West Ham owner breaks silence on Arsenal, Chelsea target Declan Rice future after winning Europa Conference League

June 8th, 2023 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

West Ham owner David Sullivan has confirmed Declan Rice has played his last game for the club.

The Hammers captain led his side to European glory after winning the Europa Conference League on Wednesday.

But the final could end up being Rice’s last dance for West Ham after Sullivan confirmed he wants to leave.

He told talkSPORT: “I think it has to be [his last game].

“We promised him he could go. He set his heart on going.

“You can’t ask for a man who has committed more to us this season.

“In due course, he has to get on and we have to get a replacement – or several replacements.

“It’s not something we want to happen. We offered him £200,000-a-week 18 months ago. He turned it down.

“It’s cost him £10million to stay at West Ham in that time (in lost wages). And he wants to go.

“You can’t keep a player who doesn’t want to be there.”

Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for Rice and the Gunners are reportedly the midfielder’s preferred destination.

Rice, 24, will likely be allowed to leave the London Stadium if a Champions League club comes in and matches the Hammers’ £100million asking price.

Arsenal fans are eager for their club to complete a deal for the England international, who is also believed to be wanted by Manchester United and Chelsea.

Photo Credit: WestHam/Twitter

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Chelsea star under fire over Moscow party with former team-mate “facing trial for smuggling £65m of cocaine”

June 8th, 2023 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech was seen at a party in Moscow over the weekend with former Ajax team-mate Quincy Promes, who was recently charged with allegedly smuggling £65million worth of cocaine into the Netherlands.

According to The Guardian, Ziyech jetted out to the Russian capital to attend a party organised by betting company Winline, despite the country’s ongoing war with Ukraine.

The Chelsea winger, who looks set to leave Stamford Bridge this summer, posed alongside Promes at the event in a photo shared on his old colleague’s Instagram story.

It comes just one week after Dutch prosecutors announced that Promes has been charged over allegedly smuggling 1,370 kilograms of cocaine into the country.

The 31-year-old is said to have helped import two cocaine batches of around 650kg and 713kg, both of which were intercepted in Antwerp in January 2020, as reported by the Dutch newspaper NOS.

The forward, who has spent the last two years in Russia with Spartak Moscow, is also facing a charge of aggravated assault after he was accused of injuring a cousin in the knee with a knife.

As a result, Ziyech’s appearance at the event with his former team-mate amid his impending charges has sparked controversy on social media.

A number of Ukraine fans have also taken to Twitter to blast the Morocco international for heading to Russia despite the country’s invasion of their country last year.

Ziyech and Promes played together for one season at Ajax before the former sealed a move to Chelsea in the summer of 2020.

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“I plan to go back”: Chelsea star set to return despite Stamford Bridge exit speculation

June 6th, 2023 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Christian Pulisic plans to return to Chelsea despite speculation that his days at Stamford Bridge are over.

Pulisic became the most expensive American soccer player when he signed with the Premier League side in 2019 for £55m but a recent lack of playing time prompted frustration.

“As of right now, I’m a Chelsea player and I plan to go back, but a lot of things can happen. A lot of things can change,” said the 24-year-old, who has rejoined the US national team ahead of their CONCACAF Nations League title defence.

The lack of minutes on the pitch became a source of concern in the lead-up to last year’s World Cup, with the American eager to get game time to prepare for the tournament, where he helped the United States reach the last 16.

“It’s been an interesting journey at club level for me,” he told reporters. “I had a great couple of years and the last couple of years just haven’t gone at all how I planned them to be.”

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N’Golo Kante on verge of Chelsea exit, star’s agents meet club officials in London

June 5th, 2023 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kane is on the verge of a move to Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad, reports claim.

According to Italian journalist Rudy Galetti, representatives will travel to London this week to speak to the Frenchman’s entourage.

The Tigers are confident that an agreement will be made quickly, with Kante’s Chelsea contract set to expire at the end of this month.

Kante joined Chelsea in a £30million transfer from Leicester in 2016 and has since made 269 appearances for the west London club.

However, he was limited to just nine outings this season due to a severe hamstring injury.

Chelsea had hoped to keep Kante on board by offering him a two-year contract extension, but the 32-year-old now looks set to leave Stamford Bridge on a permanent basis.

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Chelsea pull out of Manuel Ugarte move after PSG hijack, turn attention to other options

June 5th, 2023 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea have pulled out of the race for Sporting Lisbon star Manuel Ugarte after Paris Saint-Germain made a bigger offer to the midfielder, according to reports.

Sky Italia reports that the player was open to Chelsea move — but PSG offered more and Chelsea are not willing to pay well above what they consider Ugarte’s “market rate”.

The Record claims that PSG made a huge increase to Ugarte’s salary, going from initial €5m to €10m.

This did not go down well with Chelsea who informed all parties they were jettisoning the deal as a result of PSG’s latest move.

Chelsea had booked the medicals for the player with the hope to wrap up the deal.

The west London club expected Ugarte to fulfill his promise to join Chelsea after he had already given his words to the Blues.

With these latest dvelopments, Paris Saint-Germain are now working to close in on the midfielder’s deal at the beginning of next week

Chelsea are now reportedly turning their attention to Romeo Lavia and Moises Caicedo.

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Luis Suarez explains why Mauricio Pochettino wants to sign Real Madrid star for Chelsea

June 2nd, 2023 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Luis Suarez has already explained why Mauricio Pochettino reportedly wants to sign Federico Valverde from Real Madrid.

According to Spanish outlet SPORT, the newly-appointed Chelsea boss has convinced the club to offer up to £85million for the midfielder.

The report states that Los Blanco view Valverde as untouchable and will therefore not entertain any offers. However, if Pochettino can get his hands on the Uruguayan then the Blues could be signing the next Steven Gerrard.

In an interview with MARCA, Luis Suarez compared his fellow countryman to his former Liverpool teammate.

The 36-year-old said: “Honestly – and there are the newspaper archives from 2017 when Fede debuted in the national team – I already said that he reminded me of Steven Gerrard, who was my teammate at Liverpool.

“He has similar conditions. A box to box, with punch, change of pace, a lot of arrival. I don’t want to compare, but the characteristics are similar. I saw Fede coming and he has made tremendous progress, surrounded by big stars. He did very well.”

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Revealed: Why AC Milan are desperate to sign Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek

June 2nd, 2023 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has reportedly given his green light to join Milan from Chelsea and Stefano Pioli believes the Englishman will add strength to his midfield but the Rossoneri have doubts regarding his fitness.

The Rossoneri are in talks with the Blues and the player’s entourage over a potential summer transfer.

Gazzetta reported on Wednesday that RLC has given the all-clear to move to the Stadio Meazza, but the two clubs haven’t yet agreed on a transfer fee.

Milan don’t want to spend more than €20m, while Chelsea’s asking price is believed to be in the region of €25m.

La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper journalist Luca Bianchin said Stefano Pioli is eager to work with Loftus-Cheek next season, given that the 27-year-old can add ‘physical strength’ to his midfield.

The Englishman would also be helpful on dead balls, something Milan have been struggling to cope with this term.

However, Milan still have doubts regarding the midfielder’s fitness and his contribution in front of the goal. RLC has only scored 13 goals in 155 appearances with the Blues and suffered an Achilles tendon rupture in 2019-20, starting 29 games on the bench in the last two seasons.

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(Latest) World’s most valuable football club: Barcelona are third, Real Madrid, Man United, Chelsea, others rated

June 1st, 2023 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Real Madrid is the world’s most valuable soccer club in 2022 with a worth of $6.07 billion (£4.9bn), according to Forbes.

For a second straight year, the Spanish giants have topped the 30-club list compiled by the American business magazine, with Manchester United second, valued at $6bn (£4.8bn).

It’s the first time that two clubs have reached the $6bn mark. LaLiga champions Barcelona, who ranked first in 2021, are third with a valuation of $5.51bn (£4.4bn).

With respect to last year, Madrid have increased their value by 19% while United have climbed 30%.

“The Spanish side has made it to five of the last nine lucrative Champions League finals, winning all of them,” Forbes said on its report.

“Real Madrid has also secured nearly $400 million from Sixth Street and Legends as part of a 20-year deal to enhance revenue at its Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, which has been undergoing a massive renovation that is expected to be completed next year.”

Madrid and Man United are the only two clubs that have ranked in the top five each time since 2004, when Forbes began publishing the annual soccer valuations. Six of the top 10 ranked clubs in the report are Premier League outfits.

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Chelsea star set for Stamford Bridge exit after agreeing terms

May 31st, 2023 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has agreed a move to Serie A giants AC Milan, according to reports.

The Chelsea star will be allowed to leave the club as new manager Mauricio Pochettino rebuilds.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the 27-year-old has given the green light to a switch to Italy.

The report claims that Milan are planning for RLC to replace Ismael Bennacer, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury which will probably keep him out of action until the end of the year.

It is said that the clubs are in negotiations over a price for the midfielder, with Chelsea wanting £21million.

However, Milan’s opening bid is much lower at £13m, though the San Siro giants are believed to be willing to raise their offer to £17.2m.

After Chelsea’s final home game of the season Loftus-Cheek appeared to wave goodbye to the club’s fans.

His contract is set to expire at the end of next season.

He made 25 appearances for the Blues in the recent campaign but only managed one assist and no goals.

Loftus-Cheek was one of the many players in the squad that underperformed as they crumbled to a 12th-placed finish in the Premier League.

Milan are looking for reinforcements this summer after a fourth-placed Serie A finish.

The club have already reportedly sealed deals to sign Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Daichi Kamada and Atalanta’s Marco Sportiello on free transfers.

Loftus-Cheek came through the academy at Chelsea and has made 275 appearances for the club, scoring 19 goals and providing 29 assists.

He won the Premier League title in 2016/17 and the Europa League in 2018/19.

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Kalidou Koulibaly plots Chelsea exit, eyes another top club

May 28th, 2023 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly would like to leave Stamford Bridge and return to Serie A to play for his former club, despite having left for the Premier League less than a year ago, according to Il Mattino.

The 31-year-old made the switch to Stamford Bridge in July 2022 for a fee believed to be in the region of €40m, but is already considering an exit strategy after a difficult season on and off the pitch for the West Londoners.

Il Mattino reports, via Football Italia, that Koulibaly “misses Napoli” and has “a desire to put the Napoli shirt back on.”

Napoli could also be in the market for a new centre-back in the summer transfer window, especially if Kim Min-jae departs, with his €50m release clause becoming active for teams outside of Italy during the first 15 days of July.

However, a permanent move back to Napoli for Koulibaly may not be particularly straightforward, given that he signed a four-year deal until the summer of 2026 last year and will be 34 by the time that deal is up.

Regardless, with so many arrivals at Chelsea over the course of this season, and with a mass exodus expected in the summer, nothing is yet ruled out.

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