Having seen a squad that looked in need of a blow-up win the UEFA Champions League, the mood music at Chelsea is hugely positive. This has led to talks with various players who might have otherwise moved on. Contract negotiations are taking place at the moment with several first-team regulars, and among them includes Italian international Jorginho. The midfield playmaker was a crucial part of the turnaround under Thomas Tuchel, and is now seen as a ‘priority’ target for Chelsea.

Though the Blues are keen on making a litany of new signings this summer, including a marquee striker, it is believed that new contracts for first team mainstays is also a major part of this summers plans. According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, then, Chelsea have made getting a deal for Jorginho tied up among their top priorities.

Linked with various teams in Italy, including Juventus, it was expected for much of last season that this would be the final season in England for Jorginho. That, though, looks to have changed. A huge upsurge in form and a natural fit with the ball dominant style of Tuchel makes keeping Jorginho a priority for the Blues.

Expect some moves to take place this summer, then, as the club look to tie up key talent whilst also bringing in a host of new players who can contribute for the long-term. Veterans, though, are expected to be rewarded.

Will Chelsea get Jorginho to sign a new deal?

It appears so. The player, fresh off winning the UEFA European Championships with Italy, has become a much more respected figure in the English game this season. Seen as a luxury excess that was part of the failed Maurizio Sarri experiment, Chelsea fans have waited some time to see the best of Jorginho. His imperious form under Tuchel, though, was enough to have fans convinced that he should stick around.

And, crucially, the player now looks much happier with far less noise coming from his representatives about a return to the Italian game. According to Romano, though, the deal to get Jorginho tied-up is now seen as a crucial part of the summer build. Speaking on his Here We Go podcast, Romano said of the new deal: “Chelsea are working on Jorginho’s contract as one of the priorities this summer and the coming months,

“They want to Jorginho to stay. He has a contract until 2023 but they are already talking with him over a potential extension. It will take some time because Chelsea usually works with calm in these situations.”

For fans, then, this should be good news as it will see key players signed up for the long-term. Other players in line for new deals include the expiring Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, and Cesar Azpilicueta. The trio were key defensive performers under Tuchel, and will be expected to pen new deals as they continue to play a key role in the team that is being built.

 

While a club that wins the UEFA Champions League is declared the best in Europe, it is rare they stand still. Liverpool are one of the few examples of a team not building after European glory and still progressing. Chelsea, though, are unlikely to follow the example of their rivals. Though talks with Achraf Hakimi have likely died out, there are some very intriguing names being mentioned as potential signings. Indeed, there has been talk that the Blues might commit well in excess of £100 on two Premier League proven stars this summer. Who are Chelsea being linked with?

Adama Traore

Traore is believed to have had fans at Stamford Bridge for years, but his rebirth at Molineux with Wolverhampton Wanderers has been stratospheric. Now, the Spain international regularly plays for his country, and has shown more than enough in his time in England to earn a move to one of the elite of the English game.

Reporters close to the club suggest that with a move for Hakimi dead, Traore will be next in-line. It would be an exciting move, offering another pacey wing-back with an eye for goal and who would offer more power on the break. Given how well the Chelsea team is set up to dominate and to counter attack, Traore is another two-way player who is equally suited to either style of play. Naturally, this has fans excited about what comes next – a real powerhouse wide option on the right-hand side.

Though the right wing-back slot was one shared by numerous names last year, it is believed that Tuchel wants a de facto first choice for every position and sees Traore as the ideal pick to challenge for if they have to pull out of any move for Hakimi.

Declan Rice

Long linked with a move to Chelsea again, former academy boy and boyhood Chelsea fan Declan Rice will likely be targeted again. Seen as the ideal choice as he can play in midfield or in a back three, Rice would offer Chelsea a consistent option in midfield. It would also open up the chance to move on two inconsistent first-team options in Mateo Kovacic and, somewhat controversially, Jorginho.

The former has struggled to ever really show his best form in England, while the latter has been noted on more than one occasion as eyeing a move to Italy again. Though both players for under contract for the long-term, the arrival of Rice would allow for one – or both – names to be moved on, giving Chelsea a different midfield make-up compared to what they have at this current moment in time.

As a hard-hitting defensive midfielder who can read the game and contribute offensively, Rice would be the ideal long-term addition. In fact, his arrival would have shades of the arrival of Frank Lampard; a long-term option that the midfield could be configured around as an ever-present for much, if not all, of the next decade to come.

 

While a club that has just won the UEFA Champions League often does not need much work, Chelsea are a different story. While Blues fans revelled in the work done by Thomas Tuchel as he took the club from outside the top four to UCL glory, Chelsea are on the lookout for a new creative spark as well as a clinical new central striker. For the former position, though, a new name has emerged: Jack Grealish.

Despite boasting a series of creative talents including the likes of Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech alongside prospects like Billy Gilmour, as well as USMNT star Christian Pulisic, Chelsea are believed to have ‘concrete’ interest in making a move for the Villa playmaker. In his two years in the top-flight with Villa, Grealish has shown an incredible level of development. Upon relegation with Villa, he was seen as unfocused and inconsistent; today, he is rated as one of the most clutch attacking options in the English leagues.

Part of the interest from Chelsea stems from the lack of form of Ziyech. The Moroccan arrived from AFC Ajax at great expense, but has so far sporadically lived up to expectation. As such, Chelsea could look to flip the player to La Liga or Serie A, where has numerous admirers, and pick up Grealish instead. The player is believed to have immense interest from the top sides in England, but could be seen as the ideal pick for a Chelsea team that needs a primary playmaker.

For Grealish, it would offer the chance to play for a title winning club, link up with numerous England teammates, and live in London. With Chelsea a returning force at the top of the English game, the project could be too good to say no to.

Will Chelsea make a move for Jack Grealish?

All reports suggest that they will. With primary target Erling Haaland seemingly a no-show this summer, Chelsea might look to sign another playmaker whilst they wait for their prime central forward target to become available. The fee to get Grealish will likely be in the region of £80-100m, given his form and his contract situation. However, with Timo Werner showing up at the end of the season, Chelsea might find themselves willing to wait for a year and see how Werner does when surrounded by even better service.

A pure playmaker, Grealish can also hustle on defence and score goals from set-plays and from distance. He would offer Chelsea a creative spark that would work perfectly with a squad loaded with creative players, midfield runners, and high movement. Seen as the ideal fit for a Thomas Tuchel side, the arrival of Grealish would be a game-changer for the club.

Blues fans, then, will be hoping that this does not become another summer where marquee talent like Grealish slips through the net and signs for rivals. The club has just won the UCL; the time to strike is now, when the club is seen as an elite destination to top talent like Grealish.

Having seen an influx of stars to the Premier League, the Czech Republic might be about to see another arrival. There is an expectation that Chelsea will look to bring in a second goalkeeper this summer to compete with Edouard Mendy. The arrival of one name has grown in recent weeks, though, with talk that former Sevilla goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik will arrive. The Czech is out of contract with Sevilla and will be on the market this summer. With Sevilla unwilling to meet his needs and signing Marko Dimitrovic instead, Chelsea might make good on the loss of the Andalusians.

Seen as one of the most consistent keepers in La Liga over the last few years, Valcik is a highly respected keeper who has become a reliable option. However, his performance so far at the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament will have Blues fans licking their lips. If they tuned in for the Czech’s 2-0 win against Scotland, they would have seen the tale of two goalkeepers.

In one net, you had David Marshall. The Derby County stopper was poor for the first goal, a nice header from Patrick Schick, and absolutely awful for the second. The Scot was caught at least 20 yards outside his box just 10 minutes into the second-half. After an ill-advised shot from Scottish central defender Jack Hendry, the ball bounced into the path of Schick. The Bayer Leverkusen man duly lofted the ball perfectly into the empty net, leaving a despairing Marshall rolling around his net.

By contrast, Valcik made a series of highly impressive saves – most notably from Andrew Robertson at 0-0, and from Lyndon Dykes at 2-0. The veteran done everything he could to keep Scotland out, earning a well overdue clean sheet at full-time.

Would Tomas Valcik sign for Chelsea?

While Blues fans will hope that they can pick up the experienced and reliable Czech, playing time does become a major talking point. The form of Mendy towards the end of last season means that he is unlikely to be displaced anytime soon. However, the 32-year-old would offer a fine option to compete with Mendy, and would offer a strong enough option that Mendy could realistically be dropped due to poor form.

At the moment, Chelsea are more or less unable to change keepers due to the unreliable nature of the other backups. Valcik, though, has fought for years to finally become the first pick keeper for club and for country; is he really likely to choose to go back to the bench?

The presence for Czech legend Petr Cech, though, could play some role in helping the Blues to make the deal possible. A hugely talented and reliable presence in the nets, Valcik is arguably the best free agent goalkeeper on the market this year – if Chelsea can convince him to fight for a spot with Mendy, he would offer a massive upgrade on a host of the keepers currently warming the Stamford Bridge bench.

 

When Romelu Lukaku signed for Chelsea as a prodigious talent from Anderlecht, fans were rightly excited. They had landed the ideal replacement for club legend Didier Drogba; a mobile, aggressive forward with a natural finish both with his left foot and with his head.  However, Lukaku endured a frustrating time at Stamford Bridge the first time around, to the point where he soon left in frustration for loans to West Bromwich Albion and then Everton.

Despite blossoming into arguably the best young striker in the world, the Blues missed out on a reunion when Antonio Conte was coach. The Italian was desperate to land the striker, who instead made a move to Manchester United. This was a major reason why Conte left Chelsea in the long-term, with a breakdown in the clubs vision and his own being a major reason for the split. Lukaku not signing was a major part of that.

As a boyhood Chelsea supporter, fans were always hopeful that one day ‘Rom’ would return to Stamford Bridge. And having watched him become the Player of the Year in Italy, winning the Italian top-flight with Internazionale under ex-coach Conte, fans couldn’t be blamed for feeling a little wistful. Could they have saved themselves a lot of time and stress if they just persevered with the Belgian when he was already there?

This summer, fans were hopeful for a third time lucky scenario. With Conte leaving Inter under a cloud and the club in financial disarray, the hope was that they could charm Inter into a sale and bring Lukaku ‘back home’ to Chelsea. However, the player himself was taken to an interview to make it clear that he does not see his future outside of the Nerazzurri.

What did Romelu Lukaku say?

Having scored 64 goals in 95 games for Inter, the Belgian is a modern legend – and one of the few players to really be taken into the hearts of fans since he arrived. His game has visibly improved in every facet; he works harder, scores more, gets involved in the play more often, and sets up teammates. He even fights hard on the pressing and defensive end. Basically, everything you could want in a modern striker, Lukaku has.

However, a recent interview with Belgian platform HLN suggested he has no intention of leaving Italy anytime soon. When asked about his commitment to Inter, he said: Yes, I am staying. I’ve already had contact with the man who normally becomes our new manager.

“Maybe I shouldn’t say that yet… but it was a very positive conversation. There’s also the challenge of doing it again [winning the Scudetto with Inter]. I feel good at Inter.”

For fans who were hoping that the UEFA Champions League win might be enough to stir Lukaku into a return, it does not look likely. Despite the supposed issues plaguing Inter, Lukaku looks certain to stick around and continue to build his growing legend in the Italian game.

 

With the Premier League season all but wrapped up, the final round of fixtures has precious little left to decide. Really, the only things up for grabs are the final UEFA Champions League spots. After their 2-1 win at home to Leicester City, the Blues know they are just one win away from UCL participation in 2021-22.

To achieve that, though, they need to go to Aston Villa and win. A win guarantees a UCL spot and likely a third place finish. Anything other than a win, though, opens up some very confusing questions about what is going to happen next for the Blues – and could have massive repercussions on their seasons to come.

Home News

The Villa will be arriving into this one knowing they are playing a team they rarely do anything against. Indeed, five losses and a draw make up their last six games against the Blues. However, that draw arrived in December 2020, when they draw 1-1 at Stamford Bridge.

Expect Villa to have a pretty strong team to put out, though there is the likelihood that some key performers will be rested. Blues fans might have hoped to see Ross Barkley, but he will be ineligible to play and, really, has completely fallen out of the starting picture at Villa after a fast start to the 2020-21 season.

For now, then, Villa will have a pretty full team to take on Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.

Away News

Chelsea have their eyes on the UCL Final, but have to make sure they do the damage here to guarantee participation for next season. Therefore, expect Chelsea to go full-strength to avoid the risk of anything going wrong. The only question really stems from the forward line. Could Tammy Abraham make a rare start to keep Timo Werner and Olivier Giroud fit? Could the veteran Frenchman start here instead?

Either way, the Blues should have a team that is more than capable of turning up at Villa and playing with the required quality. They should have a mostly fit squad to choose from, though coach Thomas Tuchel might decide to make some changes to the personnel just in a bid to avoid injury or fatigue.

If Chelsea should be able to build a sizeable lead early, it could make good sense to make a lot of substitutions to save the energy of the starters. This means that some of the younger stars like Billy Gilmour who was recently included in Scotland’s Euro2020 squad.

Verdict

With a 22-point gap between the teams, Chelsea arrive knowing they have something to play for. Villa have nothing but pride to play for. With their inability to hold a lead and Chelsea having plenty of history this year of coming back from losing positions and in hunting the opposition into making mistakes and losing the ball, we can only see one winner here.

The main thing for Villa is they tend to be a team who relies on individual moments to make their progress and success. Expect Chelsea to see most of the time, and if they can shut down the gaps that could allow the key Villa attackers like Oli Watkins to thrive then they should be well in position to dominate in Birmingham here. Expect a Chelsea win, but probably less comfortable than one would hope for given the big game waiting on the 29th.

 

Having arrived into a proverbial burning building, Thomas Tuchel has done his best impression of a football firefighter. Taking on a young squad laden with talent and ability, Chelsea were seen as one of the great underperformers in Europe upon his arrival. However, the German supremo has worked his magic, turning Chelsea from an expensive joke into one of the most well-structured teams in Europe. Previous coach Frank Lampard had found it hard to blend his unique squad together and faced the sack long before it arrived.

Since Tuchel arrived, though, numerous comments were made that he was simply the next in-line to be sacked in the near future. Having most likely guaranteed Chelsea UEFA Champions League football whilst reaching the UCL and FA Cup Finals, the German has turned a season of loss into one of genuine triumph and opportunity. So, with that in mind, the reports that Tuchel will be given a juicy new deal should surprise nobody.

The German is on the lookout for a new deal to arrive in the near future, with his work so far impressing everyone at the club. The speed in which he turned around a team of young underperformers from a team that looked lethargic and weak into a tactical powerhouse that has taken results from the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City (twice), and Real Madrid, shows a coach in his element with a squad who would go to war for him.

The news of a new deal, too, shows just how fast things can change. When he first arrived at Chelsea, the coach made clear that the length of his contract wasn’t an issue as the sack is always just around the corner in football. Now, though, he can likely feel some security.

Does Thomas Tuchel deserve a new contract?

Given the fact he’s only been at the club for a period of months, some worry this new extension might be too hasty. However, with the German in his best form as a coach this year, he looks like a ready-made fit for Chelsea. He is a cerebral thinker with the ability to connect with younger players, giving them a confidence boost whilst also keeping them well in-line in terms of tactics and formations.

He’s a man manager who also does not mind having control from above taken from him. Although he has famously had fallouts with the higher-ups at both Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain, it is clear that Tuchel can work as part of a wider setup. Given coaches are rarely given power away from the dugout and training ground, then, he should be the perfect fit for the modern system that Chelsea have developed.

Though some might worry that it could be a good period of success that soon fades, it would be hard to deny that Tuchel has been a genuine gamechanger in London. With no shortage of his ability as a coach, this could be the long-term appointment that Chelsea have hunted after for so long.

 

In what is one of the biggest domestic derbies in the capital, Arsenal versus Chelsea always gets fans excited. North London versus West London. Red versus Blue. Mourinho against Wenger. For years, Arsenal and Chelsea were total polar opposites in terms of their style and their way of working. Today, though? They are polar opposites in terms of ambition and potential.

The Gunners arrive in the western quadrant of the capital knowing their season is, for all intents and purposes, over. Chelsea arrive knowing a win against their old foe practically ties up UEFA Champions League qualification, setting them up for next season as well as leaving them able to focus on trying to win a cup double.

Chelsea news

The Blues have an FA Cup Final to look forward to at the weekend, which might see them change their starting line-up somewhat. However, with UCL football still not guaranteed, Thomas Tuchel might take precious few risks. They might look to give the likes of Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount, whilst giving their rotation options a chance to play in the domestic cup final to arrive at the weekend.

Thiago Silva might also sit this one out, though the loss of Andreas Christensen for this game might mean he has to play at least some part. Tuchel and co. are believed to want to keep as many players as they can fresh for the cup match without having to put their chances of winning the game at needless risk.

Arsenal news

The Gunners will be arriving at this game missing three players in Granit Xhaka, David Luiz, and Pablo Mari. All three have played in defence for the most part, leaving Arsenal short on defensive numbers. However, we should see a return to the starting eleven for the likes of Kieran Tierney, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Martin Ødegaard, Hector Bellerin and Thomas Partey.

As five of the most important players for Arsenal, this should bode well for a team that has been lacking in numbers recently. However, expect Alex Lacazette to spend the games beginning on the bench. His recent return from injury means he is unlikely to be fit enough to be able to get back on the pitch without some more training time.

Verdict

With seven clean sheets in eight home games, Chelsea can feel pretty confident in walking out of here with a win. They will also know they are playing an Arsenal team with nothing to play for but pride. Only one defeat in their last sixteen points to a team in incredibly confident form. The Gunners, though, are undefeated in their five away games. Pair that up with a 10-match unbeaten run at home to Arsenal, though, and this game has all of the hallmarks of an intriguing tie.

Chelsea, though, have more to play for and we can see that desire to secure European football paired with a cup final place to earn giving them the edge in a game that Arsenal, if they were honest, would probably rather avoid.

 

Though Chelsea are currently in as good a place as they have been for several years, the Blues never stop looking for ways to improve. And one of the most interesting discussions at the moment revolves around the signing of summer attacking talent. Though there is much talk of the signing of a signature striker, the return to form of Timo Werner could see those plans shelved – at least in the intention to buy an out and out striker. Instead, Chelsea might look to bolster their attacking talent elsewhere.

A common complaint from some fans is a lack of true quality in the wide areas, at least consistently. The arrival of Jadon Sancho, then, would change that. The aggressive young winger, a Chelsea supporter, has been linked mostly with the Manchester clubs and Liverpool. However, with news that Borussia Dortmund might be lowering their price to a more palatable £80m, Chelsea might look to get in ahead of the pack.

A London boy, Sancho is rated as among the most exciting players of his generation. Though his stats have slowed down somewhat this year, his incredible production since breaking through at BVB was arguably unsustainable. Many see his drop in form as a sign of a player who has downed tools; it is more likely, though, that the player has simply been the subject of more strenuous marking than ever before.

His second half of the season has been hugely impressive when fit. With his contract running down and BVB keen to try and offset too many key player losses, though, they might instead look to make a fair deal for Sancho.

Why would Dortmund sell Sancho to Chelsea?

For one, the two clubs have done business in the past without any real disharmony. There is believed to be a good relationship there – unlike the relationship shared with other English clubs. The season long soap opera of Sancho going to Manchester United is believed to have seriously irked those at the top of Dortmund. Therefore, they might prefer to do their business with Chelsea.

Given it is the team that Sancho supports, and they could be reigning European champions, it might also be easier to see an agreement between all parties. Despite late rumours, it appeared last year that Sancho was not really committed to a move back to Manchester. Chelsea are on the upward curve and could use Sancho most weeks; add in a lifelong affection for the Blues, and his arrival would make a lot of sense for all involved.

With BVB potentially missing out on the Champions League for next year, they might need to make a sacrifice of sorts to help balance the books. With Sancho well proven in his time at Dortmund, all parties might agree that this is as good a time as any to say farewell to one another.

And for Chelsea, it could held them to land the most exciting English talent of his age group for a fee far below what might have been expected.

 

If you had told a Chelsea fan that this match-up with Manchester City would be a dress rehearsal for the UEFA Champions League Final, they would have laughed. An incredible run to the Final under new coach Thomas Tuchel, though, will see the two ‘other’ giants of the English game take on one another. Before that, though, a vital league game for the future of Chelsea awaits. Can they come to Manchester and claim a flagship win to put their marker down ahead of meeting up against one another in Istanbul?

With both teams arriving into this one in high confidence and great form, expect a bombastic game with both sides eager to prove their point.

Home news

City will be without John Stones, who was sent off in their last league match. However, outside of that they should be able to field close to a full first-team. This is a farcry from the skeleton side that Chelsea dismantled in the FA Cup Semi-Finals.

Rodri should come back into the squad, offering authority in place of the likely rested Fernandinho. Another key player who will come into the side is Aymeric Laporte, who has become an increasingly crucial figure again under Guardiola. We might see one of Phil Foden or Riyad Mahrez rested to help give the team some extra legs as they come to the most crucial part of the season.

Away news

The Blues will rock up to Manchester knowing they need to really make a big impression. A win is essential to both stop City winning the title and to also keep themselves in the UCL hunt. Thomas Tuchel will likely be without Cesar Azpilicueta, while Mateo Kovacic will also likely sit this one out after missing a lot of football.

Like City, Chelsea made short work of their UCL second leg, dismissing Real Madrid; only a gluttony of missed chances stopped this from being an utter rout. Tuchel might look to rest some players, though, especially after Jorginho and N’Golo Kante gave so much in midweek. Expect some changes to come into as Chelsea look to give some of their most regularly used players under Tuchel a bit of extra time to rest and recover. Expect Marcos Alonso and Reece James to get a start in the full/wing-back roles.

Verdict

This should be an exceptional game with two teams who are nearing full fitness and are utterly brimming with confidence. This will be a dress rehearsal for the Final, but a title can be won and UCL spots can be secured with wins for either team. Expect a game that is full of energy, rather than a chance for two big clubs to play out for a low energy draw.

Chelsea arrive to play a City team who have conceded a surprising number of goals recently, though, so should be confident in putting a bit of pressure on the City team. However, we cannot call a winner; this has score draw written all over it.