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Chelsea fail in bid to sign Alex Sandro, says Juventus Featured

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Published in England Premier League
Saturday, 17 June 2017 09:05

Juventus have rejected a bid from Chelsea for left-back Alex Sandro, according to the Serie A club's general director Giuseppe Marotta.

Antonio Conte guided Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season in England, but is yet to strengthen his squad ahead of the next campaign.

Sandro, capped seven times by Brazil, joined Juventus from Porto in August 2015 and has since won successive Serie A and Coppa Italia titles.

"We said no to a very good offer from Chelsea for Alex Sandro.

"But we know that we are competing with clubs that are in a position to offer wages that are not rational for us. And players are always their own boss.

"I do not know how Alex Sandro reacted."

Reports in the national press had suggested Conte had become frustrated with the Chelsea hierarchy over a lack of investment in the transfer market, but Sportmatch understands technical director Michael Emenalo and director Marina Granovskaia are aware of the Italian's targets and are continuing with their recruitment efforts.

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  • Chelsea's Fabregas, Cahill out of Norwich clash, says Conte

    Chelsea were dealt a double blow on Tuesday with manager Antonio Conte saying that midfielder Cesc Fabregas and defender Gary Cahill will miss Wednesday's FA Cup third round replay against Norwich City because of injury.

    England international Cahill was substituted in the first half of last Saturday's stalemate with Leicester City in the Premier League while Spaniard Fabregas was taken off in the second.

    "Cahill (is injured), but his problem is not too serious. Cesc had a little problem in his hamstring and is not available," Conte told reporters.

    Chelsea have recorded four goalless draws in their last seven fixtures across all competitions, dropping to fourth in the league and facing a must-win fixture against Norwich at home to progress to the FA Cup fourth round.

    "This is a real problem for us. We are not conceding but the bad news is that we are not scoring," Conte said. "We have to improve in this aspect.

    "If you compare to the past every single player has scored less than last season."
    The Italian said that he would have to rotate his squad heavily ahead of the league trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

    "Tomorrow is another game in a busy period for us. I have to make many changes. We have to play against Brighton after two days," Conte added.

    "This is the great risk to make rotation, a lot of rotation. If you want to face and try to go to the next round in every competition this is the only way we can do."

    Meanwhile, media reports have linked Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez with a move to Chelsea this month but Conte is unsure of the transfer.

    "I don't know but I don't think so," Conte replied when asked directly if Chelsea were trying to sign the Chile international.

    "About the transfer market I prefer to talk to the club and give an opinion and I repeat I don't want to give my opinion on that."

    Conte also said that newly-signed midfielder Ross Barkley is unavailable for Wednesday's match as the England international was not registered in time.

    The 48-year-old refused to comment on striker Michy Batshuayi's future, who has been linked with a move away, saying the Belgian along with Welsh teenager Ethan Ampadu were likely to play against Norwich.

  • Andreas Christensen pens new long-term Chelsea deal

    Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen has signed a new long-term contract, the Premier League club have announced.

    The 21-year-old Denmark international has been rewarded with a new four-and-a-half-year deal after breaking into Antonio Conte's first team at Stamford Bridge this season.
    Christensen, who joined the club as a 15-year-old in 2012, is now tied to the Blues until 2022.

    Christensen has so far made 22 appearances for Chelsea this season, and could be involved again in Wednesday night's Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg clash with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

    "It feels really good to sign a new contract and I'm just happy to be committed to Chelsea for the future," Christensen said on the club's official website.

    "I have played a lot of games, I am enjoying it at the club and everything is working well."

    Christensen returned to Stamford Bridge from two seasons on loan at German club Borussia Monchengladbach, where he played in the Champions League against opponents that included Manchester City and Barcelona.
    The Dane, who arrived in England from Brondby, was part of Chelsea's successful FA Youth Cup and Under-21 Premier League squad in 2014.

    Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia feels Christensen can go on to become an important player for the Blues.

    "This contract is reward for the excellent form Andreas has shown in the first half of the season," Granovskaia said.

    "He showed immense potential when he signed for Chelsea in 2012 and is now enjoying the benefits of the dedication and professionalism he has shown since.

    "After two seasons on loan in Germany we were convinced he was ready to be a part of the squad this season and he has grasped the opportunity with both hands.

    "We are delighted he has chosen to commit his future to Chelsea."

  • Ross Barkley completes Chelsea move, takes No 8 shirt

    Ross Barkley has completed his move to Premier League champions Chelsea, signing a five-and-a-half year contract and taking the No. 8 shirt.

    Barkley was reportedly close to a move to the Blues last season, but the plug was pulled at the last minute.

    Having not played all season due to injury, Barkley has now completed his move for a reported fee of £15 million.
    He signs until 2023 and will wear the No 8 shirt recently worn by Frank Lampard and Oscar.

    Barkley told the club's website:

    " I'm overwhelmed, I'm looking forward to it and I'm really excited to get started. To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea, it's unbelievable for me. I'm looking forward to continuing where I left off at the end of last season and hoping to improve and add more goals to my game."
    Club director Marina Granovskaia added: "Ross is a player we have long admired and are certain he will prove to be an important player for Chelsea. He possesses outstanding technical and physical attributes, matched with good experience of the Premier League and a strong desire to succeed at the highest level. We welcome him to the club and look forward to seeing him in action."

  • Thibaut Courtois willing to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge

    Thibaut Courtois has indicated his willingness to extend his stay at Chelsea.

    The Belgium goalkeeper's contract expires in June 2019 and he has been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

    Courtois also says "irreplaceable" compatriot Eden Hazard is eager to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge too. Hazard's deal runs until 2020.

    "I'm happy at Chelsea and a deal is close," Courtois said in the London Evening Standard.

    "Has it been a distraction? Not for me. I'm just calm and relaxed because I'm tied to Chelsea.

    "Despite the rumours and everything, I am focused on Chelsea and I'm happy here.

    "Do Eden and I encourage each other to sign? Yes. He will say 'if you sign, I will sign' and I say the same to him.

    "I think we are both happy at Chelsea, we both have a good part to play. We have been champions twice in the four seasons I have been here and can have our peak years together at Chelsea."
    Should Courtois and Chelsea fail to agree a new deal by the summer, the Blues could sell the goalkeeper or they would risk losing him for free in 2019.

    Courtois showed his value in Wednesday night's 2-2 draw at Arsenal, making a number of fine saves.

    But the goalkeeper reckons Hazard could not be replaced, even if he is sold for an astronomical fee, with Real rumoured to be courting the playmaker.
    "Losing a player like Eden would be bad for us, the club," Courtois added.

    "Eden is irreplaceable. With the money he will raise, you can buy five players but none of them will be like Eden.

    "It would be like Barcelona losing Lionel Messi or Real Madrid losing Cristiano Ronaldo.

    "If you excel, there will always be teams interested in signing the biggest players.

    "But that's why if Chelsea have ambition to be the best club in the world, these kind of players have to stay."

  • Arsenal grab stoppage-time point in classic against Chelsea

    The full-back steered home from the edge of the box after Eden Hazard's disputed penalty and Marcos Alonso's sixth league goal of the campaign had seen the visitors come from behind to lead with six minutes to play.

    Jack Wilshere had earlier continued his resurgence as part of the Gunners midfield with a rasping opener just past the hour.

    It was a sensational final third of a match packed with incident and talking points that had looked like being the tale of two superb goalkeeping displays at the interval.

    Alvaro Morata had a night to forget in front of goal as he missed three clear openings while Arsene Wenger was clearly irritated by the award of another debateable penalty when Bellerin was adjudged to have caught Hazard.

    Substitute Davide Zappacosta almost won it for Chelsea, but his 93rd minute follow-up came back off the bar.

    The result means Chelsea remain third, a point behind second-placed Manchester United. Arsenal stay sixth and are five points adrift of the top four.

    PLAYER RATINGS
    ARSENAL: Cech 7, Holding 6, Mustafi 6, Chambers 6, Bellerin 7, Xhaka 6, Wilshere 7, Maitland-Niles 7, Ozil 8, Sanchez 7, Lacazette 7. Subs: Welbeck n/a, Walcott n/a.

    CHELSEA: Courtois 8, Cahill 6, Christensen 6, Azpilicueta 7, Moses 6, Kante 6, Bakayoko 6, Alonso 7, Fabregas 8, Hazard 8, Morata 5. Subs: Zappacosta 7, Drinkwater 6, Willian n/a.
    KEY MOMENTS
    14' - CHELSEA CHANCE! Arsenal's defence goes completely AWOL and Morata is allowed to race clean through onto a long ball over the top. The Spaniard has time to pick his spot but somehow contrives to fire well wide with just the keeper to beat.

    17' - ARSENAL CHANCE! Maitland-Niles goes down in the Chelsea box. The home crowd screams for a penalty, but it looks like he caught his own heel. Arsenal play on and Sanchez sees a goal-bound strike from close-in tipped onto the woodwork by Courtois. It rolls across the line, hits the other post and is pounced upon by the Blues stopper.

    63' - GOAL! Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea. Ozil and Holding combine to tee up Wilshere on the left side of the area, who flashes a rising shot past Courtois at the near post.

    67' - GOAL! Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea. Hazard levels from the spot as he coolly fires down the middle with Cech diving to his left. Wenger is fuming on the touchline as he felt Bellerin's challenge on Hazard didn't warrant a penalty.

    70' - CHELSEA CHANCE! Morata out-muscles Chambers and rampages towards Cech, but once more he can't find the finish as he fires wide of the near post.

    84' - GOAL! Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea. Zappacosta races onto Willian's long pass to the flank. He bamboozles Maitland-Niles and drills in a low cross that Alonso meets first-time to flash beyond Cech.

    90+2' - GOAL! Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea. The pressure tells as Alonso's header drops for Bellerin to steer a shot into the far corner from just inside the area. What an incredible match this is!

    90+3' - CHELSEA HIT THE BAR! Morata is clear again - but he fires straight at Cech. Zappacosta races onto the rebound but smashes it against the bar!
    KEY STATS
    Wilshere scored his first goal in his last 43 Premier League games, since netting v West Brom in May 2015.

    Hazard (63 goals, 37 assists) has been directly involved in 100 goals in 192 Premier League appearances.

    Since the start of last season, Marcos Alonso has been directly involved in 16 Premier League goals (12 goals, 4 assists), 4 more than any other defender.

    Arsenal have conceded a joint-high 4 penalty goals in the Premier League this season (level with Watford and West Ham).

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