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    Chelsea star Fikayo Tomori eyed by AC Milan in loan transfer as Frank Lampard hints defender could head out

    CHELSEA defender Fikayo Tomori is reportedly being eyed by Italian giants AC Milan.
    The 23-year-old is well down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, with boss Frank Lampard prepared to let him leave on loan.

    Fikayo Tomori looks set to leave Chelsea on loan this monthCredit: Rex Features

    And according to Italian sports journalist Fabrizio Romano, Milan have ‘contacted Chelsea’ and the player ‘would accept’ the move.
    But Tomori is seemingly second-choice for the Rossoneri with Strasbourg’s Mohamed Simakan top of their list.
    Lampard is keen for Tomori to head out to get some first-team action.
    The 15-cap England U21 international has made just four appearances this season – the latest being a 10-minute cameo in the FA Cup win over Morecambe.

    A string of Premier League clubs, including Leeds and Newcastle, are reportedly interested.
    Lampard said: “The situation with Fikayo is open at the moment.
    “There is a possibility he could be going on loan to get games somewhere else. So that would have to be the solution for him and the club. That was part of my thinking of not starting him today.
    “I gave him some minutes at the end but while we were looking at that I wanted to make sure it was the right thing for the club and for him and individually. So that’s why he didn’t start.


    Frank Lampard is ready to loan out Tomori this monthCredit: AP:Associated Press

    “But his attitude, even though he hasn’t played much recently, has been fantastic in training and in how he is.”
    Tomori was a key part of Lampard’s Derby team in the 2018/19 Championship campaign.
    He snubbed a move to West Ham on summer transfer deadline day to fight for a spot at Stamford Bridge.
    ⚽ Read our Chelsea live blog for the very latest news from the Bridge

    Frank Lampard admits Fikayo Tomori didn’t start FA Cup win against Morecambe as he could be going on loan More

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    Chelsea refusing to let Ross Barkley leave on permanent transfer to Aston Villa on cheap after successful loan spell

    CHELSEA are poised to play hardball with Aston Villa over any potential transfer for midfielder Ross Barkley.
    The 27-year-old hit some fine form following a loan switch before he was ruled out with a hamstring injury.


    Chelsea are not prepared to let Ross Barkley leave on the cheapCredit: Reuters
    And according to Birmingham Live, Chelsea aren’t willing to let Barkley leave on the cheap’.
    Barkley still has two-and-a-half years remaining on his £100,000-plus weekly wage.
    Stamford Bridge boss Frank Lampard is understood to have been impressed with the midfielder’s form on loan at Villa Park this season.

    And the Blues manager, 42, is reported to have been in touch with the player to congratulate him on the quality of his performances. 
    Barkley had opted for a September move from West London in a bid to boost his England selection chances ahead of the Euros next year. 
    And with the summer arrivals of Kai Havertz and Hakim Zayech, first team starts for the midfield star looked like they could potentially be limited. 
    But many of Chelsea’s acquisitions from their £200million summer splurge have struggled for form leading to increasing pressure on Lampard.

    And that could mean Barkley is handed a Stamford Bridge lifeline.

    Barkley joined Villa in the hope to earn an England spot for the EurosCredit: Reuters

    Chelsea are still being linked with a move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.
    And the Blues might have been give a boost in their transfer pursuit.
    He has reportedly told his friends he does not want to leave London for Manchester – ruling out a move to United.
    A source told the Daily Mirror: “Dec has been flattered by interest in him but he doesn’t see himself moving to Manchester.
    “It’s obvious where he’d like his next move to be.”
    ⚽ Read our Chelsea live blog for the very latest news from the Bridge

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    Chelsea forced to shut famous academy due to Covid outbreak with U23 clashes postponed as youngsters and staff isolate

    CHELSEA have been forced to shut their famous academy because of a coronavirus outbreak.
    The training centre which produced players like Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham and Reece James in recent years will be closed all week for a deep clean.

    Chelsea have been forced to shut their famous academy because of a coronavirus outbreakCredit: Alamy

    The training centre will be closed all week for a deep cleanCredit: Alamy

    The outbreak does not affect the Men’s Senior or Ladies’ teamsCredit: Alamy

    ⚽ Read our Chelsea live blog for the very latest news from the Bridge
    There have been a number of positive test results and some players and staff must now isolate for ten days.
    The outbreak does not affect the Men’s Senior or Ladies’ teams as they operate in separate Covid ‘bubbles’ despite also being based at Chelsea’s training complex in Cobham, Surrey.
    The youth team centre will be closed for the rest of the week and development squad and under-23 games against West Ham and Brighton this week have been postponed.

    Players and staff at the academy will also have to undergo another round of testing.
    The news comes as the Premier League’s ordered clubs to enforce a new Covid clampdown – or face the consequences.
    League bosses wrote to all 20 clubs with the new rules, making clear sanctions will follow for breaches.
    Under the revised instructions, clubs were warned they will face action for Covidiocy by their players.

    That came after the outrageous breaches by players at Spurs, West Ham, Fulham, Crystal Palace and Manchester City in recent weeks.

    And players were also informed they must not shake hands, hug each other in celebrations or swap shirts after games.
    In the email to clubs, League bosses laid down the law for the first time since the summer when the protocols were agreed with the Government and scientific experts.
    Those regulations demand players wear masks at ALL times on match-day other than when they are playing, engaged in warm-up sessions and giving socially-distanced post-match interviews.
    Clubs must now ensure they follow instructions to transport first-team players and staff to matches in three separate coaches.
    In addition, all external staff working for travel services or in hotels used for stays must have returned negative Covid tests, while each club must submit a risk-assessed travel plan to the League for every game.
    Amid suggestions that too many hangers-on have been accessing grounds on match days, clubs have again been ordered to ensure they each have a maximum of 10 representatives in directors’ boxes.
    At training ground, indoor meetings will be banned unless they are fully socially-distanced, with canteens banned other than on matchdays the previous day.
    And clinical passports will be required by players and staff at training ground, with Prem-appointed compliance officers having the right to ask for spot-checks of credentials.

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    Chelsea ratings: Hudson-Odoi and Gilmour shine as Blues make light work of Morecambe in FA Cup

    CHELSEA breezed past Morecambe in the FA Cup on Sunday with a 4-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
    Callum Hudson-Odoi and Billy Gilmour were among the players rotated into the side by Frank Lampard – and the pair certainly impressed.

    Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi combined for Chelsea’s first on SundayCredit: AFP or licensors

    But it was Mason Mount who got the scoring underway before a Timo Werner goal on the verge of half-time.
    Hudson-Odoi got his name on the scoresheet for 3-0 before Kai Havertz wrapped up the scoring late on.
    Here, SunSport’s Simon Phillips delivers his verdict on the individual performances from the third round.
    Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6
    Almost embarrassed with a cross/shot in the first-half and actually did very well to keep it out of the goal. He didn’t have anything else to do though but was tidy on the ball.

    Cesar Azpilicueta – 6
    Unfortunately, he is not looking like the player he once was anymore and he could surely have used a rest today. But he did a job and luckily wasn’t really tested at the back.
    Kurt Zouma – 6
    Did his job well but he was never under any defensive threat. Calm and tidy on the ball.

    Kurt Zouma helped the Blues see out a first clean sheet in four gamesCredit: Reuters
    Antonio Rudiger – 6
    Couple of misplaced passes and wasted chances from crosses. But he also hit a few good long passes and almost setup Ziyech for a goal with a lovely chip pass over the back line.
    Emerson Palmieri – 6
    Was oddly playing very centrally and didn’t overlap enough, but it is unclear whether that was tactical instructions or just bad movement from the left-back. He did look a threat in attack on a few occasions.

    Billy Gilmour – 8
    Tidy play from Gilmour who quietly went about his job very well. Tough on the ball and barely gave away possession, if at all.

    Billy Gilmour put in another solid display from the centre of the parkCredit: AFP or licensors
    Mason Mount – 7
    Scored a brilliant goal to put Chelsea in front in the first half. Missed a few opportunities to make key passes in the game, but he was behind a lot of the good moves that Chelsea did as well.
    Kai Havertz – 8
    Quiet start to the game but he grew into it and got a nice assist for Timo Werner to put Chelsea 2-0 up. Grew in confidence in the second-half and looked to make things happen. Scored a very good header late on.
    Callum Hudson-Odoi – 9
    Chelsea’s liveliest attacker and set up Mount for his goal in the first-half. Same story for him in the second-half as he stepped up his threat even more and got on the scoresheet himself. Man of the Match.

    Hakim Ziyech – 8
    Some very good touches and passes out wide from him, and he did well to send the cross over for Chelsea’s second goal. He looked hungry and could have got on the scoresheet himself, but he was wisely removed for Pulisic on 66 minutes.
    Timo Werner – 6
    Not a great start from him but he got the goal that he badly needed to end a 12-game drought. He didn’t play well really, but it was important for confidence to get his goal. Came off for Giroud on 66 minutes.

    Timo Werner received a confidence boost with a much-needed goal in the first-halfCredit: AP:Associated Press
    Olivier Giroud (for Werner, 66′) – 7
    Nice link up from him and a good physical threat in the box.
    Christian Pulisic (for Ziyech, 66′) – 7
    Instantly made a nuisance of himself and almost scored if not for a good save from the keeper.

    Tammy Abraham (for Mount, 74′) – 6
    Played close to Giroud and it looked like a nice new options for Chelsea with two up top.
    Fikayo Tomori (for Zouma, 79′) – N/A
    Tino Anjorin (for Hudson-Odoi, 79′) – N/A
    ⚽ Read our Chelsea live blog for the very latest news from the Bridge

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    Chelsea and Man Utd transfer blow as Real Madrid ‘win race’ to sign Alaba with Bayern star available for free in summer

    REAL MADRID have beaten off their competition to sign David Alaba because Barcelona cannot afford him, reports say.
    The Bayern Munich defender is available on a free transfer this summer, sparking interest from Chelsea, Manchester United and Barca.

    Real Madrid have beaten off their competition to sign David Alaba, reports sayCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    LaLiga champions Madrid have won the race to sign him, according to Marca,
    It is understood the Austrian’s agent offered his services to several top clubs.
    Barcelona were keen on the 28-year-old but have reportedly pulled out the race because they cannot afford his wages.
    Alaba is after a four-year deal worth around £9million-per-year and the Catalans realised they cannot afford that as a result of the financial implications of coronavirus.

    Barca’s income is said to have dropped by £231m in 2020 which will see them pursue Manchester City’s Eric Garcia instead.
    Alaba will leave Bayern Munich in the summer after he refused to extend his contract.
    He has made 19 appearances so far this season, but mostly at centre-back.
    It comes as he lost his traditional left-back role to rising star Alphonso Davies, 20.

    But Alaba is equally capable playing centrally, in midfield or defence.
    The defender has scored 32 goals and provided 49 assists for Bayern since being promoted to the first-team in 2010.
    Chairman and chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admitted the club tried their best to extend Alaba’s stay.
    Speaking in December, he said: “Bayern did everything we could to try and reach an agreement.
    “We had a lot of conversations, but we wanted answers from him by the end of October.
    “This didn’t happen and I don’t know if we’ll return to the negotiations.
    “What I want to be clear about is that our offer showed exactly how much we value him.
    “But he didn’t accept it. He’s free to speak to whoever he wants from January 1.”

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    Frank Lampard in sack fears but Roman Abramovich will not appoint Brendan Rodgers as Chelsea manager over 2014 snub

    FRANK LAMPARD is fighting for his job but reports suggest Chelsea will SNUB Brendan Rodgers if they sack their manager.
    The Leicester boss has enjoyed much success at the King Power since leaving Celtic in February 2019.

    Brendan Rodgers is not thought to be on Chelsea’s radar if they change managerCredit: PA:Press Association

    Frank Lampard suffered another blow in defeat to Manchester City last nightCredit: AP:Associated Press

    Having once been tipped to take over at Arsenal, 47-year-old Rodgers may once again be linked with a move if the Chelsea job becomes available.
    Lampard is under pressure following a sharp downturn in results, dropping the Blues down to eighth in the table.
    Stamford Bridge bosses are unlikely to consider Rodgers if they decide to make a change, according to The Athletic.
    They reported last year that comments made by the Northern Irish manager while in charge of Liverpool upset the Chelsea hierarchy.

    Ex-Blues youth coach Rodgers had taken Victor Moses on loan from his old side and stated that he had now joined a ‘massive’ club.
    He told the Liverpool Echo in 2014: “It’s not easy when you come to a big club.

    “You come from a really good club like Chelsea to a massive club like Liverpool where there is expectancy every day.

    “For any player to go into a big club there is a big difference in terms of mentality.”
    This reportedly irked Roman Abramovich and continues to do so today, with Rodgers’ treatment of Chelsea loanees also under the microscope.
    Josh McEachran struggled at Swansea in 2012 before Charly Musonda flopped at Celtic in 2018.
    Rodgers has previously been keen to stress that young players ‘normally’ develop under his tutelage.
    Ryan Bertrand excelled at Reading on a loan stint from Chelsea after Jack Cork had enjoyed a successful spell at Watford under the manager.

    But he is nevertheless expected to be out of the running if Lampard leaves, much to the joy of the third-placed Foxes.
    Massimiliano Allegri, Thomas Tuchel and Rafael Benitez are the bookies’ current favourites to be the next Chelsea boss.
    Former Paris Saint-Germain coach Tuchel fancies the role as he looks to move to England after being sacked by the Ligue 1 champions, according to reports in Germany.
    A run of one win in seven has Lampard under pressure but, with just a three-point gap to fourth place, a turnaround is far from impossible.
    ⚽ Read our Chelsea live blog for the very latest news from the Bridge

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    Chelsea’s wonderkids who failed to make the grade and where they are now, including Kakuta, McEachran and more

    IT’S all been about the kids at Chelsea since Frank Lampard’s appointment.
    Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Reece James have all benefitted massively under the club legend’s stewardship.

    Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is not afraid to give youth a chance at Stamford BridgeCredit: EPA

    But this is a club who have been known for nabbing and nurturing some of English football’s finest, only for them to fail to make the grade.
    SunSport takes a look back at seven of the most memorable boy wonders who shone bright early on before burning out.
    The name will remain synonymous with off-field controversy at Stamford Bridge, but Kakuta was once the brightest young thing at the club.
    Chelsea were hit with a 16-month transfer ban by Fifa in 2009 for allegedly inducing Kakuta to break his contract with French club Lens in 2007.

    The move appeared to be worth it as Kakuta won Academy Player of the Year, finished top scorer for the youth side and won the U19 European Championship with France.
    When he made his first-team debut in 2009 after a four-month ban from Fifa, a Mail on Sunday article was headlined: “Chelsea’s new wonder boy worth all the fuss”.
    A decade later, Kakuta signed with French club Amiens in what is the 13th professional club of his career.

    Gael Kakuta signed with Chelsea in 2007 but is now on loan at Rens from Amiens
    The 29-year-old went out on loan to six clubs during six years with Chelsea’s first-team before eventually moving on to Sevilla.

    There were a couple of years in China and a return to Spain before switching to France.
    Embarrassingly, Kakuta was embroiled in a court case in 2014 when a broke former footballer masqueraded as him to fund a luxury lifestyle.
    Medi Abalimba was jailed after racking up huge bills in hotels and nightclubs pretending to be the Chelsea star.
    Kakuta joined Amiens in 2019 and is now spending the campaign on loan with Lens.
    Back in 2010, a 17-year-old McEachran emerged as the brightest young talent in the Chelsea academy.
    The Blues fought off the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United to sign the teenager.
    McEachran was expected to evolve from starlet to star at Chelsea and, in turn, be the successor to Lampard’s crown in midfield.

    Josh McEachran was expected to become a Chelsea superstar and had an ill-fated spell at Brentford
    Then England U21s boss Stuart Pearce said: “He’s got a really outstanding talent, similar to Jack Wilshere, and it bodes well for England.
    “If Josh and Jack were wearing Spanish shirts, you would revere them.”
    The arrival of Andre Villas-Boas to Stamford Bridge in 2011 brought an end to McEachran’s progression and he sought opportunities on loan.
    He was sent out to five clubs in three years, from Watford to Wigan, but struggled to settle at any.
    In 2015, he broke free of Chelsea’s loan army and joined Brentford on a permanent deal, a move which had highs and lows until his release last summer.
    McEachran, now 27, is playing for Birmingham City.
    The repercussions of Traore’s move to Chelsea in 2013 was felt last summer at Stamford Bridge.
    Lampard’s inability to make any signings when the Blues were slapped with a transfer ban was due to Traore’s arrival back in 2013.

    Bertrand Traore ended up playing just 16 times for Chelsea
    Traore’s move to Chelsea was one of the key components in Fifa’s evidence as part of an investigation into the club’s signing of foreign players under the age of 18.
    Fifa said it found breaches in 29 cases out of the 92 investigated.
    In the end, Traore played just 16 times for Chelsea and departed for Lyon in an £8.8m move in 2017.
    In France, he impressed scoring 21 goals in 87 games for the club.
    His return to form earned Traore a summer move to Aston Villa for a fee believed to be around £17million where he is starting to find his feet in the Premier League.
    When a 16-year-old Rajkovic signed for Chelsea in 2005, it was seen as a giant coup.
    The centre-back, tipped to succeed John Terry in defence, had spent the previous summer at Arsenal’s youth camp.
    The majority of Europe’s big beasts were looking to sign the talented defender, including Man United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Inter Milan and Monaco.
    A work permit stalled Rajkovic’s progression at Chelsea so he was sent to Holland on loan, to PSV, Twente and then Vitesse Arnhem.

    Slobodan Rajkovic was wanted by Europe’s biggest clubs and enjoyed a stint at Palermo
    Villas-Boas gave the Serbian centre-back his first start for Chelsea, in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Wycombe Wanderers in 2011.
    The same year Rajkovic was sold to Hamburg in a £1.8m deal.
    His career never really ignited, making just 42 appearances for the German side in four years.
    Rajkovic spent three years with Italian club Palermo but was released after they finished bottom of Serie B.
    The boy once wanted by all is now plying his trade in Russia with FC Lokomotiv Moscow.
    Jose Mourinho made it clear how much potential Solanke had at Chelsea.
    Back in 2014, in his second stint as Stamford Bridge boss, Mourinho named Solanke in a list of players who would be representing their countries in a few years.
    “In this moment, we have players who will be Chelsea players.  And when they become Chelsea players, they will become England players, almost for sure,” Mourinho said.
    Quite understandable given Solanke success in the youth ranks.
    He was England’s Youth Player of the Year in 2014, Chelsea’s Academy Player of the Year the following season and earned his first-team debut aged just 17.

    Solanke was Chelsea’s academy star striker but ended up being sold to Liverpool before joining Bournemouth

    Solanke was the prolific goalscorer who helped Chelsea to successive FA Youth Cups in 2014 and 2015, as well as a Uefa Youth League.
    But two years ago, at the age of 19, Solanke opted for a new beginning having not seen first-team opportunities come his way.
    He headed for Merseyside with Liverpool where he made 21 appearances in Jurgen Klopp’s first-team but only scored on the final day of the 2017-18 season.
    Bournemouth forked out a whopping £19m for the 23-year-old last year and he is a key part of their side who are pushing for promotion from the Championship.
    Liverpool star Andrew Robertson once described Feruz, his then team-mate at Celtic, as the “golden boy” of the Scottish youth football.
    Feruz was plucked away by Chelsea in 2011, aged 15, to be another star at the club’s Cobham academy.
    But such promise didn’t translate into success for the striker as he was sent out on loan to Crete, Blackpool, Hibernian, Royal Excel Mouscron and Swindon Town.

    Islam Feruz is now without a club having been known as the ‘golden boy’ of Scottish football
    And when his contract at Chelsea came to an end in 2017 he was released.
    Despite only being 25 years old, Feruz has been without a club since and set up a baseball cap brand in the meantime.
    Over five years as a Blues player, and sent on as many loans, Feruz made just 20 professional appearances and scored no goals.
    Chelsea deemed the striker, once the darling of Scottish youth football, to have lost his potential.

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    Chelsea announce £32.5m profit for 2019-20 despite coronavirus crisis but figures don’t include £253m transfer splurge

    CHELSEA have revealed a £32.5million profit in their latest financial results for the 2019-20 campaign.
    However, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic meant their overall turnover fell from £446.7m to £407.4m for the year ended June 30, 2020.

    Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea has recorded a £32.5m profit for 2019-20Credit: AFP – Getty

    ⚽ Read our Chelsea live blog for the very latest news from the Bridge
    But that was offset by qualification for the Champions League, as well as player sales that helped the club record a profit, including the sale of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, which could eventually reach close to £150million.
    According to the figures, broadcast and match day revenues dropped to £17.6million and £12.2million respectively, due to the season being suspended in March.
    Although, that meant a reduction in match day costs with games being postponed.

    Commercial revenue was also down by £9.5million, with non-match day activities around Stamford Bridge closed because of the pandemic.
    The report also reveals that Chelsea are continuing to ‘comply with UEFA’s break-even criteria under the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations’.
    And the Blues did invest £93.7million in the squad, including on existing player contract negotiations.
    However, Chelsea’s summer transfer splurge has NOT been included in the new figures.

    Roman Abramovich signed off on £253million worth of deals, for the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech and Edouard Mendy.
    Chairman Bruce Buck revealed on the club’s website: “In common with many, many businesses across the globe, the pandemic has had a significant impact on Chelsea’s income.
    “But it is a sign of the strength and stability of our financial operation that the company was still able to post a profit in the past financial year.

    The figures don’t include Chelsea’s £253m summer transfer splurge, which included the £70m spent on Kai HavertzCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    “This was done while continuing to invest in our playing staff and indeed had normal football not halted in March, projections show a record profit and record turnover would have been achieved.
    “That would have represented an increase in revenue for a fifth year in succession.
    “Despite the impact of Covid, the revenue streams remained strong, our team is developing on the pitch and the club is in a good position to continue to grow when football is able to operate as it did previously, a time we are all looking forward to.”

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