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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Latest Chelsea Transfer News

Van der Vaart drops big Chelsea hint

Hamburg midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has dropped a hint that he will move to Chelsea if they put in an offer in the summer.

The 25-year-old Holland international is eyeing a move out of the Bundesliga club at the end of the season after reportedly having been denied a move to La Liga outfit Valencia last summer.
"I would like to have everything cleared up early, but we cannot agree in July that I will be staying - that would be unrealistic," he told Sport Bild magazine.
"What happens when Chelsea or another top club comes along on August 21 and offers £24million?

"I would want to move, even at the very last minute of the transfer window."
"Hamburg made me a great offer last year and I turned it down because my aim is to move to a big club where I can improve and win trophies," added van der Vaart.
"My opinion will not change."

Chelsea owner Abramovich dreams of Aguero

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will test Atletico Madrid's resolve over star striker Sergio Aguero at the end of the season.
Abramovich sees the Argentina international as a future world star and is ready to commit a large chunk of his planned £100 million summer transfer budget to luring the youngster to London.

For his part, El Kun has maintained he is committed to Atletico, however Chelsea representatives are confident they can convince the player and his minders about moving to Stamford Bridge by outlining their long-term ambitions.

Chelsea chief Arnesen pressing for Barcelona's Krkic

Chelsea chief Frank Arnesen would love to land Barcelona superkid Bojan Krkic.
DiarioSport says Arnesen has made several attempts to convince the Krkic family about moving to England, but they have all fallen on deaf ears.
However, despite receiving little encouragement, Arnesen will continue to press Krkic ahead of the youngster becoming eligible to sign a long-term deal with Barca later this year.

Bookies make Hiddink favourite for Grant's Chelsea job

Bookies have made the departure of Avram Grant from Chelsea as an odds on bet.
Grant is now 3/10 with Williams Hills to be the next of the Big Four bosses to leave their job, with Rafa Benitez (Liverpool) 7/2 second favourite; Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) 12/1 and Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United) 16/1.
Russia boss Guus Hiddink is 3/1 favourite to succeed Grant, followed by Frank Rijkaard 4/1 second favourite. Also on offer is 4/1 Henk Ten Cate; 5/1 Michael Laudrup; 10/1 Didier Deschamps.

Zola reveals Chelsea, Newcastle offers

Gianfranco Zola has revealed he's rejected approaches from Chelsea and Newcastle United in the last 12 months.

He said: "Mr Abramovich tried to bring me back. He was very good to me but I said it is may be something for the future. Right now I don't feel ready to work for a club that I care so much for.
"I haven't spoken to Dennis (Wise) but somebody else contacted me and asked if I wanted to do something with Newcastle. Unfortunately I have commitments with the Italian federation and I would like to carry on what I am doing.
"Coming to work for an English club would be something I would really like to do but right now I am busy."

Cole plans to end career at Chelsea
Ahead of Chelsea's Premier League clash at Everton on Thursday, Blues star Joe Cole says he wants to see out his career at Stamford Bridge.

The England star believes Avram Grant's side are on the brink of great things and is ready to pledge his long-term future to the club.
Chelsea travel to face the Toffees at Goodison Park knowing nothing less than victory will keep their dwindling title hopes alive.
Grant's men are five points adrift of Manchester United at the top of the table and defeat will virtually hand Sir Alex Ferguson's men the crown for the second successive year.
But Cole is already looking at the bigger picture and said the club has to set its sights even higher.

"If I was to finish my career at Chelsea, I'd be delighted," he said. "I have played well this season and it will be my best for the club if we win something.
"But the next five to six years will see the best of me. Hopefully, I will play for a long time because I am not someone who relies on pace.
"I am someone who always puts his heart and soul into every game. I have a great relationship with the fans and it is great to be playing under a manager who really believes in me.
"I think we have to set our sights high. The way the club is at the moment, anything is possible and we shouldn't just be looking to win a league title here and a league title there and maybe one Champions League.

"With the players we have, we should be looking to win the Champions League on a regular basis and many championships."
However, Cole's desire to remain with Chelsea is not shared by defender Tal Ben-Haim.
The Israel international could be heading for a hefty fine after allegedly claiming he would not have signed for the club if he had known Jose Mourinho would be axed and Grant put in charge.
Grant said: "It is an internal matter and we will deal with it like this.
"We need to hear from the player first if it is true or not.
"I don't think Jose promised Tal Ben-Haim that he would play before John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho and Alex, but maybe yes. I will ask Tal.
"It is internal business but in my opinion if the player was wrong, we need to deal with it in my way."

Chelsea are planning a mass clear-out of players at the end of the season

Irrespective of what happens to Avram Grant. The Times has learnt that as many as ten first-team squad members could leave Stamford Bridge in what would be the most dramatic upheaval since the unprecedented summer of spending immediately after Roman Abramovich bought the club five years ago. Grant and Abramovich are united in the belief that Chelsea’s squad needs a substantial overhaul if the club are to win trophies, although whether the first-team coach will be around to undertake the process is unclear. Abramovich would like to give Grant at least one full season to prove his worth, partially in the hope that it would justify his controversial decision to dismiss José Mourinho in September, but the owner’s reaction will be governed by results.

With many fans openly hostile and some players privately unconvinced, Grant’s position remains precarious, although taking Chelsea to the Champions League final for the first time would be enough for him to soldier on. Grant is understood to be confident of keeping his job and has begun planning for the future, with Abramovich ready to release substantial funds to buy world-class players. The Israeli considers the squad he inherited to be unsuited to his requirements and several players have been told that they can move on. Andriy Shevchenko, Claudio Pizarro, Steve Sidwell and Tal Ben-Haim will be put up for sale, with the futures of more established players such as Florent Malouda, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Carlo Cudicini and Juliano Belletti uncertain. With Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Wayne Bridge unsettled, the number of departures could reach double figures.

Chelsea’s biggest problem is likely to be finding clubs willing to match the wages they pay to fringe players, some of whom have lengthy contracts, while the heavy losses they will have to accept on transfer fees will hit their hopes of reaching their break-even target by 2010. Shevchenko, for example, is worth only a fraction of the £30 million Chelsea paid for him two years ago. Sidwell, Ben-Haim, Wright-Phillips and Cudicini should be easier to sell to Premier League clubs, but the same cannot be said of Malouda, Belletti and Pizarro, who are less than 12 months into lucrative four-year deals. Drogba would command a high fee if Chelsea fail to alter his determination to find a fresh challenge elsewhere, although Lampard’s resale value is falling all the time while his contract talks are on hold.

Six set to depart

Didier Drogba
Bought July 2004, Cost £24m
Finally set on the move he has considered since the day he signed

Florent Malouda
July 2007, £13.5m
Upset by Jose Mourinho's departure and has not lived up to expectations

Andriy Shevchenko
May 2006, £30m
Peripheral even under Avram Grant and Milan are keen to re-sign him

Claudio Pizarro
June 2007, Free
Few games since joining from Bayern Munich and not in Grant's plans

Tal Ben-Haim
June 2007, Free
Has not played for two months and openly criticised the coach

Steve Sidwell
May 2007, Free
Another free signing from last summer who has made no impact


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