Chelsea pre-match latest: Including Xabi Alonso and Bony

Xabi Alonso

A round-up of news and view relating to Chelsea ahead of the Europa League clash tonight.

Chelsea are well set to seal a place in the Europa League final, having won 2-1 away atBasel in the first leg last week. Ashley Cole is suspended for the Blues, Whilst David Luiz, Ryan Bertrand, Ramires and John Obi Mikel are all one yellow card away from a ban that would see them miss the final if Chelsea qualify. Basel striker Marco Streller faces a late fitness test to see if he will make the game.

Fenerbahce have a 1-0 over Benfica lead in the other semi-final, and their striker Dirk Kuyt says he is hoping to face his former manager Rafa Benitez in the final.

Rumours continue to circulate about Jose Mourinho’s potential return to Stamford Bridge this summer, with reports suggesting the Portuguese manager has lowered his salary demands in order to secure a switch back to Chelsea. Real Madrid might require a £12million compensation package if Mourinho does move back to the Blues this summer.

There has been speculation that Mourinho will look to bring midfielder Xabi Alonso with him to Chelsea if he does leave Madrid. The 31 year old is out of contract next season, and has not responded to offers of a new deal at the Spanish side.

Juan Mata has come out in support of Chelsea’s current boss Rafa Benitez, saying that all the players were behind the manager. Chelsea fans have been hostile to Benitez throughout his tenure at Stamford Bridge.

In other transfer news Wilfried Bony has said that he would like to move to the Premier League this summer, with West Ham and Chelsea linked to the Ivorian striker. Bony, who has scored 31 times for Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem this season, also said he would like to play in the Champions League:

“England I think would be perfect. I’m very interested in the Premier League and the atmosphere in England, it’s a wonderful league and we will see what happens.

“It would be great for me [to move to a club in the Champions League]. It’s the only competition I haven’t played in yet.”

On HITC today we ask if Barcelona's humbling at the hands of Bayern Munich might make them even more desperate to secure Neymar's signature, lessening Chelsea's chances of signing the Brazilian striker.

image: © Jan S0l0

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