Manchester City fans want Kelechi Iheanacho back, but there is bad news…

Manchester City fans have taken to social media to beg the club to re-sign Kelechi Iheanacho after the Leicester striker scored his 14th goal in 14 matches… but his £50million buy-back option expired last summer.

Iheanacho was a bit-part player at City until his move to the Foxes in 2017, stuck behind Sergio Aguero in the pecking order and regularly coming on as a substitute late in the game.

When he headed for Leicester, City included a £50m buy-back clause, and following his recent incredible form fans of Pep Guardiola’s men have urged the club to make use of it, with Aguero set to leave at the end of the season.

But, according to the mail, it is bad news for City fans, after Iheanacho’s buy-back option expired last summer – just before his superb form of this season began.

The Nigeria international scored a stunner against Crystal Palace on Monday night to help Leicester move one step closer to next season’s Champions League, securing his side a 2-1 victory late on.

Iheanacho now has 14 goals in his last 14 matches, and is on a run of five in his last four.

Taking to social media after the 24-year-old’s latest impressive display, one fan wrote: ‘I really hope we activate that buy back clause on Iheanacho,’ while another tweeted similar to the club.

Another City fan tweeted a picture of City legend Vincent Kompany and boss Guardiola celebrating, alongside the caption: ‘When City realises they have a buy back clause in Kelechi Iheanacho’s deal.’

Instead, though, it looks unlikely that Leicester will part ways with Iheanacho unless a very big transfer fee is offered in the summer.

Thomas Tuchel identifies Blues star he cannot drop as Chelsea confront Real Madrid

As Chelsea take on Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final first-leg today, one player who is sure of featuring for the west London club is Cesar Azpilicueta.

Thomas Tuchel says that he always wants his captain to be on the pitch, and he proved that by putting him at right wing back at the weekend just to keep him there.

‘He is everything Chelsea means’, is how Tuchel described him on the Chelsea website this week, which really is top plaudits from the coach.

“He’s fantastic and I want him absolutely to be on the pitch because he’s a fantastic captain and a fantastic sportsman,’ he continued.

“He is everything Chelsea means in my point of view – he’s humble, he’s a fighter, he thinks constantly about winning and he does everything to be in shape every three days. He’s a true professional and there is no work too hard or distance too long for him.

“We used him as a wing-back and it was a bit hard because he had to do several long runs. It was a bit different for him but we chose the back three with Andreas, Toni and Thiago because we knew about West Ham’s strength in set-pieces and we wanted to gain some centimetres in height.

“Azpi is totally open to anything once he sees the reason why. He was very excited to be involved a bit more offensively and it’s nice to have this. The two positions [wing-back and full-back] suit him very well and he’s absolutely reliable.”

Referee Danny Makkelie comes under intense pressure in Spain as Real Madrid take on Chelsea

There are suggestions in Spain that referee Danny Makkelie, who is billed to handle Real Madrid-Chelsea encounter today, may be biased because of Los Blancos president’s roles in the botched plot to establish European Super League.

Madrid-based paper Marca hinted at UEFA bias on their controversial front page, suggesting that Real fear reprisals after their failed Super League bid.

It was predictable that after Perez led the failed European Super League launch, the narrative was going to be that the club would now be the victims of UEFA reprisals.

Marca’s front page ‘Fair Play Ceferin’ put match referee Danny Makkelie at the centre of the spotlight and it was his picture above the Fair Play headline on the front page.

Spain’s football show El Chringuito ran a far more vigorous campaign, however. “How are we not going to think bad of Ceferin? How are we not going to doubt after the threats of Ceferin?” its midday show asked on Monday.

“And tomorrow [Tuesday] Real Madrid v Chelsea – have you mentally prepared? Have you taken it onboard?

“Let the Real Madrid players prepare themselves. They should make sure they are careful. They will have to play the perfect game. But perhaps that will not be enough.”

The most serious claim, according to the Mail, was repeated in the programme’s late-night slot, with the accusation that at least one Real Madrid player ‘feared’ the refereeing the team might encounter in tonight’s game.

When El Chiringuito tweeted the same editorial line, many responded ridiculing the tone and the content. “In the Spanish League everything has been gifted to Madrid for decades’ said one response.

Another read: “Hahaha this is the club that has benefited from from referees in the history of football.”

Real Madrid star reveals Eden Hazard mood as he faces his former club Chelsea

Eden Hazard is poised for an emotional reunion to Chelsea when he hopes to boot his old mates out of the Champions League.

The artful midfielder spent seven years at the club before switching to Real Madrid for £150million in June 2019.

Hazard has been dogged by injuries at the Spanish giants but is fit again from a calf strain — and he is pumped up to play against Chelsea.

Real defender Raphael Varane, 28, said: “He is quite motivated to play a Champions League semi-final.

“He is a motivated footballer and if you play against your former club, that is an extra motivation in the club and the team we are facing.

“We know the quality they have and he wants to prove his on the pitch to help the team.”

Thomas Tuchel appeals to Chelsea fans

Thomas Tuchel has urged fans to forget the Super League saga and cheer Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

He said: “We all make mistakes and if you lead a club and own a club you can make decisions that not everybody understands and not everybody likes.

“This is part of life but it does not change the love for the game.

“So put your anger to this decision and the way it was presented to one side.

“Don’t put it on the team and never doubt the love that all the people at the training-ground level have for this game.

“I can just tell everybody that I love this game so much, like everybody in the dressing room — the boys are so happy out on the pitch, so excited about this semi-final.

“We need all support to enable us to overcome this huge step in these two games.”

Diego Simeone plots swoop for Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta

Atletico Madrid are reportedly considering a surprise move for Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta this summer.

Los Rojiblancos are potentially in the market for defensive reinforcements ahead of the 2021/22 La Liga season with current right back options Kieran Trippier and Sime Vrsaljko out of contract in 2022 and Jose Gimenez linked with an exit.

According to reports from Gol Digital, as cited by Fottball Espana, Diego Simeone is monitoring Azpilicueta closely.

Chelsea are also reportedly looking for defenders this summer, with German star Niklas Sule on Tuchel’s radar meaning Azpilicueta would likely be moved even further down the pecking order as a result.

Azpilicueta has 12 months left on his current deal at Stamford Bridge and the former Osasuna man could be available for around £12m, if Chelsea do opt to sell him after nine successful years at the club.

Antonio Conte reveals where his future lies

Inter coach Antonio Conte insists he’d like to stay at Nerazurri and is aware his ‘surname brings responsibility.’

The Italian tactician said Inter have 95 per cent of chances to win the Scudetto after their 1-0 win over Hellas Verona.

“I was clear, we must remain focus on the present, we’ll have time to talk about the next season and the Champions League,” he spoke to Sky Sport.

Will the Suning project be crucial to understand his future at the club?

“If you ask the same thing to our director, they will tell you the same thing. I am not a warmonger. I’d like to stay at Inter, but we need to understand what will happen and what we will be able to do.

“I know my surname is heavy and brings responsibility. It’s not easy to start from scratch. I work every day, and I hope I can continue to do so for a long time.”

Alvaro Morata reacts to Champions League encounter between his two former clubs Real Madrid and Chelsea

Juventus striker Alvaro Morata explains why he doesn’t care about the result of Real Madrid-Chelsea in the Champions League.

The west London club and La Liga giants are billed to lock horns in the Champions League semi final first leg in Spain today

When the Spain international was asked which of the two side would come on top by Sky Sport Italia, he said: “It doesn’t change much to me, I don’t think about it, with all the respect due. I have no idea, and it burns to see the Champions League because we are supposed to be there,”

Morata is on loan from Atletico Madrid and his future remains up in the air.

“Everyone knows I would gladly stay here for life if I had the chance, but this is a profession, football is a business and a lot of the time we players don’t have much choice.”

(Watch Highlights) Chelsea loanee Bakayoko, Osimhen hand Napoli victory over Torino on the road (Match Report)

Tiemoue Bakayoko’s powerful strike and a Victor Osimhen counter-attack gave Napoli a 2-0 half-time lead, but Torino are fighting back.

Napoli took the lead with a surprise hitman, as Tiemoue Bakayoko hit a ferocious strike from 20 metres into the far bottom corner.

Just 120 seconds later, Torino’s corner was cleared and Nicolas Nkoulou was caught in a weak tackle, allowing Victor Osimhen to sprint forward on the counter, his effort deflected past Sirigu off Bremer.

Matteo Politano went on another rapid counter, his finish skimming the upright after a deflection, while Amir Rrahmani’s free header whistled wide on the resulting corner.

Torino almost had a way back into the game on 36 minutes when Giovanni Di Lorenzo accidentally nodded a corner backwards, but Osimhen was there to clear off the line.

Alex Meret also fingertipped a Simone Verdi free kick off the head of Armando Izzo, but Piotr Zielinski was unlucky to see his daisy-cutter bounce off the base of the upright.

Toro started the second half strong too, Meret using his legs to keep out a smart Cristian Ansaldi solo effort and Rolando Mandragora’s free header too weak.

Napoli remained dangerous on the counter, Politano’s effort deflected over the bar and Sirigu beating away two Osimhen angled drives at the near post.

Insigne saw one of his trademark right-foot curlers bounce off the inside of the far post, Sirigu preventing Hirving Lozano from turning in the rebound.

There was a double chance when Dries Mertens saw his shot charged down, then threaded through for Osimhen to force a Sirigu save from point-blank range.

Lozano also stung Sirigu’s gloves from a tricky angle, but Torino ended the game with 10 men because Rolando Mandragora received his second yellow card for wrestling back Lozano.

Photo Credit: sscnapoliES/sscnapoli_br/Twitter