Category Archives: News

Chelsea Reject Opening €82m Offer From Real Madrid as Asking Price Is Revealed

Chelsea are looking to get at least €115m from Real Madrid for star forward Eden Hazard this summer, having already turned down an €82m bid, but a deal looks “inevitable”. 

The Belgian has 16 goals and 11 assists across competitions this season, the latter of which have all come in the Premier League – a chart-topping total, where he also sits in chances created and successful dribbles.

Eden Hazard

The links with ​Los Blancos have been a constant for over a year, and Hazard has continuously flip-flopped between pledging allegiance to Chelsea and Los Blancos throughout this season. And Madrid’s recent re-appointment of Zinedine Zidane, an ardent admire of the 28-year-old, and an idol of the player, has only increased rumours of a switch.

According to Belgian publication ​Het Laatste Nieuws, the Blues are almost resigned to losing their star man now, setting a €115m target on his head after turning down a reported bid of €82m that was the product of talks between a Spanish delegation and the club last week. 

According to these reports, the European champions are not too keen on digging into their reserves for that sum as it stands, but there is plenty of time for negotiation and they are now aware of the player’s desire to move, making a deal “inevitable”.

Despite all this, there still remains a difficulty in asking Hazard these questions head-on, with a journalist recently resorting to a more detached method.

“Look, I have a friend who has been playing in the ​Premier League for seven years,” he explained. “At a club that plays in blue. He has won everything there and he is ready for a new challenge. He is now in the interest of another club, one in a white outfit. What would you recommend to this boy?”

But Hazard remained resolute, merely replying: “Well, buy that friend a white shirt.” The problem for ​Chelsea fans seems to be that these white shirts will be available with the Belgian’s name on the back all too soon.

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Everton 2-0 Chelsea: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Terrific Toffees Punish Wasteful Blues

Everton secured their first home league win since January, as they beat Chelsea 2-0 on Sunday afternoon.

Chelsea completely dominated the first half, coming close on several occasions. Eden Hazard hit the post, Gonzalo Higuain’s soft effort was saved by Jordan Pickford and Pedro’s goal was ruled out for offside, as the Blues struggled to find a way past their hosts.

Just four minutes into the second half, Everton took the lead. Dominic Calvert Lewin’s header from a corner was saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga, before Richarlison headed in the rebound to put the Toffees in front.

Everton were awarded a penalty in the 70th minute, as Marcos Alonso fouled Richarlison in the box. Gylfi Sigurdsson stepped up, and although his initial effort was saved by Arrizabalaga he followed up the rebound to give the hosts a comfortable lead.


Everton

Key Talking Point

Gylfi Sigurdsson,Richarlison

Everton were second best in the opening 45 minutes, and were lucky to go into the break with a clean sheet. Although they were on the back foot in the first half, they began the second half fantastically and duly took the lead, producing a superb performance in the final 45 minutes.
They stayed firmly focused to keep the visitors out, and took control after the break to secure a massive win. It was an excellent performance from the Toffees and a much needed victory, after their devastating ​3-2 defeat to Newcastle United last weekend.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Pickford (7); Digne (7), Mina (6), Keane (6), Coleman (6); Gomes (7), Gueye (6); Bernard (6), Sigurdsson (8), Richarlison (8*); Calvert-Lewin (7).

Substitutes: Schneiderlin (6), Walcott (6), Davies (N/A).

STAR MAN – It was an excellent performance from Richarlison, who scored a goal and won the penalty to help Everton to victory. He was fantastic throughout the game and was constantly causing problems for Chelsea, as the Brazilian continued his fine form for the Toffees.


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Chelsea

Key Talking Point

Eden Hazard

Chelsea should’ve been comfortably ahead at the end of the first half, but were wasteful with their chances. They couldn’t take advantage of their dominant display, and fell apart in the second half in what was another woeful defensive performance from Maurizio Sarri’s side.

Chelsea were already at a disadvantage coming to Goodison Park, having just returned from a 3,000-mile round trip after their ​5-0 win over Dynamo Kiev. However at the end of the day you cannot excuse their poor performance, as their rotten away form in 2019 continues.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Arrizabalaga (6); Alonso (4), Luiz (5), Rudiger (5), Azpilicueta (5); Barkley (5), Kante (6), Jorginho (6); Hazard (5), Higuain (6), Pedro (6*).

Substitutes: Loftus-Cheek (6), Giroud (5), Hudson-Odoi (6).


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STAR MAN – Though his efforts came to nothing, ​Pedro put in a good performance for the Blues. He came close in the first half, shooting just wide and having his goal ruled out for offside, as the Spaniard played well in a disappointing day for Chelsea.


Looking Ahead

David Luiz,Dominic Calvert-Lewin

With the international break neither side are back in action for two weeks. Everton next play on 30 March, when they travel to London to face ​West Ham. The Toffees then return to Goodison Park the following week, as they host ​Arsenal.
Chelsea are on the road again in their next game, when they play ​Cardiff City on 31 March. The Blues are then back at Stamford Bridge for the first time in almost a month, as they entertain West Ham in a London derby.

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Transfer Rumours: Felix to Man Utd, Silva to Juventus, Jota to Tottenham & More

Another day, another turn of the rumour mill. 

This summer is shaping up to be one of the busiest in recent memory, with countless teams lining up move after move in order to compete for silverware next season.

Here are six rumours for you to look out for.


​Burnley Lining Up Move for Chelsea Wonderkid Reece James

This season has been calamitous for ​Burnley. Sean Dyche’s men were competing for European qualification last season, but this year they find themselves battling at the bottom of the league table. Something needs to change.


According to ​The Sun, the Clarets want to bring in ​Chelsea starlet Reece James on loan next season, in a move which Chelsea could find too good to turn down. They want James, who has excelled in the ​Championship with ​Wigan Athletic this year, to cut his teeth in the ​Premier League next year, and Burnley could be the ideal destination if Burnley can avoid relegation.

​Brighton and Hove Albion and ​Crystal Palace have both been credited with interest in a permanent deal for the 19-year-old, who is widely viewed as one of the club’s top youngsters. However, Chelsea fans would likely be up in arms if he is sold.


West Ham Fail in £8.5m Move for La Liga Defender

​Huddersfield Town had spent the majority of the season looking as though they were allergic to scoring goals. But then, all of a sudden, they netted three goals against ​West Ham United on Saturday. Manuel Pellegrini will not be a happy man.

Guillermo Maripan

It appears as though he has wasted little time trying to strengthen his defence, as ​La Segunda claim Pellegrini has seen an £8.5m bid for Alaves defender Guillermo Maripan rejected.

The Hammers are expected to return with an improved bid, but they face competition from both ​Barcelona and ​Real Madrid (but who would want to play for either of them?).


Tottenham Look to Sign Benfica Youngster Before Release Clause Grows to £85m

This is not a drill. ​Tottenham Hotspur might actually sign a player. Everyone stay calm.


According to ​A Bola, Mauricio Pochettino is looking to conclude a quick move for Benfica wonderkid Jota. The 19-year-old has a £25m release clause, but the Portuguese giants are looking to increase that to £85m, which would almost certainly scare Tottenham away.

Jota only made his debut for Benfica this season, but looks set for a bright future.


​Arsenal to Reignite Interest in Atletico Winger Gelson Martins

Gelson Martins’ name has been almost synonymous with ​Arsenal in recent months, and that looks set to continue. The ​Atletico Madrid man was widely expected to move to the Emirates in January, but instead joined Monaco on loan. However, the Gunners are obviously still keen.

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Gelson has impressed in Ligue 1 and, according to A Bola (via ​Sport Witness), Unai Emery is set to explore the possibility of signing him again this summer. Unfortunately, his transfer will certainly not be straightforward.

The winger was one of the Sporting CP players who cancelled their contracts following unrest at the club in June 2018. Atletico signed him on a free, but Sporting are still looking for around €15m, and they are prepared to take the case to FIFA to get their money.


Cristiano Ronaldo Keen to Link Up With ‘Protégé’ Forward at Juventus

There are few men in football more powerful than ​Juventus forward ​Cristiano Ronaldo. Whatever he wants, he usually gets, and it seems he wants ​Milan’s Andre Silva, who is currently on loan with Sevilla.

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Sevilla’s exit from the Europa League means they are unlikely to commit to signing the 23-year-old permanently but, according to ​Milan News 24, a move to Juventus could be on the cards. Ronaldo is said to be a huge fan of the forward, who he plays alongside him for Portugal, and he has told Juventus that he wants Silva to join him at the club.

It is suggested that winger Douglas Costa could be used in a swap deal for Silva, in a move which would certainly be beneficial for everyone involved.


Man Utd & Wolves Target in No Rush to Leave Benfica

If you haven’t heard of Benfica starlet Joao Felix, it’s time to take notes. The 19-year-old has been tipped for superstardom which, of course, inevitably creates links to ​Manchester United.

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However, according to ​Manchester Evening News, Felix has insisted that he is in no rush to leave Benfica, who he claims are as big as the Red Devils.

​Wolverhampton Wanderers have also been linked with Felix as they look to take advantage of their links with super agent Jorge Mendes. If teams want him, they will likely have to pay all €120m of his release clause. Yikes.

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11 Players Who Could Be Available in Cut-Price Deals This Summer

All the talk this year has been surrounding players who will become free agents this summer and rightly there’s been a lot of excitement for teams to pick up a new star player for absolutely nothing at the end of the season.

But pushing your Aaron Ramseys and Adrien Rabiots to one side, there is also a pool of talent which could be put up for sale this summer as club’s risk losing their best players for free in 2020.

Here are 11 players from Europe’s top five leagues who can be snapped up for less than their normal asking price this summer.


Eden Hazard – Chelsea

Eden Hazard

It should be no surprise to see Chelsea’s Eden Hazard on this list, as the news of the club’s transfer ban has only increased speculation that he will be allowed to leave the club in a budget deal this summer.

Long-term admirers Real Madrid are still sniffing around the Belgian’s signature and although other sides have been linked, Zinedine Zidane’s return to the Santiago Bernabéu appears to have all but confirmed where Hazard will be playing his club football next season.

Potential suitors: Real Madrid.


Thorgan Hazard – Borussia Mönchengladbach

Thorgan Hazard

It’s not just Chelsea’s talisman who will be in this year’s summer sale, but two-thirds of the Hazard brothers could actually be on the move as Thorgan – the middle of the three – is also out of contract in 2020.

He’s spent the last five years in the west of Germany, making almost 200 appearances for Borussia Mönchengladbach during that time. Hazard’s currently enjoying his most fruitful season at Borussia-Park, reaching double figures in both goals and assists.

Potential suitors: Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Liverpool & Chelsea. 


Pablo Sarabia – Sevilla

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He might have rejected a move to Chelsea during the January transfer window, but Sevilla’s Pablo Sarabia will struggle to turn his nose up at offers which are bound to come his way this summer.

The 26-year-old midfielder has had a bit of a sudden rise to stardom in Spain, as the former Real Madrid Castilla player was brought in by Sevilla for just £900k three years ago.

This season, Sarabia has scored 20 goals for Los Nervionenses across all competitions, while also assisting his teammates 13 times in Andalusia.

Potential suitors: Manchester United, Chelsea & Real Madrid.


Stephan El Shaarawy – AS Roma

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It seems like a lifetime ago that Stephan El Shaarawy was breaking through as the next big wonderkid at AC Milan, alongside the likes of Alexandre Pato, Kaká and Robinho.

But after a few years out of the limelight, El Shaarawy is currently enjoying his best goalscoring season in Serie A since the 2012/13 campaign.

The Italy international has already claimed that he wants to extend his contract with AS Roma, but the Giallorossi are holding off on talks for the time being.

Potential suitors: Fiorentina, Hebei China Fortune & Guangzhou Evergrande.


Nabil Fekir – Olympique Lyonnais

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Former Liverpool target Nabil Fekir has been able to step out of Alexandre Lacazette’s shadow at Lyon over the last two years and is now among the most in-demand midfielders in European football.

His stock in the transfer market has risen tremendously since Arsenal’s Lacazette left the Groupama Stadium in 2017, and Fekir’s gone on to cement his place in France’s squad, lift the World Cup with Les Bleus, as well as become Lyon’s full-time captain.

But the 26-year-old hasn’t signed a contract extension since 2015 and looks increasingly likely to leave at the end of this season in a budget deal, as opposed to running down his contract to walk away as a free agent.

Potential suitors: Liverpool, Chelsea, Bayern Munich & Real Madrid.


Christian Eriksen – Tottenham Hotspur

Christian Eriksen

Tottenham lead the way in many ways in regards to how a football club should be run, but Mauricio Pochettino’s have picked up a bad habit from their north London rivals by allowing Christian Eriksen’s contract run down.

While their dealings with Harry KaneDele Alli and Son Heung-min’s contracts show that what is happening with Eriksen is just an isolated incident, Tottenham are now having to accept the fact that the Dane could leave on the cheap at the end of the season.

That was until we saw a ​report saying Spurs were holding out for £200m. Dream on, lads.

Potential suitors: Real Madrid, Barcelona & Paris Saint-Germain.


Timo Werner – RB Leipzig

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Over a decade after Mario Gómez broke through as the Bundesliga’s most exciting attacking talent, going on to lead the line for Die Mannschaft for a generation of fans, RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner looks set to take over the mantle as Joachim Löw’s main man.

The 23-year-old has taken some time to adapt to life through the middle – he started out on the wings at Stuttgart – but he’s now become one of the most established centre forwards on the continent.

Werner is far from a clinical striker like the likes of Robert Lewandowski or Luis Suárez, but the Germany international’s devastating speed make him one of the most feared players in Europe and an ideal signing for any counter-attacking side.

Potential suitors: Liverpool, Bayern Munich & Real Madrid.


Nacho Fernández – Real Madrid

Nacho Fernandez

It’s all a bit chaotic at Real Madrid following their third managerial appointment over the last 12 months, where Zinedine Zidane stepped in for the sacked Santiago Solari, who in turn was a stop gap after Julen Lopetegui’s short reign last year.

But as Los Blancos start to compose themselves once again, questions will now need to be asked over some of their first team players and most notably Nacho Fernández.

While many expect that Éder Militão’s arrival this summer will bring Jesús Vallejo’s time with the club to an end, Nacho’s current contract situation could actually put him at the most risk of the chop at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Potential suitors: Arsenal & AS Roma.


Moise Kean – Juventus

Moise Kean

This isn’t the first time that Juventus wonderkid Moise Kean has been linked with a move away from Turin, although the days of tractors being used in negotiations do at least appear to be behind us after that fiasco in 2017.

Kean, the first player born after the millennium to play a competitive fixture in Europe’s top five leagues, has been on Juve’s books since 2011 but has only ever signed one professional contract with the club.

That deal runs out next year, and the 19-year-old striker looks set to leave having only ever made 10 appearances for Juventus’ first team.

Potential suitors: AS Monaco, Leeds United & Olympique de Marseille.


10. Allan Saint-Maximin – OGC Nice

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Any youngster who can somewhat do a step over these days are hyped beyond belief, but for OGC Nice’s skilful Allan Saint-Maximin, he’s been living with pressure and expectations for the majority of his professional career.

The 22-year-old struggled to establish himself at AS Monaco between 2015 and 2017, where he was having to fight for minutes alongside the likes of Thomas LemarBernardo Silva and Kylian Mbappé.

But he’s gone on to make 65 appearances across all competitions since moving to the Allianz Riviera and is already being scouted by some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Potential suitors: AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, West Ham.


Ryan Sessegnon – Fulham

Ryan Sessegnon

All the talk right now might be surrounding Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi in regards to English youngsters who are out of contract next year, but west London rival Ryan Sessegnon is also just one season away from becoming a free agent.

The 18-year-old has seen his progress stunted somewhat following Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League, but he remains one of the most talked about English players and has been linked with a handful of Premier League giants ever since his debut in August 2016.

Fulham do have the option to extend Sessegnon’s contract by two more years, but they could be forced to cash in regardless this summer if they’ve relegated back to the Championship next season.

Potential suitors: Tottenham, Manchester United & Arsenal.

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6 Players Who Deserved to Be Picked in Gareth Southgate’s Latest England Squad

On Wednesday, Gareth Southgate announced his latest England squad – with the usual suspects of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Raheem Sterling all making the cut. 

Some more dubious names were announced too, though, with the likes of Danny Rose, Fabian Delph and Michael Keane all making the squad despite displaying some questionable form. 

Here, we look at six players that narrowly missed out on Southgate’s squad to face the Czech Republic and Montenegro later this month, and who they could replace.  

6. Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Gonzalo Higuain,Conor Coady

Amongst a constellation of shining stars for Wolves this season, Conor Coady has been one of the brightest. 

The 26-year-old has been superb in the heart of the Wolves defence, and has earned a lot of admirers in England’s top flight. He has managed to keep his spot in the starting XI despite Wolves making a number of big money signings, and manager Nuno Espirito Santo rates the defender very highly. 

Coady has impressed with several commanding displays, but his lack of top-level experience and role in a three man defence may have counted against him on this occasion. 

Could have easily have ousted Michael Keane or James Tarkowski from this squad.

5. Lewis Dunk (Brighton)

Brighton & Hove Albion v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

Despite Brighton’s defensive woes recently, Lewis Dunk has been an imperious rock at the back. 

He’s been an integral part of Chris Hughton’s side since his rise through the youth ranks in 2010, producing a number of high quality performance en route to earning an England debut last year against USA.

The Sussex-born centre back has forged a strong partnership with Shane Duffy at Brighton, with his willingness to put his body on the line complimenting an excellent range of passing. Another player who could, and perhaps should, have taken his place in the squad ahead of Keane or Tarkowski.

4. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace)

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The breakout star for Crystal Palace this season, Aaron Wan-Bissaka has had a colossal first season in senior football. 

The right-back made his debut late last season in the midst of an injury crisis at Palace, and has made the position his own ever since.

The 21-year-old is showing not only great potential, but also putting in fantastic performances at such a young age. Many argue that he’s been one of the league’s best defenders this season, let alone one of the best young players. As an out-and-out defender, his strength, pace and defensive ability have impressed fans, despite his attacking shortcomings. 

Unlucky not to oust an out-of-sorts Kieran Trippier from the squad.

3. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

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James Ward-Prowse has experienced a renaissance under Ralph Hasenhuttl at Southampton, after the central midfielder had fallen out of favour with Mark Hughes. 

Ward-Prowse has now scored six goals in his last nine games for the Saints (including strikes against Manchester United, Leicester and Spurs no less), and is arguably one of the most in-form midfielders in the Premier League. 

The 24-year-old is known for his creativity and eye for a pass in the middle of the park, as well as being somewhat of a set-piece specialist. Staggeringly, he was left out in favour of Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph.

2. Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea)

Callum Hudson-Odoi

If Bayern Munich are prepared to bid £35m for an 18-year-old who’s played fewer Premier League minutes than he has hairs on his chin, perhaps its time to sit up and take notice. 

And that’s exactly what Callum Hudson-Odoi is making people do. He has been at the centre of a transfer tussle between Chelsea and the Bavarian giants, with the latter offering mega amounts of money to take him to Germany.

His quick feet, lightning pace and composed finishing have seen Hudson-Odoi become one of the hottest properties in the country – but he hasn’t done enough to earn a place in Southgate’s squad just yet. Hard to say who he should have replaced mind you.

1. James Maddison; Leicester

James Maddison

James Maddison has been a revelation for Leicester this year, providing pace, creativity and purpose in their midfield. 

The £24m Leicester had to fork out to prise him from Norwich was a big sum for a Championship player, but the Foxes’ gamble has paid off. He has provided six goals and six assists in the league so far this season, and has transformed an uninspiring midfield into one that attacks with pace and verve. 

Maddison provides a service that no other English midfielder can offer at the moment; he is quicker than Dele, more creative than Jordan Henderson, and thrives more centrally than Jadon Sancho. In a squad which is very light on creativity through the middle, Maddison provides the complete answer. 

The reasoning behind Southgate’s decision to include seven players who can play at full-back in this squad is a mystery, presumably known only to those who can pull off an M&S waistcoat and guide England to a World Cup semi-final.

Fabian Delph and Kieran Trippier, count yourselves lucky.

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