Benatia sends transfer message, Hazard says ‘i will announce decision soon, Bartomeu has £142m Coutinho deal update in Chelsea Thursday
Here is a roundup of the latest Chelsea news, gossip and transfer speculation from icfootballnews.
Mehdi Benatia has revealed why he rejected the opportunity to sign for Chelsea or Manchester United in the January window.
With both United and Chelsea reportedly eyeing up a number of defenders during the transfer window, a move for Benatia became a high priority after he asked to leave Italian Champions Juventus towards the end of the transfer window.
It was claimed that both United and Chelsea had made contact with the Italians about a bargain transfer deal, believing they could get the Defender for a cut-priced after the Italians quickly signed his replacement.
However, in a shock move, the 31-year-old joined Qatari side Al-Duhail in the January transfer window in an €8 million (£7m) deal, which stunned many in football considering Benatia is still one of the best in Europe.
But the defender insists the decision over his transfer was due to personal reasons, telling the TMW website: ‘I faced criticism from the Moroccan sports critics after moving to Doha but i want everyone to respect my decision because it was the best for me and for my family.
‘I want my kids to grow up in Islamic atmosphere, and I could go to clubs in the UAE or Saudi Arabia but I preferred to be with Al Duhail and there are a lot of Moroccan players who play in the national team and are with the Gulf clubs.
‘Coach Herve Renard knows me well and if he sees that I do not deserve to be with the national team, I will respect this decision.’
Barcelona’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, says he has no intention of selling Chelsea target Philippe Coutinho at the end of the season.
With Chelsea star Eden Hazard all set to pack his bags and leave the club for a big money move to Real Madrid, the Blues have started eyeing up possible deal for Coutinho at the end of the season, after reports he is unsettled at the Camp Nou.
Despite a decent start to life at the Camp Nou after his £142 million move from Liverpool, Coutinho has not fulfilled his potential in Spain and speculation has claimed that Barcelona are now ready cash in and sell on.
However, Bartomeu has now claimed that they have no intention of letting the Brazilian playmaker leave the club.
‘We expect a lot from him [Coutinho],’ Bartomeu told Marca.
‘We do not want to sell him, he’s one of the good players we want to have.’
Meanwhile, Hazard has revealed when he will make the announcement regarding his future.
Hazard has been the subject of intense transfer speculation for the last few months with constant reports in the media all suggesting that he is leaving the club for a move to La Liga.
But reports emerged last week which revealed that Hazard had actually made up his mind about when he will be leaving the club, or if he will sign the £300,000-a-week contract which has reportedly been left on the table from Chelsea.
Now the full interview with RMC has emerged and Hazard was customarily coy on where his long-term future lies, he said: ‘I have a year-and-a-half left on my contract, everyone knows.
“My decision will be known soon, but it’s not something that affects my mind.
‘I think about it, but without thinking about it. When I’m in the field, I just want to play. We’ll see what happens after.’
Here is what we think.
A deal for Coutinho is a big dream by Chelsea and getting that done was going to be tricky, especially now the Spaniards do not want to let him leave the club.
On the future of Hazard, Chelsea fans just want to know if he is staying or leaving.