Footy Extras

Chelsea on alert as No.9 striker facing uncertain future at European giants

Inter manager Luciano Spalletti states Mauro Icardi is refusing to play for Nerazzurri after being stripped of the captaincy.

Argentine star saw his skipper responsibilities stripped from him this week and was then not included in the roster that travelled to Austria to take on Rapid Vienna.

The Argentine forward, who is reportedly a long-term transfer target of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, is in the midst of a deal stand-off with Inter Milan.

Luciano spoke about the call to demote Mauro, and confirmed it was not his choice to leave the 25-year-old star in Italy.

‘The decision to remove the captaincy from Icardi was difficult and painful, absolutely shared by all the club members and taken for the good of Inter.’

‘He was called up for Vienna, but he did not want to be there.’ – Italian said.

Icardi’s representative, and wife Wanda Nara, has infuriated Nerazzurri with the comments she has made to the media.

Nara has spoken at length about Mauro’s future at Inter and even weighed in on Croatian star Ivan Perisic’s efforts to force his way out of Serie A in January.

Inter Milan reportedly took the decision to strip key man because he refused to take a stand versus his agent’s conduct, which was causing problems in the dressing room. Shot-stopper Samir Handanovic has been named as the club’s new skipper.

Maruo remains Inter Milan’s most influential player and has been a deadly goalscorer in his time at Nerazzurri. Icardi was given the captaincy back in 2015 and has netted 122 goals in 208 matches for the Italians.

Serie A club willing to land 22-year-old Chelsea loanee on permanent basis

Chelsea star Ola Aina has made a huge impression away on loan at Serie A club Torino, so much so that the Italian side reportedly want to land him permanently.

According to an exclusive report from the Daily Mirror, the Turin-based outfit are set to take up the £9m option to make Blues star Ola Aina’s loan deal into a permanent one.

The 22-year-old London-born Nigeria international has been with the west Londoners since 2013 and having come through the academy at the club, he made his senior team debut in an EFL Cup tie versus Bristol Rovers in August 2016, under then-coach Antonio Conte.

Two months later Ola made his EPL bow as well and featured 6 times in total in all competitions in his maiden senior campaign.

The subsequent season saw Aina sent out on loan to EFL Championship club Hull City, where the star missed only two of the 46 league matches over the course of the term, picking up thees assists in the process.

Back at the Blues once his loan with the club expired, the 22-year-old player was once again sent out to the Italian club, with first-team opportunities bleak given that Davide Zappacosta, Cesar Azpilicueta and Victor Moses were all ahead of Ola in the pecking order for the right-back spot.

Since moving to Italy’s top tier, the seven-time capped Nigeria international has featured in 20 Serie A games for the club.
Aina netetd his first goal for Torino this past weekend, firing them to a 1-0 victory over Udinese, while Ola also has a solitary assist against his name.

Chelsea face competition from Bundesliga in race to sign pacy EPL full-back

Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund have entered the race for Crystal Palace full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who is drawing interest from a host of big clubs, according to a report.

The 21-year-old star has put in remarkably consistent displays for the Eagles this campaign, which have also alerted the attention of Chelsea and Manchester City.

Aaron has started all but one of his side’s 26 Premier League matches this campaign and has caught the eye with his tackling ability and pace.

A British tabloid newspaper The Sun are now reporting that the heavyweight trio of Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Chelsea are prepared to do battle for the player rated at £40 million.

The right-back has quickly become one of the most thrilling young defenders in the EPL, but the star actually grew up as a forward player.

However, Aaron has credited wingers at Crystal Palace for making him into the tough-tackling player at full-back that he is today.

Die Borussen have turned England attacker Jadon Sancho into one of Europe’s most promising attackers – and they want Aaron to be their next English star.

English youngsters Reiss Nelson (currently at Hoffenheim) and Jadon Sancho are playing regular senior-team football in Germany, while another Premier League side Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi was the subject of a failed £35 million offer from Bayern Munich the previous month.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is in the midst of a relegation battle with the Eagles but could swap that for UCL football next campaign if any of these interested parties land him in summer.

Chelsea could part ways with £200,000-a-week key man if this happens

Chelsea key man Eden Hazard has been connected with a move away from West London for a while now, but it looks as though Chelsea might be forced to sell the star in the summer window to comply with Financial Fair Play.

The west Londoners lost their last clash against Manchester City by a considerable margin of six goals. As a result, the club now find themselves at number six. This comes after Belgium international openly admitted last year that playing for reigning European champions Real Madrid is a dream for him.

And now, Diario AS state that Chelsea being out of the UEFA Champions League place means that the club would have to sell one of their key players in the summer market to comply with Financial Fair Play, should they fail to qualify for the top European competition for the second campaign in a row.

The report further claims that Eden is the player that stands out because of his willingness to play for the Galacticos.

While he might be interested in leaving Chelsea for Los Blancos, it is simply hard to digest the thought that Chelsea will have to comply with Financial Fair Play by selling one of their star players – especially when the Blues haven’t really spent much in the recent past.

The former LOSC Lille player will look to help his side qualify for the UEFA Champions League and should the star fail to do it, a move to Real Madrid might be on top of his priority list.

Chelsea in battle with European giants for £16m Barcelona signing

Chelsea and Premier League rivals Manchester United have reportedly asked about Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic with his current contract situation at the La Liga giants unresolved.

Rakitic dismissed speculations linking him with a transfer away from Blaugrana and insisted he wants to open negotiations with the club’s management about extending his deal last month.

The 30-year-old star’s current deal runs until June of 2021 but the Catalan heavyweights do not intend to discuss a fresh contract, according to a Spanish outlet Sport.

Premier League clubs Chelsea and Manchester United as well as Serie A duo Juventus and Inter Milan and German club Bayern Munich have reportedly registered an interest in Ivan Rakitic.

The Croatia international midfielder has made 34 matches for Ernesto Valverde’s side this term, netting four goals and picking up six assists.

Rakitic’s future in Catalonia was thrown into doubt as a result of the arrival of 21-year-old versatile midfielder Frenkie de Jong for a huge £65 million from Eredivisie outfit Ajax.

But the former Sevilla player said in January: ‘Since I’ve been here I do not know how many times I’ve left and I’m back.’

‘I’m more than happy here and my intention is to be here longer. The other day I gave the president a little nudge to see if he would start my renewal.’

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly also known suitors and the report states that the French giants tried to land the player in the previous summer market.

Blaugrana’s management are confident that they could demand a sum in the region of €65m for the star.

Chelsea handed massive boost ahead of FA Cup match against Man Utd

Manchester United pair Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial are reportedly major doubts for their side’s FA Cup clash with Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday night after limping out of the UCL defeat to Thomas Tuchel’s Paris Saint-German.

Anthony went off at half-time after looking to suffer a recurrence of a groin problem. It limited Frenchman’s ability to play successive matches earlier in the season and this was his second match in four days.

Jesse went down clutching his left hamstring and had to leave in added time at the conclusion of the first half after receiving treatment.

The Red Devils are anxiously waiting for the final results of scans on both stars amid fears that they will not be ready in time to face the Blues in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Losing both Lingard and Martial would be a major setback for interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer given how much the Norwegian has relied on their attacking trident with English Marcus Rashford since taking over in December.

Meanwhile, the club were charged by UEFA on Wednesday after items, including a bottle, were thrown at Paris Saint-Germain star Angel Di Maria on his return to the Theatre of Dreams and now face the prospect of a fine.

But Angel seems likely to avoid action for inciting supporters after picking up the beer bottle and affecting to drink from it and for mouthing obscenities in the direction of the people after setting up the Parisians’ opening goal from a corner. Italian referee Daniele Orsato did not reference the occurrences in his report.

Chelsea want to replace Sarri with former European giants manager in summer

Chelsea have reportedly earmarked French manager Zinedine Zidane as their prime target to replace under-fire Italian coach Maurizio Sarri, reports say.

After Sunday’s heavy 6-0 defeat at Manchester City, the one-time Napoli coach is rapidly losing the support of the management which appointed him scarcely eight months ago.

The Italian tactician’s tenure began brightly, only suffering his very first defeat back in November but a host of bizarre decisions, including the deployment of French star N’Golo Kante in a not familiar position, has resulted in the star’s stock diminishing rapidly.

Zinedine opted to step down as Real Madrid coach at the end of last campaign having masterminded an extraordinary hat-trick of successive UCL wins.

The legendary French coach has been idolised by Belgian star Eden Hazard and, according to a British tabloid newspaper The Sun, the Blues believe the appointment of the Frenchman could force the 28-year-old key man to reevaluate his future.

Hazard’s current deal expires in 17 months’ time and the player appears unlikely at present to pen a new deal with Los Blancos’ hierarchy waiting in the wings, ready to make an offer in the region of £100 million in the summer transfer market.

Meanwhile, N’Golo was at a loss to give a reason for his club’s capitulation at the Etihad Stadium, saying: “It’s difficult to explain. They outclassed us. It was a collective failing.”

Following the result, the west London giants are now sixth in the Premier League, a point behind Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United in fourth place.

La Liga giants edging closer to sealing deal to sign Chelsea attacking target

Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona are reportedly closing in on an early deal to land rumoured Chelsea target Luka Jovic, according to an exclusive report from Frankfurter Allgemeine.

The forward has been in stunning form for Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt this campaign and has caught the eye of several clubs with some clinical displays.

The Blues, according to the report, have closely tracked the Serbian striker this term, while German heavyweights Bayern Munich’s hierarchy have also kept a close eye on the star’s progress.

Luka Jovic joined Eintracht Frankfurt on a two-year loan deal from the Portuguese side SL Benfica in the summer transfer market of 2017 but becomes visible to be set for an immediate transfer away when his temporary stint in Germany ends.

A German news outlet Frankfurter Allgemeine states that Blaugrana are edging closer to wrapping up the transfer as the club look to provide starting striker Luis Suarez with adequate cover.

The 21-year-old star has been an exceptionally good performer in the Bundesliga this term and has netted 14 goals, chipping in with a further 4 assists as well.

In spite of being the only 5ft 11in (1.80 cm), Luka can depend on his physical ability to help him in front of goal.

As well as pace, the talented Serb has more than been able to hold his own versus Bundesliga’s high-class defenders in terms of strength too.

Reports in Germany say the young striker will cost a pretty penny, with a transfer sum more than £70m being touted as Luka’s valuation.