Romelu Lukaku reveals how Jose Mourinho hijacked his move to Chelsea

Inter Milan new boy Romelu Lukaku has revealed a phone call from Jose Mourinho caused him to snub Chelsea in favour of Manchester United.

The Reds forked out £75million to secure the Belgian’s signing from Everton in the summer of 2017.

Speaking on the LightHarted podcast, Lukaku said: “I was gone, I was going to Chelsea.”

Before he added: “I was in New York – I get a phone call from this number and I’m like, ‘Who’s this?’ Pick up, Jose Mourinho. ‘Rom, how are you doing?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, what’s up, boss?’

“I’m gonna get you back, we’re gonna pay £75m plus £15m in bonuses by next week, so I expect you in LA. So go and do your s**t in LA and I’ll see you after [in pre-season]. I felt the dude was lying, like ‘I’ll see you’.

“Then the next thing I know, I wake up and had to go back to Everton on the July 7 and July 6, I wake up in the morning and I see they’ve agreed the deal, so I’m like, ‘Man! They came in hard!”

Zappacosta makes Chelsea confession, reveals how Emerson, Rudiger influenced his AS Roma move

Davide Zappacosta has revealed how his move to Chelsea has improved him as a person and player, adding that the former AS Roma duo, Emerson and Rudiger, told him about the Gillorossi and their fans.

The Italy international was signed at the request of Antonio Conte in 2017 but struggled under Maurizio Sarri and was not in Frank Lampard’s plans.

The defender clinched the deal after agreeing to extend his contract at Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2022.

“It’s true that I feel like I’ve matured as a person,” he said as cited by Football Italia.

“It’s not easy to go and play outside of Italy with another language and culture, but it certainly helped me a lot because I went through some difficult times.

“Today I had my first training with the team, I feel good. At Chelsea we had the same intense training sessions.

“I have to get my sharpness back as I haven’t played much lately, but I feel good. I don’t think I’ll have any problems getting my sharpness back.

“I talked to Emerson and Rudiger. They told me the fans could push you on and that I’d enjoy playing for them.

“I immediately found what they told me to be true. Of course, we’re aiming to do the maximum in every competition. We’ll do our best to achieve as much as possible.”

The 27-year-old has 13 caps for Italy but has not played for his country in 11 months…

“I think a player should make the best choices for their career. I’m happy to be back in Italy with more experience and the national team is my objective.”

Photo Credit: Twitter @ asroma.com

Antonio Conte continues legal battle against Chelsea

Reports in England state that former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is taking further legal action against the club despite already being given a £9million payout.

A three-person panel ruled in April that Chelsea should pay Conte one year’s salary in compensation after failing to agree a severance package following his sacking.

The Times say the bitter row between Italian Conte, who now manages Inter Milan, and the Blues is rumbling on some 13 months after he left the club.

They say Conte, 50, was the claimant in a preliminary hearing held at the Central London Employment Tribunal last Friday.

He is believed to have brought a statutory claim at an Employment Tribunal against Chelsea, with a verdict expected next month.

Details of Conte’s claim are unclear but it is reported that such cases usually involve accusations of unfair dismissal or discrimination.

The findings of the Employment Tribunal will be made public.

One legal source told the paper that Conte could be seeking to “embarrass” Chelsea, either out of spite or to ensure the compensation payment is settled.

They add that claims of unfair dismissal are capped at £60,000 so his motives are “unlikely to be purely financial”.

Conte did not attend last week’s hearing at which he was represented by Phil Bonner of Centrefield LLP as he is preparing for the start of the Serie A season with Inter Milan.

Conte’s £9m award meant Chelsea have paid out £92.3m to sacked managers since Roman Abramovich took over the club 16 years ago, report The Sun.

The club have the right to appeal against the tribunal’s verdict by taking their casE to the High Court but are yet to do so.

Real Madrid hunt for another Chelsea goalkeeper as Keylor Navas “turns in transfer request”

Reports in Spain claim that Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero is a transfer target for Real Madrid in the closing weeks of the transfer window.

This development stems, according to Marca, from the fact that Los Blancos goalkeeper Keylor Navas has told the La Liga giants he wants to leave.

Acting as back-up to former Chelsea shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois for another season is not what the Costa Rican desires at this stage of his career.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid’s other goalkeeprs like Andriy Lunin and Luca Zidane have been sent out on loan, meaning that the club would need to sign an alternative.

Caballero celebrates his 38th birthday this September and he is currently the back-up for Kepa Arrizabalaga at Stamford Bridge.

The London club’s shot-stopper has played in Spain across nine seasons between Elche in the second division before joining Malaga in the top-flight in the 2010-11 campaign.

The Argentine started his career at Boca Juniors and has subsequently played in England as a back-up goalkeeper at both Manchester City and Chelsea.

Football Espana report that Madrid are also targeting other experienced shot-stoppers such as Pepe Reina (currently at Milan), Diego Benaglio (Monaco) and Maarten Stekelenburg (Everton).

Frank Lampard weighs Antonio Conte’s option for Loftus-Cheek

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is reportedly considering deploying Ruben Loftus-Cheek to the role former coach Antonio Conte mooted when he was at Stamford Bridge.

The 23-year-old was expected to miss much of the season after rupturing his Achilles in Chelsea’s friendly against the New England Revolution back in May, shortly before the Europa League final.

But Loftus-Cheek confirmed to Sky Sports that he hopes to return to first-team training in ‘4-6 weeks’ and Lampard is already thinking about how best to utilise him.

Chelsea’s attack has not been effective in converting several scoring chances in the three competitive matches the club have played so far in the season.

According to The Sun, that could see Loftus-Cheek asked to lead the line, with Lampard giving serious consideration to deploying the midfielder up front.

One of his predecessors, Antonio Conte, also dabbled with the idea, while the struggles of Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham in front of goal so far this season have given Lampard cause to evaluate other options.

Loftus-Cheek is expected to return to full fitness in late November and could be up to speed for the bust festive fixture period, while Lampard will also be boosted by the return of Callum Hudson-Odoi, report the Metro.

The teenage winger, who is looking increasingly likely to sign a contract extension, returned to training this week having also injured his Achilles tendon in the Europa League semi-final against Frankfurt.

Lampard is a big fan of Loftus-Cheek and spoke glowingly about him while working as a pundit for the BBC at last summer’s World Cup: ‘Ruben is someone I know really well from when he was coming through the youth ranks at Chelsea.

‘Straight away he made an impression because of his physical attributes, but he knew how to play too – he had great ability and even then he could drift past people on the ball.

‘He does that even better now, with his pace and power when he is running at you, which makes him different from a lot of modern-day midfield players – and puts a fear into the opposition that they do not usually have.’

Frank Lampard exposes Tiemoue Bakayoko during training (Watch Footage)

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard showed Tiemoue Bakayoko why he doesn’t want him at Stamford Bridge by stealing possession off him in training.

The Blues legend got involved in a possession game during a session held at Stamford Bridge.

Chasing the ball in a circle, the West Londoners’ manager was too quick for Bakayoko – who saw his touch intercepted by his gaffer.

Chelsea fans loved the effort Lamps put in, with one even calling for the 41-year-old to be announced as player-manager.

One said: “Super Frankie Lampard.”

Another said: “Announce Lampard as player manager.”

Blues fans were not surprised it was Frenchman Bakayoko caught in possession.

The ex-Monaco man failed to impress during pre-season and remains on a potential transfer casualty this summer.

Bakayoko spent last season on loan at AC Milan, who remain interested in signing the 24-year-old this summer.

French champions PSG, along with Turkish giants Galatasaray, are also monitoring the midfielder.