A round-up of stories relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
John Terry announced his retirement from international football on Sunday night on the eve of his FA hearing relating to an alleged racial slur aimed to Anton Ferdinand last season. Terry, who has 78 caps, claimed that the FA’s charge against him has rendered his position within the England team ‘untenable’ and Terry implied in his statement that the FA could have dropped the charges following his acquittal in civil court. It is believed that the FA’s reluctance to acknowledge a rule saying the result of a civil court case should be upheld as such has convinced Terry that the FA are determined to find him guilty.
Rio Ferdinand is unlikely to shake hands with John Terry and Ashley Cole when Chelsea face Manchester United next month. Additionally, The Mirror are reporting that the FA have been searching through telephone and email records of John Terry, Ashley Cole, Terry’s agent Paul Nicholls and club officials.
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is optimistic that Ashley Cole will remain at the club beyond this season when his contract expires. The two parties are yet to agree to a new deal but Di Matteo was confident that a deal will have been agreed upon by January to prevent Cole from negotiating a pre-contract with other teams. Di Matteo also praised the left-back’s professionalism and fitness and believes Cole can now be seen as a Chelsea legend.
David Luiz put an end to speculation linking him with a possible move by signing a new five-year contract. Luiz joined Chelsea from Benfica in January 2011 and Luiz underlined his happiness at the club as the principal decision to sign a new deal: ‘It is a great club and I look forward to winning more trophies here. I want to play for a long time at the top level - which is what playing for Chelsea means. I love everything about the club and especially the fans, who have made me very welcome and given me great support.'
ESPN are speculating that Frank Lampard tops LA Galaxy’s wish list for next season. The 34-year-old midfielder’s contract with Chelsea runs out at the end of the season and he has yet to agree to a new contract and Lampard’s representative Steve Kutner was spotted at the Galaxy’s 4-2 win over Toronto on the weekend.
Branislav Ivanovic has described next weekend’s match with Arsenal ‘as the biggest challenge’ of the season yet: ‘This is the first actual big game for us this season. This is the biggest challenge, I think Arsenal will be a great challenge for us, and we have to be ready for that.’ Ivanovic also expressed his admiration for Ashely Cole deeming him to have been the best left-back in the world for a long time.
Romelu Lukaku is hoping his performances throughout the season on loan at West Brom will help him gain a place in Chelsea’s team in the future. The 19-year-old scored the winner against Reading on Saturday and whilst his immediate attentions lie with West Brom, the Belgian international stated that his future ambitions rest with Chelsea where he ‘dreams of playing’.
image: © Ben Sutherland