A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Chelsea will be without Eden Hazard and Ryan Bertrand for the Europa League final in Amsterdam tomorrow night, with John Terry also a major doubt for the match. Oriol Romeu has travelled with the squad, and youngster Nathan Ake is likely to play some part having been left out of the FA Youth Cup final defeat to Norwich on Monday night. You can see Chelsea’s full 25 man squad here.
Frank Lampard has said that he believes the match will be as tough as the Champions League final last season, with Benfica the equal of the Bayern Munich team they played.
Benfica coach Joge Jesus has said that he is hoping that his side can end a 51-year trophyless run in Europe on Wednesday. Jesus also said that he was looking forward to going up against some former Benfica players, including David Luiz and Ramires.
Ramires has said that whilst he supports Benfica in their own competitions, he will be desperate for a Chelsea win. Whilst Luiz said that he has great affection for Benfica, but he will put aside any emotion when the match starts:
“The emotion is a good emotion, but when it is time to start the game I forget everything and I want to win, I play for Chelsea.”
The defender also rejected claims he acted in an unsporting manner when Rafael was sent off during Chelsea’s recent win at Old Trafford. Luiz said that he was laughing at the Manchester United fans comparing him to Sideshow Bob, and that he respects everyone on the pitch.
Juan Mata has said that he believes Chelsea can mount a significant bid for the Premier League title next season. Mata also praised his compatriot Fernando Torres, saying the striker had plenty more years at the top level to give.
Eden Hazard has said that he wants Jose Mourinho to manage Chelsea, and the Portuguese manager is held in the highest possible regard at Stamford Bridge:
"Mourinho is the best coach in the world. Here, he is not a God, but he's not far off. Everyone is talking about it. The fans love him, the players love him. I will wait and see."
There have been reports today that Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has agreed a five year deal with Borussia Dortmund, with only the transfer fee yet to be decided. However Dortmund general manager Michael Zorc has refused to confirm or deny any rumours regarding the young Belgian, and elsewhere there is speculation that Chelsea are hoping to use De Bruyne as part of a deal for Robert Lewandowski.
Josh McEachran and Nathaniel Chalobah have both been called up to the England squad for next month’s u21 European Championships in Israel.
On HITC today we look at how the likely appointments of Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini at Chelsea and Manchester City this summer will give David Moyes a tricky first year at Manchester United.
Chelsea’s 22 year old defender Patrick Van Aanholt has said that he is hoping to make an impact for the Blues soon, after spending most of the last few years out on loan.
image: © Crystian Cruz