(Watch Video) Pepe sparks mass brawl with wild challenge on Mkhitaryan during preseason friendly against Jose Mourinho’s Roma

Porto’s friendly with Roma descended into a mass brawl after veteran defender Pepe delivered a trademark smash on Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The 38-year-old clotheslined his rival after an hour of the match in Portugal.

Mkhitaryan, 32, played a first-time pass after receiving the ball from a team-mate and was rewarded with an utter clattering a split second later.

Pepe casually collapsed to the ground having crumpled the Armenian, who immediately leapt up in anger.

Porto and Roma players including Sergio Oliveira and Lorenzo Pellegrini dived into the pile-on, as the referee also barged his way across to separate the sparring stars.

Members from both benches joined in with the melee, with Giallorossi boss Jose Mourinho seen casually chatting with an opposition staff member after witnessing a familiar move by his former Real Madrid star.

The game was stopped for a few minutes before Mkhitaryan was booked before quickly being substituted by Mourinho.

Pepe, meanwhile, escaped any further punishment and saw out the game.

Roma had taken the lead shortly after the break through Gianluca Mancini before a late leveller from Vitor Ferreira.

Chelsea intensify move to re-sign Romelu Lukaku despite Inter Milan snub

Chelsea are reportedly not giving up on the possibility of signing Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku this summer despite his lofty price tag and Nerrazuri’s decision.

Inter Milan CEO Beppe Marotta has recently suggested that the striker is set to stay at the San Siro.

Talking earlier this month to Sportmediaset, he said: “From our side, we can yes absolutely, Lukaku is not for sale. Lukaku is an important piece on the chessboard available to Simone Inzaghi.”

That does not appear to have deterred Chelsea however.

According to Tuttomercatoweb, the Blues are certainly not admitting defeat in pursuit of his signature and are preparing a fresh offer having seen their opening deal turned down by the striker.

Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Lukaku has snubbed a move back to the Blues.

The Belgium international is not keen on leaving Inter, who are also determined to hold on to him despite the need to raise funds after the coronavirus pandemic’s financial impact

Chelsea make U-turn on Tiemoue Bakayoko

Chelsea have offered Napoli an opportunity to sign Tiemoue Bakayoko on loan again.

Before arriving at their decision, Chelsea had earlier contemplated keeping the midfielder at Stamford Bridge for the season as reportedly requested by the Blues manager Thomas Tuchel.

Bakayoko rejected the west London’s club contract extension offer in order to force his move to AC Milan.

According to Italian daily Il Mattino via InsideFutbol, the Blues have offered to loan Bakayoko again to Napoli.

Chelsea want to shed the 26-year-old’s salary from their wage bill and are prepared to let him join Napoli on loan again, free of charge.

The Frenchman has spent each of the last three campaigns gaining first-team experience, having represented AC Milan, Monaco and Napoli.

Hakim Ziyech “tempted” by AC Milan move

AC Milan have maintained contacts with the entourage of Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech and the player seems tempted by a new experience, a report claims.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (via MilanNews) writes that Milan are always looking for a new attacking midfielder after Hakan Calhanoglu’s farewell, with many names having been linked in the media over the past few days and weeks.

Among the list of targets is Ziyech, and the paper writes that the dialogue between the Milan management and the representatives of the Moroccan are always alive.

It must be noted that Milan and Chelsea have excellent relations too after the Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud operations, something which could favour this negotiation.

However, it won’t be easy to convince Chelsea as the Blues don’t seem willing to sell the player on loan with an option to buy.

The two clubs are on good terms after Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud’s moves to Milan from Chelsea this summer, so Milan hope they can reach an agreement with the Premier League giants.

Ziyech joined Chelsea from Ajax in 2020 and managed six goals and four assists in 39 appearances across all competitions.

Chelsea handed boost ahead of UEFA Super Cup final against Villarreal

Chelsea’s opponents Villarreal were dealt a potentially huge blow ahead of the UEFA Super Cup final in less than two week’s time.

The Yellow Submarine returned to action on Thursday after two positive coronavirus tests disrupted their pre-season plans.

Unai Emery‘s men played out a goalless draw with local rivals Levante, and it no doubt will have proved a good pre-season run-out.

Images emerged from the game showing midfielder Dani Parejo being stretchered off after a heavy blow to his right leg.

Parejo was pictured on a stretcher with an ice pack tied around his leg.

The midfielder was key to Villarreal’s efforts last season as they finished seventh and won the Europa League, and should he miss the Super Cup clash with Chelsea, it would represent a huge blow for Emery.

The Yellows will now await results of scans to discover how long they will be without Parejo heading into the new season.

Patrick Viera plans to change Chelsea youngster’s position at Crystal Palace in 4-3-3 formation

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira is aiming to alter the role of Conor Gallagher if he can sign the youngster from Chelsea this summer.

According to The Athletic, Vieira wants Gallagher to play in a more advanced area within an attacking 4-3-3 formation for Palace.

This differs from the double pivot position Thomas Tuchel used him in during the Blues pre-season friendly fixture against Bournemouth.

The 21-year-old was also on opposing instructions under Slaven Bilic and Sam Allardyce whilst on loan with West Bromwich Albion last term.

He generally featured as a box-to-box midfielder, asked to cover great distance whilst also contributing in the final third.

Although, the England Under-21 international only managed two goals and two assists in 32 appearances for West Brom, which indicates his defensive responsibility took presedence.

Even that he slightly struggled with.

No player committed more fouls (43) or received more yellow cards (11) for the Midland’s club than Gallagher in 2020/21.

Chelsea set to hijack Manchester City move for 25-year-old star

Reports in Italy state that Chelsea FC are looking to hijack Manchester City’s bid to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.

Italian website TransferMarketWeb, as quoted by Caught Offside, is reporting that the Blues have entered the race to sign the England international.

The report says that Aston Villa are looking to secure an £88m transfer fee and Manchester City have already agreed to meet the Premier League side’s asking price.

Manchester City are in pole position to sign the 25-year-old given that Pep Guardiola has been a long-term admirer of the flamboyant playmaker.

But TransferMarketWeb believe Chelsea FC are ready to enter the fray and pull off a last-ditch transfer swoop for the Aston Villa skipper to deal a blow to Manchester City.

Grealish has also agreed to a five-year deal with the defending champions, according to the report.

REVEALED: Chelsea target Jules Kounde’s dream is to play for another team, not the Blues

Reports have emerged in Spain that Jules Kounde real dream is to feature for another team and not Chelsea despite reportedly agreeing personal terms with the west London club.

According to Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero, the Sevilla defender has a ‘dream’ to play for Real Madrid in the future.

Chelsea are interested in signing the France international from Sevilla this summer, with reports suggesting personal terms have already been agreed.

But that could all be meaningless if Real Madrid come in for Kounde, according to Montero.

He told Sky Sports: “I believe he will wait to play in the Premier League because he’s decided that his dream is to sign for Real Madrid.”

Erling Haaland makes Chelsea summer move more difficult with latest comments as Borussia Dortmund sign new forward

Chelsea have been dealt a potential transfer blow as Erling Haaland hinted he’d like to stay at Borussia Dortmund.

The Blues have made Haaland their top transfer target this summer and are considering a staggering £135million offer, with reports claiming a players-plus-cash offer has been rejected.

However, the star striker remains focused on Dortmund and is looking forward to working with the club’s newest addition Donyell Malen.

Malen arrived from PSV Eindhoven to replace Jadon Sancho, who joined Manchester United following a £73m deal.

The Norway international joked that he will get “mad” at Malen if he doesn’t give him a lot of assists this coming season.

Haaland said: “I told him to give me a lot of assists, otherwise I’ll get mad at him.

“I hope we will play together in the offence. He’s here to make a difference.

“He has to bring a positive energy and deliver from the first minute because BVB is a big club.”

This comes after Haaland admitted he hopes reports linking him with a move to Chelsea are ‘just rumours’.

That is because the 21-year-old believes his €175m [around £150m] asking price is too much for one person.

Photo Credit: bvb.de

Another Chelsea youngster set to complete shock move to Bayern Munich

Chelsea teenager Emran Soglo is set to complete a shock move to German giants Bayern Munich.

According to The Sun, the 16-year-old attacking midfielder has spent the last week training with the Bundesliga champions’ Under-17s side.

And after impressing the coaches there, he has now been elevated to the Under-19s as Bayern grow keen to complete the transfer.

Soglo is a versatile midfielder who can play as a No10 or as a deep-lying playmaker.

The creative left-footed youngster can also be deployed on the wing.

Goal are reporting that Bayern are hoping to complete a deal for Soglo in the same way they acquired Jamal Musiala in 2019

Musiala, 18, left Chelsea to join up with the German giants and has thrived since arriving in Munich.

The Stuttgart-born midfielder has made an instant impact in the Bundesliga, playing 37 times and scoring seven goals in the 2020-21 campaign.

Musiala’s steep rise also caught the attention of former German national team coach Joachim Low, who named him in his squad for Euro 2020.

Munich also poached highly-rated centre-half Bright Arrey-Mbi from Chelsea two years ago.

Bayern have recently had a re-shuffle in their scouting network as former chief scout Marco Neppe was promoted to technical director.