Chelsea Champions 2016-17

Transfer news: Spurs want Neves, Man Utd hopes for van de Beek

Neves to Tottenham
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are hoping to pick off talent from Ajax and Wolves, respectively, while a Chelsea target reportedly only has eyes for Barcelona

[ MORE: Everton loanee Kenny scores beauty ]

Wolves’ incredible season has increased interest in a number of their assets, and Jose Mourinho is eyeing one of his Portuguese compatriots currently at the Molineux.

Le10sport reports that the Tottenham Hotspur boss wants to bring 23-year-old Ruben Neves to North London and that the player is open to the idea.

Neves is a fixture in the Wolves’ lineup, having moved from Porto in 2017 for just under $20 million.

He’s 125 times for Wolves since joining them for the 2017-18 promotion campaign in the Championship, scoring 15 times with seven assists.

Ruben Neves would be a part of a young midfield engine with Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele and others, including 19-year-old Oliver Skipp.

Spurs also have Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko, and Eric Dier and all of the above are contracted for a while. Dier’s contract expires first (2021), and he’s rumored to be signing a new deal in North London.

Neves has 16 caps for Portugal and it’s worth noting that there’s no guarantee that Wolves won’t have better European standing than Spurs next season.

The Sunday Times says Donny van de Beek’s Real Madrid move is in doubt and that Manchester United may reap the benefits.

The story goes that Real may not be able to spend as much money as planned this summer due the coronavirus, ending their agreement to buy the Ajax midfielder.

United then would swoop into the mix, though the report says the club would expect that his price tag may not be as high due to the pandemic.

Ajax has confirmed it’s ready to sell Van de Beek if he’d like to leave the Netherlands. Everton, Spurs, and Manchester United had been linked with Van de Beek.

Van de Beek just turned 23, and has 10 goals and 11 assists in 37 matches this season after registering 17 and 13 in 57 appearances in 2018/19.

Miralem Pjanic has his eyes set on one destination: the Camp Nou.

Juventus’ 30-year-old midfielder has reportedly turned down advances from Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea in the hopes of landing at Barcelona.

Pjanic has a contract in Turin through the 2022-23 season, where he’s started every Serie A match when healthy. He’s been in the last four Teams of the Year in Italy’s top flight.

The 92-times capped Bosnia and Herzegovina man has 14 international goals and signed for Juve from Roma in 2016.

Conte: “Dream is coming true” & reveals key moment in season


WEST BROMWICH — Waking into the press conference room at the Hawthorns in a tracksuit after his suit was soaked with champagne, beer and more in the celebrations in the locker room and on the pitch, Antonio Conte couldn’t help but smile.

Conte, 47, had just delivered the Premier League title in his first season as a manager in England and the Italian had done it in style with two games remaining.

[ MORE: Full “Chelsea Champions” reaction, here ]

Speaking to reporters after the game, Conte revealed that he was punched in his face during the celebrations and his suit was “a disaster” but none of that mattered.

He is living in a dream.

“I’m living a very important moment,” Conte admitted. “I am enjoying this moment a lot. When you put a lot of patience, enthusiasm in your work, a lot of hours. A lot of time you don’t sleep for your work. When this moment arrives, it is right to enjoy and celebrate with your players, your fans and my staff, with the club. It is great. This is a dream that is coming true.”

[ VIDEO: Chelsea win Premier League ]

That dream started off after a nightmare season for Chelsea in 2015-16 as the reigning Premier League champs finished in 10th place and Conte admitted he had “a lot of problems” to sort out when he arrived last summer.

Coupled with giants from across the Premier League spending big to try and win the title or at the very least finish in the top four, the Italian admitted it “wasn’t easy” to content for the title and thanked his players for “trusting” in his philosophy throughout.

His passion on the sidelines and with his players have rallied fans to his cause and he has become a cult hero at Chelsea in incredible fashion. It feels like the dawn of a new era of dominance for the west London club under his leadership.

“I am very happy for the club because the club trust me,” Conte said. “To repay the club is very important for me.”

[ MORE: How Chelsea won the PL title in September ]

When asked by ProSoccerTalk, he also spoke about the key moment which turned Chelsea’s season around: the 3-0 defeat at Arsenal in September which led to the incredibly important switch to a 3-4-3 formation.

“Yeah, honestly. Yes. Yes. Yes,” Conte said. “Because after two bad defeats, not simple defeats, bad, bad defeats, Liverpool and Arsenal. Against Arsenal this game was frustrating for me because during the game I didn’t see nothing of my work, of my idea of football. In that moment it was frustrating for me. I found the strength to change, to take the responsibility to change the system and find a new suit for these players. I think it was the key moment for us. Every single player found in this system the best for them.”

And that simple tweak is what ultimately won Chelsea, and Conte, the title.

Redemption in the air as Chelsea clinch Premier League


WEST BROMWICH – Antonio Conte’s Chelsea won the Premier League title on Friday, beating West Brom 1-0 as the Italian coach won the league in his first-ever season in England.

This clearly feels like the dawn of yet another era of Chelsea dominance, but it has arrived after huge disappointment last season.

[ MORE: Full “Chelsea Champions” reaction, here ]

At the final whistle most of Chelsea’s players sunk to their knees, pounding the Hawthorns pitch in delight as they’d sealed their second Premier League title in the last three seasons thanks to Michy Batshuayi‘s 82nd minute strike.

For some there was a feeling of jubilation. For most there was a sense of redemption.

The latter emotion is easy to understand.

[ MORE: How Chelsea set up title win in September

Following their title win in 2014-15 under Jose Mourinho, this was meant to be a new era of dominance for the Blues under the famed “Special One” in his second stint at the Bridge. Six months later he was fired and they were just above the relegation zone in the Premier League.

Star players Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas, vilified by many for apparently playing a huge role with their slack performances on the pitch and actions behind-the-scenes in Mourinho’s demise, have answered all of their critics this season.

[ VIDEO: Chelsea win the Premier League

Gary Cahill, captain for most of this campaign, summed up his emotions after Chelsea’s title win was secured.

“It feels amazing. It is a special moment. I thought we deserved it over the season,” Cahill said. “We worked very hard and have been the better team. It is fantastic to wrap it up with a couple of games to go, it is very difficult in this league.”

In Conte, Chelsea have a new figurehead, one that the players not only trust but fear as his ferocious antics on the sidelines seem to only scratch the surface when it comes to explaining exactly what makes him a serial winner.

Conte has now won four-straight league titles (three with Juventus in Italy and one with Chelsea) and throughout the game Chelsea’s fans sung his name loud and proud with Italian flags in the away end and Conte’s face on a banner which simply read “The Boss” which was held aloft.

“Antonio, Antonio, Antonioooo, Antonio, Antonioooo!”

Conte has done a miraculous job to not only turn Chelsea into a title-winning team on the pitch but also off it too.

Mentally, many players will have been focused on proving the haters wrong. For much of last season they seemed hell-bent on proving critics wrong and were angry. Now, they’re focused and have channeled their energy in the right way.

Now, they’ve won the title. So, for this Chelsea team it should no longer be about redemption.

With the UEFA Champions League back next season, there will be bigger challenges ahead for Conte and his boys to conquer. They’ll need a bigger squad ready to challenge on all fronts but they don’t need to break up this team. They just need to add three or four players of real quality but recruiting the right players to not upset the near-perfect balance is a huge task.

Conte’s biggest task will be to keep his team hungry over the offseason. After the game he didn’t want to think about next season and purely wanted to enjoy the moment.

He won’t want the focus to be on these celebrations for too long though.

Mourinho failed with that badly back in the summer of 2015, and other previous champions have struggled to do that in recent years. Manchester City have failed to regain that hunger in a post-title winning season twice in recent years, with no back-to-back winners of the PL title since Manchester United in 2007-08 and 2008-09.

Chelsea’s players, staff and fans certainly enjoyed the moment on the pitch at the Hawthorns on Friday night after securing the title, but knowing Conte his mind will have already thought about how he can replicate this incredible success next season.

His players have got their redemption and have patched up their legacy. Now, it’s time for them to focus on winning more trophies.

Chelsea’s players react to winning Premier League title


Chelsea’s players were in full party mode at the Hawthorns on Friday.

[ VIDEO: Chelsea win the Premier League

The newly crowned Premier League champs reacted to the success on social media as the club and players posted videos and photos.

[ MORE: How Chelsea set up title win in September

Have a look at the latest reaction below.

[ MORE: Full “Chelsea Champions” reaction, here ] 

Victor Moses posted this from the locker room

Cesc Fabregas and the lads enjoying a well-earned beer

Skipper Gary Cahill reacts

N'Golo Kante loving life

Three happy Spaniards!

Selfie central

Alonso is happy

Chelsea’s players celebrate with fans

Goal hero Michy Batshuayi

More songs with the fans

Conte soaked in the dressing room

VIDEO: Conte and Co. begin title-winning celebrations


Oh, to be in West London tonight…

[ MORE: Full “Chelsea Champions” reaction, here ]

Celebrations are sure to last until the late-night early-morning hours on Saturday Sunday after Chelsea claimed the 2016-17 Premier League title with a 1-0 victory away to West Bromwich Albion on Friday. Michy Batshuayi‘s 82nd-minute goal (WATCH HERE) clinched the Blues’ fifth PL title (sixth in all eras), and the party was already underway in the stand behind the goal in that end of The Hawthrons.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

If the above video, in which manager Antonio Conte and his players kicked off their title-celebrating shenanigans in front of their traveling fans, is any indication, it’s going to be one heck of a night out following a quick commute south to London.

[ MORE: How Chelsea won the PL title in September ]

It’s a party so thoroughly deserved after a fantastic season which saw Chelsea sit atop the PL table each and every one of the last 152 days.