Chelsea latest: Ex Blue life-long international ban, injury & more

All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge.

Cesar Azpilicueta was initially thought to be deputising for Ashley Cole at left back this weekend for Chelsea during their trip to London rivals West Ham United on Saturday, November 23, however, the England veteran may well be fit to face the Hammers and will undergo a late examination today in order to assess his potential availability.

Speaking on the player's current status as first choice in his position, manager Jose Mourinho is quoted by the Daily Mail to have said: 'I think Ashley is a top professional, the fighter he is, he has to work hard to fight hard because the place is his place.'

The agent of Chelsea winger Kevin de Bruyne has noted that the 22-year-old does not have final say on his future, Mourinho does. The attacker has this week been a player of great interest in his native Belgium as a number of international figures, Marc Wilmots and Eden Hazard, have spoken out over how he should move abroad. More here.

Former player Adrian Mutu, a £15.8m signing ten years ago during Roman Abramovich's initial wave of recruitment, has allegedly been given an international ban for life by Romania as the 34-year-old, currently of French side Ajaccio, likened national boss Victor Piturca to comedy icon Mr Bean in a photo spoof on his Facebook page.

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Also, the predicted XI for Chelsea's upcoming match versus West Ham United is here.

image: © Enrico Carcasci

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