9.30am Chelsea transfer news LIVE: Messi tussle with Blues 'in equation', Alaba eyed, Roberto Carlos 'almost joined'

CHELSEA return to top-flight action in a London derby with Tottenham today.

And the Blues are rumoured to be one of the clubs interested in six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi.

Follow all the latest Chelsea news below…

  • Joe Brophy

    'TRIBAL BEHAVIOUR'

    BBC presenter Clare Balding revealed she refuses to cover men's football because female pundits suffer 'vile abuse' on 'toxic' social media.

    Balding, 49, has fronted the public broadcaster's coverage of horse racing, Wimbledon and rugby league as well as reporting from six Olympics.

    But the veteran host won't cover any men's footy because women suffer 'vile abuse' when they offer opinions on men's matches.

    She slammed the disgusting backlash as 'the worst of tribal behaviour'.

    Balding, speaking to the Creative Forum via The Mirror, said: "Any woman who pops up on a football programme offering expertise, or in the role of presenter, will be opening the door to such vile abuse on social media."

  • Joe Brophy

    HARRY REDKNAPP

    SunSport columnist writes "Jose Mourinho isn’t just one of the best managers in the business, he’s also a classic wind-up merchant.

    "He loves all that and has been at it for years, as Frank Lampard found out when they had a bit of a spat as Chelsea played Tottenham a couple of months ago.

    "I speak to Frank a lot and know he got a bit of the hump after Jose said he didn’t get off the bench when he was losing 3-0 at West Brom, but it was something and nothing.

    "When Mourinho first went to Chelsea, he called Frank into the office and said he was going to make him the best goalscoring midfielder in the world.

    "He gave him so much belief and confidence and has always admitted he owes Jose so much. There’s a lot of respect there.

    "You’ll often get a bit aggy on the touchline. Frank had a bit of a row with Jurgen Klopp as well, but there’s no problem there either.

    "After the game it’s all forgotten, you’ll have a cup of tea or a drink and you just get on with it — although it’s so different these days."

  • Joe Brophy

    OUT OF THE BLUE

    Roberto Carlos has revealed that he came "very close" to joining Chelsea in 2007.

    The Brazilian icon's glittering Real Madrid career was coming to an end after 527 appearances and 13 trophies – but at 34 many people still thought he had something to offer.

    He told Goal: "I had two proposals, Fenerbahce and Chelsea. Chelsea didn't work out so I signed for Fenerbahce.

    "But, with Chelsea, it got very close. It was literally agreed and I just had to go there and sign the contract.

    "It was just a week before I signed for Fenerbahce and I had been to Paris to meet both Roman Abramovich and Peter Kenyon.

    "Unfortunately, in the final moments something didn't work out just before finalising, which happens a lot in football. There was an issue with the lawyer.

    "It was all agreed, though, and I am 100 per cent sure I would have done well in the Premier League and it would have suited my characteristics."

  • Joe Brophy

    MORNING, CHELSEA FANS

    Early-season London derbies don't get much bigger than this.

    Chelsea will finish the weekend as Premier League leaders if they beat second-placed Tottenham this afternoon and ruin boss Jose Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge.

    And with exciting Yank Christian Pulisic expected to be fit, Blues' chief Frank Lampard could well have a full squad to pick from.

    Pulisic was revving up nicely to peak form before being sidelined with a hamstring injury a month ago.

    Close-season recruits Kai Havertz and Thiago Silva should also be back after being rested for last weekend’s Prem win at Newcastle.

    But the mood amongst many Blues' fans has been soured after the club revealed £75 ticket prices for the home clash with Leeds next Saturday – when 2,000 supporters will be allowed in

    Chelsea Supporters Trust (CST) slated the "clear exploitation of supporter loyalty".

    The CST also said it had believed "tickets would be sold on 50 per cent loyalty points and 50 per cent on a first come, first served basis" – not through a ballot.

    They added: “The CST is also appalled to learn that this price is the highest that any PL club is charging for tickets."

    Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid centre-back Jose Gimenez is again being linked with the Blues following reported interest in the summer.

  • Ian Tuckey

    REDKNAPP ON LAMPS VS JOSE

    Sunsport columnist and ex-Spurs chief Harry Redkanp believes Jose Mourinho's mind games will count for little on his return to Stamford Bridge on Sunday – when he takes on Blues' legend Frank Lampard.

    Redknapp says: "Mourinho isn’t just one of the best managers in the business, he’s also a classic wind-up merchant.

    "He loves all that and has been at it for years, as Frank Lampard found out when they had a bit of a spat as Chelsea played Tottenham a couple of months ago.

    "Some people have built up that row at the Carabao Cup game into something it’s not ahead of Chelsea playing Spurs again.

    "I speak to Frank a lot and know he got a bit of the hump after Jose said he didn’t get off the bench when he was losing 3-0 at West Brom, but it was something and nothing.

    "You’ll often get a bit aggy on the touchline. Frank had a bit of a row with Jurgen Klopp as well, but there’s no problem there either.

    "After the game it’s all forgotten, you’ll have a cup of tea or a drink and you just get on with it.

    "The one certainty is it should be a cracking game because both Chelsea and Spurs have got a serious chance of being right up there this season."

     

  • Ian Tuckey

    NEW EDEN BLOW

    Ex-Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard lasted just 28 minutes against Alaves as the unlucky Real Madrid star suffered yet another injury.

    In only his fifth start of the season, the superstar Belgian injured himself when he was hacked down inside the box.

  • Ian Tuckey

    GIM FITS THE BILL

    Atletico Madrid centre-back Jose Gimenez is being linked with Chelsea.

    Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano claims the Blues are again monitoring the Uruguay 25-year-old.

    Sixty-cap Uruguay star Jose Gimenez has only played five games for Atletico Madrid this season, helping to increase speculation of a move to ChelseaCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Ian Tuckey

    TOO MUCH TOO YOUNG

    Charlton boss Lee Bowyer has admitted on-loan Chelsea defender Ian Maatsen needs a break.

    Bowyer was left disappointed after the 18-year-old picked up his fifth caution of the season in today’s 2-0 win over Ipswich.

    Addicks' loan star Ian Maatsen must have rests to avoid burn-out, says boss Lee BowyerCredit: PA:Press Association

    Speaking after the game, Bowyer said: “Ben will come in, when he came off the bench here he did really well – defended the far post really well.

    “He [Maatsen] probably needed a little rest, if I’m honest.

    “I spoke to someone at Chelsea earlier on in the week and said I’m going to drop him out here and there, because he is 18-years-old and I don’t want to burn him out.

    “He’s a young kid learning the game, so now probably the suspension will do him well.”

  • Ian Tuckey
  • Ian Tuckey

    TICKED OFF BY PRICES

    Chelsea fans have responded with fury to the ‘eye-watering’ £75 ticket price for their return to Stamford Bridge.

    A ballot system will be deployed to dish out the tickets.

    But supporters were stunned by the jaw-dropping price tag of £75 for the West Stand seats opposite the dugouts.

    Some 1,600 of the 2,000 fans allowed in will have to fork out the fee to watch the Leeds game on December 5.

    The other 400 are to be housed behind the goal in the Shed End, where seats cost £40 each.

    Leading the furious response were the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, who stated: “The club, in their wisdom, have decided to charge an eye-watering £75 for the majority of sold tickets.

    “The CST is also appalled to learn that this price is the highest that any PL club is charging for tickets.

    “At a time of financial uncertainty…the CST believe that this is a clear exploitation of supporter loyalty."

  • Joshua Mbu

    BARGAIN BLUES

    Chelsea reportedly have their eye on Kalidou Koulibaly and Dries Mertens with Napoli reportedly facing a cashflow crisis. 

    Italian football journalist Ciro Venerato claims staff and players at the Naples giants have not received any pay since July. 

    Gennaro Gattuso’s side, who are currently sixth in Serie A, are among the division’s teams whose finances have taken a hit following the Covid crisis. 

    And earlier this year it is thought the Napoli boss took a wage reduction in order to help Napoli save the jobs of club staff.

    Football.London believes Napoli, who will play Roma on Sunday, could look to shift some players off their wage bill, should Venerato's claims prove true. 

    And it is thought Chelsea, who strengthened their backline with the summer signing of veteran Thiago Silva, could consider a swoop for Koulibaly – if Napoli are open to a cut-price sale. 

    Kalidou Koulibaly has been constantly linked with a move to the Premier League, and it could finally happenCredit: Getty Images
  • Joshua Mbu

    BARKLEY INJURED

    Chelsea's Ross Barkley, currently on-loan at fellow Premier League club Aston Villa- is reportedly out injured for three weeks.

    The injury comes a couple of weeks before the ever busy Premier League fixture list.

    Barkley has impressed since going on-loan, and has played a vital role in the clubs success so far this season.

    And he's looked particularly dangerous alongside Villa captain Jack Grealish.

    Speaking ahead of Monday's trip to West Ham, Smith said: "Ross has got a hamstring injury. Obviously, he's a week into that already.

    "I think it will be two to three weeks and we're very hopeful he'll be back soon.

    "We're hopeful it's not as bad a hamstring (injury) as it could be, which is good news for us.

    "We're not going to rush him and we're going to make sure he's fully fit because we don't want to lose him again."

  • Joshua Mbu

    MAATSEN ADMISSION

    Charlton boss Lee Bowyer has admitted on-loan Chelsea defender Ian Maatsen needs a break.

    Bowyer was left disappointed after the 18-year-old picked up his fifth caution of the season in today's 2-0 win over Ipswich.

    Speaking after the game, Bowyer said: "Ben will come in, when he came off the bench here he did really well – defended the far post really well.

    “He [Maatsen] probably needed a little rest, if I’m honest.

    "I spoke to someone at Chelsea earlier on in the week and said I’m going to drop him out here and there, because he is 18-years-old and I don’t want to burn him out.

    “He’s a young kid learning the game, so now probably the suspension will do him well.”

    Ian Maatsen is still young, and boss Lee Boywer thinks a break will do him wellCredit: Getty Images

     

  • Joshua Mbu

    CESAR'S SUGGESTIONS

    Need something to watch during lockdown? No need to worry, Cesar Azpilicueta has you covered.

    Speaking to the Chelsea official website, Azpilicueta gave his Netflix suggestions.

    His top three:

    Money Heist – A popular choice among the Chelsea squad, set in Azpi's native tongue but dubbed in English.

    The Last Dance – covers the career of the legendary NBA superstar Michael Jordan.

    Peaky Blinders – according to Azpilicueta, it's a must watch!

  • Joshua Mbu

    FUTURE STAR

    Chelsea fans think they've found their next big academy star, and he goes by the name of Jude Soonsup-Bell.

    The 16-year-old has caused Chelsea twitter to explode after he scored a wonderful solo goal in Ed Brand’s young Blues side that beat Barnsley 8-1 at Kingsmeadow

    Bell dribbled the ball into the penalty area close to the by-line, found himself with his back to goal, and he pulled off a cheeky back-heel beating the keeper.

    One fan said: "Jude Soonsup-Bell is our answer to Haaland."

  • Joshua Mbu

    AROUND THE GROUNDS

    How many fans will be allowed back inside stadiums around the country?

  • Joshua Mbu

    'WRONG AND SILLY'

    Chelsea fans have responded with fury to the 'eye-watering' £75 ticket price for their return to Stamford Bridge.

    A ballot system will be deployed to dish out the tickets.

    But supporters were stunned by the jaw-dropping price tag of £75 for the West Stand seats opposite the dugouts.

    Some 1,600 of the 2,000 fans allowed in will have to fork out the fee to watch the Leeds game on December 5.

    The other 400 are to be housed behind the goal in the Shed End, where seats cost £40 each.

    Leading the furious response were the Chelsea Supporters' Trust, who were left 'appalled' by the fees.

    They stated: "The club, in their wisdom, have decided to charge an eye-watering £75 for the majority of sold tickets.

    "The CST is also appalled to learn that this price is the highest that any PL club is charging for tickets.

    "At a time of financial uncertainty, for CFC to charge supporters £75 for a match ticket, the CST believe that this is a clear exploitation of supporter loyalty.

    "The CST have expressed our disappointment and anger to the club representatives in a phone meeting (on Saturday morning) and will continue to push for a more appropriate scheme in the upcoming months."

  • Joshua Mbu

    HASSELBAINK RESPONDS

    Former Chelsea frontman Floyd Hasselbaink believes that Spurs boss Jose Mourinho is under more pressure than Blues boss Frank Lampard.

    Speaking on Sky Sports, Hasselbaink said: "As a squad, if [Tottenham] are not winning, or close to winning, the league this year then I think they will have underachieved.

    “I think Chelsea doesn’t need to win it. Frank is not there yet. If they win it of course they will take it with two hands.

    “But it’s only Frank’s second year, we all know what happened last year. He had to come in and let the youngsters play and he did magnificently.

    “They have spent a lot of money but he is building for the future. In that aspect Spurs are a little bit further than Chelsea.”

    Floyd Hasselbaink does believe that "Spurs have got the strongest team, the strongest squad that they’ve had in the last 10 years"Credit: Getty Images

     

  • Joshua Mbu

    LAMPARD DEFENDS KANE

    Blues boss Frank Lampard has hailed Tottenham's Harry Kane as one of the world's best.

    Speaking ahead of the game between Chelsea and Tottenham, Lampard said: "Firstly the queries of Harry Kane are incredible and a nonsense.

    "Harry Kane is one of the best players in world football and has always had the talents to play as an out-and-out nine or as someone who can drop off.

    "Now he's developing in his own way as he matures as a player. And he's a really impressive player, there's no doubt about that.

    "I've got a huge amount of respect for Harry Kane, and around him now he's got a very solid team, squad, good players around him, players that want to run behind him if he does want to come short.

    "So I think he's a very good and a very intelligent player, it's as simple as that.

    "He's got a very good coach. And that's why they're in a strong position. As a coach we do rely on our top players to perform.

    "And at the minute Harry Kane is an example of a player really in a sweet spot and playing some top football."

  • Joshua Mbu

    FANS RETURN

    Chelsea are one of the teams allowed up to 2000 fans inside the stadium once lockdown restrictions loosen.

  • Joshua Mbu

    DYNAMIC DUO

    Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard remain the top duo in Premier League history, but Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min are hot on their heels.

  • Joshua Mbu

    BLUES STATS

    Timo Werner has had a big impact since joining from RB Leipzig in the summer.

    He's scored four and provided two assists in nine Premier League games!

  • Joshua Mbu

    MOUR ON THE LINE

    Jose Mourinho says the heat is all on big-spending Frank Lampard ahead of their Stamford Bridge showdown tomorrow.

    But the Tottenham boss insists it is still nothing like the pressure he faced while he was in charge of Chelsea.

    Mourinho, who has also bossed Manchester United, Real Madrid and Inter Milan, said: “When I was in these clubs, there was huge pressure on me — and now there is not huge pressure on the coaches of these teams.”

    Jose Mourinho believes the pressure is on Frank Lampard'sbig-spending ChelseaCredit: Getty Images
  • Josh Graham

    FOUR-T KNOX

    Frank Lampard's decision to settle on his back four makes Chelsea genuine title contenders, according to Martin Keown.

    Keown wrote in the Daily Mail: "Lampard was chopping and changing his defence. It felt like everybody was on trial.

    "But Lampard has found his most reliable back four in Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma and Reece James and it’s paying dividends.

    "Whereas previously he could not decide on his centre back pairing, Silva and Zouma have become his regular partnership.

    "Since the start of October, they have started together seven times. Chelsea are unbeaten in all of those and have kept five clean sheets.

    "Previously, the Blues’ habit of ball-watching was getting them into trouble.

    "Their naivety was on show in a 3-3 draw with Southampton, which took them to 65 goals conceded in 43 Premier League games under Lampard. Now, they’ve shut that door."

  • Josh Graham

    MARADONA – MY IDOL

    Chelsea boss Frank Lampard revealed Diego Maradona was his idol growing up and that as he grew up he looked past the 'Hand of God' goal.

    Maradona tragically passed away on Wednesday aged 60 after a cardiac arrest in his native Argentina – prompting thousands of tributes across the footballing world.

    And Lampard said: "He was the player on the world stage that made me fall in love with the game. I was fortunate to meet him very briefly, he was a footballing god and it is very sad.

    "I remember vividly, moments of World Cup's in my early years. I wasn't even that put out by the 'Hand of God', I was as an England fan but his individual brilliance overcame that as I grew up."

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