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Transfer rumors: Fred to Man United; Icardi to Chelsea

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Brazilian midfielder Fred seems to be edging closer to a move to Manchester United after being chased by Manchester City for much of the last 12 months.

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The Shakhtar Donetsk star, 25, is a central midfielder who was supposed to be a long-term replacement for Fernandinho at City, but it appears Jose Mourinho has now swooped in to snap up the combative midfielder after Pep Guardiola‘s interest went cold.

Speaking in a press conference while away with the Brazilian national team, Fred believes that United have a bid in place for him with the midfielder previously valued at around $55 million.

“The talks had been in progress since January with City. Soon after, City and United talked to Shakhtar and my agents,” Fred said, via Globo Esporte. “And now, if I’m not mistaken, there was news of a very strong bid from United.”

Do United need Fred?

With Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay all at the club, the Brazilian’s arrival may well see Herrera, and maybe even Pogba, surplus to requirements.

Following Michael Carrick‘s retirement at the end of the 2017/18 season and Marouane Fellaini‘s contract soon to run out, Mourinho needs reinforcements in central midfield and Fred fits the bill as a two-way midfielder not scared to dig in and do his work defensively.


Chelsea have been linked with a move for Inter Milan’s star striker Mauro Icardi.

According to reports from Cadena Ser in Spain and Italian outlet Il Messaggero, Morata could head to Inter if Icardi ends up at Stamford Bridge.

Icardi, 25, was the joint-top goalscorer in Serie A in 2017/18 with 29 goals but the Argentine forward failed to make the final World Cup squad for La Albiceleste.

As for Morata, the Spanish forward also didn’t make the World Cup squad for his native Spain after a stop-start season at Chelsea under Antonio Conte. Morata, 25, was spotted meeting with the Juventus hierarchy earlier this week as the Real Madrid product spent two seasons at Juve from 2014-16 before heading back to Real en-route to Chelsea.

Would this be a good move for Chelsea?

Such has been Morata’s poor form in his debut season in the Premier League (yes, 15 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions is a decent return, but it’s not remarkable), they would no doubt have to send Morata and plenty of cash to Inter in exchange for their captain. Chelsea paid Real Madrid $80 million for Morata last summer and the reports claim they would have to send Morata plus $40 million to Inter to bring Icardi to the Bridge.

The latter has had plenty of temperament issues over the years but his status as a poacher is undoubted as his goals fired Inter back into the UEFA Champions League this season following their dramatic final day win at Lazio. Yet it’s tough to see Inter letting their skipper leave the San Siro this summer as he’s the key reason why they’re back in the Champions League.

No World Cup for Chelsea’s Spanish trio

AP Photo/Tim Ireland
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Spain has left Chelsea trio Alvaro Morata, Marcos Alonso, and Pedro off its World Cup squad.

Also omitted were Napoli’s Jose Callejoin and Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin.

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Manager Julen Lopetegui did include Blues defender Cesar Azpilicueta and ex-Chelsea man Diego Costa, as well as Manchester United’s David De Gea, Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal, and Man City’s David Silva.

Spain is expected to contend for the tournament crown in Russia, led by a stellar midfield which includes Silva, Andres Iniesta, Isco, and Thiago Alcantara.

Spain is in a group with Portugal, Iran, and Morocco.

Spain’s World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: De Gea, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Pepe Reina

Defenders: Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Azpilicueta, Nacho, Alvaro Odriozola, Jordi Alba, Monreal, Dani Carvajal

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Asensio, Iniesta, Isco, Saul Niguel, Thiago Alcantara, Koke, Silva.

Forwards: Diego Costa, Rodrigo, Iago Aspas, Lucas Vazquez.

Chelsea joins Man Utd in FA Cup Final

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Chelsea will meet old pal Jose Mourinho in the FA Cup Final after beating Southampton 2-0 at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata scored the goals for Antonio Conte‘s men, whose date with Manchester United comes at the same venue on May 19.

Southampton will turn its attention back to the relegation battle, four points behind 17th place Swansea City.

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Willian hit the cross bar with an early effort as Chelsea looked very much up for the semifinal.

Olivier Giroud had a 39th minute chance zip wide of the frame, as Chelsea posted nine of the first half’s 11 shot attempts while holding 60 percent possession.

Saints would have been happy to get to the locker room at nil-nil.

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Twenty-eight seconds into the second half: That’s when Giroud scored, with Chelsea’s first long ball knocked down by Eden Hazard on the edge of the 18 and played to the Frenchman.

Giroud cut between two Saints defenders and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy to stab home with his right foot.

Hazard curled an effort of his own wide in the 48th minute.

Saints snapped to life, and Shane Long touched around Wily Caballero but too strong to equalize at Wembley.

Nathan Redmond forced a wild save out of Caballero in the 72nd minute, and nearly claimed the corner.

McCarthy tipped a Hazard shot over the bar minutes later.

Morata put it to bed on a cross from his in-tune assist man Cesar Azpilicueta.

The finish was thrilling nevertheless, with Charlie Austin hitting the far post and Saints getting a goal line clearance at the other end.

Chelsea 1-1 West Ham United: Super sub Chicharito

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  • Chicharito saves point
  • Azpilicueta scores
  • Hart stars for West Ham
  • Morata twice denied for offside

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored moments after subbing into the match as West Ham United came back to draw Chelsea 1-1 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Cesar Azpilicueta scored for Chelsea, who saw a pair of razor-thin offside calls deprive Alvaro Morata of goals. The Blues sit 10 points back of the Top Four and three ahead of sixth-place Arsenal.

West Ham is six points clear of the drop after added its point to the table.

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West Ham started on the front foot, and Marko Arnautovic won a corner kick when he dribbled into the 18 for a rip toward Thibaut Courtois.

Willian made a dazzling run at the other end, cutting across the center of the park and down the right flank for a cross that Angelo Ogbonna diverted with a terrific slide.

Alvaro Morata had the ball in the net via a nutmeg of Joe Hart, but was offside when he started his run onto Eden Hazard‘s through ball.

Chelsea was feeling its finesse with combination play, and Hart made an outstanding save on Morata only to see Azpilicueta net on the ensuing corner kick.

There were several chances to win the ball off a short corner that Morata put back into the mixer for Azpilicueta to finish.

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More Willian wizardry saw him drag a shot wide of the far corner inside the 46th minute.

The Brazilian played a cross for Morata to score, but the offside flag was raised against the Spaniard for a second time.

It was West Ham who’d find their equalizer when Chicharito darted into space to belt one past Courtois, and that led to a thrilling finish with chances at both ends.

Chelsea 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs end streak

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  • Morata puts Chelsea ahead
  • Eriksen fools Caballero for equalizer
  • Dele wins it
  • Spurs eight clear of Chelsea

Dele Alli scored a pair of second half goals as Tottenham Hotspur won a match at Chelsea for the first time in 28 years, coming back from an early deficit in a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Christian Eriksen also scored as Spurs collected their first win at the Bridge since Feb. 10, 1990.

Alvaro Morata scored for Chelsea, who falls eight points back of fourth place Spurs.

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Eriksen produced the match’s first fine chance out of a scrum on the right flank, swerving a cross that a shoved Dele Alli headed wide of goal.

Chelsea produced a frenzied few moments that featured an active Hugo Lloris for Spurs and culminated with Marcos Alonso belted into the goal from an offside position. No goal.

Morata leapt high to take advantage of Lloris’ poorly-timed intervention, rising to head home in the 30th minute.

Eriksen knuckled a hard effort toward Caballero that almost got the better of the Chelsea keeper in the 39th minute.

And the Danish wizard found the back of the goal with a wonderful effort in first half stoppage time, doubling down on swerve to beat Caballero.

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The second half saw Cesc Fabregas loft a free kick that Andreas Christensen nodded wide of the goal.

Caballero made an outstanding flying save on Heung-Min Son, who’s left-footed curler was palmed away by the Argentine.

Dele quieted his critics with an outstanding 62nd minute goal, settling Eric Dier‘s long ball over the top with a deft touch before using his second to rifle past Caballero.

The goalkeeper made two more saves on Son before Dele made Chelsea pay for awful box defending with a 66th minute goal.