October 5, 2023

Catch all of the latest news from Stamford Bridge including by-the-minute transfer rumours and takeover updates

Hello and welcome along to football.london‘s live Chelsea blog on Friday morning.

The Blues suffered a brief setback on Wednesday evening after they were defeated 4-2 by Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Thomas Tuchel’s side will be looking to bounce back with a revitalised display against the Hammers.

Last time out, the Blues suffered a 3-2 loss to David Moyes’ side at the London Stadium. So, the west Londoners will be looking to get back on track when they welcome West Ham on Sunday in another London derby.

Chelsea have continued to roll with the punches that the takeover saga has thrown their way. Todd Boehly’s consortium, Stephen Pagliuca and a group headed by Sir Martin Broughton – joined by Serena Williams and Lewis Hamilton – remain in the running after the Ricketts family withdrew their proposal.

In the midst of takeover updates that have swamped the headlines, Tuchel’s side remains at the heart of the transfer rumour mill, with plenty of players tied to moves to and from the Blues. Regardless of whoever takes the reins from Roman Abramovich, Chelsea will be looking to strengthen in the summer

With all of that being said, make sure you keep your eyes on the blog throughout the day so that you don’t miss a single update!

What Tuchel must improve if Chelsea are to compete with City and Liverpool

Thomas Tuchel has excelled at Chelsea since he took over from Frank Lampard in January of last year, when the Blues were floundering in midtable and silverware at the end of the campaign seeming unlikely. But the former Paris Saint-Germain boss rose to the challenge, secured a top four finish and guided the Blues to two cup finals.

They lost the FA Cup to Leicester but bounced back to beat Manchester City and win the Champions League just two weeks later. The German has carried on the success of last season this term by winning the Super Cup and Club World Cup as well as guiding the club to another FA Cup final.

The turnaround in fortunes has been impressive to say the least, but there was an expectation that the German would close the gap on Man City and Liverpool this season. And whilst the Blues initially kept pace with the Premier League’s top two, they began to fall away not long after the festive period.

Read the full story here.

Ten Hag’s first Man Utd transfer mission set to disrupt Tuchel’s Chelsea plans

Newly-appointed Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is ‘plotting a huge summer rebuild’ at Old Trafford – and this could impact Chelsea’s transfer plans. The Blues have recently been linked with Darwin Nunez, but the Manchester club are said to be keen on the 22-year-old as well.

The Athletic reported earlier in the month that Chelsea, as well as Man United and Paris Saint-Germain, were the front-runners for the Benfica forward’s signature in the summer. With Ten Hag’s appointment being confirmed since then, the interest in Nunez has seemingly remained.

The report claims that United have kept a close eye on Nunez recently, with the forward bagging 33 goals in all competitions this season for the Portuguese side. His form has seen him linked with some top clubs around Europe, and you can understand why.

Verstappen’s sly dig at Hamilton over Chelsea takeover bid

Max Verstappen has questioned Sir Lewis Hamilton’s involvement in Sir Martin Broughton’s Chelsea takeover bid. The seven-time racing world champion and Serena Williams are said to have pledged £10million each towards Broughton’s consortium, according to Sky News.

The two international sportspeople are joining the likes of Lord Sebastian Coe in the bid. Former Liverpool chairman Broughton will be hoping Hamilton’s inclusion will put him on pole position to take over from Roman Abramovich.

Broughton is joined by Steve Pagliuca and Todd Boehly in the bidding race, with the fourth party, the Ricketts Family, dropping out after failing to table a final bid before the deadline late last week. The Chelsea takeover comes after owner Roman Abramovich decided to put the club up for sale.

Kounde gives Chelsea a glimpse of what they could see next season

Long-term Chelsea target Jules Kounde was on the scoresheet for Sevilla in their 3-2 win at Levante on Thursday evening. The French centre-back struck with a powerful header to help Julen Lopetegui’s side stay on the coattails of Barcelona; who recently overtook them as Real Madrid’s closest challengers.

Kounde was heavily linked with a move to the Blues last summer and more recently in the January transfer window, but a deal to bring the Sevilla star to Stamford Bridge ultimately failed to materialise. With Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen set to leave the club when their contracts expire in June, there’s a good chance that Chelsea will reignite their interest in the Frenchman.

The 23-year-old is a right-sided centre-back but can also play at right-back, making him perfect for Thomas Tuchel’s preferred back three system. At 5ft 11ins, Kounde isn’t particularly tall for a defender but his powerful leap makes him formidable in the air; a trait that exhibits his value in both penalty areas.

Lukaku is ‘wanted’ by AC Milan

Romelu Lukaku has emerged as a target for AC Milan in the summer transfer window, but if the 28-year-old commits to a deal then he’ll be breaking a heartfelt promise. The Belgian striker faces an increasingly uncertain future at Chelsea after he was booed off the pitch by fans in the Blues’ 4-2 loss to Arsenal.

The Italian giants could offer the Belgium international an escape route out of Stamford Bridge, according to Goal. Though, the report outlines that a move for the £77m-rated striker could be ‘complicated’ by the eye-watering cost.

Lukaku has struggled to acclimatise himself to the Premier League upon his return to west London in the summer from Inter Milan. He’s scored just 12 goals in 38 appearances this season and his misfortunes in front of goal have seen him relegated to the bench.

Changes required for West Ham clash

As has been the case throughout this season, Thomas Tuchel and his Chelsea players will have very little time to digest their previous results. Given on this occasion it was a 4-2 defeat at home to Arsenal, that is perhaps not the worst thing ahead of yet another London derby.

West Ham United visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday, and David Moyes’ side have to win to keep their hopes of securing a top-four finish alive. The Irons can’t afford to drop any more points in their battle against Premier League heavyweights Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Chelsea’s position in the top-flight table is more secure. The Blues sit third and have a five-point advantage over Spurs, who currently occupy fourth.

Latest injury news ahead of West Ham clash

Chelsea suffered a brief setback on Wednesday evening after they were defeated 4-2 by Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Thomas Tuchel’s side will be looking to bounce back with a revitalised display against the Hammers.

Last time out, the Blues suffered a 3-2 loss to David Moyes’ side at the London Stadium. Goals from Thiago Silva and Mason Mount gave Chelsea the lead heading into the break.

But, the Blues couldn’t hold their lead in the second-half. Jarrod Bowen and an ambitious effort from Arthur Masuaku handed West Ham the three points. So, Chelsea will be looking to get back on track when they welcome the Hammers on Sunday in another London derby.

Reece James’ best position going forwards

“I love him in both positions. I’m not sure (what his best position is).” Thomas Tuchel expressed firmly when asked if Reece James’ new position would be in the German’s back-three rather than as a wing-back.

“I think the back three is less demanding physically in comparison to the wing-back position,” Tuchel explained. “Given he comes back from a long injury, a muscle injury, with the risk of a re-injury over so many weeks, it is a bit of an advantage to have him in a back three.”

Tuchel stuck with James as a right-sided centre-back in the defeat to Arsenal, a game that saw a third consecutive defensive collapse at Stamford Bridge. James was not at fault for any of Arsenal’s four goals, and the switch proved costly at the other end.

Sarr nightmare symbolises next Chelsea owner’s biggest challenge after Arsenal defeat

During large periods of Wednesday night’s clash with Arsenal, it felt hard not to, in some way, sympathise with Malang Sarr. After Andreas Christensen’s short back-pass had handed Eddie Nketiah the opening goal on a plate, the lack of confidence within Chelsea’s defence only grew.

Every touch of the ball for Sarr felt more challenging. Every decision seemed to take an extra second longer to be made, likely because of doubt. Unable to sort his feet out for Nketiah’s second to make the game 3-2 couldn’t have placed a better exclamation mark on this horrendous night.

Sarr, in the broader context, has been a player viewed in a mostly positive light this season. Used sporadically as either a centre-back or, during more stretched periods, a conventional left-back. Thomas Tuchel has used Sarr in interesting ways and tried to make use of a player who seemed destined for a loan last summer.

Ten Hag appointment poses problem

Erik ten Hag’s appointment at Manchester United could scupper Chelsea’s interest in Juventus centre-half Matthijs de Ligt. Ten Hag, who enjoyed 18 months alongside de Ligt at Ajax, is set to succeed Ralf Rangnick in the dugout at Old Trafford.

Tuchel unimpressed by Gilmour

Chelsea are set to send Gilmour on loan again next season, having not yet done enough to convince Tuchel he warrants a place in the Blues first team, according to 90min. The report claims that Fulham, former side Rangers and Bournemouth could be potential destinations for the 20-year-old.

Batshuayi attracts Premier League interest

Leeds United are interested in signing Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi in the summer transfer window, according to TeamTalk. The report claims that the Premier League side are one of many clubs interested in the 28-year-old striker, who has enjoyed this season on loan with top-flight Turkish side Besiktas.


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