Hakim Ziyech nets hat-track as Chelsea thrash Peterborough in pre-season friendly (Match Report)

Hakim Ziyech grabbed a hat-trick as Chelsea kicked off their pre-season campaign by thrashing Peterborough in a behind-closed-doors friendly today at Cobham.

The Blues showed their ruthlessness in front of goal by dispatching newly-promoted Championship side Peterborough 6-1.

With a number of stars still on holiday following their Euro 2020 exploits, Thomas Tuchel handed a number of youngsters and forgotten men an opportunity to shine in the clash at their Cobham training HQ.

Among those was outcast midfielder Danny Drinkwater while Ross Barkley, who spent last season on-loan at Aston Villa, received plaudits for his impressive display.

According to reports, Thomas Tuchel adopted a 3-4-2-1 formation, just as he would have last season.

Chelsea lined up with Jake Clarke-Salter, Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr at the back.

Sarr is looking to prove his worth after being loaned straight out to Porto last season following his arrival from Nice.

Davide Zappacosta, Danny Drinkwater, Ross Barkley and Marcos Alonso made up the midfield.

All four are arguably playing for the future, with three of those signed by Antonio Conte.

In attack, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi provided support for Abraham.

Chelsea shocked by the Borussia Dortmund’s fresh decision over Erling Haaland

Chelsea are said to be surprised by reports in the press that claim Borussia Dortmund would be willing to sell Erling Haaland for £150million this summer.

The Blues are prepared to smash their transfer record (£71.6million for Kepa Arrizabalaga in 2018) to sign the Norwegian goal machine.

In fact, the European champions are prepared to spend over £100million on a player for the first time in their history.

Frank Lampard splashed £220million last summer as Chelsea waved goodbye to their transfer ban in style but now a new No 9 is top of the priority list.

Haaland is open to the idea of moving on this summer but Dortmund are not.

They have made it clear publicly on numerous occasions that Haaland is not for sale at any price.

It’s a stance they have reaffirmed to Chelsea too doing discussions over the player earlier this week.

The Blues proposed the idea of offering cash plus Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi but Dortmund didn’t entertain it.

That is why, according to the Daily Express, via The Athletic, Chelsea chiefs are baffled by reports that suggest Dortmund would cave in and accept an offer of £150m if it arrived.

The Blues are of the opinion that Dortmund will not sell Haaland at any price, just as they told Chelsea.

Haaland’s £64million release clause is set to become active next summer when a number of clubs are expected to return to the table.

That’s why Chelsea remain so determined to strike a deal this transfer window.

Harry Kane’s England teammates reveal how Tottenham striker intends to force move to Manchester City

Harry Kane could reportedly refuse to return to pre-season training with Tottenham in order to force a move to Manchester City.

That is according to The Telegraph, who state his England teammates believe he may not go back to Spurs’ Enfield HQ amid interest from Man Utd and City, plus Chelsea.

New boss Nuno Espirito Santo has already declared the Three Lions 2020 hero is their player and that he plans to hold talks with the 27-year-old striker when he is back from holiday.

However, these latest claims state that several members of Gareth Southgate’s squad who have just spent the past six weeks with Kane think it is possible he will not report back to training.

But Levy is determined to hold on to his superstar and has already rejected a £100m offer from Man City for the hotshot.

Meanwhile Nuno has not spoken to Kane since he was appointed as replacement for Jose Mourinho. But he said: “Harry is our player, period. No need to talk about anything else.”

REVEALED: How Chelsea almost scuttled Olivier Giroud’s AC Milan move

Reports have emerged in Italy as to how Chelsea made Olivier Giroud’s move to AC Milan difficult as the Rossoneri confirmed the Frenchman as their player.

The 34-year-old had already agreed personal terms with the Serie A side several weeks ago, a two-year contract worth €3.5m per season.

Giroud arrived at Milan’s Clinca La Madonnina on Thursday at around 8 am local time to begin his medical examinations with his new club.

There should also be an option for a third season.

At the time, the idea was that he’d be a free agent when his contract with Chelsea expired on June 30.

However, the Stamford Bridge side suddenly announced that they had activated a unilateral clause in his contract, extending to June 2022.

This irritated Milan, who threatened to look towards other candidates instead.

His agents assured it was merely a formality that Chelsea had adopted in order to avoid the risk of losing Giroud to another Premier League club, specifically West Ham United.

They were seemingly prepared to let him go for a minimal fee for a team outside of England.

Even then, negotiations dragged on for weeks, finally reaching a conclusion on Thursday.

It’s widely reported Chelsea will receive €1m for Giroud, with up to another €1m in various add-ons.

Official: Olivier Giroud seals AC Milan move, jersey number revealed

Olivier Giroud has completed his transfer to AC Milan from Chelsea and has been given the No 9 shirt.

The Frenchman spent three years at Stamford Bridge and the West Londoners gave him a glowing review as they wished him well during his time in Italy.

A Milan statement read: “AC Milan is delighted to announce the signing of Olivier Jonathan Giroud on a permanent transfer from Chelsea FC.

“The French striker will be wearing the No 9 jersey.”

In an affectionate statement on their website, the Blues documented his career and said: “Olivier ends his time in London SW6 with 119 appearances, 59 as a sub, and 39 goals to his name, as well as those three trophy wins.

“We thank him greatly for his service and wish him the very best in his future career.”

Chelsea attempt late hijack of star’s Manchester United move

Chelsea have made a late approach to sign Raphael Varane, despite Manchester United reportedly closing in on a £42.8million deal for the defender.

The French centre-back is out of contract next summer and has decided to leave the Bernabeu after a decade at the club.

United quickly moved to the front of the queue and are believed to have agreed a five-year deal with the defender’s representatives, report Marca.

A fee still needs to be agreed, though the Spanish side are under pressure to sell, and talks between the two clubs have ramped up significantly over the past few hours.

Juventus plot move for Roman Abramovich prime target to replace Cristiano Ronaldo

Juventus are plotting a move for Erling Haaland in 2022, when the striker will be available for a cut-price deal, report La Reppublica.

The Norwegian will be available for just £65m once a clause in his contract is activated.

And with Cristiano Ronaldo’s deal set to expire next summer, Juventus view it as the perfect opportunity to replace the old guard with the new.

Several clubs are rumoured to be interested in Haaland, which is perhaps why Chelsea are looking to construct a deal this summer.