'Chelsea the team to beat in Premier League' – Neville

Jul 03, 2015 Posted Under: News

Despite their title rivals all strengthening, Jose Mourinho & Co. remain favourites to win the title again next season, according to the former Manchester United defender

Gary Neville says Chelsea are favourites for the Premier League title this season.

Jose Mourinho’s side finished the previous campaign eight points clear of Manchester City to be crowned champions for the first time since 2010 and have since signed Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan.

Chelsea’s rivals have been busy in the transfer market, with Petr Cech moving to Arsenal, Manchester United signing Memphis Depay and Liverpool making six new signings, including Roberto Firmino and Danny Ings.

However, Neville cannot see past Mourinho’s men, though admits the transfer window could yet change matters with the season start still five weeks away.

“We’re in July when teams haven’t completed their business yet; that’s something I think you’ve got to be very careful about at this stage,” he told Sky Sports News.

“But as I stand here today, I think it would be very difficult to look to past Chelsea. However, who knows what is going to happen in the next month in terms of signings and how those signings will then come in and adapt.

“Things can always happen and you could look at a team in a month’s time and think ‘they’re going to take some stopping with the people they’ve signed’, we haven’t seen the transfer market flush itself out yet.

“But certainly now, without the business having been done, you aren’t as informed as you’d like to be, but Chelsea would be the team to beat and I think everyone would say that.”

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Diego Costa: It would be fantastic to have Arda at Chelsea

Jul 03, 2015 Posted Under: News

The pair thrived together at Atletico Madrid and, with the midfielder set to leave Vicente Calderon, Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing the Turkey international

Diego Costa is hoping to one day play alongside Arda Turan again amid reported interest from Chelsea in the Atletico Madrid man.

The 28-year-old Arda, who is set to leave the Vicente Calderon this summer, has already denied potential moves to Barcelona and Manchester United.

Costa won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and reached the Champions League final with the Turkey international while at the Vicente Calderon and feels the pair – along with Filipe Luis – could replicate their trophy-winning form at Stamford Bridge.

“It would be fantastic [to play alongside Arda again],” Costa told Bugun. “Arda makes everything so much easier out on the pitch. Arda, Filipe and I function perfectly.

“Arda is such a great person. He invited us to eat at his house many times; I really liked his kebab. The whole team would go round to his house for dinner.”

Costa also spoke of his admiration for Blues boss Mourinho as the Premier League champions ready themselves for their title defence.

He added: “Mourinho dedicates himself completely to his work. He adores his job and immerses himself in it.

“At the moment the team is resting but I am sure he isn’t – he will be planning, doing things to improve the team. Mourinho makes things easier for the players.

“Simeone is still a relatively young coach and he always strives for the best; he always helps his players and he enjoys his job. Both of them have enjoyed success.”

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Fiorentina set to sue Salah

Jul 03, 2015 Posted Under: News

The Viola are adamant that they retain the right to buy the Egypt international but the winger’s agent insists that he belongs to Chelsea

Fiorentina have announced they are willing to take legal action against Mohamed Salah over his refusal to stay at the Artemio Franchi.

The Viola signed the Egypt international on loan from Chelsea in January and it was reported at the time that the Serie A side retained the option to extend the agreement for another year and buy the forward for an agreed fee at the end of the 2015-16 season.

However, Salah and his agent maintain that the 23-year-old did not sign any contract committing himself to Fiorentina beyond June 30.

Consequently, the Viola – who also claim to have offered Salah a pay rise to stay in Florence – are now ready to settle the matter in the courts.

“The player, through his representative, rejected the offer of improvement of his contract and he has even expressed his intention to be transferred to another club and to not answer a call-up to the first team that had already been submitted,” read a statement released on Fiorentina’s official website on Friday.

“Our lawyers will now work to evaluate lawsuits aimed at defending Fiorentina.”

However, Salah’s agent Ramy Abbas claimed before Fiorentina’s public announcement that Salah will not be at the Franchi next season – no matter what happens.

“There is a document that proves that Salah can decide his own future,” he told Radio Bruno Toscano.

“The contract with Fiorentina expires on June 30. Now the boy will return to Chelsea and await other offers.

“Salah will not remain with the Viola. All of the offers that the club made him have been rejected. The situation has been clear since February.

“Fiorentina knew the facts. They are a great club and they know what it means to sign a contract.

“I have explained also to Chelsea that the contract with the Viola is finished.

“Fiorentina cannot exercise any rights because the player didn’t sign a permanent contract.”

Abbas added that he now expects his client’s future to be resolved in the coming days – and that the winger could end up lining up for another Serie A side next season.

“I can only say that he belongs to Chelsea but that he’s liked by Italian clubs, among others,” the agent added.

“Some of these clubs have shown great interest in him. There will be news in the coming days.

“Mohamed is grateful to the city of Florence for the way in which they treated him, but I cannot speak for him: just that there will be a chance to explain everything.”

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Official: Chelsea agree Falcao loan deal

Jul 03, 2015 Posted Under: News

The Colombia striker will return to the Premier League on another season-long switch from Monaco after spending an unhappy 2014-15 campaign at Manchester United

Chelsea have agreed terms with Monaco over the season-long loan of striker Radamel Falcao.

The Colombia international, who was a £50 million signing for the Ligue 1 side in 2013, will spend the duration of the 2015-16 campaign at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea youngster Mario Pasalic, a 20-year-old Croatian midfielder who spent last season at Elche, will join Monaco on loan as part of the deal.

“I am very happy to be joining Chelsea and can’t wait to start training and help with our aim of retaining the league title and being successful in Europe,” Falcao told the Blues’ official website.

Goal revealed last month that Jose Mourinho was driving Chelsea’s interest in Falcao, who he will aim to rehabilitate to top form after a miserable spell at Manchester United.

.@ChelseaFC is delighted to announce we have agreed terms with Monaco for the season-long loan of @FALCAO… #CFC pic.twitter.com/wnZcjFGvtw

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 3, 2015

The 29-year-old scored nine goals in 17 games in his first season with Monaco but had his campaign ended by a serious knee injury and missed last summer’s World Cup.

Falcao then joined United on loan on deadline day last year but struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford, scoring only four times in 29 games.

Prior to his move to Monaco he was recognised as one of the world’s leading strikers, scoring 70 goals in two seasons at Atletico Madrid and netting a hat-trick in the 2012 Super Cup against Chelsea.

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Cech: I can keep playing until I'm 40

Jul 02, 2015 Posted Under: News

The 33-year-old new Arsenal goalkeeper is eager to continue his career for some years to come yet

New Arsenal signing Petr Cech has spoken of his desire to continue playing until he is at least 40 following his move from Chelsea.

The goalkeeper signed a long-term deal at the Emirates Stadium earlier this week after losing his starting place to Thibaut Courtois last season, ending a trophy-laden 11-year spell at Stamford Bridge.

Cech is now 33 years old and insists he will not contemplate hanging up his boots until he hits 40, though admits, like his move to Arsenal, you can never plan too far ahead in football.

“I don’t want to speak about retirement for another seven years. That’s my target and then I will see,” Cech told reporters.

“You can have a plan, but sometimes, it doesn’t turn out the way you want. This move is one of those things I didn’t expect – but I’m glad it happened.

“In football you never know what’s round the corner and retirement is something I don’t plan. I’m just looking forward to my new challenge. I’ll just go in, do my work and show I am worthy of a place.”

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