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    Five defenders Chelsea could sign to replace Rudiger including Kounde and Szalai as Real Madrid close in on centre-back

    CHELSEA are still sweating over the future of Antonio Rudiger. The German, 28, is yet to sign a new deal and has attracted attention from Europe’s elite, most notably Real Madrid.
    Chelsea are still sweating over the future of Antonio RudigerCredit: Rex
    Cesar Azpilicueta, 32, Thiago Silva, 37, and Andreas Christensen, 25, are also defenders Chelsea face losing for nothing unless contract extensions are agreed.
    The Blues are said to be prepared to offer all four new deals, but it will not stop them from scouting out alternatives.
    Here, SunSport runs down five centre-back options for Chelsea.
    Jules Kounde
    Frenchman Kounde, 23, looked all set for a move from Sevilla to Stamford Bridge in the summer and is believed to have agreed personal terms.
    But, after Chelsea sold Kurt Zouma, 27, to accommodate the move, Sevilla raised the price tag to £60million at the last minute, opposed to the original £43m.
    That is said to have caused Chelsea to pull out of the deal, which in turn paved the way for 22-year-old Trevoh Chalobah’s emergence in the squad.
    Jules Kounde looked all set for a move to Stamford Bridge in the summerCredit: Getty

    Attila Szalai
    Fenerbahce’s Szalai, 23, has emerged as a cut-price alternative option at the back for the Blues.
    And speculation from Turkey has even claimed Chelsea have agreed a deal of £20m to sign the defender in the winter window.
    Szalai has won 21 caps since making his senior international debut for Hungary in 2019.
    Attila Szalai has won 21 caps since making his senior international debut for Hungary in 2019Credit: PA
    Chelsea were last summer linked to the Brazilian, 27, who is the current PSG captain.
    And despite reportedly being prepared to pay up to £86m for Marquinhos, neither the player or PSG appeared interested in the deal.
    But that is not to say Chelsea would not try their luck again, especially as Marquinhos could be deemed the perfect successor to former team-mate Silva.
    Marquinhos is the current PSG captainCredit: Getty
    Niklas Sule
    Earlier in the year, German Sule, 26, was rumoured to be a target Chelsea were considering signing in the summer.
    Since then, he is yet to sign a new Bayern Munich deal, which is set to expire at the end of this season.
    It means Chelsea could be cleared to negotiate a free transfer with Sule as soon as next month, with Newcastle also linked with the defender.

    Niklas Sule is yet to sign a new Bayern Munich dealCredit: Reuters
    Pau Torres
    Villarreal’s Torres, 24, was close to a move to London in the summer, but with Chelsea’s rivals Tottenham.
    And already the defender could be a favourite amongst Blues fans after turning down Spurs.
    He is said to have been a name shortlisted on Chelsea’s defensive targets in the past and is believed to have a £56m release clause in his contract.
    Vllarreal centre-half Pau Torres rejected a move to SpursCredit: Getty More

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    Chelsea player ratings: Jorginho’s recovers from mistake to convert penalty as Man Utd hold wasteful Blues to a draw

    JORGINHO needed a penalty kick to spare his blushes after a horror mistake at Stamford Bridge. The Italian’s woeful touch put Jadon Sancho clear on goal, and the England international calmly slotted home.
    Jorhingo equalised from the spotCredit: Getty
    Jorginho later equalised from the spot to ensure not all was lost for Chelsea, who dominated large parts of the game.
    Here is how Simon Phillips rated Chelsea’s players.
    Edouard Mendy – 6/10
    Surprisingly he was barely worked at all in the first half. Nothing he could do for the opening goal and wasn’t really tested too much after that either.
    Lucky late on not to give away a goal after passing straight to United.
    Jadon Sancho slots past Edouard MendyCredit: Getty
    Trevoh Chalobah – 7
    He didn’t put a foot wrong at the back and as always, he was providing a threat for Chelsea in attack as well linking with James.
    Worked very hard for the team.
    Trevoh Chalobah didn’t put a foot wrong at the backCredit: AP

    Thiago Silva – 8
    The usual stuff from him now making football look easy and being that calm presence on the ball helping Chelsea play out comfortably from the back.
    Also did well to win Chelsea’s penalty.
    Thiago Silva won Chelsea a penaltyCredit: Reuters
    Antonio Rudiger – 8
    He cracked the bar with a great long range shot and his pace driving forward with the ball is a such a great weapon for Chelsea to have. Great defensively as well.
    Missed a golden chance at the death blazing the ball over.
    Antonio Rudiger missed a golden chance at the endCredit: AFP
    Reece James – 8
    Brilliant again from James, he was physical and worked hard for Chelsea out wide.
    He got rattled a little after United went 1-0 up but he was competent again in a Chelsea shirt.
    Reece James was physical and worked hard for Chelsea out wideCredit: EPA
    Jorginho – 8
    A very influential display again form the captain for the day, who was bossing the midfield for Chelsea technically and physically.
    But he was unfortunate to be left isolated by himself when United hit and hope on the counter attack and he made a big mistake to let Sancho in to score. He redeemed himself though by slotting home the penalty to make it 1-1.
    Jorginho’s mistake led to Jadon Sancho’s openerCredit: PA
    Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 6
    Sometimes he just needs to do the simple option a bit more and to be honest he didn’t look at it at all today, being wasteful in possession and gave the ball away too much.
    Ruben Loftus-Cheek was wasteful in possession and gave the ball away too muchCredit: AFP
    Marcos Alonso – 6
    He is certainly no Ben Chilwell unfortunately and he looked a little lost at times despite doing the basics well.
    He started to get more comfortable in the second half.
    Marcos Alonso lost at times despite doing the basics wellCredit: Getty
    Hakim Ziyech – 7
    Very lively and all over the pitch working hard. He had some great touches and good moments.
    He is just a little too inconsistent though and does something great, followed by something poor.
    Hakim Ziyech lively and all over the pitchCredit: EPA
    Callum Hudson-Odoi – 8
    Should have scored early on to put Chelsea in front but he was good again today.
    Chelsea’s most dangerous attacker again but he needs to make better decisions in the final third. Worked very hard.
    Callum Hudson-Odoi had a golden chance early onCredit: AFP
    Timo Werner – 6
    Full of running and always direct when he got the ball, but he just looked lost and didn’t really provide Chelsea with anything different or extra today.
    Timo Werner looked lost at timesCredit: EPA
    Mason Mount for Hudson-Odoi (77 mins) – N/A
    Worked hard of course but couldn’t do anything to affect it.
    Christian Pulisic for Alonso (77 mins) – N/A
    Not enough time to have an impact.
    Romelu Lukaku for Werner (81 mins) – N/A
    Kepa Arrizabalaga shows off his skills in goal keeper training with Chelsea More

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    Cesar Azpilicueta recalls nightmare of facing Cristiano Ronaldo 11 years ago when he played for Spanish side Osasuna

    IT is more than 11 years since Cesar Azpilicueta played against Cristiano Ronaldo.And the Chelsea captain will be keen to avoid a repeat of what happened when they met in LaLiga back in May 2010.
    Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid against Cesar Azpilicueta of Osasuna in 2010Credit: AFP
    Azpilicueta said: “I played against him when I was at Osasuna and he was at Real Madrid.
    “I don’t remember the score. Maybe in the Bernabeu we lost!”
    Indeed they did. Osasuna took an early lead but Ronaldo  equalised after twisting an equally fresh-faced Azpilicueta this way and that, then firing in a low shot.
    The score was 2-2 by  half-time and remained that way until Ronaldo headed an 89th-minute winner.
    More recently, in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup, Azpilicueta was watching from the Spain bench when Ronaldo completed a hat-trick with a late free-kick equaliser for Portugal in a 3-3 draw.
    The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has kept up that happy habit of grabbing crucial late goals since rejoining United.

    Azpilicueta added: “He’s a player that can be dangerous at any time, so we have to be very careful.
    “He has a great ability to find spaces, he can shoot right and left and he’s a very good header of the ball.
    “We are lucky to be in the best league in the world, playing against very tough opponents. Every day you face different challenges.
    “To be part of the era where we have faced Cristiano and Messi is great but you always have to be on your toes because they are very dangerous.”

    Chelsea captain Cesar AzpilicuetaCredit: Signathon
    Tuchel yells out the nickname of Chelsea captain Azpilicueta wrong before Pulisic steps in to correct new boss More

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    Chelsea verdict: Blues make Champions League heavyweights look like minnows as Juventus are ruthlessly brushed aside

    WHEN you look at Juventus against Chelsea on paper, you really don’t think there to be too much between these two historic clubs.Juventus have a great history and are considered a giant of Italian football, but Chelsea really did show the large gap between the two sides.
    Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James celebrate for ChelseaCredit: Reuters
    Of course, Juventus did beat Chelsea 1-0 at their ground just some weeks back, but that certainly did not paint the full picture.
    Chelsea went to Italy and played them off the park with 77 per cent possession, showing their quality.
    They did exactly that again tonight at Stamford Bridge, making Juventus look like an average side.
    Granted the visitors had already qualified for the next round of the Champions League.
    However, topping the group can be the difference of facing Bayern Munich in the next round or not, for example.
    Juventus will surely want to avoid that.
    The way Chelsea are playing though, they wouldn’t be too concerned about who they face, they will believe they can beat absolutely anyone right now – that is how well they are playing.
    It certainly wasn’t like watching two sides who are considered to be close to each other in terms of quality and stature.

    Chelsea are miles ahead of Juventus right now and both the home and away legs proved that.
    Juventus never looked dangerous and Chelsea bossed the game, even with N’Golo Kante going off injured and Romelu Lukaku not being on the pitch.
    They did ask a couple of questions of Chelsea, but the Blues just used that as an excuse to be devastating on the counter-attack and be a threat that way, as well as bossing possession.
    It wasn’t like a match watching two European giants play narrowly compete, it was more like watching boys against men.
    That is total credit to Thomas Tuchel and how he has got this team of quality players playing and feeling.
    They really feel like they can beat anyone on their day.
    Chelsea play with confidence and a great mentality, and Tuchel is the one who has instilled this make no mistake.

    Tuchel breaks silence on Rudiger’s contract stand-off after starring in Leicester win More

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    Chelsea player ratings: Academy stars shine with trio of goals as Thiago Silva rock solid at the back yet again

    CHELSEA smashed their way past Juventus to leapfrog the Italians to top their Champions League group. Goals from academy stars Trevoh Chalobah, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi as well as Timo Werner saw the Blues hammer Juve and jump to top.
    Trevoh Chalobah, Reece James and Christian Pulisic celebrate against JuventusCredit: Getty
    It was equally pleasant viewing at the back for Thomas Tuchel in his 50th game in charge, keeping yet another clean sheet.
    Here’s how Simon Phillips rated the European champions.
    Edouard Mendy – 8
    He was fairly quiet in the first half but did get lobbed by Alvaro Morata and had to be saved by Thiago Silva.
    He did have to make one very good save late on to keep his clean sheet.
    Edouard Mendy kept yet another clean sheet for ChelseaCredit: Reuters
    Trevoh Chalobah – 8
    Scored Chelsea’s opening goal and celebrated like a man that has just scored on his first start in the Champions League.
    Another mature and composed performance from the rising young star.
    Trevoh Chalobah scored on his Champions League debutCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

    Thiago Silva – 9
    His goal line clearance was absolutely superb.
    A 37-year-old had no right to get to that, but this emphasises just how good this man is and he is getting better with age if anything.
    Thiago Silva goal line clearance was absolutely superbCredit: Getty
    Antonio Rudiger – 8
    He was his usual self, a menace in the box and great at carrying the ball forward and joining the attack.
    Another assured performance from the man who could end up a free agent in the summer.
    Antonio Rudiger put in another great performanceCredit: AP
    Reece James – 9
    Once again, we are running out of plaudits for this guy,.
    He is easily one of the best young players in world football right now and he was very unlucky not to score twice in the first half if not for two great saves.
    He did score in the second half with an emphatic finish.
    Reece James hammered home a beautyCredit: Getty
    Jorginho – 8
    Dictating play and never giving the ball away, just another night for Jorginho playing football.
    He was always available for the pass and was Chelsea’s route out every time.
    Jorginho dictated play and never giving it away,Credit: Reuters
    N’Golo Kante – 7
    Unfortunately, he went off injured midway through the first half but he was having a good game until then.
    N’Golo Kante was forced off injuredCredit: Rex
    Ben Chilwell – 8
    Should have scored early on from six yards out, but it was another quality performance from a guy in top form.
    He was good at the back as well when he did need to make some good recovery runs and tackles.
    Unfortunately, he got what looked like quite a bad knee injury.
    Ben Chilwell also came off injuredCredit: Rex
    Callum Hudson-Odoi – 9
    A real lively menace and got Cuadrado booked early on with a good run.
    He perhaps should have scored as well in the first half but he was really Chelsea’s most dangerous attacker once again.
    He made no mistake with his chance in the second half to put Chelsea 3-0 up.
    Callum Hudson-Odoi celebrated his goalCredit: Getty
    Christian Pulisic – 6
    He was relatively quiet to be honest in the first half and his first touch seemed to dessert him on occasions.
    But he was asked to play in a slightly unfamiliar position and he tried to be effective.
    Christian Pulisic played through the middleCredit: AFP
    Hakim Ziyech – 8
    His hit and miss season continues.
    One minute he was doing something excellent like taking the ball with a great turn and winning a free-kick, the next minute Tuchel was shouting at him for not finding Hudson-Odoi with a pass that would have left him one on one with the keeper.
    Much improved performance from him tonight though.
    Hakim Ziyech was much improved performanceCredit: AFP
    Ruben Loftus-Cheek for Kante (36 mins) – 8
    He took a while to settle in to it when he first came on. but he soon got in the swing of it and set up Hudson-Odoi to score the third.
    Cesar Azpilicueta for Chilwell (70 mins) – 7
    Slotted in at left wing back and helped Chelsea see the game out.
    Timo Werner for Pulisic (70 mins) – 7
    His pace was an instant threat and scored right at the death to make it four.
    Saul Niguez for Hudson-Odoi (75 mins) – N/A
    Mason Mount for Jorginho (75 mins) – N/A
    Tuchel breaks silence on Rudiger’s contract stand-off after starring in Leicester win More

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    Watch Chelsea kid Trevoh Chalobah net on Champions League debut vs Juventus… after doing same in Prem this season

    TREVOH CHALOBAH scored on both his Premier League and Champions League debut after volleying home against Juventus. The defender was a shock start against Crystal Palace in August but fired in a stunner from outside the box.
    Trevoh Chalobah celebrates his goal against JuventusCredit: Getty

    With his family proudly watching on in the stands, Chalobah appeared to break down in tears as he celebrated.
    And he cut an equally emotional look after his first-half volley put Chelsea 1-0 up against Juventus.
    The goal opened the foodgates for the defending European champions who went on to win 4-0.
    Chalobah’s excellent performance helped Chelsea climb above Juventus to top the group and keep yet another clean sheet.
    The centre-half was also handed the man of the match award and opened up about the memorable moment.
    He told BT Sport: “It meant a lot, as I said, when I was a young kid I used to watch Champions League.

    “So now being involved and getting a goal, it’s been very emotional.
    “For me, it’s about consistency, keep playing well, the manager’s brought me in, it starts in training as well.”
    He was joined in celebration by defensive partner Antonio Rudiger, 28, who has helped mentor the young academy star.
    Chalobah, 22, said: “He’s been a massive part Rudiger, he’s always helping me every day, the same as Thiago as well.
    “Everyone around the club really, for a young player to play for a club like this, consistency is needed and that’s what I’ve tried to add to my game.”
    Chelsea icon John Terry reveals eye-opening advice from Dean Smith after laying into player who had secret family issues More

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    ‘Just give him the money’ – Chelsea told to give Antonio Rudiger new deal as he will cost at least £30m to replace

    EMMANUEL PETIT has urged Chelsea to extend Antonio Rudiger’s contract by the end of the season to prevent him from leaving for free.The defender is said to be extremely unhappy with the club after they fell short of his wage demands by £60,000.
    Rudiger has been a standout player for Chelsea this seasonCredit: Getty
    Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich are all said to be interested in the Chelsea man, who has been a key player for Thomas Tuchel since he took over at the start of the year.
    Rudiger has expressed his desire to remain at Stamford Bridge beyond the summer, but only if the Blues will increase his wages.
    When speaking to, former Chelsea midfielder Petit said: “He looks like one of the best defenders around.
    “He could leave on a free and Chelsea would have to spend a minimum of £30 million to find a new defender of his level, and there’s never a guarantee a buy will work out.

    “This guy is a survivor. Since Tuchel has been the manager he’s been one of the top defenders in world football.
    “If he asks for two more years, just give him the money.”
    Chelsea have recently been linked with Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt who could potentially act as Rudiger’s replacement if he were to leave the club.

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    Chelsea legend John Terry dubs West Ham star Declan Rice the ‘world’s best in his position’ after Liverpool masterclass

    JOHN TERRY dubbed West Ham’s Declan Rice the ‘best in his position’ after a masterclass against Liverpool. The defensive midfielder captained his side to a 3-2 win over Liverpool, which took them up to third.
    Declan Rice after West Ham’s win over LiverpoolCredit: Daniel Chesterton/
    Declan Rice pictured with John Terry
    Rice’s role next to Tomas Soucek in front of the back four proved pivotal in breaking down attacks and then hitting on the counter.
    And the England international won praise of the highest order in Chelsea icon Terry, who has only just joined Twitter.
    He tweeted: “Decland (sic) Rice is the best in his position in world football. What a player.”
    Terry’s former Chelsea team-mate Kurt Zouma scored the all important third for the Hammers to take them above Liverpool in the table.
    Manager David Moyes has now called for his team to continue their fight for a spot in Europe.
    Moyes said: “This result shows that we’re really in with a good chance of challenging for the top places.

    “I’m hugely proud [that I’ve turned West Ham around]. The way the players have gone about it, you talk about me turning it around, these players were close to relegation.
    “Now we’re pushing for Europe. It was a brilliant victory against a really good team.
    “We played Thursday night as well, so to come and put on a performance…and the energy, we had to hang in at the end – it was great by the players.”
    He added: “Even when we went 3-1 up, I was thrilled about that, but the opposition are so good.
    “They got a goal back, we defended really well, they missed a great chance at the end which could have made it 3-3.
    “But I think it might have been a bit unjust, because we had two or three really good chances to get another goal.”
    Jurgen Klopp reacts to Liverpool’s defeat at the hands of West Ham More