We take a look at the most important Chelsea news that have been making the rounds.
Crystal Palace Want Ivanovic
The London outfit are looking to swoop in for Chelsea veteran Branislav Ivanovic, according to a report in the Express. The Eagles are currently 3 points away from the relegation zone and could use with a boost of quality within their ranks.
The 32-year-old Chelsea legend has lost his place from Antonio Conte’s starting XI, given the change in formation and Victor Moses’ rise to prominence. He has not started a Premier League game since Chelsea’s 3-0 loss to Arsenal and has made only 3 appearances in the league since then, all of which have come from the bench.
Chelsea’s double-winning 2014/15 season was arguably his best season in a Chelsea shirt. But he, unlike many of his teammates, hasn’t been able to find his form after the horrifying campaign they endured last year. The Serbian international has been linked with moves to Juventus and Barcelona, but the report states that he doesn’t want to uproot his family who are currently based in London, and that gives Alan Pardew’s side an advantage.
Previously, it would have been unthinkable that Chelsea would allow a player of his importance to leave, but given his lack of game time, the club and it’s vice-captain may actually want to consider their options.
Azpilicueta Hails Fabregas
In recent months, Cesc Fabregas, who was once the indispensable pass master of this Chelsea side, has found himself resigned to the bench. Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 formation has no place for the Spaniard with Nemanja Matic and N’golo Kante taking up the two central midfield positions and both of them have formed a superb understanding with each other and have been a key part of the Blues’ incredible run of form.
However, Matic was unable to play against Manchester City and Fabregas finally returned to the starting XI. The La Masia graduate had a great game against his former manager Pep Guardiola’s side and even set up Diego Costa for Chelsea’s equalizer with a brilliant 50 yard pass. His compatriot Cesar Azpilicueta was full of praise for the playmaker.
He said to Standard Sport, “To have a player like him at the club is really important. We know his qualities — he is a game changer. The passes he did during the win against Manchester City were amazing. He provided the assist for the goal which got us back into the game — Diego scored a very good goal.”
On being asked whether Fabregas wanted to stay at the club, the 27-year-old insisted that there was no doubt about it and that he showed his desire to stay in each training session and match he’s played. He went on to say, “When some players are not playing, there is always a bit of speculation. But Cesc has shown really good commitment, great spirit in training and in every game, when he has played and when he hasn’t. I think we will have him [for a long time yet].”
Bilic Sets Sights On Begovic
The West Ham boss has ‘lost faith’ in his current two first choice keepers, Adrian and Darren Randolph. According to the Daily Mail, Bilic has been on the hunt for a new keeper to help solve his defensive issues and has set his sights on Chelsea’s second choice keeper Asmir Begovic. The former Stoke man has only been able to make 3 appearances this season for Chelsea and all of them have been in the EFL Cup.
He has been unable to break into the Chelsea squad given Conte’s preference to use Thibaut Courtois in the Premier League. The Hammers reportedly want him on a temporary basis next month for the rest of the season. The 29-year-old has only made 25 appearances last season, but this season, Chelsea are participating in fewer competitions and that has restricted the amount of games available to him.
A temporary move away from Stamford Bridge would certainly help the Bosnia and Herzegovina keeper get some valuable game time, but it is unlikely that Conte would let such a top quality back up keeper leave without having another option available to him.