The Hard Tackle brings to you a round-up of all the news regarding Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Antonio Conte has said that he might bring in reinforcements in his Chelsea squad if the right players become available in the January transfer window. Chelsea have seen two players depart from the club already with both Oscar and John Obi Mikel moving to China.
However, Conte said that Chelsea could enter the market in January. As reported by ESPN, he said, “We are not close, no. But we have some ideas about this. We are working around these ideas. In January it’s always difficult to buy great players, class signings. It’s very difficult to buy important players because the other teams don’t want to sell.”
Conte, however, stated that the Blues will certainly not sign a centre-back in the winter transfer window, with Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill going strong, as well as Kurt Zouma back in the scheme of things. He added, “I don’t think we need another central defender.”
Meanwhile, there’s good news for the club and its fans as Chelsea’s plans for a new 60,000-seat stadium is set to be approved, as Stamford Bridge awaits a makeover.
Hammersmith and Fulham councillors meet on Wednesday to discuss, among other things, Chelsea’s proposal to re-develop Stamford Bridge. And, as reported by Daily Mirror, a report prepared by the planning officer has recommended an approval of the plans, that would create “significant sporting venue.”
The planning officer, even went on to call the plan a “unique architectural solution”. Chelsea submitted plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge and expand the stadium’s capacity from 42,000 to 60,000 and have also found the support of 70 per cent local residents.
Architects Herzog & de Meuron will lead the makeover project which, according to the reports “builds upon the historic context of previous stadia on the site”.
Moving on to some transfer related news, and David Luiz has wished good luck to his compatriot Oscar, as the Brazilian midfielder looks to begin a new chapter in his career to move to Shanghai SIPG.
As reported by the Daily Express, Luiz said, “Good luck to him, he is an amazing player. It was his decision to move and if he decided to go, it was because it was in his heart. He wants to live another cycle in his life. This is football. Sometimes players move or don’t.”
Brazil international Oscar completed his mega money move to China last month after growing frustrated by the lack of first team football action coming his way, with the Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai SIPG paying a whopping £52million. Reports have also claimed that the midfielder will earn a staggering £400,000 per week.
Meanwhile, long serving Chelsea great John Obi Mikel completed his own switch to China, by signing with Tianjin TEDA earlier today, and in his farewell message to the club’s fans he has penned an emotional letter, thanking them for supporting him through ten and a half years of a glorious and glittering spell at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea may not be entering the market for a defender in the January transfer window but are heavily linked with Fiorentina’s highly rated winger Federico Berardeschi. Latest reports, however, claim that the Blues are set to face competition from AC Milan to sign the 22-year-old in January.
Finally, Chelsea continue to remain in talks with Atalanta to sign the much-talked-about midfielder Frank Kessie, but may have to wait until the summer to complete the transfer, as the Nerazzurri keen to retain the Ivory Coast international in their bid to qualify for Europe.