Kepa Set to Become Spain’s Number One Goalkeeper as Luis Enrique Prepares to Axe David de Gea

?Spanish national team manager Luis Enrique is set to drop usual first-choice keeper David de Gea after losing patience with the Manchester United stopper’s form.

The 28-year-old has kept just three clean sheets in all competitions this season for ?United and produced a handful of errors in Spain’s 3-2 UEFA Nations League defeat to Croatia, casting doubt over their hopes of qualification for the finals of the competition.

Spain  v England  -UEFA Nations league

De Gea elected to stay on his line instead of running out to smother the ball before  Andrej Kramari?’s opener, before a late blunder presented Tin Jedvaj with the opportunity he needed to win the game in injury-time.

The Manchester United ‘keeper was Spain’s number one at the World Cup, where he also made mistakes – most notably in their opening encounter against Portugal, in which he parried a Cristiano Ronaldo strike into the net. During the tournament, he managed to save just one of the eleven strikes he faced.

As a result of his continued poor form, Spanish publication AS suggest that ?Chelsea number one Kepa Arrizabalaga will receive the nod from Enrique ahead of their friendly against Bosnia.

Spain Training Session

The former Athletic Bilbao keeper has kept nine clean sheets in 16 appearances for the Blues, including six in 12 ?league appearances and three in four Europa League games. 

Arrizabalaga has conceded just eight times in the league, in comparison to the 21 goals conceded by De Gea and will be an able replacement should Enrique decide to relieve De Gea of his starting duties.

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Michy Batshuayi Dismisses Reports of Early Chelsea Return Despite Iffy Start to Valencia Loan Spell

?Michy Batshuayi has ruled out any possibility of an early return to Chelsea from his loan with Valencia.

The Belgian striker joined the Spanish club on loan last summer but has scored just two goals in all competitions, with the former La Liga winners only managing to win two games so far this season.

Athletic Club v Valencia CF - La Liga

In stark contrast, parent club ?Chelsea are unbeaten in all competitions and find themselves among the early favourites to win this season’s Premier League title. Attractive as it may seem to leave Valencia to rejoin the Blues, however, ?Batshuayi insists such talk is nothing more than speculation, adding that he is content with life at the Mestalla.

“On my departure from Valencia, there are only rumours,” Batshuayi said, as quoted by the ?Daily Mail.

“I have no problem with the club and I understand the coach [Marcelino] very well. We are in a bad phase, but we will continue working to overcome the slump.”


Batshuayi started for Belgium in the UEFA Nations League on Thursday evening, as they beat Iceland 2-0 courtesy of the striker’s brace. His performance may have differed from his form in ?La Liga, but still merited praise from his national team manager Roberto Martinez after the game.

“He moved well for the opening goal,” Martinez said. “I’m glad he scored twice, but he also played a good game. I was delighted with his overall performance.”

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Displaying the same goalscoring touch for Valencia will be vital for the striker, who will look to fire his club up from their current 15th place when they play Rayo Vallecano following the international break.

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Napoli Star ?Elseid Hysaj’s Agent Hints at Potential €60m Move to Chelsea

?Elseid Hysaj’s agent has dropped a cryptic hint that his client could yet be on his way to Chelsea – just a couple of months after the west London club failed in their attempts to lure the Albanian to Stamford Bridge.

Despite making 11 appearances for Napoli in Serie A this season, manager Carlo Ancelotti has frequently opted to utilise Kevin Malcuit in the right back position, prompting some to question whether Hysaj’s long term future is in Naples. 

The right back has already played under Maurizio Sarri at both Empoli and Napoli, and the two have a positive working relationship.

SSC Napoli v Empoli - Serie A

Speaking to Radio CRC as quoted by The Sun, Hysaj’s agent, Mario Giuffredi, hinted at a possible move for his client, and spoke of a potential asking price.

He said: “Chelsea in for Hysaj? If you see Napoli are playing Malcuit and looking at other players, clearly it means that there are also enquiries, those who say otherwise are misinformed. 

“Hysaj is a player who can do well in English football, given he’s very physical and being watched by big clubs. Is he worth €50m? He’s worth €60m for me.”

SSC Napoli v FC Crotone - Serie A

The quotes from Giuffredi will put Chelsea boss Sarri on high alert as the club look to get ahead of a possible UEFA-imposed transfer ban, it’s understood that the Blues made a move for the right back in the summer, but their attempts were thwarted when the Italians refused to let both the Albanian and Jorginho follow Sarri to London.

It’s unclear what a possible move for Hysaj would do to a relatively settled Chelsea back line, but if a move does go through for such a large fee, it could oust Cesar Azpilicueta or Antonio Rudiger from the starting eleven.

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Borussia Dortmund Starlet ‘Set for January Chelsea Move’ as Contract Renewal Talks Stall

?Chelsea are leading the race to sign Borussia Dortmund and USA starlet Christian Pulisic after contract talks between the player’s representatives and his club stalled. 

Despite impressing in Germany since his arrival in 2016, Pulisic has been outshone by Jadon Sancho so far this season, and has only registered one goal and two assists in seven Bundesliga appearances. 

Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League

The Mail report that, despite being at the club since the age of 16, Pulisic is refusing to enter into any further contract talks with Dortmund and the club – feeling that their hand is being forced – are said to be preparing to cash in on the youngster.

With Chelsea facing a future that may not contain Eden Hazard – but may include a lengthy transfer ban from FIFA – the Mail report claims that the Blues are looking to push a move for the USMNT star through as soon as this January. 

While no figure has yet been revealed, Pulisic has been valued around £70m in the not too distant past – although Dortmund may be forced to be flexible on that figure to avoid losing a valuable asset for free in 18 months. 

Chelsea FC v Everton FC - Premier League

Pulisic has previously spoken of his wish to play in the Premier League, saying before his USA side played England on Thursday: “England, the Premier League, is a league where lots of kids dream of playing so there is no reason why maybe one day I won’t play here. 

“As you can see, we are having a great year at Dortmund and I am enjoying every moment of that. Then when the time comes for me to talk in the breaks about my future, then that’s when those things happen. Like I said before, reading these articles [about me], I tend to stay away from that stuff. I know it is going to be there but it is not my priority.”

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Chelsea Encouraged to Take Advantage of FFP Troubles With Move for Inter Striker

?Chelsea have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Inter superstar Mauro Icardi, as the Serie A side may be forced to sell the striker to raise money and avoid UEFA’s Financial Fair Play sanctions.

With both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud failing to impress during their time in London, Chelsea have been heavily linked with a move for the prolific Icardi, who has already netted ten goals this season. Morata has found some impressive form in recent weeks, but Chelsea could still decide to move for Icardi if they feel a reasonable deal can be reached.

Atalanta BC v FC Internazionale - Serie A

Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport (via The Sun) state that ?Inter must raise £44m before the end of June to avoid punishment, which could range from a fine to a ban from participating in either the Champions League or Europa League.

The urgent need for funds could see them sell several of their star players, one of whom could be striker ?Icardi. ?Chelsea have been heavily linked with a move for the 25-year-old, whilst ?Manchester United have also been touted as potential suitors for Icardi.

SPAL v FC Internazionale - Serie A

His release clause is said to be £97.5m, but Inter may find themselves forced to accept a lower offer for Icardi as they seek to avoid any strict punishment from UEFA.

?Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has claimed that Icardi could develop into one of the world’s best players under the guidance of Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri, telling the media: “Icardi is a champion, he could become a new ?Ronaldo, in the hands of Sarri he could make 40 goals.”

Should Chelsea move to sign Icardi, it could bring about the end of ?Morata‘s career at Stamford Bridge. Rumours have emerged linking Morata with a loan move to Inter, which may encourage the Italian side to part with their captain.

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However, should Jose Mourinho attempt to bring Icardi to United, it may spark a bidding war between the two clubs. 

The likes of ?Alexis Sanchez and ?Romelu Lukaku have faced huge amounts of criticism from United fans after a series of poor performances, meaning they may be keen on bringing in Icardi, who has netted an impressive 117 goals in 195 outings for Inter.

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