A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Chelsea striker Demba Ba has said he expects to be fit for the Blues FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City this Sunday. Ba was taken off at half-time of Chelsea 2-1 win over Sunderland at the weekend, and will miss the Europa League match with Rubin Kazan on Thursday as he is cup-tied.
The man that injured Ba, Craig Gardner, has accused the Senegalese striker of play-acting to get him booked. Gardner is now suspended for this weekend’s Tyne-Wear derby.
John Obi MIkel has admitted he is not as motivated in the Europa League compared to other tournaments, and said that ensuring Chelsea are in the Champions League next season is their main aim:
“What do they say [about the Europa League]? Thursday nights, Channel 5?
"Hopefully, next season we are not going to be in it and we are going to be prime time."
Former Barcelona and Arsenal player Giovanni van Bronckhorst has urged Brazilian striker Neymar to move before the World Cup in 2014, and said that a move to the Catalan side would be his best option. Chelsea are also reportedly interested in the 21 year old.
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has said that his future at the Spanish club is not dependent on whether they win the Champions League this season. Mourinho is widely expected to leave Spain this summer, with Chelsea’s the favourites to recruit their former manager.
Chelsea’s current manager Rafa Benitez might also be eyeing up a move to a former club, as he has said that he will almost certainly to manager Liverpool one day. Benitez’s current unpopularity amongst Chelsea fans is largely due to the rivalry he had with the club when in charge at Anfield.
Frank Lampard’s agent has played down the fact that the midfielder was not present at Chelsea’s photo shoot for their new kit, saying that Lampard had family commitments that meant he could not be involved. Lampard is currently set to leave Chelsea this summer when his contract expires.
On HITC today we look at whether Lampard could be used in a deal to bring Edinson Cavani to Stamford Bridge, and assess which of Luke Shaw’s potential suitors would be the best destination for the youngster. We also look at how Didier Drogba could help Chelsea sign Radamel Falcao this summer.
Eden Hazard’s Belgian teammate Alex Witsel has said the Chelsea player is only going to get better, and that he hopes he will be able to bring his domestic form onto the international stage.
image: © wonker