Cesc Fabregas details Jose Mourinho promise which persuaded him to join Chelsea

Cesc Fabregas has revealed Jose Mourinho's insistence that Chelsea would win the Premier League with the Spaniard at the heart of their midfield convinced him to move to Stamford Bridge.

The promise from Mourinho came on only their first meeting together to discuss a potential transfer, with Fabregas then a Barcelona player.

His time at the Nou Camp had seemingly come to an end at that stage, but a return to the Premier League to join a rival of former club Arsenal looked out of the question.

However Fabregas wasted no time in signing on the dotted line for The Blues after Mourinho's opening gambit.

"On the first day I met him he told me, 'I need two players,'" Fabregas said on Rio Ferdinand's Locker Room. "'I am going to sign Diego Costa and if you come'.

"He drew me the team on some paper and said this team is winning the title on the first day I met him.

"He only needed two players. Thibaut Courtois was already coming but he said, 'If you come, we win the title.'"

Chelsea then sealed Fabregas' signature for £30million from Barcelona, before landing Costa a few weeks later.

Both players then played an integral part in the season that followed as Mourinho's prediction came true, with Chelsea winning the title convincingly.

Fabregas did burn a few bridges across London at former club Arsenal, and admitted the idea of playing for Chelsea was not something he would ever had considered during his time as a Gunner.

"If you ask me when I was 23 years old and captain of Arsenal that I would be so happy to play for Chelsea, I would have said that you are crazy," he added.

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Timo Werner ‘wants Liverpool transfer’ but Reds not planning a move

Timo Werner is ready to move to Liverpool if the Premier League champions-elect activate his £52million release clause, according to reports.

The Red Bull Leipzig striker looks to be on the move this summer after interest from England, with Chelsea among the clubs keeping tabs on his situation.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is a long-term admirer of his compatriot, and Werner has previously talked up a move to Anfield.

The 24-year-old seemed to be having second thoughts on becoming a Liverpool player last month though, after admitting concerns over regular game time.

But Werner now appears keen to join Klopp's ranks on Merseyside, yet Sky Sports report Liverpool are not considering a bid.

Werner's release clause is due to expire on June 15, and Liverpool are said to have no intention of making an offer before that date.

That leaves the door open for Chelsea to swoop for the Leipzig star, who has 27 goals in 36 appearances this season.

The Blues are in the market for a striker and would be able to offer Werner assurances over first-team action – something he is unlikely to get at Liverpool.

Speaking to the media in March, Werner had questioned a move to a club like Liverpool, stating that "the situation is already that hard for each [team] member".

He suggested a move to a Premier League side in transition was a viable alternative, which would put Chelsea in the frame.

Werner was believed to be happy to chance his arm at Anfield providing Klopp could give him guarantees that he would not always play second fiddle to the club's dynamic front three.

But Liverpool's stance has not changed since January and they are not interested in signing the player.

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Mikel Arteta details David Luiz coaching path as Arsenal star eyes future role

David Luiz is preparing for a future role as a coach, according to Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

The Brazilian joined the Gunners last summer in a surprise deal after leaving London rivals Chelsea for a second time, and although the manager who signed him, Unai Emery, has departed the club since, Luiz has still managed to hold down a place in the team under Arteta.

At 32, Luiz is just six years younger than his boss, and he has been tipped for a bright coaching career by Arteta, who was asked if he saw any future managers in his current Arsenal squad by a fan during a Twitter Q&A on the club's official account.

"I think we can get a few (from the current squad), just joking a little bit, but through the process, they are really willing to try and understand the game better and how they can coach as well," he said.

"It is not just myself, but how can they coach each other on the pitch? A lot of them are showing a lot of interest, even if they are 18, 19, 20 years old.

"Obviously, he mentioned to me, David Luiz he wants to be a coach in the future.

"He has started doing his coaching badges already and I can see he has the attributes, the knowledge and experience to be a coach one day."


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Christian Pulisic praises ‘exciting’ Chelsea team after recovering from injury and adjusting from Bundesliga

Christian Pulisic says he has had a tough time coping with injuries of late, but he has recovered and is ready to aid his team-mates when football resumes.

The summer arrival for Chelsea has had a stop-start campaign to an extent, fighting for a regular position at first before hitting a great run of form around October and November.

An injury in early January sidelined him, however, and the ensuing shutdown of the Premier League due to the coronavirus pandemic has meant Pulisic has not played since New Year’s Day.

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The American international says fans perhaps didn’t know about the extent of his “freak injury,” but insists he’s fit again to play a part whenever the league starts up again.

“It was really tough with this most recent one. I think that a lot of people didn’t realise how serious it was,” Pulisic said to the club website.

“It was a really freak injury in how it happened. It happened in training out of nothing really and it put me out a while.

“But I’m feeling good now, I’ve been training a lot and I’m just really excited to get back out on the field.

“It feels like it’s been a long time without football for everyone at the moment, but certainly for me because I had the injury on top of everything that’s going on now.”

Pulisic, who is in the United States with family during this lockdown period, acknowledged how much of a difference there was between playing in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund and the Premier League with Chelsea.

Hailing the “experience” of elite-level action of manager Frank Lampard, Pulisic says the blues have “really exciting young players” in the squad and he has adapted well to his new surroundings.

“It’s been a big change for me coming to Chelsea and having to get to know a whole new team, a new league and stuff.

“I’ve been really proud of the guys and although we’ve had our tough moments, I think overall we’ve been pretty solid.

“I love playing with my team-mates and we’ve had so many exciting games. I’ve really enjoyed it and we just want to give it a strong push to the end of the season, if we are able to resume.

“The Premier League is more physically demanding because of the sheer number of games and the run of the schedule.

“You play so many different competitions in a short space of time, so it’s quite demanding and you learn quickly about that. It’s a physical league in general.

“There’s been a lot to learn but my Bundesliga experience has helped me in that sense, as it’s not totally different to the Premier League.”

The 21-year-old has made 23 appearances in 2019/20 for Chelsea in all competitions, scoring six.

He already has 34 USA caps at international level, and agreed his move to Stamford Bridge last February for £58m, returning to Dortmund on loan for the rest of that campaign.

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Declan Rice admission offers Chelsea hope that West Ham star is ready to return

If Chelsea are serious about poaching Declan Rice from West Ham, then the England midfielder may well have given them their way in.

Rice was on the books at Stamford Bridge as a schoolboy, joining at the age of seven.

However, he was released in 2014 at the age of 14, scuppering his hopes of breaking through in west London alongside his best pal, Mason Mount.

“Mason and Declan are best friends, revealed Mount's father, Tony, last August. "They always have been and still are now. They talk to each other all the time.

“When Declan got released at 14, we were all devastated. Debbie was in tears and Mason was gobsmacked."

Fast forward six years and they remain best friends; when Mount left his Chelsea-ordered isolation last month amid the coronavirus pandemic – much to the Blues' fury – it was no surprise Rice was with him ( West Ham were not in lockdown).

And Rice, now 21, is back on the Blues' radar.

Having grown and matured at West Ham – whom he joined after his Chelsea exit – Rice is now a mainstay in the side.

Given his head by Slaven Bilic, he has since shone for both Manuel Pellegrini and David Moyes, making a position at the base of midfield his own.

Last season, he was named the club's Players’ Player of the Year and won the award for Individual Performance of the Season – for his display against Arsenal at the London Stadium.

He was also named the Young Hammer of the Year for the third consecutive season.

Seven England caps have come his way, and Rice was a certainty for a spot at Euro 2020 this summer; he remains the most likely alternative to Jordan Henderson for that role in the rearranged tournament next summer.

Now, Chelsea are circling for the one that got away, eyeing a potential £50million transfer

Previous interest has come from Manchester United, but was met with little reaction from Rice, who has a contract until 2024, signed in December 2018.

A return to the King's Road and a reunion with Mount however, is another story.

"Yeah I’d love to, I’d love to play with him at club level again," Rice admitted in an interview with Copa 90 this week.

"One thing we’ve always said as kids we’d love to play with each other at club and international level but obviously you never know because of different paths and things like that."

Chelsea, with Jorginho's long-term future in continued question – speculation over a return to Italy with Maurizio Sarri at Juventus refuses to go away – sees Rice as a likely replacement. Boss Frank Lampard is understood to be a fan.

West Ham's financial situation too offers a way in when the transfer window eventually reopens.

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Willian suggests Chelsea career is ‘over’ with contract set to expire in June

Chelsea star Willian admits his time at Stamford Bridge is "over" after he failed to reach a new agreement with the club.

The Brazilian is out of contract in a matter of months and had looked to extend his stay in west London.

But he wanted a three-year extension whereas Chelsea were not prepared to table more than two.

It means the two parties look set to go their separate ways with Willian admitting talks have now stopped.

"With Chelsea, it's over," he told Expediente Futebol. "Everyone knows my contract ends in a few months. A renewal is difficult."

"Chelsea proposed two extra years and I wanted three. We're not talking anymore. There won't be a negotiation."

Willian is one of several Blues forwards who could be set for pastures new with Pedro's future also in doubt.

The Spaniard has been at Chelsea since 2015 and won the Premier League title, but he has slipped down the pecking order under Frank Lampard.

The 41-year-old has looked to fill his squad with young talent meaning the likes of Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi have been preferred.


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Cahill explains moment he knew "relationship was gone" with Sarri at Chelsea

Gary Cahill has opened up about the decline of his relationship with former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, saying that it was “difficult to have respect for some of the things he did”.

The former England defender moved to Stamford Bridge in January 2012, going on to win eight major trophies with the Blues before moving to Crystal Palace last summer.

During the 34-year-old’s final season in West London, played under Italian manager Sarri, club captain Cahill struggled for minutes, making only eight appearances in all competitions compared to 42 the season before.

And Cahill has discussed when his relationship with the Blues boss hit rock bottom, citing England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals as having a negative impact on his opportunities in a Chelsea shirt.

“We went to the 2018 World Cup, got to the semi-finals, so I missed pre-season, which I think was massive looking back now,” Cahill told the Daily Mail.

“He (Sarri) was very much into his tactics, probably too much, and I missed all of that. I was on the back foot. To be brutally honest, halfway through the season, the relationship was gone. I don't think that was ever going to be recovered.”

Cahill also explained that he was never given the chance to force his way into the Italian’s plans, adding: “It's difficult to have respect for some of the things he did.

"But I have a lot of respect for the club, and for the players. As a big figure then, as captain, to go about things totally the wrong way, which I easily could have done, it's not the way to do it.


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Chelsea transfer news: Tino Anjorin close to signing new long-term contract

Highly rated Chelsea academy graduate Tino Anjorin is close to signing a new long-term deal at Stamford Bridge.

The 18-year-old has more than a year to run on his current Blues deal but is now expected to finalise extended terms to keep him in west London.

Anjorin is the latest in a string of homegrown stars to make a Stamford Bridge breakthrough this term, and the move towards a new contract underscores boss Frank Lampard‘s confidence in the England Under-19 star’s potential.

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The coronavirus shutdown has thrown up a host of new challenges for Premier League clubs attempting to reshuffle their squads, especially in terms of recruitment. While all sport is mothballed and travel impossible, clubs are turning to video chats to conduct due diligence on potential signings, which would normally be conducted in person.

The business of recruitment and retention may move more slowly but has not ground to a halt, and Anjorin’s fresh deal at Chelsea continues to edge towards completion.

The Premier League’s current suspension until April 30 is expected to be extended again, but top-flight bosses remain determined to complete the current campaign.

Former Chelsea and England midfielder Lampard’s west London revolution continues to revolve around youth, even though the Stamford Bridge club will be able to buy big in the close season.

Chelsea’s transfer ban last summer denied Lampard the opportunity to put his stamp on the squad through new recruits, and the Blues opted against making any signings in the January window.

Blues bosses chose to hang fire in January in a bid to avoid paying above the odds and were quickly rewarded when sealing a £34m deal to bring Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech to Stamford Bridge in the summer. Chelsea’s main transfer priority now is understood to remain at left-back, where Leicester’s Ben Chilwell has been a long-term target.

Dorset-born Anjorin joined Chelsea’s development centre programme at under-sevens level, officially signing for the club two years later.

The home-grown midfielder made his senior debut when Chelsea thrashed Grimsby 7-1 in the Carabao Cup in September. And on March 8 he came off the bench for his Premier League bow as the Blues routed Everton 4-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Anjorin’s breakthrough has helped Lampard set a new Chelsea record, by handing out eight debuts to academy products at Stamford Bridge this season.

Striker Armando Broja’s late cameo in that comfortable Everton victory meant Lampard surpassed the seven debuts handed out by Ted Drake in Chelsea’s 1956-57 season.

Mason Mount, Reece James, Billy Gilmour, Marc Guehi, Tariq Lamptey and Ian Maatsen are the others to enjoy first-team debuts under Lampard this term.

Striker Tammy Abraham and defender Fikayo Tomori have established themselves as first-team regulars this season, providing the Blues with two more home-grown success stories.

PA

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