Chelsea have renewed their shirt sponsorship deal with electronic giants Samsung until 2015. The Korean company waited until after Chelsea’s Champions League success to exercise their right to extend their current deal worth up to £18m a year to the Blues. The figure is somewhat overshadowed by United’s £50m a season shirt deal with Chevrolet due to begin in 2014.
Chelsea TV have reported that Marko Marin has started light training following a thigh injury. Marin joined Chelsea this summer from Werder Bremen and was impressive during pre-season before being sidelined by injury. Di Matteo had previously predicted that Marin would be ready for action following the international break to make his Chelsea debut.
Fellow new signing Cesar Azpilicueta made his first appearance in a Chelsea shirt turning out for Chelsea Under-21’s friendly with Charlton. The match was organised amidst the international break and Azpilicueta played the full 90 minutes. The team lost 3-2 despite fielding experience first-teamers Paulo Ferreira and Ross Turnbull.
TalkSport are reporting further speculation linking Ashley Cole with a move away from Stamford Bridge after being unimpressed with a one-year offer. The left-back is reportedly considering a move to cash-rich Paris Saint-Germain who would offer a three-year contract. Additionally, Cole enjoyed a good relationship with PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti when the Italian was at Chelsea.
Belgium captain Vincent Kompany has commended compatriot Eden Hazard’s immediate impact in the Premier League. The two will play together in Belgium’s World Cup qualifier against Wales and Kompany has been impressed with Hazard’s seamless transition to the rigours of the Premier League. Furthermore, Kompany believes Hazard still has a lot of room to improve and is hopeful that he will be able to translate his club form to the international stage.
Contrastingly, Belgium FA vice-president Phillipe Collin has urged Hazard to fulfil his defensive duties in order to become a better player. Collin believes Hazard still needs to improve his defensive attributes and believes Belgium manager Marc Wilmots will challenge the player to do so.
Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has denied reports that star striker Radamel Falcao could leave the club. The denial comes after Falcao’s father claimed the 26-year-old could leave Atletico given the club’s perilous financial state but Cerezo has told Spanish radio that the club have heard no such comments from the player himself and believe are confident he will remain despite reports linking him to Manchester City and Chelsea.
image: © Jason Bagley