When it comes to taking part in signings, one of the most important parts of any signing is the player being willing to go. When you sign a player who was not really committed to the project, such as Chelsea did last year with Romelu Lukaku, the results are rarely positive. This summer, then, much has been made about a move for Napoli stalwart Kalidou Koulibaly. The central defender is regarded as among the best in the world – but would he be keen to play for someone other than Napoli at this point?

Often, any talk of the player leaving Naples has been quashed with massive price tags being applied. The player has stayed loyal to the club, even with a paucity of trophies to show for his effort. Now, though, this summer could be the time when Napoli cash in on a modern club legend. A fee of around €40m is expected to be enough to get the club to talk about the sale.

Given his contract runs out in 2023, and Napoli are infamous for being tough negotiators even with their own stars, Koulibably could be sold on for a fair price. When asked about whether or not his star player and captain could be sold, though, Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti struck a much more conciliatory tone.

Previously, the firebrand Italian had made clear he would resign if the player was sold. However, given it looks like he will not be sold to rivals Juventus, and the fee could be used to rebuild, it sounds like Spalletti has accepted the likely reality of losing his talismanic central defender.

What was said about Kalidou Koulibaly leaving Chelsea?

Italian football will often see coaches hold Q&A sessions with the fans of the club. Spalletti took part in something like this recently, and told fans at the Q&A that he wanted to keep the Senegal legend. However, he admitted this might not be possible, saying: “I always remain of the same opinion. I always prefer Koulibaly to everyone,

“It is easy for me because he, as a Napoli player, is the one who has the highest average points. When he was on the pitch, we scored more points. Should he choose to go, we will never stop thanking him for everything he taught us and for everything he gave us to make us play in the Champions League this year.

“He is very good, very strong. This year he would also be captain [if he chose to stay]. If he will choose different things, we will wish him the best because he deserves it all, and woe to anyone who will tell him something if he has to make different choices.”

This has been the first time since the player rose to the peak of his position that Napoli have ever spoken in anything other than unerring terms that he would be sold. Given Blues need a new central defender, it sounds like they might be landing one of the very best in the business to join an already rugged backline.


For Chelsea fans, part of what has made the clubs recent success so enjoyable is the presence of homegrown talent. Lifting the UEFA Champions League is awesome; doing so with academy kids in the team is even better. So, for that reason, the idea of losing academy stars Reece James and Mason Mount should be anathema to the future of the club. With Todd Boehly now in charge of the club, fans expected quick movement on contracts for two of the most important – but lowest paid – members of the current team.

Worryingly, though, reports suggest that neither player has seen contract talks even begin. While James has a deal that runs until 2025, his wage is considered paltry relative to the performance he puts in and the rate players of his calibre are paid. As such, there is interest arising from the likes of Real Madrid and even Manchester City. James’s natural ability paired with his world class delivery make him an obvious target for many clubs.

Carlo Ancelotti is believed to be a huge fan, and could see him as the ideal replacement for Dani Carvajal. They see James as one of the key signings in the medium-term future for Madrid, and James would fit in well with their general policy of development and rejuvenation of a squad which has won so much.

Chelsea need to make a move if they want to get their star players tied down. Both James and Mount will be targets for rival clubs if the Blues do not get a shift on. Losing two of the faces of the club, and two of the most essential players under Thomas Tuchel, would be an absolutely terrible start to the new era under American ownership.

Should Chelsea fans be worried?

Given both players have a fair amount of time left on their deals, perhaps not. Still, it is not a good look to let so many of the club’s key performers reach such a situation. We already seen this year what happens when Antonio Rüdiger got his head turned by Real Madrid. Other big clubs can match what the Blues can afford to pay these days; the days of Chelsea just blowing teams out the water are, sadly, long gone.

And with the club already having to try and negotiate their way out of the disastrous Romelu Lukaku signing, tere is much work to be done this summer. Given the ownership situation has dragged on, though, fans are worried that the boat could have been missed with regards to contracts for some of the key players in the squad.

While other players might be more naturally gifted, no t wo players are more loved by the support than the two leading academy boys. Losing one would be a nightmare – losing both would leave the Boelhy era feeling dead before it can even begin.

Contract negotiations with both should be an absolute priority – a failure to do so would leave the entire project feeling cursed from its earliest days.

Few coaches in the modern history of Chelsea Football Club have enjoyed the respect Thomas Tuchel has. Arriving as a big winner in both Germany and in France, he took over at Chelsea in a state of flux. Quickly, he turned the team around on the pitch and won the UEFA Champions League. While the summer spending did not really result in the success people wanted this year, the off-pitch drama that has evolved since February has engulfed almost everything else.

With UK Government ministers saying that the club has to be sold within ‘weeks’, most assumed Chelsea would be in trouble. Without rapid new ownership, the club could be at risk of a trifecta of issues. One, running out of capital and ending up in a tough spot financially. Two, having to sell their key players whilst having no ability to retain players leaving like Antonio Rudiger. Thirdly and arguably most seriously, though, was the prospect of Tuchel leaving.

The German was heavily linked with the Manchester United job, and gave some very non-committal answers about staying. However, it looks like the Blues coach will be going nowhere as he declared his future is at Chelsea. Even with uncertainty about the ownership of the club moving forward, it sounds like Tuchel is keen to be part of the project for the long-haul.

One benefit of the change in ownership might be the end of the hire-and-fire approach to coaches. Tuchel has immense cache with the players and the fans, and could easily survive a trophyless season again during transition in 2022 and 2023. However, the coach has declared that he will find love for his squad regardless of who is part of it in the coming season. There are some rumours

Tuchel to fall ‘in love’ with squad

Tuchel was asked at his recent press conference ahead of the 1-1 draw with Manchester United about his future plans. Asked if he will be able to stay at Chelsea and keep the Blues competitive, he responded in the affirmative by saying: “Yes, it’s my job – no matter how the situation will be solved and when it will be solved. We will dig in and we will try to squeeze out everything of the squad that we have. And hopefully, and I know myself, I will again fall in love with a squad that I have and try to push the squad to the limit.”

However, he did speak of the fact the Blues will be losing Rudiger on a free transfer. The German centre-half arrived from AS Roma in 2017 and looks set to depart for nothing. Despite making his future harder, Tuchel had nothing but kind words for the player, saying: “It has been a pleasure every single day with Toni, and I’m a bit concerned that we talk too much in the past about it. There are still things to achieve, big things, and he is still a big part of this club and we demand still 100% of him.”

Blues fans worried about a new coach arriving in the summer, then, can breathe a sigh of relief. Barring new ownership getting rid of him, Thomas Tuchel will be back at Stamford Bridge next year. 

Lilywhitespurs is a Tottenham Hotspur fansite for you to visit and get the latest news on players, transfers, and rumours.


As one of the most important people in the modern history of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich has played an essential role in the clubs rise to success. However, with the war in Ukraine, it looks like Abramovich will finally move on from ownership of the club. This is a challenging time for most Blues fans, but it looks like the new owners – who should arrive in due course – will be a net positive for the club as a whole.

However, it also looks like Roman has not waited around for too long to get back into the football scene. Reports had suggested that he would buy a team in Israel, but it looks like his investment will instead be going into the Turkish football scene. Reports suggest that Abramovich has completed a deal for Turkish club Gotzepe, and will complete the deal as soon as Friday.

It would be a rapid turnaround for a man who is still in the midst of selling Chelsea. However, it would also be fair to say that selling one of the most powerful and successful clubs in Europe will take longer than buying a provincial club in Turkey. Whether or not he will return to his considerably large investment in the Turkish team or not remains to be seen. It is interesting, though, to see that there is further proof that the Russian simply did not want to depart the football world.

Instead, the pressure to sell Chelsea due to the political connections with the Russian state has pushed the Chelsea owner out the door. With Turkey being far less politically aggressive towards the nation of his birth, buying a team there makes sense. It only comes as a surprise that it was a club outside of the typical Turkish elite.

What happens next for Chelsea?

Since the Blues will have new ownership before the end of the season, barring any huge delays, it does not matter for Chelsea that Abramovich is likely to have a new team. UEFA is not keen on dual ownership, having already wrapped the knuckles of Abramovich for his investment in CSKA Moscow in the past. However, it looks like Chelsea will finally be clear of Abramovich by the summer as he continues his love of football in Eastern Europe with a Turkish team that few will have heard of before.

The club has enjoyed some decent results in previous seasons, and are coached by Nestor el Maestro. The Serbian coach has a long history of working within the game, and would be seen as an interesting leader to keep on should Abramovich want to retain some form of continuity.

Free from any worries that the ownership of a new team could impact Chelsea, though, Blues fans can simply wish the former owner the best once the deal for a sale goes through. A preferred bidder is expected to be announced for the ownership of Chelsea in the coming weeks.


When a football club is put up on the market, especially one as big as Chelsea, the sheer volume of people involved in the bidding process can seem insane. The number of bidders and people who would be keen to own a football club soon becomes very apparent. Indeed, for that reason, it should come as no surprise that the Ricketts Family have been involved in a bid for Chelsea. The family owns the Chicago Cubbs, and will collaborate alongside the likes of Ken Griffin to get the deal done.

However, there has been notable backlash to the potential ownership of the club. With so much controversy around the Roman Abramovich era, most fans simply want the next owner to run the club quietly.

The threat of further sanctions and headaches down the line, naturally, has put some fans off some of the ownership options. the Ricketts family has seen major backlash after a series of emails sent by Joe Ricketts emerged in the media.

What was said about the Ricketts family?

The Chicago Chelsea Supporters’ Club released a statement slating the potential ownership group, saying via Brian Wolff: “As the Head of Chelsea Chicago Supporters’ Club, and the Chelsea Fans’ Forum Overseas Representative, I’ve had a unique position hearing what supporters in Chicago and worldwide have said regarding the Ricketts family’s bid for Chelsea. I can report the vast majority of opinion has been of universal disdain.

“The Ricketts’ political donations, fundraising and support for candidates who do not share the inclusive views of Chelsea Football Club and its supporters are wholly inconsistent with 19 years of fantastic work done by the club and the Chelsea Foundation, most notably as a leader in committing to a living wage and efforts to protect and promote equality for BAME and LGBTQ+ communities.“

Clearly not holding back, the statement went further by adding: “Their ownership of Chicago Cubs baseball and redevelopment of Wrigley Field raises serious doubts whether they will build upon the club’s success on the pitch, and also the continued existence of the Chelsea Pitch Owners and the goal to keep Chelsea Football Club playing at Stamford Bridge at our forever home.

“On behalf of countless supporters worldwide, I urge [Raine Group and the UK government] to reject their bid for ownership of Chelsea Football Club in favour of others who will commit to not only building upon the last two decades of investment in players and infrastructure, but equally important, the investment in supporters and the values we hold dear.”

How did the Ricketts family respond?

In response, though, the Ricketts family put a statement of their own, saying: “Our family rejects any form of hate in the strongest possible terms. Racism and Islamophobia have no place whatsoever in our society. We have developed deep and abiding partnerships with all the Muslim community in Chicago, as well as with all communities of colour.

“Respect for diversity and inclusion are central to our family’s values. If we prevail in our bid for Chelsea, we commit to the Club and to the fans that we will actively promote these values.”

As it stands, then, this sounds like a pretty tense standoff that shows no signs of slowing down. With so much uncertainty about who will own Chelsea, the backlash over this bid is sure to raise some concerns. For those who were so keen to put their ownership of Chelsea together, this could come as a major blow to their ability to win over the fans once and for all.


While Chelsea fans have long gotten used to being the ‘neutral’s enemy’ due to the wealth brought by Roman Abramovich, things have changed recently. Many fans of other clubs have shown at least some form of sympathy for Blues fans as the club goes through turmoil with the exit of Roman Abramovich. However, while many fans feel sorry for the club for seeing it fall into such a surprise situation, recent statements have eroded any goodwill that was being developed.

The club’s latest decision to ask that the FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough be played behind closed doors was met with extreme hostility. The reason that was given was ‘sporting integrity’ as the Blues are not able to sell tickets for their game. The move was met by condemnation by fans, by players, by managers, and even by the FA. In a bid to avoid the public rejection, though, Chelsea put out a statement saying: “After constructive talks between the FA and Chelsea, the club has agreed to remove their request for the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final tie against Middlesbrough to be played behind closed doors.

“The FA remains in ongoing discussions with Chelsea, the Premier League and the government to find a solution that would enable both Chelsea fans to attend games and away fans to attend Stamford Bridge, whilst ensuring sanctions are respected.” – Freesuperbets quotes.

Chelsea called out for closed doors request

As many fans winced reading the tone-deaf request, the bombardment came from all around the football world. Many mocked one of the most financially powerful clubs in the world talking about ‘integrity’, whilst others said it was tone-deaf and lacked of any empathy for the reasons why the club was subject to sanctions on their owner.

Indeed, the Boro coach, Chris Wilder, was even stronger in his statement. When asked what he thought of the request, the former Sheffield United managed opined: “I think like everybody in football made of it, It was just head-scratching and I was flabbergasted with everything that’s gone off today.

“I don’t know. When a decision is made and there is a universal ‘what is all that about?’ attitude to it from everybody, including Chelsea whether it’s Thomas, the coaching staff, their players, supporters. Their supporters’ trust came out and said ‘what is all this about?’

“I thought our response as a club was class and our Chairman said what he felt from the heart. That was backed up universally by everybody who knows the game and loves the game. I’ve got to say, I was thinking that I wasn’t going to turn up. If our supporters weren’t going to turn up then I don’t think I’d have turned up. Nobody wants that.”

For Chelsea fans, it has been odd getting used to people being nice about the club from the outside. However, this decision and the subsequent reaction has been met with total venom, and it would be hard for fans to really disagree. Hopefully, in future, such decisions will be disregarded before they are embarrassingly made public.


Head off to an international tournament, and it is quite likely that you leave in the off-season. However, for African footballers, heading off during the middle of the traditional European football season is commonplace. Every two years, the African Cup of Nations takes place – and it gives Africans an immense source of pride. For African players, being able to head back to their home continent to compete for honours is special. When you play for a nation as football-mad as Senegal, though, the expectation is simple: add a star to the jersey.

Until now, though, that was never possible. Having lost finals in the past and disappointed at other AFCONs, Senegal never lifted the trophy. Now, though, Edouard Mendy has not only lifted the trophy for the first time – he even won the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award. The arrival of Mendy into the kind of form that seen him sign for Chelsea in the first place has been a game-changer for the Senegal national team.

Now, paired up with the likes of Sadio Mane and Kalidou Koulibaly, Senegal have a spine that can compete with any team in world football. Upon arrival back at training, though, Mendy was mobbed by his clearly delighted teammates.

A rapturous standing ovation awaited the Senegal no.1 as he walked into meet the team ahead of the FIFA Club World Cup event in Abu Dhabi. The keeper, 29, was mobbed by his teammates and given a passionate response from his club colleagues.

After playing a key role in winning the 2022 AFCON tournament – saving penalties in the Final shootout and setting up star man Mane to win the tournament – Mendy now looks to have his mind focused on winning the Club World Cup for Chelsea.

Mendy the catalyst for more club and international success

Ask any talented team what it is like to have a great outfield setup but a poor keeper, and they will tell you the difference it makes. Ask Chelsea; the Blues were suffering under the pressure of watching world record goalkeeper signing Kepa struggle. The season appeared to be faltering, costing club legend Frank Lampard his job. In came Thomas Tuchel, and not long after the German came the real arrival of Edouard Mendy.

Taking the first team gloves from Kepa, Mendy set about showing everyone just how good he was with excellent performances in the league and in the UEFA Champions League. At 29, he is in his professional peak and looks set to continue adding more trophies to a growing cabinet.

Even ask his international teammate Mane. The Senegalese watched as his club side lost in the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final thanks to a blunder by Loris Karius. Brazil international Alisson Becker replaced the German, though, and the Reds soon won the UCL and the Premier League.

For Chelsea, knowing they have arguably the best goalkeeper in world football in nets is a blessing. With a new lift to come from winning the AFCON title, Blues fans can look forward to even more success arriving with Mendy involved.


For Chelsea fans, hearing derogatory comments about the clubs use of the loan system has become commonplace. Despite clearly making it easy for players to build careers for themselves across the spectrum, either at Chelsea or at other big clubs, the use of the loan system has long been held against the Blues. However, there are many great examples of players who have gone on loan and either established themselves at their parent club (Mason Mount being the best, most obvious example) or at other clubs (the likes of Kurt Zouma a fine example of this).

However, it is becoming more and more common for Chelsea loanees to make good on their progress and then stick around at the club for the long-term. One player who might just tick that box in the near future if Armando Broja.

The youngster enjoyed a good spell in Holland with Vitesse, as many Blues youngsters have. However, it is his form for Southampton so far that has fans – and those at the club, if reports are to be believed – salivating with exciting.

When you watch Broja, it is easy to note comparisons to Blues forwards of the past. Perhaps the most striking example, though, is the comparisons with Nicholas Anelka. The former France striker was a key player for years at Stamford Bridge, often providing a fantastic rotational open when Didier Drogba was not present.

Broja earning rave reviews on the South Coast

With six goals already for Saints, it is clear that Broja has taken his next step in development while in the Premier League. He scored against Crystal Palace in midweek, and most Saints fans will say he is the ideal striker for their line-up and style. While the club paid big money for Adam Armstrong, it is the form of Broja that has most fans positive for the rest of the season.

Six goals in a team that has been teetering on the brink of relegation battles for a few years now, too, is a fine example of how well Broja is doing. If he manages to break into double figures, then it would be hard for the staff at Stamford Bridge to ignore his incredible progress.

Regular goals are a rarity for young loanees, especially when joining a team that is struggling to perform like Southampton are. Broja, though, has taken to their system with gusto and his goals are a huge positive. However, it is his general play and his general optimism with the ball that has Saints fans so excited.

In a team that looks bereft of self-belief, Broja never looks like he feels overawed. If anything, he looks more confident than ever. Long-tipped as a potential star striker of the future, like many Chelsea academy prospects it was down to making the right next step.

Though Chelsea might have some fine strikers on the first-team books at present, it is the form of Broja that has most so excited. In a summer where Romelu Lukaku returned to the Bridge, few thought it would be Broja that would be getting all of the praise.


Though few Chelsea fans would say it, the defence so far this season has been a little perplexing. Given the quality of players in said rotation, though, there is always a solid defender stepping in to the backline. However, it would appear that Chelsea want an extra layer of depth that they can use in central defenec. With that in mind, links to Attila Szalai of Fenerbahce should not come as any surprise.

The titanic centre-half has made quite a name for himself in Turkey, becoming one of the leading defenders in the league. His excellent performances since arriving at Fener, a massive club in their own right, have caught the eye of most of Europe. The player has been linked with most big names, but he appears to be a good fit for the style, personality, and cost level that the Blues are looking for in a new defender.

Reports in Turkey, via CNN Turk, suggest that Szalai could be a Blues player as early as January. The rumours have been swirling for a while now, with the defender also linked with a move to the Bundesliga. However, a price of over £20m would put off most German clubs, given the players only major top-flight experience has come with Fener.

Given the funds that Chelsea have to play with, though, taking a punt on this talent should not be out of their reach. The 23-year-old has made a big name for himself as he arrived in Turkey, quickly asserting his position.

His club side, though, are, like most Turkish clubs, suffering from financial losses and due to the conversion rate of the domestic currency. As such, the Canaries might need to think about taking the money they can for one of their key players.

Chelsea considering Saul Niguez return

Another transfer rumour floating around is that Chelsea will send back loan signing Saul Niguez. The versatile midfielder arrived in the summer on a loan deal, leaving boyhood club Atletico Madrid. Having admitted that his versatility had caused as many problems as it had solved solutions, the Spaniard was keen for a fresh start.

Though rumours linked him with a move to Barcelona, the player himself made clear he had only eyes for Atletico as his Spanish club of choice. However, a move to Chelsea offered the chance to play in a system that would suit him, and to join a team who just won the UEFA Champions League.

So far, though, he has barely played and has done precious little in the game time he has had. As such, it is likely that an exit will be sanctioned sooner rather than later. Both player and club have privately admitted frustration, and as it stands he is unlikely to get much game time or to see his permanent deal option picked up.

As such, an exit in January would provide both player and the respective clubs with time to make a decision on what the next step should be. While just a rumour, for now it looks pretty likely that Saul Niguez will no longer be a Chelsea player in 2022.


Listen to any Chelsea fan who has seen Billy Gilmour play, and they will tell you he is a gem. The former Rangers academy boy left the Ibrox club in a flash to move to Stamford Bridge. The chance to play and train at one of the best academies in the world was a clear indication of what Gilmour had in mind.

Despite the Gers offering him the chance to play regularly, it did not happen, and he chose to move on as a teenager to the Premier League.

However, while the young Scot has impressed in his many cameos for Chelsea, and was even on the bench for their UEFA Champions League win, he is yet to really make it at Norwich City. A season long loan was agreed, but the Canaries were very quickly shown to be short of the level expected in the top-flight.

As such, relegation already looks a near-certainty and coach Daniel Farke, under pressure, has stopped giving a chance to Gilmour.

Indeed, the Scot has not played in the Premier League since September and looks increasingly frustrated. With key games for Scotland coming up, Gilmour will need to be playing regularly if he wishes to help his country reach the 2022 FIFA World Cup. At the moment, though, Norwich are in preservation mode and look to have given up on the idea of giving exciting young talent like Gilmour minutes.

The hope was that Norwich would play a front-geared attacking style that would suit the youngster. So far, though, it has not worked out and the frustration is clear to see. So much so that reports suggest that if Farke stays on then Gilmour will be recalled in January to avoid wasting his season.

Will Daniel Farke be moved on? Will his exit help Gilmour?

While it would be fair to say that Farke could be giving more time to Gilmour, he has to look after himself. A coach who could be sacked always wants to get players on the pitch they can trust, and a young loanee is always the hardest player to put faith in.

As such, Farke is keen to put out a midfield who can do the basics as opposed to anything extra. This has led to Gilmour being dropped, as his own performances so far were unable to live up to the expectation set out for him.

If Farke were to be sacked, though, there is nothing to say it would help Gilmour. Norwich would likely appoint a short-term firefighter who is even less likely to make room for an exciting ball-playing midfielder.

At the moment, then, the entire move looks to have been a mistake. Farke was quick to find out that his second attempt at success with Norwich in the top flight is likely to end in failure. This meant making time for a young player on loan was a hard thing to justify. As it stands, the best thing for all parties concerned would be for Gilmour to return to London and take it from there.