Hazard and Bakayoko train
Ahead of Chelsea’s away fixture to Tottenham on Sunday, Antonio Conte would have been given a huge boost as Eden Hazard and Tiemoue Bakayoko trained with the first team squad. It is unclear whether the two players will play any part at Wembley, but it will be a boost for Chelsea fans. Bakayoko, who joined from AS Monaco, is yet to make his debut for the Blues.
Chelsea will have to pay up to £40 million if they are to sign Danny Drinkwater from Leicester. The Blues have been searching for a new central midfielder since selling Nemanja Matic to Manchester United, and now Leicester want a similar fee for their player. Chelsea have already seen a £15 million offer rejected, with a second offer worth around £25 million reportedly on the table.
With the deadline only a matter of weeks away, recent reports have suggested that Conte could raid Southampton for three new defenders. Virgil van Dik, Cedric, and Ryan Bertrand have all been linked with moves to Stamford Bridge. The Saints’ stance on Dutchman van Dijk is clear – they do not want to sell. Chelsea believe a fee for Cedric could be agreed at around £15m-£20m. Whereas Ryan Bertrand is seen as an option if the Blues fail to land Alex Sandro from Juventus.
Move over Diego Costa, former Chelsea youth player Emmanuel Sarki claims John Obi Mikel was treated worse by Antonio Conte. Mikel, who failed to make an appearance under Conte, left Chelsea in January 2017 for Chinese side Tianjin TEDA.
“I was told how Conte treated Mikel after his decision to represent Nigeria at the Rio 2016 Olympics.” Sarki said.
“He was granted permission to go by Conte under one condition, which was ‘you might not get a look in upon your return’.
“How painful he didn’t give Mikel the chance to say goodbye to fans who have stood by him for ten and half seasons.”