Chelsea-bound Cesar Azpilicueta has said goodbye to Marseille fans after featuring in their 2-0 win over Sochaux in Ligue 1 at the weekend. The 22-year-old was given a standing ovation by fans and he believes his imminent move to Chelsea will be beneficial to the club in raising necessary cash for squad improvements. Azpilicueta will likely be seen as cover for Branislav Ivanovic upon completion of his move to London even though Ivanovic prefers a central position.
Bayern Leverkusen chief executive Wolfgang Holzhauser has warned Chelsea off making another bid for forward Andre Schurrle. Chelsea had a £16m opening bid rejected last month and Abramovich is believed to have sanctioned an improved £20m offer for the 21-year-old but any talk of a transfer for Schurrle has been given short shrift by Leverkusen. Holzhauser admitted however that the player could be available next summer.
Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray has praised Josh McEachran for dropping down a tier to further his development and hopes the 19-year-old midfielder can make a significant impact in the North East. The midfielder is expected to start tonight’s game against Burnley.
Ryan Bertrand is hoping to continue his progression to the top of the game this season. The left-sided 23-year-old has broken into Chelsea’s first-team in the past six months and participated in Great Britain’s Olympic football campaign as well as earning his first cap for England last week against Italy. Bertrand, who started Chelsea’s game against Wigan, hopes he can continue playing regularly for Chelsea in the hope that Roy Hodgson will consistently pick him in England’s senior squad. The player stated that he was happy to play in whatever position, although traditionally a left-back, and believed he and Ashley Cole have developed an effective understanding playing on the left side together.
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has reportedly urged the club’s board to sign Frank Lampard to a new contract. Di Matteo values Lampard as an important player to his plans for the team and believes the player can continue for a few more years. Former Chelsea player Frank Leboeuf, now analyst for ESPN, similarly believes the 34-year-old is key to Chelsea’s play identifying the player as ‘the voice of Di Matteo on the pitch’.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has claimed Chelsea’s potential deal to sign Victor Moses is off but the player himself is still eyeing a move to the European Champions. The 21-year-old is keen to challenge himself with the likes of Hazard, Mata and Oscar and as Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has consistently maintained, should Chelsea meet Wigan’s £9m valuation then the deal will be completed.
Chelsea, along with Manchester United, are set to miss out on French prospect Kurt Zouma of Saint-Etienne with QPR on the verge of securing his signature with an offer between £9.5m and £11.8m. Club scouts watched the 17-year-old defender in Saint-Etienne’s opening match with Toulouse but he conceded the penalty that led to a 2-1 defeat.
image: © Ben Sutherland