Arsenal face familiar opponents in BATE as Chelsea draw Malmo in Europa League

Arsenal face a reunion with their former midfielder Alexander Hleb after being drawn against Belarussian side BATE Borisov in the Round of 32 of the Europa League. Chelsea, who won the competition in 2013, take on Swedish side Malmo, with Scottish champions Celtic drawn to face Spanish side Valencia. The two-legged ties will be played on 14 and 21 February 2019. Arsenal are at home in the second leg of their tie and the game will kick off at 17:55 GMT on Thursday, 21 February to avoid a clash with Chelsea’s…

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Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta signs new contract until 2022

Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has signed a new four-year deal, extending his stay at the club to 2022. The 29-year-old Spain international has made 298 appearances since arriving from Ligue 1 side Marseille in 2012, in a transfer package worth an initial £6m. Azpilicueta, who has won the Premier League twice with Chelsea, has captained the Stamford Bridge side in the league this season. Delighted to be a blue until 2022. Since I arrived in 2012, my desire has been always to give my best and fight for this club, and…

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Chelsea’s Eden Hazard to miss Europa league clash

Chelsea will be without Eden Hazard as they look to secure first place in their Europa League group. The Blues qualified for the last 32 with a 1-0 win against Bate Borisov earlier this month so there is no need to risk the Belgian forward, who has an ankle injury. Victor Moses – who has only played 176 minutes all season – is out with a back injury. Chelsea need a point from their final two games to win Group L. Hazard should be fit to face Fulham on Sunday but…

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LA Galaxy release Ashley Cole as contract expires

Former England left-back Ashley Cole has been released by LA Galaxy after his contract at the Major League Soccer club expired. The club decided not to exercise an option to re-sign Cole, 37, along with seven other players. The former Arsenal and Chelsea defender joined LA Galaxy in 2016 and was named captain in March, two months after signing a one-year contract extension. Cole scored three goals in 86 appearances for the club, who narrowly missed out on progression to the MLS playoffs this season. Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was one of…

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Chelsea legend Gianluca Vialli reveals year-long cancer treatment

Former Chelsea and Watford manager Gianluca Vialli has revealed he was treated for cancer for almost a year but is now “very well”. The 54-year-old has written about his illness in a new book, and told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that he hid the illness because of “a sense of shame”. “It’s been a year and I’m back to having a beastly physique,” the former Juventus and Chelsea striker said. “But I still have no certainty of how this match will end.” Vialli, who won Serie A and the Champions…

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Eden Hazard drops hints at 2019 Chelsea exit

Eden Hazard has dropped his biggest hint yet he could leave Chelsea at the end of the season. The Belgium international has 18 months remaining on his contract and has been linked with both Real Madrid and Paris St Germain and admits a summer departure from Stamford Bridge is possible. Football punters have also been backing his exit with an offer from betdaq, at odds that are surely likely to only get shorter as the summer nears. Hazard himself has played up his interest in joining Real in the past, saying…

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N’Golo Kante signs new Chelsea deal until 2023

Midfielder N’Golo Kante has signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea running until 2023, the club confirmed on Friday. The France international signed for Chelsea in the summer of 2016, following a debut season in the Premier League which ended with a title medal with Leicester City. “I’m happy to extend my time with Chelsea, it has been two beautiful years and I wish for more to come,” Kante told Chelsea’s official website. “Since I came, I completely improved as a player, challenged myself and got some awards I never…

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Didier Drogba announces retirement from football

Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba has announced his retirement as a player. The 40-year-old scored 164 goals in 381 appearances in two spells at Stamford Bridge, helping them win the Premier League four times and the Champions League in 2012. He also won four FA Cups and three League Cup victories during his time in west London. Drogba had most recently been playing in the USA with Phoenix Rising, the second-tier club at which he is a co-owner. He had been expected to announce his retirement following…

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Video assistant referees (VAR) set to be used in Premier League next season

Video assistant referees are set to be used in the Premier League next season after clubs agreed in principle to the move. The Premier League will now make a formal request to the International Football Association Board and Fifa. VAR was used at the 2018 World Cup, is in operation in Italy and Germany’s top divisions, and has been utilised in some FA Cup and Carabao Cup games. The Premier League has been carrying out “non-live” trials this season. VAR will also be used in the Champions League from next season. There…

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Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic open to Premier League move

Christian Pulisic has said he is open to moving to the Premier League, with Chelsea understood to be leading the race to sign the forward from Borussia Dortmund next summer. Pulisic has been linked to several Premier League sides including Liverpool and Tottenham in the past but it is understood that Chelsea have shown most interest in prising him away from the Bundesliga leaders. The 20-year-old – who spent a year in Oxfordshire as a child before moving back to the United States with his family – has so far refused to discuss a…

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Premier League clubs asked for £250,000 towards £5m bonus for outgoing Scudamore

All 20 Premier League clubs have been asked for a £250,000 contribution so that the league’s outgoing executive chairman Richard Scudamore can be given a £5m farewell gift. The clubs were asked for the money before a meeting on Tuesday. It is expected they will agree to Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck’s request. Scudamore, 59, who is reportedly paid £2.5m per season, is stepping down next month after 19 years at the organisation. The league’s UK television rights were valued at around £670m when he joined, and the last deal was worth…

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Former England midfielder Joe Cole announces retirement from football

Former England and Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole has retired at the age of 37. Cole, who came through West Ham’s youth system before spells at Liverpool, Lille, Aston Villa and Coventry City, has played for United Soccer League side Tampa Bay Rowdies since 2016. He scored 10 goals in 56 games for England between 2001 and 2010. “It has been a dream come true. All of it,” said Cole. “I hope the next two decades are as special as my last 20 years as a professional have been.” Cole made…

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Chelsea coach Marco Ianni charged over Stamford Bridge touchline fracas

Chelsea assistant coach Marco Ianni has been charged with improper conduct following the chaotic scenes that marked the closing stages of the 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Watch Barcelona vs Real Madrid live online – click here to find out how Ianni twice goaded Jose Mourinho following Ross Barkley’s 96th-minute equaliser for the hosts, leading to the United manager having to be held back by stewards as he attempted to chase the Italian down the tunnel. Mourinho has avoided a charge from the Football Association…

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‘Forget it, it’s over’: Mourinho accepts apology after touchline fracas

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has accepted an apology from Chelsea second assistant coach Marco Ianni following the touchline line row that greeted the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho, a former Chelsea manager, was left incensed as he leapt from his seat and had to be held back by stewards after Ianni celebrated wildly when Ross Barkley scored a last gasp equalizer for the home side. Mourinho raised three fingers to the Chelsea faithful to indicate the number of Premier League titles he won at the club as tensions…

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Real Madrid make contact with Antonio Conte – reports

Real Madrid contacted Antonio Conte this week as the Italian is their first choice to replace Julen Lopetegui if he fails to turn his side’s fortunes around, according to reports in his native Italy. The club’s directors have held initial talks with Conte to see if the former Chelsea boss would be keen on taking over the reins. Italian publication Corriere dello Sport suggest current Real Madrid boss Lopetegui has just three games to save his job after a topsy-turvy start to life at the Santiago Bernabeu. Lopetegui will reportedly be sacked if…

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Chelsea’s Eden Hazard keen to work with Jose Mourinho again

Chelsea forward Eden Hazard says he would like to work with former Blues boss Jose Mourinho again. Belgium international Hazard, 27, has been at Chelsea since 2012 and won the Premier League under Mourinho in 2014-15 and under Antonio Conte in 2016-17. Mourinho now manages Manchester United, whom Chelsea face in their next Premier League match on Saturday, 20 October. “If I’m now asked one coach with whom I want to work again, then I say: ‘Mourinho’,” Hazard told HLN. “Mourinho’s image of an extremely defensive coach isn’t completely right.”…

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Eden Hazard torn between new Chelsea contract and ‘dream’ Real Madrid move

Eden Hazard has admitted he is undecided between signing a new deal at Stamford Bridge and a “dream” move to Real Madrid. The Belgium forward has two years remaining on his contract with the Blues, but was linked with a move to the European champions in the summer. Hazard has scored seven times in the Premier League already this season. “I don’t want to say, ‘yes, I am signing a new contract’ and then in the end I don’t end up signing,” the 27-year-old told the media. “I want what’s…

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Andreas Christensen frustrated with lack of playing time at Chelsea

Andreas Christensen has become the first Chelsea player to publicly question manager Maurizio Sarri with the Danish international frustrated over a lack of playing time since the Italian took over in the summer. Sarri has been a roaring success at Chelsea since he was appointed as Antonio Conte’s replacement with The Blues the only Premier League side unbeaten in all competitions, level on points with Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the league, top of their Europa League group with two wins from two, and through to the next round…

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Borussia Dortmund teenager Jadon Sancho gets England squad call

Borussia Dortmund teenager Jadon Sancho was a surprise selection when England manager Gareth Southgate named a 25-man squad on Thursday for this month’s Nations League matches away to Croatia and Spain. Mason Mount and James Maddison were also given their first senior England call-ups by Southgate as it was announced that the 48-year-old had signed a new contract that will keep him with the national side until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The 18-year-old Sancho was called up having already played in the Champions League for German club Dortmund, with…

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Maurizio Sarri open to John Terry joining Chelsea coaching staff

Maurizio Sarri is open to the prospect of John Terry joining his coaching staff at Chelsea but fears the club’s former captain is intent upon playing for another season before he turns his attention to life in the dugout. Terry, who spent last season at Aston Villa but is a free agent, turned down a two-year contract at Spartak Moscow this week after indicating it would not be the right move for his family. Terry has been maintaining his fitness at Chelsea’s Cobham training complex and is working towards his Uefa A licence,…

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John Terry turns down Spartak Moscow transfer citing family reasons

John Terry has turned down a move to Spartak Moscow, with the former England and Chelsea defender saying he had decided it was not right for his family. The 37-year-old is understood to have had a medical in Rome ahead of a proposed two-year deal with the Russian club, chronicling it on his Instagram story, but has since had a change of heart. Terry has been without a club since leaving Aston Villa at the end of last season. “After considerable thought, I have decided to decline a contract offer from Spartak…

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Sunderland consider suing absentee duo Didier Ndong and Papy Djilobodji

Sunderland are considering legal action against the club’s record £13.6m signing Didier Ndong and his teammate Papy Djilobodji, both of whom remain awol, for allegedly devaluing themselves. Djilobodji, an £8m former Chelsea centre-half, had permission to miss pre-season training in July but the 29-year-old failed to clock in last month and returned only last week, when tests indicated his fitness levels were significantly sub-standard. Ndong, meanwhile, a 24-year-old Gabon international signed from Lorient of France two years ago, last week posted poolside pictures on Instagram, though they have since been deleted.…

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Chelsea coach continues attack on Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris

Chelsea coach Christophe Lollichon believes those who praise Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris “live in a dream world” as he continued his criticism of the World Cup winner. Lollichon hit out at Lloris last week, claiming that Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola was far superior. Chelsea’s goalkeeping coach has since reiterated his belief that Lloris is not at the elite level many claim he is. “People live in a dream world when it comes to Lloris a bit too much, but for me Areola is above,” he told Le Figaro. “Against Germany, he…

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Chelsea fans don’t know the truth about Real Madrid move, says Courtois

Thibaut Courtois is saddened by Chelsea fans’ response to his Real Madrid move that been had in the pipeline as early as March. Belgium international Courtois left Stamford Bridge for a reported £35 million in August after making clear his desire to return to Spain. The 26-year-old earned the ire of Blues supporters when he failed to report for pre-season training in what seemed an attempt to force through the transfer. However, Courtois claims his actions were misinterpreted, and that Chelsea had been made aware of his intentions well before the deal was completed. “It makes…

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John Terry to join Spartak Moscow in surprise two-year deal

John Terry is set to complete a surprise move to Spartak Moscow after reportedly accepting a two-year deal with the Russian side. The former Chelsea and England captain had been without a club since his contract with Aston Villa expired at the end of last season. Terry was due to appear in a charity match on Saturday at Celtic Park but pulled out in order to undergo a medical in Rome before his move to the Russian capital. Spartak, currently second in the Russian Premier League, are managed by Massimo Carrera, who…

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