Footy Extras

£19m-rated Chelsea loanee told to remain with Aston Villa

Speaking on Soccer Sunday on Sky Sports, ex-Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood has backed Chelsea loan star Ross Barkley to stay at the Villa Park outfit beyond this season.

The Englishman has been in good form since joining Dean Smith’s side on loan in the summer transfer market.

He formed a strong partnership with the England playmaker Jack Grealish much to the joy of the Villa.

Currently out injured, Ross’ loan to Villa has thus far proven to be an unmitigated success for all sides.

“I think Ross has been great for them and I see him staying at the football club.”

Tim has backed Barkley to witness in person the majesty of his current club and realise how big of a club they are. Tim believes the midfielder has seen the back of the Blues.

“He has seen the back of Chelsea now. I think he will go there [Villa]. He would have walked into the doors and seen how big that football club is.”

As things stand, Ross remains a part of Frank Lampard’s future for the club. His displays have not grown unnoticed.

Chelsea chief has already informed the player that he has a place at the club going forward.

The Blues did not include a buyout clause in the loan deal that took him to Villa Park and any possible deal will see the ball in our court.

He has, over the years, been considered a player with high potential but unfortunately, Ross has largely proven himself to be an inconsistent performer.

Given his displays at the moment, the Englishman could assure himself a brighter future – whether it be at Chelsea or Aston Villa.

Chelsea suffer setback as PL rivals join hunt for Gladbach star

Chelsea and Manchester United will reportedly have to contend with Manchester City for the services of Denis Zakaria in the transfer window.

The Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder has a long list of admirers after some stellar performances with his club.

Denis has just returned to action after a serious knee injury and it has alerted some of the biggest sides in the world.

It comes after a season last term where the 24-year-old helped Gladbach land a UCL spot in the Bundesliga.

United are keen on the midfielder as they look for replacements for ageing Nemanja Matic.

The Serbian will turn 33 at the end of the campaign and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking for fresh blood to revitalise his base of midfield.

While at Chelsea, in spite of Frank Lampard’s heavy investment over the summer, a holding midfielder has long been eyed and the failure to sign Declan Rice has only increased this.

But the Citizens are also looking for reinforcements with Fernandinho on the wane and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano stated the Etihad outfit were keen on Zakaria.

Sky Sport Italia journalist said on his Here We Go podcast: “Manchester City are focusing on Zakaria.

“He is so appreciated by the board, they are following him, they are in contact with his agent. So he’s for sure on the list of Manchester City.

“There is nothing advanced yet because they are not negotiating yet with Borussia Monchengladbach, they need time.”

In the meantime, Inter Milan are interested in landing Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud in January on a short-term loan deal with an option to buy, according to Italian publication Tuttosport.

Chelsea want to sign €120,000-a-week Atletico Madrid star

Chelsea are allegedly planning a transfer for Atletico Madrid defender Jose Maria Gimenez.

The west Londoners improved their options at centre-back during the summer market by signing Thiago Silva.

The 36-year-old star has been in good form recently, but the Blues still need to sign a younger successor.

Speaking on his Here We Go podcast, Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano believes Gimenez is the man club senior figures are looking at.

The Uruguay international is a solid centre-half who is an important part of Diego Simeone’s outfit in the Spanish capital.

At 25-years-old star, he could provide head coach Frank Lampard with a long term solution in the centre of defence.

It’s thought that Jose would form a great partnership with Thiago, replacing Frenchman Kurt Zouma.

Since signing for Atletico back in 2013, the player has proven himself to be one of the best defenders in the league.

He’s made almost 200 appearances for Los Rojiblancos and helped them to win the Europa League in the 2017/18 campaign.

His importance to Diego means he would not come cheap, however.

The club would have to fork out a big fee to prize the player away from Atletico Madrid.

Gimenez has been mentioned with a move to the PL in the past.

Both Manchester United and Manchester City have previously been touted with moves for him, although they eventually signed alternative players.

If Chelsea don’t sign Jose then Bayern Munich’s David Alaba could be a cheaper option.

The versatile player is out of contract next summer which means he can talk to interested sides in January.

According to recent reports, his entourage is currently trying to manoeuvre a transfer to Chelsea for the player.

Austrian defender entourage ready to open negotiations with Chelsea

David Alaba’s entourage Pini Zahavi is planning to hold discussions with Chelsea over a move for the Bayern Munich defender in the new year, according to German daily Bild.

The defender is in the final year of his deal with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and could be in line to end his 12-year association with the club.

Negotiations over a new contract with the German side have stalled and the impasse has put top sides across the European continent on alert.

Premier League outfits Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have been mentioned with Alaba, while Spanish giants Real Madrid are also understood to be keen.

Despite a host of sides queueing up to acquire the services of the Austrian, Pini, the player’s agent, intends to start talks with the west Londoners in January, as he looks for a new destination for his client.

Pini has also set his eyes on holding talks with French Ligue 1 outfit Paris-Saint Germain over a transfer for the soon-to-be out-of-contract player.

With his contract with Die Roten coming to an end next summer, Alaba can sign a pre-contract with a non-German side starting from January.

It remains to be seen if Pini is looking to for a club for Alaba to sign a pre-contract with or a destination for the defender to move to in January.

Meantime, Chelsea are considering Atletico Madrid centre-half Jose Gimenez as a potential transfer target to bolster the defence, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano on his Here We Go podcast.

Chelsea not against selling struggling Spain international

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea are willing to part ways with shot-stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga in the January transfer market.

He has failed to live up to the reputation as the world’s most expensive stopper. A slew of mistakes saw his place in the team come into question the last campaign.

Having failed to improve this time around, the Blues made the decision to bring in Rennes keeper Edouard Mendy.

The Senegalese star has hit the ground running and is now the first choice shot-stopper at the club.

Arrizabalaga appears to have come to terms with the current pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

According to the report, the star believes leaving Chelsea in the January transfer market could help him garner the playing time he seeks.

It was reported earlier that the Spain international was ready to take a pay cut in order to complete a move.

He acknowledges he must be playing senior team football to stand any hope of making it to Spain’s Euro 2020 roster.

He dreams of playing in his country’s group game against Slovakia at the home of former side Athletic Bilbao in June.

This dream could remain unfulfilled if the struggling player continues to languish on the Blues bench.

While the former Athletic Bilbao ace may have spoken of staying and fighting for his spot, Eduoard does not appear any closer to relinquishing his spot.

With the Euros nearing, a transfer away, even if it is on loan, could be the best solution for him.

31-year-old defender wants more first-team minutes at Chelsea

Last week, Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta spoke with The Telegraph about his changing role at the club and how he’s always pushing in training to earn more minutes on the field.

The Spaniard has been a superb servant to the Blues since he signed back in 2012 for £6.5 million, but of late the full-back has seen his game time diminish with the emergence of positional rival Reece James.

The 31-year-old star may have lost his regular right-back position to the English talent, but the skipper has not lost any of his professionalism, saying:

“You know, I push and I train hard to get as many minutes as possible when the manager needs me to be ready for him, but you know when I’m out I try to help from the stands.”

Cesar’s efforts in training have not gone without reward as manager Frank Lampard continues to utilise his experience.

He has appeared nine times this season for the Blues and started versus Rennes as Chelsea qualified for the last 16 in the UEFA Champions League.

Amassing 276 top-flight appearances as a Chelsea player is no mean feat and the all-around defender isn’t finished yet.

Capable of playing as a left-back, centrally or in his more natural right-back position, Cesar still has plenty to give as part of Frank’s squad, although his days as the undisputed first-choice full-back could be behind Cesar owing to the form of his younger counterpart.

For certain fixtures, the experience and nous of the player could be invaluable.

It’s unlikely that the Blues will dominate the ball in every match, and there will be days when his defensive insight could be more suitable to Lampard’s plans than Reece’s attacking prowess.

Newcastle could consider move for Chelsea defensive outcast

A lack of playing time at Chelsea could see centre-back Fikayo Tomori seek a January loan move, with Newcastle United believed to be keen on his services.

The 22-year-old star began to establish himself in the Blues senior team in 2019-2020.

The Englishman made 15 starts at the heart of defence while netting his first goal in September last year.

However, the arrival of Thiago Silva has seen the talent slip down the Stamford Bridge pecking order.

Fikayo has featured in just one top-flight match while featuring twice in the EFL Cup this season.

With one full England cap to his name, the defender seems to have the world at his feet. But Tomori needs to be playing football and not sitting on the substitutes bench.

While Silva is Frank Lampard’s number one centre-half, Kurt Zouma, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are also ahead of Fikayo.

It appears as though a loan stint during the second half of the season might suit all concerned.

Tomori needs regular senior team action and it may come at St James’ Park. The Northern Echo are claiming that Magpies chief Steve Bruce will pounce when the transfer market reopens.

Doubts over the club’s management mean permanent deals won’t happen on Tyneside, with loans much more likely.

Frank is unlikely to stand in the ace’s way as he almost left for West Ham United in the summer.

The last-minute nature of that proposed transfer caused the player to remain in west London but it appears as though he’ll look for a new temporary challenge early next year.

The Canadian-born player would face competition from Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez, Jamal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark in the north east.

On-loan English striker maintains desire to be part of Chelsea

Chelsea loanee Ike Ugbo’s big dream is to play for his perent side at Stamford Bridge after the London-born striker came up through the ranks of the English giants’ youth system.

The 22-year-old star is yet to represent the Blues senior team and has been out on loan since the start of the 2017/18 campaign.

Earlier in August, the centre-forward signed a new contract with Frank Lampard’s outfit and then joined Cercle Brugge on a one-year loan deal.

The Belgian club confirmed they have a ‘purchase option’ to make Ugbo’s loan stay permanent.

After spending the last term on loan at Dutch side Roda JC, the attacker admitted he is enjoying life in Belgium.

Ike also stressed Cercle Brugge having Paul Clement as their boss influenced his decision to join them on loan.

“I am getting better adapted to Belgian football,” Ike said, as reported by Het Laatste Nieuws.

“There is football here harder and faster than in the Netherlands, but I feel that I am developing better and better at Cercle. I’ve also gained strength, yes.

“It is also very important for me to know that Paul Clement believes in me. His presence at Cercle was one of the main reasons why I chose to [come on] loan to this club.”

He has been shining in the Jupiler Pro League and has seven goals in 10 matches this season. The player, who enjoys going out on loan, has a long-term vision and that’s to succeed with the Blues.

“I love those loans for one season, always end up in a new environment and you have to prove yourself,” Ike explained.

“But my ultimate ambition remains to get my full chance at Chelsea and to be able to play football at Stamford Bridge. I’ve been there since I was nine and have always dreamed of breaking through [at Chelsea].”

22-year-old Chelsea youngster could be shipped out on loan

In a recent report, The Telegraph has stated that Chelsea are ready to consider sending defender Fikayo Tomori out on loan when the transfer market reopens in January.

The Blues centre-half is struggling to get regular game time at West London this term, so Frank Lampard might consider sanctioning the star’s loan departure during the winter transfer period.

Fikayo has only made three appearances for Chelsea this campaign, receiving a total of 224 minutes of playing time in various competitions.

The lack of playing time has disrupted his recent progress at the club which is why Lampard should let him depart on loan at the start of next year.

The English centre-half needs to start matches more often if he wants to continue getting better with each campaign.

He might enjoy some time away from Chelsea, so this January transfer window could be an ideal opportunity for him to go out on loan in search of more game time in the second half of this term.

At 22, Fikayo is on the verge of establishing himself as a regular starter in the English top-flight. Hence, it makes a lot of sense for the ace to temporarily seal a move away from the club, preferably to another PL club this winter.

The west Londoners will hope that Tomori can learn from his loan experience and come back as a better player next year so that he is ready to be a regular feature in Frank’s first-team in the years to come.