A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Pep Guardiola has put several European clubs on alert but saying today he is ready to make a return to club management. Speaking before the FIFA Balon d’Or ceremony, Guardiola refused to give any more details, but Chelsea are expected to amongst the clubs vying for the former Barcelona manager’s services.
Frank Lampard’s agent Steve Kutner has stated that Chelsea are not prepared to offer the midfielder a new contract under any circumstances. There had been suggestions that Lampard’s recent form could see him rewarded with a new deal, but it now seems certain that he will leave the club in the summer.
After his debut brace Demba Ba has insisted that he still considers Fernando Torres to be the number one striker at Stamford Bridge:
“I’m just here to help the team, it’s not about taking the position of someone. I know Fernando is the main man. I just came here to learn from people. His history is much better than mine and I will learn a lot from him.”
However, as Jenny Leigh points out for HITC, Ba’s dream move could end up being a nightmare for Fernando Torres.
Tony Mowbray is confident that Middlesbrough will be able to keep hold of loan star Josh McEachran until the end of the season. The midfielder has stated his desire to stay and help Middlesbrough’s promotion bid, and Chelsea are unlikely to recall him unless they have a horrendous run of injuries.
In transfer news, there have been reports that Chelsea have been set a Wednesday deadline to sign Metalist player Taison. Metalist have apparently become frustrated over Chelsea unwillingness to meet their £11 million valuation of the midfielder, and might pull the plug on the deal if it isn’t concluded soon.
Another midfielder Chelsea might renew their interest in is Luka Modric, who has had an unhappy start to his time in Spain. However if Real Madrid were willing to let Modric leave, there would be plenty of competition for his signature.
A further option to reinforce Chelsea’s midfield could be Real Betis’ Spanish international Benat, with reports in Spain suggesting that the Blues could already have had a £8 million bid turned down. Betis are said to be demanding £16 million for Benat, an amount that would trigger his minimum fee release clause.
image: © tpower1978