A round-up of stories relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
The Sun are linking Chelsea with a £45m bid for Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao. The 26-year-old scored a hat-trick against Chelsea in the Super Cup and Roman Abramovich is reportedly ready to sanction an offer for the striker and agree a deal for the player before the January window to avoid counter-offers from other clubs. There is an increasing recognition within the club that their ambitions will not be realised with Fernando Torres leading the line that has incited Abramovich to pursue Falcao.
But Sky Sports contradict the report and believe that Chelsea are yet to make a formal offer and that Atletico Madrid are not interested in selling the striker nor discussing the possibility of his departure.
Chelsea assistant manager Eddie Newton spoke following the 6-0 win over Wolves in the Capital One Cup and praised the team for their focus in getting a ‘very good result and performance’. And Newton also praised 18-year-old Lucas Piazon for his performance in a first senior start for Chelsea but was less positive about Frank Lampard and Daniel Sturridge who missed last night’s game through injury. Sturridge is ‘50/50’ and Lampard has an ankle injury but should recover in time for the game against Arsenal on Saturday.
Gianfranco Zola praised Nathaniel Chalobah after the 17-year-old loanee from Chelsea made his first start for Zola-managed Watford on the weekend. Watford played out a 2-2 draw with Bristol City and Zola described Chalobah as ‘quite outstanding’ but warned the player that he must continue to work hard if he is become a ‘top player’.
John Terry returned to Wembley on Wednesday morning to continue his personal hearing for an alleged racial slur aimed at Anton Ferdinand. And former England manager Fabio Capello and his assistant Franco Baldini have both written testimonies praising the former England captain and asserting that the case should not be trialled by the FA given the outcome of a civil court case.
John Terry lauded Ashley Cole as the ‘best left-back in the world’ in his programme notes for last night’s game against Wolves: ‘Ash is the best left-back in the world. He is so consistent for us week after week, year after year, and pops up with some vital goals.’
And Ashley Cole is ready to call a truce with Rio Ferdinand and welcome the Manchester United defender back into the England squad should he be selected. The Ferdinand family are unhappy with Ashley Cole after he testified in favour of John Terry in the civil court case over the summer but Terry’s retirement from international football could see a return for Rio Ferdinand and should that eventuate, Cole is reportedly ready to ‘bury the hatchet’.
Chelsea youngster Rohan Ince will return to Chelsea after a loan spell at Yeovil was curtailed by a recurrent ankle injury. Ince’s loan deal would have initially seen him stay at Yeovil until January but Ince has now returned to Chelsea for treatment on the problematic injury.
image: © Tom Cuppens