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Roman Abramovich has the ability to scuttle Chelsea sale

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has the ability to put a stop to the sale, according to sources who claim he does not want to accept a proposal from a nation that has sanctioned Russian billionaires.

Although Abramovich’s assets have been seized by the government, the Chelsea owner will still be able to have influence on the club’s sale, according to individuals who spoke with The Mail on Sunday.

After hiring The Raine Group to sell the club, he has the option to refuse any offers from the United States or the United Kingdom since both governments have sanctioned oligarchs from his own country as a result of the conflict in Ukraine.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich (pictured) has hired The Raine Group to sell the club
Latest development means the European champions could yet end up in administration

According to the latest development, Chelsea may still be forced into administration since the Saudi Media Group, which has allegedly presented a £2.66 billion proposal, is expected to be the biggest surviving bidder from outside the United States and Europe.

In any case, the Saudi strategy is unlikely to be supported by the government with Chancellor Rishi Sunak in charge of the process, given the recent outrage to Newcastle United’s sale to an investment group tied to the ruling family of the Persian Gulf country.

One of the two big American bids for Chelsea has been launched by businessman Todd Boehly, who has joined up with Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and British property developer Jonathan Goldstein to form a consortium.

According to all indications, their proposal has gone a long way toward ensuring the Government that they are capable of reaching a swift agreement.

S businessman Todd Boehly is leading one of the two major American bids for Chelsea
The Ricketts family publicly confirmed their intention to bid for the Blues on Wednesday

A offer was also submitted by the Ricketts family, who are the owners of the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise.

The Government might still take Chelsea, but even if a deal is reached, there would be doubts about how the revenues would be distributed, given that Abramovich has said that he will not get any money.
Raine did not respond to a request for comment.

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Matt Law: Chelsea ‘willing to spend £84m on Juventus star’

Chelsea are reportedly prepared to spend as much as €100m (£84m) on Juventus forward Federico Chiesa.

The 24-year-old starred for Italy during Euro 2020, playing a leading role in his country winning the competition, while he has been an important player for the Old Lady during the 2021-22 campaign, scoring three goals and registering three assists in 15 appearances in all competitions.

Chiesa is still technically on loan at Juventus from Fiorentina, but the Old Lady have a deal in place to sign the Italian on a permanent basis next summer.

According to Calciomercato, Chelsea were firmly interested in the attacker over the summer transfer window but could not convince I Bianconeri to let him leave.

The report claims that the Blues remain interested in Chiesa and would be prepared to make ‘a monster offer’ in the region of €100m (£84m) to secure his services.

The forward played 80 minutes of his side’s Champions League clash with the London club at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening, which ended in a 4-0 victory for the home team.

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Five reasons why jorginho deserves the ballon dor more than messi

When the shortlist for this year’s Ballon d’Or nominees was unveiled last week, many fans were, quite rightly, shocked and appalled that Federico Chiesa’s name was left out. However, even if the Juventus and Italy winger had been included in the 30-man list, he is still far from deserving to be in the top 3, let alone win it.

Instead, the accolade as the best player of the year in the world belongs to Chiesa’s Azzurri teammate, Chelsea’s Jorginho. Below are 5 reasons why the former Napoli midfielder deserves to win the Ballon d’Or.

1) INTEGRAL PART OF CHELSEA’S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE WINNING SIDE

Jorginho not only started 12 out of Chelsea’s 13 matches en route to winning the club’s second title in Europe’s premier club competition but also captained the side twice along the way.

He only failed to make it a lucky number 13 out of 13 matches played. That’s because he was suspended in the return leg of the Round of 16 against Atletico Madrid due to accumulating too many bookings.

But aside from that one game, he never missed a start and never played less than 65 minutes.

In fact, he played the full 90 minutes in all of the knockout matches he started, being subbed off late three times in the group stages. In both clashes with Sevilla, the second time in the 85th minute when the game was already won, and against Krasnodar, after 71 minutes.

No other outfield Chelsea player racked up more minutes than the Brazil-born Italian midfield Maestro en route to lifting the cup with the big ears, second only to goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, and both men playing just over 1,000 minutes.

 

2) ITALY WOULD NEVER HAVE WON EURO 2020 WITHOUT JORGINHO

The same pattern is repeated when looking at his importance to Roberto Mancini’s Italy when winning the European Championships this past summer.

Jorginho was once again the outfield player with the most minutes on the pitch in the entire competition, starting all of Italy’s seven matches, being subbed off only once after 75 minutes against Wales in the meaningless final group stage match. The latter is significant as Roberto Mancini rotated the team heavily, with the group already won.

Everyone could be rotated, except for Donnarumma and the indispensable Jorginho, who covered the most distance out of all the outfield players at UEFA Euro 2020, including England’s Kalvin Phillips, who came in second. The former Hellas Verona midfielder recorded a stunning 93% passing accuracy and completed 497 passes throughout the tournament, the most of any midfielder, second overall to Spain defender Laporte. 

3) The bias in favour of goalscorers and assist-providers must end

The result of a football match is, of course, ultimately measured in which teams score the most goals. And it is only natural that the game’s low-scoring nature allows the goalscorers to retain most of the limelight. However, it is reductive and archaic always only to measure who the best player is along with those parameters.

This is particularly true when considering the importance of goalkeepers and central defenders to title-winning teams at both club and international level. And it should be extended to non-scoring and assist-providing midfielders as well, such as Jorginho, who has demonstrably offered invaluable quality leading to trophies.

Jorginho is the brain behind the build-up play, which inevitably finds the spaces and the players movements, which lead to assists and goals. The secondary assist if one speaks ice hockey. He is the beating heart that dictates the tempo with which his teams dominate their opponents. Defensively, the Chelsea man is a reference point for his teammates when interpreting their positional roles on the pitch.

And no more so did it become evident than this last year at both Chelsea (especially after Thomas Tuchel took over) as well as with Italy in the European Championship.

 

4) No Italian midfielder has won it since Gianni Rivera in 1969

When Roberto Baggio won it in at Juventus in1993, the Divine Ponytail had completed his positional shift up the pitch as a forward, so he doesn’t qualify as a midfielder. By the time Milan legend Gianni Rivera won the award, he’d played in every single position in midfield, from regista to mezzala to trequartista.

Since then, no Italian midfielder has won it, not even Andrea Pirlo in 2006, when Fabio Cannavaro prevailed. The Ballon d’Or was awarded in 1969 to Gianni Rivera for helping his beloved Milan win the European Cup/Champions League. In 1993 it was given to Roberto Baggio for outstanding performances leading his Juventus to glory in the UEFA Cup.

Fabio Cannavaro got the accolade for bringing glory to the Azzurri in 2006 at the FIFA World Cup in Germany. Nothing for Franco Baresi, Gigi Buffon, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Del Piero, Pirlo or Francesco Totti before or since.

In 2021, Jorginho was the most crucial player for Italy and Chelsea when winning the European Championships and the Champions League respectively, equalling the achievements of the legends above but doing so in one season. Jorginho is not a better player than Roberto Baggio or Gianni Rivera, but comparisons help when contextualizing accomplishments.

5) No other player deserves to win The Ballon D’Or – especially Lionel Messi

Allow me to elaborate before I drown in a cacophony of outrage from the Messi fanboys online army.

I subscribe to the notion that awards are based on the merit of achievements, not on appreciation of talent. Lionel Messi achieved nothing in the last 12 months that remotely eclipses what Jorginho achieved during the same period. Unless you think finishing third in La Liga is a far more remarkable feat than winning the Champions League.

Or winning a tournament where eight out of 10 teams from the group stage make it to the quarter-finals, as was the case in Copa America, is far more impressive than winning EURO 2020 after defeating Belgium and Spain en-route to beating England at a packed Wembley.

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(Image): Massive new Champions League banner being prepped by Chelsea fans

It appears that Chelsea fans have been preparing a massive new banner for the stadium to celebrate the triumph of winning the Champions League last season and being reigning Champions.

It looks also like it may well get it’s first outing against Manchester City this Saturday, who which of course Chelsea beat in the final of the competition, ironically.

As you will see below, fan community ‘We Are The Shed’ posted the image of their Twitter account yesterday, showing a small snipped of what we are to expecting to see in all it’s glory this weekend!

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Chelsea consider Matthijs de Ligt move with Juventus open to ‘evaluating transfer offers’

Chelsea are weighing up a summer move for Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt as their interest mounts in the Dutchman.

The Blues were looking to add a central defender in the summer and had lodged a bid for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.

The Spanish side knocked back their offer and Thomas Tuchel could now consider alternatives.

De Ligt burst onto the scene in the Netherlands before a switch to Turin back in 2019.

However Calciomercato reports that the former Ajax man ‘remains in the sights of Chelsea ’ and is among their priority targets.

Juventus fended off competition from the likes of Barcelona to sign the centre-half, but his stock has not risen like many expected.

Matthijs de Ligt is on Chelsea's radar

He’s been in and out of the starting XI having played under several different managers whilst in Italy.

De Ligt has started in three of Juventus’ five Serie A games thus far, appearing from the bench in another.

The Dutchman scored the Old Lady’s winner at Spezia recently, securing his side’s first win of the season.

The Chelsea target has a release clause of £130m, which comes into affect this summer, but the Italians may be open to negotiation.

De Ligt’s future could rest on how regular a figure he is under Massimiliano Allegri, who has returned for a second stint in charge.

Chelsea’s urgency to add more quality to their backline will also be impacted by Antonio Rudiger’s next move.

Bayern Munich are looking to benefit from the uncertainty surrounding the German’s future.

The 28-year-old’s contract is due to expire next summer and he is yet to sign an extension in west London.

PSG and Real Madrid are both keen but it looks as if the Bavarians have now joined the race, reports Goal, as they consider bringing the defender back to his homeland.

Bayern have been in contact with Rudiger’s agent and brother, Sahr Senesie, but the talks are at a very early stage.

Antonio Rudiger's future remains uncertain

Tuchel is not short of defensive quality and has made clean sheets a regular thing in west London.

His Chelsea team have shipped just one goal in their five Premier League games – and that was a penalty against Liverpool.

Thiago Silva, whilst being a class operator, is not getting any younger, which is potentially a factor in their De Ligt interest.

Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Trevoh Chalobah are also options for Tuchel, who sanctioned Kurt Zouma’s departure in the summer.

 

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Chelsea wouldn’t beat Liverpool to Premier League title if pair’s results stay identical

Anything one of them can do, the other can do too.

Chelsea and Liverpool have just completed their fifth successive week of identical results since the start of the Premier League season, with both winning 3-0 for the third time in 2021-22.

In a remarkable coincidence, the Blues and Reds have recorded the same result as each other in every single matchweek thus far, a run which started when Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 3-0 on the opening weekend of the season, only for Liverpool to see off Norwich by the same scoreline a few hours later.

It was then the Reds who played first the following week, beating Burnley 2-0 at Anfield thanks to goals from Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane. The next day, Romelu Lukaku and Reece James gave Chelsea a 2-0 win at Arsenal.

Liverpool and Chelsea drew 1-1 when they met at Anfield

Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel then came face-to-face the next weekend as Liverpool and Chelsea played out a 1-1 draw at Anfield, with the Blues the happier of the pair after they had James sent off.

Then in the last two Premier League matchweeks the pair have registered two more 3-0 wins, with Chelsea beating Aston Villa and Tottenham and Liverpool seeing off Leeds and Crystal Palace.

The runs mean that both clubs are locked at the top of the table with a haul of 13 points from five games, with both having scored 12 goals and conceded just one – to each other.

Manchester United can also boast 13 points from five games, but they sit third due to an inferior goal difference of +9.

With everything equal, it is Chelsea who currently take top spot from the Reds due to the simple fact that C comes before L in the alphabet, with the summit of the table reverting back to the hierarchy we all see before a ball is kicked.

However, and not entirely surprisingly, if it actually mattered who was where at the moment then of course there would have to be a better determining factor than alphabetical order.

Chelsea saw off Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 on Sunday

Premier League rules state that league positions are determined by points, goal difference and then goals scored, with further factors then coming into play if teams still cannot be separated at the end of the season when an issue such as winning the title or relegation was on the line.

Next up would come the head-to-head record between the clubs in their meetings during the season, and then if that was still level then it would go to goals scored in those matches, i.e. a 3-0 win for one side over the other in their first meeting would trump a 2-0 win for the other side in their second.

Liverpool were 3-0 winners over Crystal Palace at the weekend

If the teams were then still level – as Chelsea and Liverpool are at the moment due to that 1-1 draw at Anfield last month – then rules state that we’d go to a one-legged playoff on a neutral ground, with the Premier League determining where and when that would be.

So, title decider anyone?

It’s unlikely, but we can all dream.

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Chelsea injury updates ahead of Aston Villa: Édouard Mendy ‘painful’, Christian Pulisic ‘doubtful’

Thomas Tuchel made three changes to the starting lineup against Tottenham Hotspur from Chelsea’s previous game, one of which was a complete surprise. Instead of Édouard Mendy, it was backup goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga who got the start, with third-choice Marcus Bettinelli on the bench.

That arrangement suggested that UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year Édouard Mendy had picked up an injury, which was duly confirmed by the Chelsea boss before kick-off. After our 3-0 win, Tuchel went into a bit more detail, revealing that it was the collision in the game against Zenit St Petersburg — as many had suspected despite the secrecy about it leading up to the match — which caused Mendy to miss out.

“We tried throughout the week and yesterday in training it was so-so. It comes from the last-minute kick against Zenit in the Champions League. It is very painful and did not feel 100% comfortable going for a full stretch or to land on it. He didn’t feel comfortable at fight at set-pieces or corners.

“So we decided to go with 100% and that was Kepa and have Edou with us to be supportive and have good energy. I’m happy Kepa a crucial role today and kept a clean sheet. This is what he deserves and I am happy that he could.”

Fortunately, Kepa indeed played well, which he will likely need to do again coming up against Aston Villa in the League Cup on Wednesday — and then hopefully we get Edou back for Manchester City next weekend.

Speaking of Villa, one player we had been hoping to see play against them is Christian Pulisic, but it sounds like he’s got some ways to go yet as far as his ankle injury’s concerned.

“The game against Aston Villa is maybe too close, I hope I am wrong. This is my impression with him not in training so far. Let’s see tomorrow.

“Maybe he had a good progression today. Maybe it is possible. It would be super nice to have him but it is doubtful.”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London

Chelsea’s attack hasn’t exactly been firing on all cylinders, despite the three-goal haul on Sunday, and Pulisic’s direct drive could certainly be a useful feature. It’s been over a month since he last played for us. Hopefully he overcomes this latest injury soon, and can actually stay healthy for a while after as well.

Chelsea v Crystal Palace - Premier League

 

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Chelsea ‘preparing very attractive proposal’ for transfer target after Paul Pogba verdict

Chelsea are set to step up their interest in AS Monaco starlet Aurelien Tchouameni – with the Blues reportedly preparing a ‘very attractive proposal’. The 21-year-old midfielder has quickly evolved into one of the most exciting young talents in France after impressing at Monaco last year.

Tchouameni made 42 appearances for the Ligue 1 side last year following a £16m from Bordeaux back in January 2020.

His performances in the French top flight since that move has seen him appear on the transfer radar of Chelsea and Manchester United – although the English duo face strong competition from Italian giants Juventus.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel is planning for next year

However, according to a report from Tuttomercatoweb, Chelsea are set to accelerate their interest in the French international in the wake of Juventus joining the race for the midfield ace.

Interestingly, United star Paul Pogba hailed his international team-mate earlier this month after the youngster was linked with the Manchester outfit.

“Very very good. He’s not a boy, he’s a man,’ Pogba told Ouest-France when discussing Tchouameni.

“It was a pleasure to play next to him. He brings a lot of energy. A lot of energy, extraordinary technical and physical quality.

“We wish him to play lots of matches. and that I am always at his side.”

Any move for Tchouameni isn’t set to be sealed until next summer.

Chelsea bolstered their midfield with the deadline day loan signing of Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid.

The Blues hold an option to purchase the 26-year-old for £40m if he impresses during his temporary stay at Stamford Bridge.

But the Spaniard was hauled off at half time after disappointing on his debut in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa last week.

Chelsea are targeting Aurelien Tchouameni

“I had the feeling that he struggled,” Tuchel told Sky Sports after the match.

“There were some big mistakes, passing mistakes, and he struggled with the intensity. You could see he isn’t fully adapted.

“It’s completely my responsibility. I had the feeling he could jump in for us and play at that level.

“I thought it was maybe better to change him, but it doesn’t change anything [about how I see him].”

United are thought to be in the market for midfield reinforcements with Pogba’s own future at the club in question.

The 28-year-old is in the final 12 months of his current deal – and is able to negotiate a free switch away from Old Trafford in January with overseas clubs.

Despite his admiration for Tchouameni and his desire to play alongside him, it wouldn’t be out of the question for the Monaco star to take his place should Pogba choose to depart Manchester next summer.

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Kante and Havertz start | Predicted Chelsea line-up (3-4-2-1) vs Tottenham Hotspur

Chelsea will be eyeing a third-straight win when they face arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League this weekend.

The Blues returned from the international break with a 3-0 league triumph over Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge.

They picked up another victory in midweek with a 1-0 win over Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League.

The club travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for Sunday’s league meeting where they will be favourites.

The Blues have just one player in Christian Pulisic on the sidelines with an ankle injury sustained on international duty.

The same can’t be said for Spurs, who could be without several key players for the London derby.

Heung-min Son, Ryan Sessegnon, Eric Dier did not face Rennes in midweek due to injuries.

It is unclear whether they will make the derby. Japhet Tanganga is serving a one-game domestic suspension.

There are also doubts over Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura, who suffered injuries on Thursday.

Davinson Sanchez, Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso could return after completing his quarantine.

The Blues have beaten Spurs in four of the previous five league meetings, with the other result being a draw.

They should fancy their prospects of another win to take them to 13 points after five league matches.

Formation: 3-4-2-1

Predicted Line-up:

Thomas Tuchel has often tinkered with his backline this season, but he may go with his favoured line-up on Sunday.

Edouard Mendy is an obvious choice in goal ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga.

No changes are expected in central defence. Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger could continue in their places.

Reece James was suspended against Villa, but he should reclaim a starting spot ahead of Callum Hudson-Odoi, just as he did in midweek.

He is expected to feature at right-back. Marcos Alonso is likely to continue to get the nod over Ben Chilwell on the opposite end once more.

Chilwell has played just seven minutes off the bench this term. Alonso’s form has been hugely impressive, and he is unlikely to be dropped.

Tuchel has confirmed that N’Golo Kante is fully ready to play against Spurs after several training sessions following his ankle injury.

It won’t be a surprise if he makes the starting XI. Both Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho have been in good form, but the former may make way.

Mason Mount and Kai Havertz were the regular attackers last month, but they have been split recently with Hakim Ziyech starting successive games.

Havertz was only a substitute against Zenit. The German is likely to be reunited with Mount on Sunday.

Romelu Lukaku is expected to lead the line. He has been in fine touch with four goals from four games.

The Belgium international made the difference in midweek with a headed goal.

He has brought the X-factor that the club were lacking last term when Timo Werner was fluffing his lines.

 

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Tuchel admits Chelsea would have scored more goals against Villa if he’d started £50m man

Thomas Tuchel explained that Chelsea might have put more past Aston Villa on the weekend if Jorginho had featured from the first whistle.

Speaking to the club website, the Blues boss highlighted Jorginho’s significance to the side, referencing his substitute role in Saturday’s Premier League victory.

Chelsea managed to pick up a comprehensive 3-0 Stamford Bridge win over Villa at the weekend.

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League

Romelu Lukaku smashed in a couple strikes into the Villan’s net, whilst Mateo Kovacic grabbed a rare personal accolade by scoring just his third goal for the Blues.

But the three points weren’t assured until Jorginho entered into the equation at half time, replacing debutant Saul Niguez.

The team regained control of the proceedings, enforced by their metronome midfielder.

In the end, Chelsea comfortably dispatched their guests, but couldn’t fully relax until the Italian’s cool presence came onto the pitch.

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League

“It’s been mentioned many times around the well-deserved Player of the Year award and I have mentioned many times how he is capable of playing,” said Tuchel, in homage to Jorginho’s UEFA award last month.

“He is a very strategic player, he has a high volume, and with playing a lot he is full of confidence and he can implement a rhythm for our game and this is what he did.

“He has a strong connection with Thiago (Silva) to be strong in the build-up and to find the gaps behind the high pressing of Aston Villa and this is what we did.

“If we played with more composure, with more possession in the last third, earlier we would have been able to score maybe more.

“But this is what Jorginho does for us and that’s why he is important to us.”

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League

Joy for Jorgi, shocker for Saul

This is not the first- and it definitely won’t be the last- time Jorginho has held Chelsea’s hand and walked them to a triumph.

His tranquil performance against Villa was almost the polar opposite to Saul’s first taste of the English top flight.

Tuchel chucked the Spaniard right in at the deep end, without a life jacket to hang onto.

The deadline day signing from Atletico Madrid looked out of his depth, repeatedly misplacing passes and losing possession.

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League

Perhaps slightly unfairly the spotlight was instantly shone upon Saul, considering he only arrived from Madrid a fortnight ago.

He initially stepped in for Jorginho, who had played four hours of football over the international break.

Luckily, the £50m (BBC) man was fresh enough to take the burden from Saul’s hands at the interval.