Reports linking Pep Guardiola with Stamford Bridge have surfaced again today, with claims that the former Barcelona manager has told close friends that Chelsea are his preferred choice for when he returns to management. Guardiola is on a sabbatical since leaving Barcelona at the end of last season, but is expected to take up a new role next season, and Chelsea’s new attacking style has reportedly helped catch his eye.
Mark Clattenburg has been left off the referee roster for this weekend’s football once again, as allegations of him using “inappropriate language” towards John Obi Mikel are investigated. Meanwhile the Chelsea fan accused of making a racist gesture during the league cup game with Manchester United has been arrested.
Ahead of the match on Wednesday night, Juan Mata has described Shakhtar’s visit to Stamford Bridge as a must win game for Chelsea. Having lost in the Ukraine, Chelsea are second in the group, three points behind Shakhtar and one ahead of Juventus. Mata is expected to be fit for the match, having missed out against Swansea with a hamstring injury.
Whilst Mata should return, Di Matteo is unsure about whether John Terry will be in the starting line-up on Wednesday. David Luiz should be fit after also missing out at the weekend, and the Chelsea manager has yet to decide if John Terry will go straight back into the starting line-up having been suspended for recent domestic matches.
Victor Moses has spoken of his delight at performing well in his recent opportunities in the Chelsea first team. Moses was the man of the match in the league cup win over Manchester United, and followed that up with Chelsea’s goal in the 1-1 draw at Swansea. Although he has struggled for starts in London, Moses says he has no regrets about making the move from Wigan.
West Brom boss Steve Clarke has acknowledged that there is a clause that could see Romelu Lukaku return to Chelsea in January, but has also said that the player is happy at West Brom, and should stay for the course of his one year loan in order to continue his development.
Whilst Chelsea could recall Lukaku in January, they are also reportedly on the look-out for a new striker. Fresh reports have been made today that the club may seek to involve Fernando Torres in a deal for Radamel Falcao. Torres originally came to England from Athletico Madrid.
If Falcao does leave, Athletico have been linked with Porto forward Jackson Martinez as his replacement, but Chelsea may go to Porto themselves for Martinez’s services. Martinez has scored nine in nine in the league, and has a buyout clause of £31 million.
image: © Tsutomu Takasu