Chelsea Eye up Napoli Forward José Callejón While I Ciucciarelli President Hits Out at Sarri’s Raid

??Chelsea are believed to be interested in signing ?Napoli forward José Callejón, while club president Aurelio De Laurentiis has hit out at new Blues manager Mauricio Sarri for attempting to sign multiple players from his former club.

According to CalcioNapoli24, Chelsea manager Mauricio Sarri is eager to lure his former star to Stamford Bridge this summer, having managed him for three seasons in ?Serie A. It looks set to be a summer of real change for the Blues, as Sarri looks to put his own stamp on a Chelsea side who endured a torrid 2017/18 campaign under fellow Italian Antonio Conte.

SSC Napoli v AC Chievo Verona - Serie A

However, the Blues may be thwarted in their quest to sign more players from Sarri’s former side, after Napoli president De Laurentiis hit out at the west Londoners, via Goal, for their attempted raid. The film director turned club official said: “These (Napoli) players gave him a lot. He massacred them in his famous training sessions, but they always reacted well.”

“After that, he wanted to take my whole team to England and dismantle it. I had to lay down the law to Marina (Granovskaia, director at Chelsea). He wanted Jorginho and I gave him away after talking with Carlo Ancelotti, who told me he was expecting a lot from (Amadou) Diawara and that he wants to play (Marek) Hamšík deeper.”

Chelsea FC Training Session

It is unclear whether the Blues will be successful in their move for Callejón, and they run the risk of causing a rift with Napoli should they continue their advances towards their top talents. 

Callejón was in fine form under Sarri last season, scoring ten goals and producing ten assists during an impressive campaign out on the right wing.

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In other news, ?Blues striker Álvaro Morata is widely believed to be edging closer to a Stamford Bridge exit, after ?AC Milan defender Luca Antonini claimed that the club and player have agreed personal terms. It now remains to be seen whether Chelsea will be willing to accept an offer less than the £58m they spent in making Morata their club record signing just last summer.


Olivier Giroud Wants to Fight for Chelsea Place Despite Atletico Madrid Loan Rumours

?Olivier Giroud has been linked with a loan move to ?Atletico Madrid, but the ?Chelsea striker wants to stay at Stamford Bridge and fight for his place under Maurizio Sarri.

The news emerged on Saturday that Atletico had entered into negotiations with Chelsea about ?bringing Giroud on loan to the Wanda Metropolitano, perhaps indicating that Sarri does not see the 31-year-old as part of his long-term plans.

Atletico’s defensive record was the best in ?La Liga last season but they struggled to score goals, so they have been chasing a new striker with Nikola Kalinic and Edinson Cavani also linked.

Giroud overtook Alvaro Morata in the pecking order after joining ?Chelsea from Arsenal in January, but he could find himself out of the team again if Gonzalo Higuain joins the Blues, ?as is rumoured to happen.

Despite this, the ?Daily Mail reports that Giroud is determined to fight for his place and prove himself to Sarri as he did to Antonio Conte.

Chelsea v Liverpool - Premier League

His performances for Chelsea convinced Deschamps to restore him to the France team, and he was a regular in the side that won the World Cup.

Moving to Atletico would see him reunited with international teammate Antoine Griezmann, and although Giroud will resist the move, he could do worse than Atletico if he wants first team football.


Giroud has often been unfairly maligned during his time in England, but his strike rate for ?Arsenal was consistently among the best in the league. He scored 105 goals in six seasons at the Emirates Stadium.


Real Madrid Midfielder Asks New Boss Julen Lopetegui for Permission to Leave Amid Liverpool Interest

??Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic has asked new manager Julen Lopetegui to allow him to leave the club this summer, according to reports in Spain.

Spanish outlet ?Marca claim that Kovacic, who was part of the Croatian side that finished second at the World Cup, met with Lopetegui on Friday and now feels certain that his future lies elsewhere.


Though the atmosphere during the meeting at Madrid’s training ground remained cordial throughout, it is reported that Kovacic was clear in his demands and is determined to leave this summer in the hope of gaining more playing time at another club.

It would appear that Kovacic has not changed his opinion on the matter since his comments made to Marca back in May when he said: “I would like to play more at Madrid because I love football and being on the pitch.

Paris Saint-Germain v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg

“I know that at Madrid it’s difficult to be a starter, especially because I arrived very young.

“I understand the situation but that’s why I think it’s best for me to go to another club where I will have the chance to play regularly as a starter. It’s an opportunity that I think I can have and I want it now.”

The central midfielder has been linked with a host of sides this summer, including Premier League clubs ?Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham. However, reaching an agreement over the fee for Kovacic could be a potential sticking point, with Madrid rumoured to want €80m for the player.

Kovacic joined Madrid in the summer of 2015 following two and a half years at ?Inter, during which time he made 97 appearances for the Italian side. Since joining Madrid, the midfielder has appeared over 100 times for the Spanish giants and scored three goals.

Though the 24-year-old has enjoyed a successful career to date, Kovacic has struggled to secure a regular first-team place in Madrid’s star-studded midfield and appears to be interested in playing a more influential role at another club.


They Complete Each Other: Joe Hart’s Rumoured Chelsea Move May Be the Right Thing for Both Parties

Although it seems hard to believe now, there was once a time when Joe Hart was thought of as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

Pundits and fellow goalkeepers were quick to praise the English custodian. None other than Gianluigi Buffon declared in 2015: “I’ve been watching his game for a few years now, and Joe Hart is now for me one of the top three goalkeepers in the world.”?

So where did it all go wrong? How did a man with the world at his feet seem to let it slip away?

Manchester City v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League

The earliest signs of Hart’s demise can be traced back to the European Championships in 2012, where Hart appeared to be at the peak of his powers. Coming off of the back of an outstanding season with ?Manchester City, Hart was understandably brimming with confidence. 

But there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, especially for goalkeepers, and Hart unfortunately suffered from the latter. In a penalty shootout against Italy, Hart was seen to be bouncing up and down screaming like a madman at every Italian player who stepped up to take a penalty. He failed to make a single save and was humbled by Andrea Pirlo’s ‘Paneka’. 

“I made my decision at the last second when I saw Joe Hart doing all sorts on his line,” Pirlo stated. Hart had played himself.

English goalkeeper Joe Hart (R) dives as

We hear over and over that goalkeepers are crazy. But many misinterpret the cliche. They are crazy because they open themselves up to criticism and scrutiny – not because they have to have wacky personalities. No goalkeeper has enjoyed a career where they haven’t been told ‘they should have done better’ by a studio pundit. They don’t have to act like complete nutters.

The next four years for Hart were full of ups and downs. His form gradually dipped and minus a few outstanding performances, including a man of the match display away against Barcelona in 2015, he was not performing to the lofty standards he had previously set. 

The 2016 European Championships rolled around and Hart was still England’s starting keeper – mainly due to the fact that Jack Butland was forced to miss out through injury. 

England v Iceland - Round of 16: UEFA Euro 2016

Hart went on to endure a torrid time in France. He made two catastrophic mistakes that were eerily similar in nature. He let a speculative Gareth Bale free-kick down to his left hand side squirm under his hands and then made the same mistake to concede against Iceland, condemning England to an embarrassing defeat.

But this was Joe Hart. England’s number one. He would be back to his best when he returned to Manchester City.

But he never did properly return. Pep Guardiola had taken over the reigns at the Etihad and he had no intention of putting his faith in Hart. Hart was not the keeper he wanted. He’s not accomplished with the ball at his feet and that does not fit in with Guardiola’s footballing philosophy.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League

Hart made two successive loan moves to Torino and ?West Ham United and both spells have seen Hart falter. For a keeper who seemed to pride himself on his confidence in his own abilities, he’s looked a shadow if his former self.

Consequently, he wasn’t selected for England’s 2018 World Cup squad and with Jordan Pickford excelling in his place his time as England’s undisputed number one is over.

So where does he go from here?

FC Torino v SSC Napoli - Serie A

Staying at Manchester City is out of the question. Hart would be Guardiola’s third choice keeper behind Ederson and Claudio Bravo, so there is absolutely no chance he will be getting any playing time. It is very unlikely that Hart will be willing to spend the season rotting in the reserves simply to pick up a pay check and City will be eager to move him on for the same reason.

He has made obvious that he is not prepared to remain at a club if he isn’t their first choice. Hart claimed that the “top of my wish list is to play for a club that wants me to be their goalkeeper,” back in an interview with Steve Bower?.

Hart’s previous move abroad didn’t work out and in all honesty it is unlikely to work out if he tries it again. He’s currently damaged goods and the key to his recovery will be maintaining a close relationship with his goalkeeping coach – whoever that might be. He won’t want to have to overcome a language barrier in order to do that.

Manchester City v Borussia Dortmund - International Champions Cup 2018

But there may be a ray of sunshine on the horizon for the 31-year-old. ?Chelsea are currently on the hunt for a goalkeeper as it looks increasingly likely that Thibaut Courtois is on his way out of Stamford Bridge this summer.

If making the plunge for Hart is something Chelsea are willing to do then they will be taking a massive risk, no doubt. But we all know what Hart is capable of achieving.

Manchester City v Barcelona

As for Hart, he should only make the move if he can receive the guarantee that he is going to be the number one at Stamford Bridge.

But it could prove to be the perfect move at the perfect point in Hart’s career. Chelsea are a club who are also looking to bounce back after recent disappointments, so in a poetic way both Hart and Chelsea complete each other.

This is set to be the most important season of Hart’s career and it is make or break time. Realistically he has one more shot at representing England at a major tournament and if he makes the right move this summer then we could see him back to his best before long.


French Media Claim Kante’s Proposed Move to PSG Is ‘Impossible Internally’ Following Speculation

French media have began quashing speculation regarding N’Golo Kante’s proposed move to Paris Saint-Germain due to the club’s ongoing financial situation.
?The Frenchman has been the subject of mass transfer speculation throughout the summer, and talks have only intensified after he helped France win their second World Cup. He is now viewed by many as one of the best midfielders in the world, and it was only a matter of time before the giants of European football came calling.


However, Kante may not be going anywhere. With Maurizio Sarri being named as the new ?Chelsea manager whilst also bringing in Jorginho from Napoli, it looks as though a fresh start is already underway at Stamford Bridge after a disappointing season last season for the Blues, and according to L’Equipe (via ?Sport Witness), Kante now may not want to leave the club.
?The club being ?heavily linked with a move for Kante was PSG. However, they now face their own problems. The report from L’Equipe goes onto state that the Parisians need to raise around €100m this summer from sales in order to fully fund the arrivals of ?Neymar and ?Kylian Mbappe, on top of funding commercial income not counted by the FFP panel.

Chelsea v West Ham United - Premier League

All in all, PSG may well be priced out of a deal for the midfielder, and fellow French newspaper ?Le Parisien support this view. 

In their report on the matter, they claimed: “His arrival in the French capital is considered impossible internally. Spending €110m, Paris cannot, after its foolish summer 2017, with €402m released only for the arrivals of Neymar and Mbappe.
?”Financial fair play, which scrutinises clubs’ expenses and revenues, closely monitors the formation chaired by Nasser Al-Khelaïfi.”

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This news will be music to the ears of Chelsea fans who will be desperate to keep hold of their star players ahead of what promises to be a thrilling Premier League season. After a blip last season, the Blues will be looking to bounce back and ensure they’re part of the race for the title come the end of the season.