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Chelsea’s first January transfer “a done deal” amid Thomas Tuchel’s contract crisis

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Chelsea’s move for Fenerbahce defender Attila Szalai is a “done deal” according to Hungary boss Marco Rossi.

Szalai works with Rossi at international level and played in all three of Hungary’s Euro 2020 games.

The 23-year-old has not yet been at the Turkish side for 12 months, but has attracted attention from Europe’s top sides.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has a host of defenders to pick from at Stamford Bridge with Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen among them.

The latter of those two, as well as Cesar Azpilicueta, are all going to be out of contract within the next 18 months.

It leaves Chlesea in a precarious position, but Rossi claims Szalai’s move to west London has already been sealed.

See also  Timo Werner has made his feelings clear about Chelsea future after 'contacting' Newcastle

He was quizzed on which Hungary players would star in Serie A and told Calciomercato : “It’s hard to name just one player, but right now I see very well Attila Szalai, who plays for Fenerbahce, but I think he is joining Chelsea.

“Clearly, he has been followed by important clubs in Spain, but apparently his move to Chelsea is a done deal. He would be a great player also for Italian football.”

Rudiger has become a key figure at Chelsea and is a player they currently stand to lose in the summer if an agreement is not found.

The German has attracted attention from some of Europe’s heavyweights, with Real Madrid among them, and is seeking a huge pay day.

See also  Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich ‘ready to push button on Erling Haaland transfer’

At 28 he is seeking one final big contract with wages potentially a sticking point in London, but Tuchel is hoping a deal can be struck

He said recently: “For me, he is a big competitor and he is in exactly the right spot. He is in the most competitive league and at a club where winning matters, so let’s be a bit patient and hopefully we have a happy end.”

Christensen, who has made six Premier League appearances, is another man whose future is uncertain.

Tuchel recently dropped the Dane as his contract talks rumble on, but insists it is on the player to sort out his playing time and future.

See also  Frank Lampard disagree with Chelsea star decision after Euro 2020 final

He said: “It is on Andreas to act. How he acts on the pitch, he needs to act off it and walk the talk because he tells us that he loves Chelsea.

“He tells us that he wants to stay because he is a big part of a big club. I think he is a perfect fit and I think that he is not done here.

“His career here is, by far, not finished. But, like I said, it’s on him. We want the commitment and hopefully we get it.”

Azpilicueta’s current deal is due to expire when the current campaign ends.

The Spaniard, now 32, moved to the Blues way back in 2012.

Chelsea

Tuchel hands 22-year-old his first Chelsea start – predicted starting XI against Leeds this weekend

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Chelsea will look to get back to winning ways in Sunday’s game against Leeds United at Elland Road.

The Blues dominated proceedings in the London derby against Spurs last week, however only came out of things with a point following Harry Kane’s late equaliser.

Thomas Tuchel operated a fluid and unique system at Stamford Bridge, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount especially thriving in the new look system.

However, the Blues could turn back to the recognised back three this weekend, with our predicted lineup for the game against Leeds.

GK and Defence

Edouard Mendy made a brilliant save just before Spurs’ late equaliser at the end, and his position in the squad is more than secure for this one.

See also  Timo Werner has made his feelings clear about Chelsea future after 'contacting' Newcastle

With there still being no breakthrough on the Wesley Fofana front, Cesar Azpilicueta will return to the starting lineup as captain at Elland Road.

Fixtures are yet to pick up in the early stages of the season, so Thiago Silva should still be fresh and okay to participate again.

The centre-backs will be completed by Kalidou Koulibaly, who showed his quality again in an emphatic display against Spurs.

Midfield

Reece James scored almost instantly after being moved back to wing-back on Sunday, and the Blues will look to get the attacking best out of him on Sunday.

See also  Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann ‘chooses next club’ amid Man Utd and Chelsea interest

Jorginho may have been at fault for the first conceded goal last week, although his great performance will still see him start again against Leeds.

Injuries have ruled N’golo Kante and likely Mateo Kovacic out of the game, there is a big choice to be made to partner the Italy internatonal. While Ruben Loftus-Cheek starred against Spurs, Conor Gallagher will be chosen to partner in midfield, being handed his first start for the club.

Marc Cucurella will look to build on his impressive performance last week with another start against Leeds, with Ben Chilwell still not quite at match fitness.

See also  Chelsea have already signed the perfect Robert Lewandowski partner in crime

Attack

The Chelsea attack will have a familiar look to the last two weeks, with Mason Mount occupying the free-roaming role in the attack against an opponent he has had a lot of success against before.

Raheem Sterling will try again in his quest to open his Chelsea league account, with him missing a glorious chance last week.

Kai Havertz is another man who missed a great opportunity to win the game for the Blues at the weekend, although his work in the front three was enough to see him start again.

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Atletico Madrid do not want to pay €40 million for Barcelona attacker

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Atletico Madrid are in a precarious situation in regards to their ownership of Antoine Griezmann.

The Spanish giants had signed the Barcelona forward on a two-year loan deal last summer. The contract included a mandatory purchase option worth €40 million if the player features in 50% of the matches with a minimum of 45 minutes between the games across two seasons.

Last season, Griezmann featured in 82.5% of the matches, meaning Atletico Madrid may have to virtually leave him out on the bench throughout the 2022/23 campaign if they are to avoid paying the fee for the Frenchman in 2023.

See also  Frank Lampard disagree with Chelsea star decision after Euro 2020 final

However, with Luis Suarez leaving the club, Atletico Madrid consider Griezmann a viable part of the club’s attacking unit and Los Colchoneros must get the best out of him, if they are to regain their lost status in the title race in this new season.

At the same time, the club are not too keen on meeting the mandatory €40 million purchase clause set on Griezmann’s contract. This has been reported by Mundo Deportivo which suggests the club are looking to reduce the overall valuation of the clause.

While Barcelona are yet to respond to Atletico’s overtures, there is a clear indication that the capital club have no intention to pay anywhere near the €40 million for the services of Griezmann, who was barely even a starter for Diego Simeone’s men last season

See also  Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann ‘chooses next club’ amid Man Utd and Chelsea interest

The Frenchman was even left out on the bench in Atletico’s opening game against Getafe. However, coming on as a substitute in the final half an hour, the attacker was able to break his scoring duck by netting the third goal in a 3-0 victory.

See also  (Video): Watch Antonio Rudiger furious reaction at N'Golo Kante after mistake against Real Madrid

It will be interesting to see whether the little cameo compels Simeone to start him in future matches, although his performances should not deter Atletico Madrid from their attempts to lower the price tag of the star striker.

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Barcelona star’s move to Chelsea is now ‘heating up’ – report

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be close to securing a move to Chelsea from FC Barcelona, with the move now heating up, reports Victor Navarro on COPE.

Aubameyang joined Barça only eight months ago, arriving as a free agent from Arsenal in January. He helped the Catalans finish second in La Liga last season and finished the campaign as the club’s joint top scorer in all competitions along with Memphis Depay

And, Barcelona could now lose both their top scorers this summer. Depay is closing in on a move to Juventus, having reportedly agreed a two-year contract with the Italian giants.

See also  Chelsea have already signed the perfect Robert Lewandowski partner in crime

And now Aubameyang could be on his way to Chelsea imminently, with the move ‘heating up’ recently. The Blues have made the 33-year-old Gabonese striker their top target after losing both Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel enjoyed a successful relationship with Aubameyang during their time at Borussia Dortmund and is now pushing for a reunion.

Reports earlier on Thursday indicated that Chelsea were planning to submit a formal offer for the former Arsenal captain imminently.

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Now, Victor Navarro is claiming that the two clubs are negotiating over the transfer of the 33-year-old, with all parties intent on getting the move over the line.

Barcelona need to get rid of players so that they can register Jules Kounde and make more additions, with a new right-back and left-back on the club’s agenda.

The departure of Depay alone will not be enough to register Kounde. And with Frenkie de Jong unwilling to leave and no offers arriving for Sergino Dest yet, Aubameyang’s exit seems the best option for Barça.

See also  Thomas Tuchel sets impressive Chelsea record which ranks Blues amongst Europe's elite

The ex-Arsenal superstar has fallen down the pecking order at Camp Nou this season following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski. A move to Stamford Bridge could see him become the first-choice striker and enjoy regular game-time.

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