Kovacic warning, important Giroud, £70m talks start, Umtiti to be sold, Agent £150m transfer message in Chelsea Friday
Here is the daily roundup of Chelsea new gossip and transfer talk from icfootballnews
Maurizio Sarri has revealed that Olivier Giroud remains a very important member of the Chelsea side after his hat-trick in the Europa League.
The Frenchman has had to play second fiddle to Gonzalo Higuaín since his arrival from AC Milan in the January transfer window, as Sarri prefers the Argentine striker in his attack after working with the forward during his time at Napoli.
However, Giroud showed Sarri just what he can do when given a chance in the Chelsea side by scoring an impressive hat-trick against Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League on Thursday night to help Chelsea reach the quarter-finals with an 8-0 aggregate win.
He said: “In the last period, every time he has been on the pitch, he was able to play really very well. He has scored nine goals in this competition.
“Olivier is, for us, a very important player. I am really very happy for him and for the hat-trick, and I am really very happy with him.”
Meanwhile, Glenn Hoddle has claimed that Mateo Kovacic does not suit the playing style that Sarri is trying to implement at Chelsea.
Kovacic ended months of speculation in last summers transfer window by making the shock move to Stamford Bridge after failing to establish himself in the Real Madrid side under Frenchman Zinedine Zidane, and has been a big part of the Italians side.
He mas made over 40 appearances for Chelsea this season but has been heavily criticised by many in the media who believe he has done nothing to warrant a regular starting spot in the Chelsea side, especially since he has not scored a single goal in those 40 appearances.
And Hoddle believes it is his lack of attacking thrust that is holding him back.
‘I think he’s a better option than Jorginho in there but I think he would struggle with a No.10 in there like Jorginho would,’ said the 61-year-old on the Sky Sports website.
But for me it’s a no-brainer – they’ve got the best holding midfielder in the world in Kante and he’s trying to put him somewhere more attacking.
‘He will not score goals in that position, he might score one or two, but if you’re a No.8 you’ve got to score goals and really create. ‘He’s the best holding player, it’s like having two players in there.
‘He [Sarri] wants to play the three with a triangle in midfield so you’ve got an option of two going into the box. ‘Loftus-Cheek is tailor-made for that position, even Barkley.
‘Whereas when Kovacic plays in that position he’s not getting in the box, if he’s playing against you you know he’s going to be there [in front of you]. He’s never going to run behind you and give you a problem behind, so you can defend it so easily.
‘Even Kante when he’s in a holding position, every now and again he bursts past you so you can’t just think he’s ghoing to sit there all day, you’ve got to be on your toes.
‘It’s like having two plays in there, he covers so much ground, why would you change that?’
Reports have claimed Barcelona are willing to sell Chelsea target Samuel Umtiti in the summer transfer window.
Umtiti signed for Barcelona way back in 2016 and has become an integral part of the Spaniards side over the past few seasons, but there has been a lot of speculation that he could be sold to help finance a move for Ajax superstar defender Matthijs De Ligt.
De Ligt is one of the most highly-regarded defenders in world football and has a number of top clubs chasing a possible deal, but it is believed that he would prefer a move to the Spanish Champions rather than a move to the Premier League or PSG.
And according to reports on the Calciomercato website, Barcelona are willing to cash in on the £21.4 million buy at the end of the season, with a whole host of Premier League clubs looking to try and get a transfer deal done.
Chelsea were linked with a move for Umtiti in the January window but decided to wait until the summer to try and secure a deal, but now they are facing that transfer ban they will miss out on one of the most talented defenders in Europe right now.
Former England manager Glenn Hoddle has told Callum Hudson-Odoi that he may have to leave Chelsea in the summer transfer window.
Hudson-Odoi has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons for Chelsea this season and has constantly been linked with a mega money move away to German Champions Bayern Munich, who reportedly made three offers in the January window to try and tempt the winger away from the club.
He has only made four Premier League appearances this season under Maurizio Sarri, with the Italian preferring to use the Englishman in cup competitions and the Europa League, where he has netted four goals so far this year.
And while Chelsea are hoping Hudson-Odoi will sign a new long-term deal before the summer, Hoddle advised the forward to leave Stamford Bridge if he continues to be sidelined.
‘If you’re good enough you’re in. The lad has got talent,’ he said on the BT Sport website.
‘If he’s not going to get consistent football at Chelsea then he’s got to go somewhere else. Now is the time he needs consistency. We’ve got to see whether he can be consistent.
‘We’ve got to see when he has a bad spell, can he come back. These are the learning curves as a youngster you need to go through.’
Reports have claimed representatives of Real Madrid have flown into London to open talks about a transfer deal for Eden Hazard.
Hazard has been in superb form for Chelsea this season and is the clubs leading Premier League scorer with 13-goals, but the great performances have all been overshadowed by constant rumours that he will leave at the end of the season and sign for Real Madrid.
The Belgian has made no secret of his desire to play for the Spanish giants, and has even suggested that his mind has been made up about a possible deal, but with Chelsea facing a transfer ban it was widely expected that the Blues tried to get Hazard signed to a new contract.
But Madrid are on a mission to get back challenging for major trophies after a poor season under Santiago Scolari and since they have re-appointed Frenchman Zinedine Zidane, they are looking to follow up the arrival of Porto defender Eder Militao with another big named signed.
And according to reports on the Metro website, representatives of the La Liga giants have already flown to London to begin talks with Chelsea regarding a deal for the Belgian and they are resigned to losing the 28-year-old.
It is believed Madrid will start the bidding with a £70 million offer for the winger, but that may be rejected as Chelsea wants closer to £100 million for their star man and leading scorer.
Chelsea target Gareth Bale will make a decision on his Real Madrid future at the end of the season, according to the Welshman’s agent Jonathan Barnett.
Bale has been heavily tipped to pack his bags at the end of the season and make a move back to the Premier League, where the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea are all reportedly keen on trying to nail down his services, despite his hefty price tag.
Despite his poor form and performances, Madrid still Value Bale at around £150 million and the Premier League trio would have to spend big money to land him and then pay above the £500,000-a-week he currently gets at the Spanish giants.
But although Barnett has admitted that Bale is happy at Madrid, he has also admitted that the Welshman will decide his future when the season is up.
Asked on BBC Radio 5 Live if he can see Bale in Madrid next season, Barnett said: “Yeah, why not. He wants to play the rest of his career with Real Madrid.
“If that doesn’t work out, then we’ll talk again. At the moment he’s very happy. He’ll talk with Mr Zidane and take it from there. We’ll see at the end of the season.
“He (Bale) wanted to play one way and Zidane wanted him to play another way. I think that was the cause of it. Over the period of time it just got worse.
“I think if you let Gareth play the way he wants to play and give him a run of games in a row, he can be right up there with anyone. He’s still got a great talent.”