Chelsea have been in the hunt for the French star duo for a while now
It is not a well kept secret that Chelsea have been after two La Liga stars, one of them rogue Barcelona ace Ousmane Dembele and the other is a star French center back Jules Kounde of Sevilla.
Right now, the Blues need all the reinforcement they can gather as the club has been struggling in both offense and attack this season, recently.
And with their attack misfiring, as well as 3 center backs who may leave this summer with their contracts finishing this summer, Tuchel and the board have a crisis at the back to avert too.
It would seem that the Blues are closing in on a deal for the French defender who they have been after since last summer, when the deal Chelsea and Sevilla had agreed collapsed last minute.
News publication Tuttomercatoweb are now claiming that a deal for the defender is close, albeit that the player would arrive in the summer.
Chelsea are coming ‘with strength to try to close the Jules Kounde operation’. The agreement is 'close' for summer signing. [Tutto Mercato Web]
— Williams ©️ (@CFCNewsReport) January 24, 2022
It would seem likely too, as news indicates that the La Liga defender’s resolve of joining Chelsea has not changed since last summer and he is hopeful a deal will be struck this time around.
Since Sevilla would not be willing to let him go during the middle of the season, with the Spanish side also having a chance of contending for the league this season.
It also appears that the Spanish club has lowered its asking price of the defender between a range of £50 million to £60 million.
It is certainly a massive decrease from last year’s demand of the full £80 million release clause being paid, as per ESPN. Chelsea’s offer would consist of a £55 million, with £5 million more in add ons.
Barcelona are working to sign César Azpilicueta as free agent in June. Talks on – contract proposed until 2024 with potential option, as per @10JoseAlvarez. Chelsea are still waiting for César to communicate his decision 🇪🇸 #FCB
Barça are also interested in Andreas Christensen.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 25, 2022
Thomas Tuchel is said to hold the defender in high regard and with departures of Andreas Christensen, Rudiger and Azpilicueta looking likelier by the moment, Chelsea will try to pin this deal down.
According to reports coming out, it seems that the Blues are already negotiating with the French winger.
Some say a deal between the player and Chelsea may have already been struck for the summer, when his current deal with Barcelona expires.
The winger, who is known for his dazzling dribbling ability and thunderous pace has had a rough a rough time at Camp Nou, with him missing half of his time there due to frequent long term injuries.
NEW: Everything indicates that Chelsea is the club that is negotiating with Ousmane Dembélé and that they may even have reached an agreement.
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) January 25, 2022
His relationship with Barca has hit a new low with Barcelona’s Sports Director Mateu Alemany telling Dembele to leave as soon as possible for not agreeing to the club’s renewal offer.
Dembele replied with a post on social media rebuffing and saying he was completely ‘committed’ to the club and his manager till the end of the season.
🚨| EXCL: Chelsea had a direct meeting with Ousmane Dembélé’s agent yesterday. 🔵🇫🇷 #CFC
Personal terms will not be an issue, however both parties are looking at a Summer move rather than January. ✅ pic.twitter.com/eToCuUlYGh
— Andreas Korssund (@kors_andreas) January 25, 2022
However, it is likely that Dembele’s agent Moussa Sissoko is negotiating the player’s move to Stamford Bridge. The player and his agent have turned down several offers as they deem Dembele being worth much more.
“Everything indicates that Chelsea is the club that is negotiating and that they may even have something agreed with Dembele.” According to journalist Alfredo Martinez.
One of the requests that Moussa Sissoko, Dembélé's agent, had was to meet with Laporta but that isn't in the President's plans. Laporta doesn't want to interfere in the negotiations between the sports management, led by Mateu Alemany, and Dembélé's agent. [sport]
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) January 26, 2022
Due to this, the winger was dropped from the squad twice in the previous weeks as Xavi stated that Dembele should ‘decide his future’.
The player’s agent was in London according to reports, however he was seen landing in Barcelona in the past days amid speculation that Dembele wanted to directly speak to President Laporta.
At this moment, it’s likely the Frenchman will end up in the Premier League next season.
WATCH: Chelsea’s out-of-favour striker Romelu Lukaku scores twice in action-packed second half 🔥
Romelu Lukaku scores twice v Wolves: Chelsea welcomed Wolverhampton Wanderers to Stamford Bridge tonight in a contest where they were hopeful of reversing their poor run of form to guarantee themselves a Champions League berth.
Despite the Blues receiving two goal scoring opportunities in the first-half of the game, it still ended in a stalemate. However, as the second-half commenced, Romelu Lukaku stepped up to strike twice in quick succession to put Chelsea on a trajectory toward what appeared to be a deserved victory at that time.
Lukaku’s goal tally for Chelsea this season has totalled up to 14 now, causing him to become the highest goal scorer for the Blues, just a goal ahead of Kai Havertz. His performance tonight underlines his renewed confidence as he looks to be approaching the sort of form that had deserted him for most of the season.
Romelu Lukaku hadn’t scored in the Premier League since December 29th.
129 days later and he's got a brace in 3 minutes ⚽⚽ pic.twitter.com/FzZx49vvHw
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 7, 2022
Watch how Romelu Lukaku scores twice in quick succession to give Chelsea’s scoreline an uplift:
The first goal came in response to a VAR call for a foul committed by Saiss on Romelu Lukaku as both players were caught up in a tangle on the edge of the penalty area.
Watch Lukaku’s left-footed penalty here:
The second goal was a Pulisic interception that found Lukaku who then completed the play with an emphatic low finish from the edge of the box with his weaker right foot.
Romelu Lukaku gets his brace with an assist from Christian Pulisic!
— Chelsea FC USA (@ChelseaFCinUSA) May 7, 2022
Lukaku wasn’t able to register himself on the scoresheet for Chelsea ever since the start of year 2022 – a daunting prospect for such an expensive striker – however, that record has been laid to rest today as his goals v Wolves have certainly managed to make a statement of his intent.
It’s a shame that a subpar defensive performance from his side overshadowed his monumental return to form. Chelsea were stripped to bone with comeback goals from Wolves that added misery to Chelsea’s hopes of securing a victory. The game ended in an unanticipated 2-2 draw.
After racking up underwhelming results from their recent run-ins, Chelsea are looking a lot less comfortable in the rough and tumble of Premier League’s top-four now. With the fourth-placed Arsenal and fifth-placed Tottenham breathing down Chelsea’s neck, their margin for error has now decreased to just two points, especially after having picked up only 5 points from a possible 15.
Official: Todd Boehly’s consortium signs agreement with Chelsea FC to succeed Roman Abramovich
Chelsea released an official statement in the early hours of Saturday morning confirming that the terms have been agreed with the LA Dodgers’ part-owner Todd Boehly’s consortium to complete the £4.25bn takeover of the club though the acquisition is yet to be approved by the Premier League authorities as well as the UK government.
The statement read:
‘Chelsea Football Club can confirm that terms have been agreed for a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss, to acquire the Club’.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 7, 2022
🚨🔵 Official. Chelsea statement now confirms that “terms have been agreed for a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss, to acquire the Club”. #CFC
It’s the end of Roman Abramovich era. pic.twitter.com/fTw5EMdd8p
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 7, 2022
Last week, it was revealed that Todd Boehly & Co were Raine Group’s preferred choice to succeed Roman Abramovich following which the group were given one-week window of exclusive negotiations with the club to finalise the takeover. The deal had appeared in doubt due to late interest from Sir Jim Ratcliffe, however, those fears were dissipated as the Ratcliffe bid was later dismissed on account of his inability to complete the sale process by May 31st – the date when Chelsea’s current license expires.
Although the group is fronted by Todd Boehly, private equity firm Clearlake Capital is the one providing the majority of the financial firepower to it. The consortium also includes Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, Boehly’s fellow LA Dodgers’ owner Mark Walter and the British property developer Jonathan Goldstein.
As per Chelsea’s official statement, the £4.25bn headline sum includes the £2.5bn cost required to secure shares in Chelsea – which will go into a frozen UK bank account for the purpose of releasing 100 per cent of the proceeds to charitable causes – the remaining £1.75bn is the amount the group have committed to invest in the club’s future, covering costs regarding redevelopment projects and ensuring there are sufficient funds in place for operational use.
‘The proposed new owners will commit £1.75bn in further investment for the benefit of the Club. This includes investments in Stamford Bridge, the Academy, the Women’s Team and Kingsmeadow and continued funding for the Chelsea Foundation’.
The Clause also placed a limit on the debt the new owners can place on the club.
It also made sure the group pledged £1.75B to be invested in Chelsea's male and female teams, the academy, stadium, and the Chelsea Foundation.
Roman Abramovich secured Chelsea for at least 10yrs. pic.twitter.com/RhZ985Vuxq
— SportsDokita (Odogwu ☝️) (@Sports_Doctor2) May 7, 2022
Few final, obligatory steps remain in the official transfer of ownership of Chelsea Football Club to Todd Boehly’s consortium, one of which requires all group members to complete the Premier League Owners’ and Directors’ Test. Furthermore, Chelsea will have to apply for the amended license from the UK government that would upgrade the club’s operational capacity in addition to allowing the transaction to go ahead. The preparations are underway as the Raine Group wants the sale process to reach its completion as soon as possible.
Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers: Four players on the injury list, including a midfield duo.
Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers: Chelsea welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Stamford Bridge on Saturday where they will be looking to reverse their poor run of form to guarantee themselves a Champions League berth. There are four player absentees that have been confirmed so far by head coach, Thomas Tuchel, in today’s pre-match conference.
After racking up underwhelming results from their recent run-ins, Chelsea are looking a lot less comfortable in the rough and tumble of Premier League’s top-four now. With the fourth-placed Arsenal and fifth-placed Tottenham breathing down Chelsea’s neck, their margin for error has now decreased to just three points, especially after having picked up only 4 points from a possible 12.
Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers: The central midfield duo N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are ruled out of action for tomorrow’s clash as reported by Thomas Tuchel at a press briefing today.
Additionally, the long-term absentees Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell also remain restricted to the sidelines, despite returning to light training.
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) May 6, 2022
N’Golo Kante had sustained a knock in the game against Manchester United, consequently missing last weekend’s trip to Everton where his fellow midfielder Jorginho was taken off the pitch at interval.
‘For N’Golo it comes too early. Jorginho is out as well, these two are missing. Callum and Ben Chilwell are still out,’ said the Blues boss.
The duo’s unavailability will give way to introducing Kovačić and most likely RLC in their stead as the latter is currently enjoying an upturn in form.
Mateo Kovačić returned to action as a half-time substitute last weekend after missing a couple games on account of nursing an ankle injury. He stands the highest chance of featuring a start in tomorrow’s game v Wolves.
There is a growing feeling that Tuchel might give Romelu Lukaku a start tomorrow, considering his substitute Kai Havertz is also struggling to find the form that has recently deserted him.
Thomas Tuchel has expressed optimism regarding Lukaku’s reaction in training this week. The Blues boss said;
‘I want him to be an important part of the squad, right now he is very important. There is no recruitment and no players are about to leave because it’s simply not possible,’
‘We need to adapt all the time, to contractual situations and also individual situations, to what we and the players want.
‘We signed a big player, he is a big player. He didn’t come on [at Everton] as we had only three changes, and unfortunately we used one at half-time with Jorginho. Otherwise there was a huge chance we had the same changes as against West Ham, with Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech,’
‘He trained very well, maybe he starts tomorrow, we’ll see.’
🗣️ "Maybe starts tomorrow, let's see." 👀
Thomas Tuchel says he wants Romelu Lukaku to be an important part of the squad next season and discusses why he wasn't played against Everton 🔵 pic.twitter.com/n8Lf0sEvRP
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 6, 2022