.

9. Callum Hudson-Odoi – Chelsea (£22k-per-week)

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Its been widely documented that ​Bayern Munich were keen on signing the highly-rated ​Chelsea forward, which has prompted widespread talk of a bumper new deal for Hudson-Odoi.

Should that materialise as expected, then the 18-year-old will be seeing his name feature much higher up this list in the not too distant future, as ​​rumours circulate of a staggering £200k-per-week deal at Stamford Bridge.

If that comes to fruition, then it will absolutely dwarf his current earnings of £22k-per-week which, even now, are pretty decent figures given the relative inexperience of the emerging talent.

=7. Reiss Nelson – Arsenal (£30k-per-week)


Set to embark on a breakthrough season in north London, Reiss Nelson has entered the first-team fold under Unai Emery having spent last season on loan with Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim.

Ahead of his season-long move to the German club, Nelson put pen to paper on a new long-term deal with ​Arsenal that saw him receive earnings of £30k-per-week.

Now just 19 years old, the winger will be looking to impress for the Gunners in the upcoming season as he battles it out with club-record signing Nicolas Pepe for a starting berth.

=7. Phil Foden – Man City (£30k-per-week)

Phil Foden

Another player who looks set to feature more regularly for his side this season is ​Manchester City’s Phil Foden. The local lad has risen through the ranks with the Citizens to break into the first-team fold, with Pep Guardiola recently handing the 19-year-old more frequent action in his star-studded side.

Having emerged as one of England’s finest young talents, City acted quickly to tie Foden down to a new deal last December that saw him scoop earnings of £30k-per-week.

His stock looks set to continue rising after Guardiola recently said of the midfielder to the ​BBC: “I have said many times in press conferences, but maybe not said it in front of him, Phil is the most, most, most talented player I have ever seen in my career as a manager.”

6. Moise Kean – Everton (53k-per-week)

Moise Kean

The ​Toffees spent big to lure the rising star of Italian football to Goodison Park this summer. Well, they deemed him a rising star, unlike ​Juventus, who felt they got a great deal by shipping out the 19-year-old to Merseyside for a deal that could rise to £37m.

In joining Everton the striker has become one of the world’s top earning teenagers, raking in somewhere around £53k-per-week.

He’s yet to get off the mark for Marco Silva’s side yet but they’ll be hoping for a decent return on a player who could end up becoming their record signing only behind Gylfi Sigurdsson.

5. Joao Felix – Atletico Madrid (£58k-per-week)

Joao Felix

One of the most sought after players in Europe this summer, the young Portuguese playmaker has been equally effective as a striker, which is why ​Atletico forked out a colossal £115m to bring the player to ​La Liga from Benfica.

A staggering fee no doubt, it was nevertheless expected for a player who notched no less than 15 goals and registered seven assists in the Primeira Liga last year, at only 19 years old.

Since earning his move to one of Europe’s finest, Felix is on a cool £58k-per-week, placing him in the top five earners of his age bracket.

4. Ryan Sessegnon – Tottenham (£70k-per-week)

​Spurs have been famously unwilling to pay their stars over the odds when it comes to weekly payments, with a strict wage structure having been instilled at the club for a number of years.

Their pursuit of Ryan Sessegnon had been rumbling on for some time, however, and there was no holding back in offering the 19-year-old a healthy salary of £70k-per-week to lure him to north London from Fulham this summer.

He tasted ​Premier League football for the first time last season with the Cottagers, but was unable to prevent them slipping back down into the second tier at the first time. Now he prepares for another crack at the top-flight.

3. Rodrygo – Real Madrid (£76k-per-week)


All the way up in third on the list is 18-year-old Brazilian sensation Rodrygo, who made the seamless transition from Santos to Spain for around £40m in June this year.

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of former Santos resident ​Neymar, Rodrygo instead went the way of Madrid where he now earns £76k-per-week having put pen to paper on a six-year contract.

The forward has some way to go before usurping Karim Benzema, and indeed Luka Jovic, from the striker role but has plenty of years ahead of him to justify Los Blancos’ faith.

=1. Vinicius Jr. – Real Madrid (190k-per-week)

Vinicius JR

A certain Englishman may be top of the pile, but he’s joined by a fellow forward who is already beginning to show glimpses of his unquestionable talent in the Spanish capital.

If faith was shown in Rodrygo, then there must have been absolute certainty among the Madrid board when they made Vinicius the highest paid teenager in world football, handing the winger £190k-per-week wages.

That has naturally placed a lot of pressure on the former Flamengo forward’s shoulders, but he has already demonstrated on occasion his raw ability, with four goals in his debut season.

=1. Jadon Sancho – Borussia Dortmund (190k-per-week)

Jadon Sancho

Not to be undone by their Spanish counterparts, ​Dortmund too have sought pay exceptional money to one of their teenagers. Although, of the entire list, this is most certainly the most justified – even if it is the joint highest.

His previous contract, which ran to 2022, was believed to be worth around £75k-per-week, so a jump up to £190k-per-week isn’t something to be scoffed at. 

However, with 12 goals and 14 assists in 34 Bundesliga outings last season, and magic in his boots, that’s the price you pay to keep hold of exceptional talent.


Roma Confirm Davide Zappacosta Signing From Chelsea on Initial Loan Deal

​Roma have confirmed the signing of Chelsea defender Davide Zappacosta on an initial six-month loan deal that will run until January 2020, with an option to extend the deal further available for the rest of the season.

First-team opportunities have been hard to come by for the Italian since his move from Torino in 2017, and he has failed to even make the bench in either of Chelsea’s Premier League matches this season after falling out of favour under new boss Frank Lampard.

Having been deemed surplus to requirements, the Serie A outfit have returned the right back to his homeland, as he becomes the club’s seventh addition of the summer, following the arrivals of Leonardo Spinazzola, Amadou Diawara, Gianluca Mancini, Pau Lopez, Jordan Veretout and Mert Cetin. Zappacosta will wear the No. 2 shirt at Roma.

“I am pleased to join Roma, after an experience overseas that helped me progress as both a player and a person,” Zappacosta said on the club’s official website.

“Being able to play for a great club like this is a huge motivation – I cannot wait to start training alongside my new teammates.”

Zappacosta won the FA Cup and Europa League in his two seasons with the Premier League side, but will now be reunited with Roma’s sporting director Gianluca Petrachi, who worked with 27-year-old during his time with Torino.

Davide Zappacosta

“I’m pleased to be able to have Davide on my team once again,” Petrachi said. “Compared with the player that I knew at Torino, now Roma are getting a player who has matured both as a player and a person after a valuable spell in another league. 

“I am certain that Davide will be able to make an important contribution during the course of the season.”


Callum Hudson-Odoi: Why His Return Could Be a Catalyst for a Chelsea Revival

ICYMI, Callum Hudson-Odoi is back, baybeeee. Or at least back in training, which is as good as, IMHO (I wonder if I can begin every line with an abbreviation?).

The 18-year-old winger, who’s been out with an Achilles injury since April, is also set to sign a whopping, whapping, whamming, whatting(?) £200,000-a-week contract extension in the coming days/hours, ahead of his expected September return.

Essentially, it’s all coming up CHO at Stamford Bridge, and I, for one, couldn’t be happier. The man/boy is a living legend, clearly. I mean sure, you can choose to focus on the fact that he may, at one point in time, have handed in a transfer request in an effort to push through a move to Bayern Munich.

Callum Hudson-Odoi

And that focus my make you think twice about handing him, in turn, ‘legendary’ man/boy status. But we all know why he wanted to move to Bavaria, don’t we? We know that it was an enticing combination of genuine gametime at one of the best clubs in the world and the Jadon Sancho effect. 

We also now know that the man/boy is worth the €35-€40m that the German champions were offering, and that if a sizeable pay-cheque is what must be done to ensure we don’t have to go out looking for another one – and Lord knows he won’t be English or homegrown – so be it. 

Because, make no mistake about it, he is that good. And, if in January he was worth that much after playing less than an hour of Premier League football, how much is he worth now? How many Oli McBurnies would you take in exchange for one Hudson-Odoi? Cause he’s worth £20m, apparently, and if the answer’s anything less than four you’re lying. 

Indeed, what better motivation for the rest of the youth players than seeing the value placed on one of their peers?

All this is to say that the contract and earlier-than-anticipated return is excellent news, news that will have a great bearing on the campaign. 

Because, ICYMI, things haven’t been going too well down in west London. I mean, actually, 60-70% of all three performances have been fairly impressive so far. It’s just those pesky remaining percentage points that are letting Frank Lampard down, just as they let Maurizio Sarri down. 

Only this time it’s different. Whereas under Sarri Chelsea would have heaps of the ball, create a fair few chances, convert none of them, and then go behind against the run of play, then get demoralised beyond repair, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea have started excellently, created heaps of chances, taken at least one – United aside – but then run out of steam and allowed the opponents into the game. 


Surprisingly, given Sarri’s reputation, the football has arguably improved under the club’s record goalscorer. What is surprising, and in turn concerning, is how much the fitness seems to have taken a hit. 

That level of surprise, though, is diminished when you consider the *Ahh sh*t, here we go again* summer’s transfer ban, which Super Frank won’t stop alluding to in post-match press conferences, so neither will I. 

While the emergence of youth has breathed a smidgeon of fresh air into a cobwebbed squad, it’s not the same as newly minted signings, especially following the generational loss of, *yeah, we get it*, Eden Hazard.

Even so, the Blues’ predilection for fading away in games thus far has been worrying. Which is where ya boy comes in.


Pedro and Willian have long been divisive figures at Stamford Bridge, with the latter provoking particular fervour in some parts of the fanbase. And, while the former has looked extraordinarily indefatigable at times (then later sorely fatigued), the latter, with just 19 minutes under his belt (I stress) has provided plenty of ammunition to his haters so far.

But, whatever your opinion on the veteran wingers, one thing is clear: they need help. For different reasons, they need reinforcements. For how long Pedro will remain such a scamperer remains to be seen, but his output will undoubtedly be elongated with the return of CHO, allowing him to scamper that extra inch, with that extra bit of oomph. 

As for Willian, well, clearly, the Brazilian is in need of a bit of motivation, so what better carrot than the man/boy who is desperate for the number 10 shirt he only just garnered returning to the fold, and threatening his place in the side. 

Considering Lampard’s willingness to throw the youth in thus far, and the feel-good smokescreen it provides, it is likely CHO will come back as more than just a threat to Willian, which will favour him in two ways. 

Firstly, another youngster can only continue the feeling of a long-awaited youthful revolution at the Bridge and secondly, Hudson-Odoi showed himself to be a far more direct player than both last season, and a greater goal-threat, too.

Which, yes, surprise, surprise, is what Chelsea need more than anything at the minute. So, yeah, basically, wake me up when September starts.