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    Chelsea 6 Peterborough 1: Hakim Ziyech scores hat-trick while Ross Barkley shines on return from Aston Villa loan

    HAKIM ZIYECH grabbed a hat-trick as Chelsea kicked off their pre-season campaign by thrashing Peterborough.On the day striker Olivier Giroud finally completed his move to AC Milan, the Blues showed their ruthlessness in front of goal by hitting Posh for six.
    Hakim Ziyech grabbed a hat-trick as Chelsea thrashed PeterboroughCredit: Getty
    The Moroccan is congratulated by Baba Rahman after sealing his trebleCredit: Getty
    Ross Barkley impressed against the League One side after returning from Aston VillaCredit: Getty
    Danny Drinkwater was handed a rare start in the friendly clash at CobhamCredit: Getty
    With a number of stars still on holiday following their Euro 2020 exploits, Thomas Tuchel handed a number of youngsters and forgotten men an opportunity to shine in the clash at their Cobham training HQ.
    Among those was outcast midfielder Danny Drinkwater while Ross Barkley, who spent last season on-loan at Aston Villa, received plaudits for his impressive display.
    Tuchel lined up with a 3-4-3 formation with young goalkeeper Wayne Cumming, who did not concede before he was replaced on the hour mark by Lucas Bergstrom, behind a backline of Trevoh Chalobah, Jake Clarke-Salter and Malang Sarr.
    Davide Zappacosta and Marcos Alonso were deployed as wing-backs while it was Drinkwater, back from a loan stint in Turkey with Kasimpasa, and Barkley in the middle of the park.
    And the League One side’s defence knew they had their work cut out when they saw Tammy Abraham leading the attack with Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi either side of him.
    It was Abraham and USA star Pulisic who gave Chelsea a two-goal advantage at the break before a second half onslaught ensued.
    Following a raft of changes, including Ziyech, the Moroccan helped himself to a hat-trick with fellow sub Armando Broja also getting his name on the scoresheet in the behind-closed-doors clash.
    Drinkwater’s start will have raised eyebrows amongst the Stamford Bridge faithful as he last played a competitive game for the club to astonishing 1,077 DAYS ago.
    He joined several of Chelsea’s returning loan army at training at Cobham earlier this week. for sessions laid on for those not involved with their international teams this summer.
    The Champions League holders will next take on Bournemouth, Arsenal and Tottenham before facing Villarreal in the Uefa Super Cup prior to their Premier League opener against Crystal palace on August 14.
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    Tammy Abraham grabbed a first half goal to break the deadlockCredit: Getty
    Christian Pulisic doubled the advantage before half timeCredit: Getty
    Armando Broja also got his name on the scoresheet against PoshCredit: Getty
    Thomas Tuchel handed several youngsters and fringe players a chance to shineCredit: Getty

    Drinkwater recently said he hopes to rediscover his love for football and thinks he can break into the Blues’ first team.
    He joined Chelsea a year after winning the Premier League with Leicester but the £35million switch has not gone to plan.
    Drinkwater has only made 23 competitive appearances for Chelsea, almost all of which came under Antonio Conte in an injury-hit debut season.
    ⚽ Read our Chelsea live blog for the very latest news from the Bridge

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    Chelsea transfer target Federico Chiesa ‘untouchable’ at Juventus with Italy Euro 2020 hero wanted in £85m deal

    CHELSEA transfer target Federico Chiesa is reportedly ‘untouchable’ at Juventus and will be going nowhere.The 23-year-old was one of the players of the tournament at Euro 2020 as he helped Italy win their first European Championship since 1968.
    Federico Chiesa helped Italy to win Euro 2020 – but will not be leaving JuventusCredit: Getty
    Chelsea have reportedly already had an offer rejected for the wingerCredit: Getty
    Chiesa is currently halfway through a two-year loan spell in Turin from Fiorentina.
    The Old Lady have an obligation to permanently sign him next year.
    That deal could be worth as much as £43million, and it has been claimed they have rejected an offer from the Blues almost twice as much.
    Bayern Munich and Liverpool have also both been linked with an interest in the star.
    But the winger is a key part of returning Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri’s plan for the club, according to Fabrizio Romano.
    He wrote: “Juventus have no intention to open talks with any club for Federico Chiesa. Chelsea, Bayern… there’s no chance. He’s considered ‘untouchable’.
    “Juve paid €10m loan fee in 2020… and will pay €40m to Fiorentina in 2022 as obligation to buy + €10m add ons.”
    Russian owner Roman Abramovich is willing to splash the cash this summer after Chelsea won the Champions League for the second time.
    And the Premier League giants are said to have tabled an £85m bid to sign the forward, though Juve refused to entertain the offer.
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    Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann previously spoke of his admiration for Chiesa, though he conceded that he could prove too costly.
    He remarked: “Chiesa is a great player, I think he’s extraordinary.
    “He’s very fast with very good dribbling and finishing, but he also has a very, very high pricetag.”
    ⚽ Read our Chelsea live blog for the very latest news from the Bridge

    Federico Chiesa shows off his quick steps in some at home training More

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    Chelsea ‘ask Juventus about Federico Chiesa transfer and willing to pay £85m for Italy’s Euro 2020 star’

    CHELSEA have reportedly been rebuffed by Juventus in their quest to sign winger Federico Chiesa for £85million.The 23-year-old was one of the players of the tournament at Euro 2020 as he helped Italy win their first European Championship since 1968.
    Italy star Federico Chiesa proved to be influential in the Azzurri winning Euro 2020Credit: Getty
    Chelsea have reportedly had an £85million offer for Chiesa knocked back by JuventusCredit: Getty
    Chiesa is currently halfway through a two-year loan spell in Turin from Fiorentina, with the Old Lady having an obligation to permanently sign him next year.
    That deal could be worth as much as £43million, and it has been claimed they have rejected an offer from the Blues almost twice as much as that.
    According to Bild journalist Christian Falk, the West Londoners have identified the player as a key target with Thomas Tuchel looking to strengthen his side.
    Russian owner Roman Abramovich is willing to splash the cash this summer after Chelsea won the Champions League for the second time.
    And the Premier League giants are said to have tabled an £85m bid to sign the forward, though Juve refused to entertain the offer.
    Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann previously spoke of his admiration for Chiesa, though he conceded that he could prove too costly.
    He remarked: “Chiesa is a great player, I think he’s extraordinary.
    “He’s very fast with very good dribbling and finishing, but he also has a very, very high pricetag.”

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    Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano followed up on Chelsea’s alleged offer by declaring that the Serie A outfit are not prepared to part ways with him.
    The Italian journalist tweeted: “Juventus have no intention to open talks with any club for Federico Chiesa.
    “Chelsea, Bayern… there’s no chance. He’s considered ‘untouchable’.
    “Juve paid €10m [£8.5m] loan fee in 2020… and will pay €40m [£34m] to Fiorentina in 2022 as obligation to buy + €10m [£8.5m] add-ons.”
    As well as Chiesa, Chelsea are also determined to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.
    Though it is understood that BVB will only let their prized asset go for £150million.
    Chelsea icon Gianfranco Zola’s wild celebrations after Italy Euro 2020 win leaves beIN Sports hosts in stitches More

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    Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud set to complete £850k AC Milan transfer on Friday on £50k-a-week deal

    OLIVIER GIROUD is reportedly set to undergo his AC Milan medical on Friday as he edges closer to departing Chelsea.The 34-year-old is understood to have agreed a deal until 2023 at the San Siro after falling out of favour at Stamford Bridge.
    Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is reportedly closing in on a switch to AC MilanCredit: Rex
    Giroud is scheduled to arrive in Milan shortly to complete his medical
    The French striker was limited to just eight Premier League starts in the 2020-21 campaign, despite Timo Werner’s struggles in front of goal.
    He had been set to depart West London on a free transfer, only for the Blues to trigger a one-year contract extension in April to avoid losing him for nothing.
    And according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the 2018 World Cup winner is close to joining Milan for £850,000.
    They state that he will earn around £50,000-a-week at the San Siro, with the Rossoneri having the option to keep him at the club until 2024.
    It has also been stated that Giroud is due to shortly arrive in Milan ahead of his proposed medical on Friday.
    And just like at Chelsea, the ex-Montpellier ace is expected to compete for a starting spot and is likely to alternate with Zlatan Ibrahimovic up top.
    Giroud has spent the previous nine years in England after joining Arsenal in 2012 after helping La Paillade win the Ligue 1 title.
    In total, the centre-forward appeared in the English top-flight on 255 occasions – chipping in with 90 goals and 28 assists.

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    And he could be joined in Milan by Chelsea team-mate and compatriot Tiemoue Bakayoko.
    The 26-year-old, who has been shipped out on loan three times by the Blues, is set to return to Milan where he spent the 2018-19 campaign.
    Milan reportedly had an option to make Bakayoko’s loan permanent for a £35m fee two years ago but declined.

    Chelsea icon Gianfranco Zola’s wild celebrations after Italy Euro 2020 win leaves beIN Sports hosts in stitches More

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    Chelsea in talks with Eduardo Camavinga’s agent after incredulous Rennes ‘laugh’ at Man Utd’s proposed £26m transfer bid

    CHELSEA have reportedly joined Manchester United in the race to prise French starlet Eduardo Camavinga away from Rennes.With the midfielder having just one year left on his deal at Roazhon Park, the Ligue 1 side are expected to cash in on the 18-year-old.
    Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga is expected to depart Roazhon Park this summerCredit: Getty
    The Red Devils are understood to be eyeing up an offer for the Les Bleus international, with transfer guru Fabrizio Romano claiming he could be available for as little as £26million.
    It has been stated that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were making progress in their quest to lure the teenager to Old Trafford.
    But according to Get French Football News, the player’s priority is to join Paris Saint-Germain, though they are yet to make a formal bid.
    They also state that Thomas Tuchel is pushing for a move, with the Blues in talks with Camavinga’s agent Jonathan Barnett.
    Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is willing to splash the cash this summer following the club’s second Champions League crown.
    Real Madrid are also said to be in negotiations with Barnett as Carlo Ancelotti looks to provide competition for Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
    Meanwhile GFFN have revealed that the reported £26m price tag for Camavinga is far from the truth.
    A source told the news outlet that they would laugh should United or any other club offered that sum for Camavinga, with the bid to be instantly turned down.

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    France international Camavinga is attracting interest from Manchester United and ChelseaCredit: Getty

    Arsenal have also been linked with a move for Camavinga, with Mikel Arteta claimed to have made him his top target.
    And the Gunners were given a boost in their hopes of securing his services after Barnett declared the player would be willing to join a team not competing in a European tournament.
    He said: “Believe me we have a lot of offers for this year, a lot of offers, and good ones. I mean top, top clubs.
    “He is good enough [to play for a Champions League club]. But we don’t want to rush anybody. I am an old man and I’ve learnt a lot of lessons in football as well.
    “There is the right time to move on and playing games is the most important thing at his age. Playing in a good club is nice and learning for him.”
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    Chelsea stars who quit the Blues and became world class, from Kevin De Bruyne to Mo Salah and Declan Rice

    EVERY time Kevin De Bruyne or Mohamed Salah puts in a Man of the Match performance, Chelsea fans are hit with a pinch of sadness.Unfortunately for Blues supporters, those two are now undisputed world superstars.
    De Bruyne has evolved into arguably the best midfielder on the planet since leaving ChelseaCredit: AFP – Getty
    But, before they reached their current elite level, they were once allowed to leave Stamford Bridge as underplayed, underachieving youngsters.
    And they’re not the only two either.
    We’ve taken a look at SEVEN players who could have been starring for new boss Thomas Tuchel if they had not failed to make the grade at Chelsea before going on to become superstars elsewhere:
    KEVIN DE BRUYNE
    NOW quite possibly the best midfielder on the planet, it’s barely-believable De Bruyne was once considered a Chelsea misfit.
    Having signed from Belgian side Genk in 2011-12, the now-Manchester City star played just two Premier League games for the Blues.
    On the periphery of the first-team squad, De Bruyne was loaned to Werder Bremen, before being sold to Wolfsburg for just £16.7m.
    There, De Bruyne’s class shone through and his career took off, joining City for £55million in 2015.
    The pass-master has won three Premier League trophies at City in easily the club’s greatest era.

    MOHAMED SALAH
    SALAH joined Chelsea from Basel in 2014 – but played just 13 times in the league, scoring twice.
    In 2015 and 2016, the Egyptian was loaned out to Fiorentina and Roma – before joining the latter permanently, in a deal worth around £11m.
    After just one season in the Italian capital, Liverpool were surprise suitors, bringing Salah back to the Premier League in a deal worth £36.7m.
    In his first season at the Reds, Salah broke the Premier League record for most goals in a 38-game season.
    In his second season, he won the Champions League.
    And in his third, Salah inspired Liverpool to Premier League success.
    Salah is now easily ranked as one of the world’s best forwards – and will always be the one who got away from Chelsea.
    Salah has gone from strength to strength since leaving ChelseaCredit: AFP
    DECLAN RICE
    THE England international and his family were all huge Blues and he must have thought he was well on his way of achieving his childhood dream of playing for them when he was signed to their academy.
    But the midfielder was released by Chelsea aged 14 back in 2013.
    The determined star was not to be deterred, and after a successful trial, he was quickly snapped up by West Ham.
    Rice has not looked back since and has progressed through the ranks in East London and broke into their first-team at the end of the 2016-17 season.
    He is now the stand-out performer for the Hammers on an almost weekly basis, earning international recognition with Three Lions last year after switching allegiance from Ireland, and captains the side in the absence of Mark Noble.
    Those displays caught the eye of several big boys, including Manchester United, but it was Chelsea who desperately wanted him to return.
    It was widely-known Frank Lampard was a huge fan and made him his No1 transfer target but he failed to get his wish last year.
    Tuchel appears to have targeted other players since taking over.
    Declan Rice was released by Chelsea aged 14 but is now a star at West HamCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    ROMELU LUKAKU
    AFTER joining Chelsea from Anderlecht as a youngster in 2011, Lukaku was tipped for greatness.
    However, he played just ten times in the Premier League, was loaned to West Brom and ultimately sold to Everton.
    Lukaku immediately showed his potential and scored 53 Premier League goals in just 110 games.
    The Belgian moved to Manchester United in a £75m deal where he maintained a decent scoring record, but generally underwhelmed.
    Now, Lukaku is finally living up to his incredible promise, shining at Inter Milan under another ex-Chelsea man, boss Antonio Conte.
    And he’s a Serie A winner, after the Italian giants won the title.
    Romelu Lukaku was barely given a sniff at Chelsea and is now thriving at Inter MilanCredit: AP:Associated Press
    NATHAN AKE
    THE Dutch defender joined Chelsea’s youth ranks from Feyenoord in 2011, before moving to the senior squad a year later.
    But Ake made just seven appearances for the Blues in the Premier League and was loaned out to Reading, Watford and Bournemouth.
    Ake eventually found a permanent home on the south coast and became a star for the Cherries.
    Bournemouth fought hard to keep Ake for three years – in which he played over 100 times in the Premier League.
    But with Manchester United and City both knocking, the Cherries eventually cashed in to the tune of £40m following their relegation in the summer.
    Now at the Etihad, Ake is a star of both Pep Guardiola’s City and European force Holland who seems destined to only shine brighter as time goes on.
    Ake is a Man City star and Holland regular having quit Chelsea in 2017Credit: Reuters
    NEMANJA MATIC
    SIGNED from now-defunct Slovak side Kosice in 2009, Matic was tipped to become an attacking midfield superstar at the Blues.
    The Serbian midfielder had played just twice in the Premier League and was loaned out to Vitesse in Holland.
    But after two years – and a switch to a more defensive role – Matic was sold to Benfica as part of the 2011 deal that saw David Luiz arrive at Stamford Bridge.
    But after starring at Benfica, Chelsea splashed out £21m – nearly 20 times what they initially bought him for – to re-sign him in 2014.
    Matic would later join Man Utd, in 2017 – where he still plays to this day.
    Nemanja Matic left and rejoined Chelsea for nearly 20 times the original feeCredit: Getty
    TARIQ LAMPTEY
    THE full-back is another one that got away after his departure from Chelsea in 2020.
    He joined their academy aged just eight and won a host of honours alongside the likes of Tammy Abraham and Reece James on their rise through the youth ranks.
    Tariq Lamptey has suggested that he moved away from Chelsea in order to take his career to the next level.  The 20-year-old is a product of the Blues youth development system, having joined the club when he was just 8-years-old.
    Lamptey was promoted to the Blues first-team in 2019 after the arrival of Lampard in the dug-out.
    But he failed to receive as much game time as some of his other fellow academy graduates, making just one Premier League appearance for the club last season. 
    Brighton came in for Lamptey and Chelsea were happy to do business and cash-in on the youngster for £4m on deadline day.
    But since then he has blossomed for the Seagulls with a series of stunning displays, leading to speculation he could even be on the verge of a senior international call-up.
    Arsenal were linked with a swoop for the starlet, who Chelsea failed to include a buy-back option as part of his exit, but he committed his future to Brighton recently by penning a new long-term contract.
    Explaining his decision to quit Chelsea, he said: “I had to look at where I would get the most football and how I could take my game to the next level.
    “I sat down with the coaches, family members and agents and thought about what’s best for me. It was a really tough decision.”
    Tariq Lamptey has blossomed at Brighton since his Chelsea exitCredit: Getty
    A look at the career of Thomas Tuchel as he takes charge of Chelsea More

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    AC Milan hope to land ‘opportunistic’ transfer swoop and sign Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech on loan

    AC MILAN are hoping to land Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech in an ‘opportunistic’ swoop this summer.The Moroccan midfielder, 28, only joined the Blues in a £36.7million deal from Ajax last summer.
    AC Milan are hoping to sign Hakim Ziyech on loan from Chelsea, according to reportsCredit: AFP
    But after failing to nail down a spot in Thomas Tuchel’s XI, Milan are hoping to bring Ziyech to the San Siro on loan.
    The Serie A giants have lost star man Hakan Calhanoglu on a free this summer to rivals Inter Milan.
    And they are desperately looking to replace the Turkey star with a like-for-like attacking midfielder.
    Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho and Everton ace James Rodriguez are believed to have been offered to Milan.
    But according to Corriere dello Sport, Ziyech is the top target for Rossoneri chiefs.
    Milan bosses are set to wait until the end of the transfer window to make their move for Morocco international in the hope Chelsea will be in a better position to know what Ziyech’s role will be in 2021-22.
    With the likes of Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, Mason Mount and Timo Werner all seemingly ahead of Ziyech in the pecking order, his opportunities are likely to be limited.
    The Blues could allow the former Ajax star to spend a season away at another Big Five club to keep his match sharpness and reassess in 2022.

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    Ziyech featured in 33 games in all competitions last season – including just 15 Premier League starts – scoring four goals.
    Chelsea have already confirmed Billy Gilmour has joined recently-promoted Norwich on a season-long loan.
    Gilmour, 20, performed brilliantly for Scotland against England at Euro 2020, having produced impressive cameos for the Blues over the last two seasons.
    And he will now link up with Daniel Farke’s Canaries for pre-season, having recovered from Covid-19.
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
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