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Blues may have to let go of N’Golo Kante as they try to land £100m West Ham star midfielder

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Recent reports suggest that the Blues may have to offload Chelsea’s best ever defensive midfielder to bring in Declan Rice

The Blues have made their interest in the English defensive midfielder evident recently as they hope to lure him from West Ham this summer, who also prefers a move back to the Blues.

The midfielder, who is 23, has also made his feelings clear that he is a lifelong Chelsea supporter and grew up idolizing club legend John Terry.

Boyhood Chelsea fan Declan Rice admits he wants to 'stay close' to south-west London - E-Vision Press

Rice appeared in Gary Neville’s ‘Overlap’ podcast and talked about his love for Chelsea and Terry

And amid interest from two heavyweights, Manchester City and Manchester United, Declan Rice wants to rejoin the club which released him at the age of 14.

However, it looks like the Blues may have to bid farewell to one of their most iconic midfielders ever, N’Golo Kante, to welcome the Hammers player to Stamford Bridge.

The former Leicester star has cemented his status among Premier League greats since his move to Chelsea back in 2017, amassing 209 appearances with 12 assists and 14 goals to boot.

Nonetheless, due to the Frenchman’s recent injury record which have also caused a dip in the player’s form as age looks like it’s catching up, Chelsea may have a dilemma on their hands.

According to the Daily Mail, that Chelsea’s board may need to let go off the ever happy N’Golo Kante to make up space Rice who is now not the same as when he joined.

Rice has already stated he would like to remain in ‘south west London’ where he feels most at home, which is the place he grew up in as well. Blues fans must’ve been delighted to hear this.

Still, it will not be an easy task for Chelsea to land him over at Stamford Bridge as Man Utd manager Ralf Ragnick is apparently a big admirer of the player and wants him at Old Trafford.

However, the England midfielder’s romance with Chelsea must also be sending red signals over to United’s management over the English midfielder’s desire to join his boyhood club.

United are apparently not the only competitors either, as Man City have also checked up his surroundings to figure out a way to get him on the blue side of Manchester.

Other than competition from various Premier League club for one of the most prized assets in England, the price tag West Ham have put on him is not certainly not cheap.

And with 2 and half seasons left on the Blues’ target’s contract, West Ham may demand at least £100 million or above, as indicated by West Ham boss David Moyes who said last summer’s price of £1oom was ‘cheap’.

David Moyes made it evident the midfielder will cost a leg “I said in the summer that I thought Declan Rice was £100million. That was the sales, that was cheap, that was your chance to get Declan Rice cheap.

“Declan Rice is right up with some of the best players I’ve certainly had. It’s his potential as well to get better because of his age. There’s a potential for him to improve and mature better because of his age.”

The midfielder is keen on getting some Champions League action as well, and with Blues also having such ambitions, all the stars may align if the two clubs can reach an agreement.

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WATCH: Chelsea’s out-of-favour striker Romelu Lukaku scores twice in action-packed second half 🔥

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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.

Romelu Lukaku scores twice

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. 

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.

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.

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Official: Todd Boehly’s consortium signs agreement with Chelsea FC to succeed Roman Abramovich

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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.

Todd Boehly's consortium

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’.

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’.

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.

 

 

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Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers: Four players on the injury list, including a midfield duo. 

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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.

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.

Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers

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.

Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers

‘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.’ 

 

 

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