John Walton/PA via AP

Batshuayi, Ake join list of odd Chelsea decisions

1 Comment

Antonio Conte and his new brood of Blues may yet finish in the Top Three of the Premier League, but Chelsea supporters can be forgiven for wondering what if when it comes to their on loan and sold talent.

Michy Batshuayi is the latest example, unfit to serve as Conte’s back-up striker but a part of Borussia Dortmund’s last eight goals (including the equalizer and stoppage time winner in a Europa League comeback on Thursday).

[ MORE: Batshuayi the talk of BVB ]

And while few should be blaming Conte for buying Alvaro Morata or Olivier Giroud, Batshuayi is just one example of a Chelsea player having an instant or prolonged affect on a new team.

Consider, with just a small mention to Charly Musonda assisting Celtic’s match-winner against Zenit Saint-Petersburg on Thursday:

Kenedy has been one of Newcastle’s best players since going on loan, a fire plug on the left side who was instrumental in the Magpies collecting four points including a win over Manchester United.

— When healthy, Kurt Zouma has literally been Stoke City’s most consistent player this side of Geoff Cameron.

— Like fellow CB Zouma, Bournemouth man Nathan Ake has been an electric part of their defense and transition.

— Now injured, Ruben Loftus-Cheek was a revelation for Crystal Palace’s midfield, earning England World Cup talk.

It got us to thinking, how would the loanees and recently-sold Blues fare as an XI in the Premier League (It’s a little shady counting Salah and Cuadrado, but they were just permanently sold within the last two seasons)?

Begovic (Bournemouth)

Ake (Bournemouth) — Zouma (Stoke City) — Rahman (Schalke)

Chalobah (Watford)–Matic (Man Utd)–Loftus-Cheek (Palace)–Atsu (Newcastle)

 Cuadrado (Juve) — Batshuayi (BVB) — Salah (Liverpool)

Methinks that side does pretty well

Cristiano Ronaldo won’t travel to U.S. with Juventus

Francois Nel/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Cristiano Ronaldo sent shockwaves across the globe when he completed a stunning move to Juventus over the weekend, but American fans will have to wait to little while to see the Portuguese star in action.

[ MORE: Schedule for PL giants on U.S. tour ]

The 33-year-old won’t take part in the Serie A champions’ tour of the United States this summer, which begins on July 25 against Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.

Instead, Ronaldo will head to Asia for his annual “CR7 Tour,” which helps promote his various sponsorship obligations as well as his global brand.

Juventus faces a jam-packed fixture list while in the U.S. over the coming weeks, which includes three International Champions Cup matches, as well as taking on the MLS All-Stars in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game on August 1 in Atlanta.

Report: Liverpool agrees to terms for Roma keeper Alisson

Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Liverpool has been in search of a new first-choice goalkeeper for several months, and now it appears that Jurgen Klopp and his side have their man.

[ MORE: Schedule for PL giants on U.S. tours ]

The Reds reportedly have a deal in the place for Roma shot-stopper Alisson in excess of $84 million, which would make the 25-year-old the most expensive goalkeeper in football history.

Chelsea had also been viewed as a potential landing spot for the budding star in net, however, it seems likely that Liverpool has beaten their Premier League rivals for the player.

The previous transfer record for a keeper came 17 years ago when Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon completed a $69 million move from Parma to Juventus.

Alisson started in all five of Brazil’s World Cup matches this summer in Russia, including the team’s 2-1 defeat to Belgium that knocked the Selecao out of the competition in the quarterfinals.

He managed to keep three clean sheets in the tournament.

The move for Alisson will likely spell the end for Loris Karius at Anfield, after starting 33 matches in all competitions last season for the Reds, including the team’s UEFA Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

Iceland coach steps down after 7 years in charge

Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Leave a comment

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) The coach that led Iceland to its first World Cup has stepped down.

The Icelandic Football Association says Heimir Hallgrimsson has decided to leave at his own request, ending seven years in the role.

[ MORE: Schedule for PL giants on U.S. tours ]

Hallgrimsson was the co-coach with Lars Lagerback of Sweden at the European Championship in 2016, when Iceland reached the quarterfinals after beating England.

After Lagerback left, Hallgrimsson assumed sole control of the national team, which became the least populous team to ever play at a World Cup. Iceland drew with Argentina in its opening group game but failed to advance to the knockout stage.

Hellgrimsson is a part-time dentist.

Report: Real Madrid close to Courtois, Hazard deals

Getty Images
Leave a comment

According to radio network RMC Sport in France, Real Madrid has an agreement with Chelsea for the transfer of Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

The report states that Courtois would cost Los Blancos $41 million, and the transfer is imminent. That would be significantly cheaper than Liverpool’s widely reported bid for Roma goalkeeper Alisson, who is supposedly costing the Reds $81 million, which would be a record for a goalkeeper.

This could likely be attributed to the player’s contracts, with Courtois’s set to run out at the end of the coming season, while Alisson’s contract at Roma is good through the summer of 2021.

Courtois has been at Chelsea since 2011 when he arrived from Belgian club Genk, but spent the first few years out on loan at Atletico Madrid in Spain. He won the Golden Glove at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the award for the top goalkeeper in the tournament.

Meanwhile, the same RMC Sport report states that Real Madrid is close to an agreement for Courtois’s Chelsea teammate and Belgian countryman Eden Hazard. The 27-year-old has spent six years at Stamford Bridge since his move from Lille, and has heavily been speculated to be Real Madrid’s preferred replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Both players are currently on holiday at different vacation destinations inSpain following the conclusion of the 2018 World Cup.