A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea ahead of the derby tonight.
Ahead of his side’s match at Stamford Bridge tonight, QPR manager Harry Redknapp has praised Rafa Benitez but also suggested that only “a dope” would fail at Chelsea given the talent they have in their squad. Redknapp’s QPR side have continued to struggle at the bottom of the table since his appointment, and have only won one match all season. The QPR boss also said that Chelsea would be making a big mistake if they Frank Lampard leave.
Benitez himself has talked down Chelsea’s title chances, but has stated that the players are becoming more confident game by game. Chelsea have won four games in a row in the Premier League, and a win against QPR would mean a 100% record over the four Christmas fixtures that only Chelsea themselves under Jose Mourinho have previously achieved in the Premier League.
With regards to transfer activity, Benitez has said that Chelsea are looking to improve their squad, and has suggested that Fernando Torres will be happy to rotate out of the side if they bring in one or two new strikers this month.
One player who could join is Metalist Kharkiv’s Taison. The Brazilian has impressed for the Ukrainian side this season playing as an attacking midfielder, and has spoken about his openness to a move to England previously. Taison would like to linkup with Chelsea’s Oscar once again, having played alongside him at Internacional before his move to the Ukraine.
A player who Chelsea have reportedly rejected the chance to sign is Wesley Sneijder, with the club baulking at the Dutch midfielder’s £200k a week wage demands. Sneijder is looking to leave Inter after a dispute about wages, with several Premier League clubs in the hunt for his signature.
Inter might look to replace Sneijder with Chelsea’s Frank Lampard. The Blues midfielder has been linekd with a move this January as his contract expires in the summer, with Lazio and LA Galaxy reportedly set to rival Inter for his signature.
Daniel Sturridge is on the verge of completing his £12 million move to Liverpool, and may be present at Anfield for their match with Sunderland tonight.
Marko Marin has ruled out a loan move back to the Bundesliga this January. The winger had been linked with a short term move away from Chelsea due to his lack of playing time at Stamford Bridge, but dismissed the idea saying:
“I signed a five-year deal at Chelsea, so there is no reason to put that into question after just five months here.”