Chelsea

Report: Christian Pulisic ‘in talks’ over move to Juventus

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A report from Italian outlet Calcio Mercato claims that USMNT star Christian Pulisic is ‘in talks’ over a move to Juventus.

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Pulisic, 24, was linked with a move away from Chelsea all summer long and has recently revealed how he felt disappointed when Thomas Tuchel (now the former Chelsea boss) left him out of the starting lineup for the UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg against Real Madrid in May 2021.

With Tuchel gone, Christian Pulisic could break back into the Chelsea starting lineup under new boss Graham Potter but it is widely expected that the American winger will leave the Premier League giants in the coming months with less than two years remaining on his current contract.


What is the latest?

Per the report, Juventus like Pulisic because he can play in several different positions in the attacking third of the pitch.

The report also claims that Juve have held initial talks with Pulisic’s agent about a contract and were told that Pulisic plans to leave Chelsea at the end of the 2022-23 season when he has just one year left on his contract as he wants a ‘new challenge’ in his career.

There is also a claim that Chelsea want $33.7 million for Pulisic and won’t budge on that transfer fee even if he has just one year left on his contract.

Pulisic looks like he needs a fresh start in his club career as Graham Potter will play a fluid 3-4-2-1 system and relies heavily on his wing backs to provide attacking impetus from out wide. That doesn’t suit Pulisic at all


Is Juventus a good fit?

Probably. His pace and dribbling skills would cause problem in any team and the way Juventus play under Max Allegri (if he’s still there when/if Pulisic arrives) relies heavily on getting the ball wide early and encouraging wingers to attack.

Along with that tactical approach, Pulisic would also get the chance to play alongside his close friend and USMNT teammate Weston McKennie. That could bring out the best in both of them.

It now seems a case of when, not if, Pulisic leaves Chelsea. And when he does, he will have plenty of offers to move to a team playing in the Champions League and considered a giant in their country. Given his ability on the ball, what he’s shown in flashes throughout his career and his presence as a superstar in the United States of America, teams across will line up to sign him.


Report: Graham Potter prioritizing Harry Kane at Chelsea, offering Lukaku

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A sensational report out of Italy claims that new Chelsea boss Graham Potter’s priority in the transfer market would be to buy Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur.

Perhaps even more sensational, but also logical given that Antonio Conte is Tottenham’s boss, is the claim within the report that Serie A star Romelu Lukaku, on loan to Inter Milan from Chelsea, would be part of the makeweight.

[ MORE: Five questions for the USMNT ]

Wait, what?

The hang-up, according to Calcio Mercato, is that Inter reportedly has an option to extend Lukaku’s loan by a year.

Let’s dig into the juiciness as this international break waits to give us more, you know, actual football.

Harry Kane to Chelsea: Why it won’t, but could, happen

Let’s start here: Harry Kane is going to cost someone a boatload of money in the market, and you’d be crazy to think Tottenham wouldn’t add a massive inconvenience fee if the destination had to be hated London rivals Chelsea.

Even though Todd Boehly’s been willing to splash all kinds of cash to show that the Blues aren’t going to become an afterthought now that Roman Abramovich is gone, the cost would have to be eclipse what Chelsea played Manchester City for Raheem Sterling. Yes, Sterling is younger than Kane but the latter is England’s captain.

That said, the injured Lukaku is just over a year removed from having a monstrous year under Conte as Inter broke Juventus’ long hold on scudetti.

Lukaku, who turned 29 in May, posted 34- and 28-goal seasons for Inter before going to Chelsea for a ho-hum 13 last season. He has a goal and an assist in three appearances since going on loan to Inter.

Kane is two months younger than Lukaku and a more proven Premier League commodity, a player threatening to chase down Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney in order to score the most goals in league history.

He’s scored 20+ Premier League goals in five different seasons and has bagged six goals in seven games this season. He scored 27 with 10 assists across all competitions last season.

Conte is the wild card here. He holds immense power at Tottenham and could get the move closer to the line if he (and director Fabio Paratici) desperately wanted Lukaku as the piece to push Tottenham to the brink of title glory.

All that said, to see Lukaku hit a third piece of the Big Six, like Sterling before him, would be a truly captivating story line.

Top 10 highest-paid players in the world revealed

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A list of the top 10 highest-paid soccer players in the world has been revealed, as a study looked into salaries and endorsement deals for the top players on the planet.

The sums are eye-watering and are based on earnings for the 2022-23 season.

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There are a few surprising names high up on this list but the usual suspects are still up there as their superstar status remains intact. Both on the pitch and when it comes to deals off it.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are all the wrong side of 30 but continue to dominate this list, while there are a few emerging stars muscling their way into the top 10. The main takeaway is that there is a huge drop-off after the top four names on this list.

Sports business website Sportico have come up with the list and below is a full breakdown of who is earning what.


Top 10 highest-paid soccer players in the world (September, 2022)

1. Kylian Mbappe = $125 million total ($105 million salary + $20 million endorsements)

2. Cristiano Ronaldo = $113 million ($53 million salary + $60 million endorsements)

3. Lionel Messi = $110 million ($62 million salary + $48 million endorsements)

4. Neymar = $91 million ($56 million salary + $35 million endorsements)

5. Mohamed Salah = $39.5 million ($24.5 million salary + $15 million endorsements)

6. Eden Hazard = $31.3 million ($28.6 million salary + $2.5 million endorsements)

7. Andres Iniesta = $30 million ($23 million salary + $7 million endorsements)

8. Raheem Sterling = $29.4 million ($21.4 million salary + $8 million endorsements)

9. Kevin de Bruyne = $29 million ($25.5 million salary + $3.5 million endorsements)

10. Antoine Griezmann = $27.5 million ($22 million salary + $5.5 million endorsements)


Chelsea vs Salzburg: Blues cough up late lead in Potter’s debut (video)

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Chelsea vs Red Bull Salzburg recap: Graham Potter began his tenure as Blues boss with a frustrating 1-1 draw with the nine-time defending Austrian champions at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

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Raheem Sterling broke the scoreless deadlock three minutes into the second half after Chelsea dominated possession but were somewhat starved for scoring chances nonetheless. The Blues looked quite comfortable playing with the lead as they controlled the game at 1-0, until disaster struck an unlikely figure with a quarter-hour left to play.

It’s the first point of the UEFA Champions League group stage for Chelsea, who parted company with Thomas Tuchel following last week’s loss to Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb. Two games into Group E play, Chelsea sit bottom of the table with AC Milan (4 points), Zagreb (3) and Salzburg (2) above them.


What we learned from Chelsea vs Salzburg

Possession plentiful, scoring chances not so much (yet)

One key difference between the majority of Thomas Tuchel’s tenure and the fledgling one of Potter is rather simple: tempo. Chelsea tended to plod along and take very few risks in possession under Tuchel, whereas even in Potter’s first game in charge the pace of play had already changed considerably.

The other main change is that Chelsea moved the ball up the field (quickly) through lots and lots of combination play, typically in a jam-packed middle of the field. Potter’s system will rarely ask force individuals to play one-on-one in order to progress the ball or create scoring chances, as opposed to how the Blues played under Tuchel.

Speaking of scoring chances, all the possession in the world means nothing if you can’t link it all together in the final third, and that’s where Chelsea lagged behind on Wednesday. In the first half, they took nine shots but put none on target; in the second half, three of eight. It’ll take some time, but the combination of Potter’s success at Brighton and the superb talent at Chelsea, would seem to point toward the attack slowly coming together. At that point, it’ll simply be a matter of whether or not the Blues can finish those chances better than the Seagulls ever could.

One mistake undoes outstanding defensive performance

Given the risk involved with such fluid, full-field possession, it becomes paramount that Chelsea’s forwards and midfielders apply plenty of pressure higher up the field, with only two center backs patrolling the defensive third. It is, of course, far from ideal that Potter has Thiago Silva, 37, and Cesar Azpilicueta, 33, as the duo on his debut, but the veterans were reliable as ever, with the exception of one missed sliding tackle in the 75th minute.


How to watch Chelsea vs Salzburg live and start time

Date: Wednesday, September 14
Kick off time: 3 pm ET
Online: Live updates via NBCSports.com
How to watch: TUDN, Paramount+


Key storylines

It’ll be a whole new world for Potter, who managed EFL Championship side Swansea City prior to taking the Brighton job in 2019. The finances of Chelsea will afford him an entirely different caliber of player (the current squad as well), but it will be most interesting to see which players do (and don’t) fit into Potter’s plans and ideas.

Brighton often played with three defenders at the back (not entirely dissimilar to Tuchel) and relied heavily upon the full backs (a particular strength in Chelsea’s squad, including Marc Cucurella, who was signed from Brighton this summer) to create overloads in both wide and central areas. But it’s the midfield and forward line, where Chelsea are perhaps a bit thin (numbers-wise, not so much quality), which will be key. In Potter’s time at Brighton, the Seagulls never found a reliable goal-scorer to finish the chances they created with all that pretty possession, and that experience could serve him well at Chelsea, where Potter will need to find a consistent source of goals from the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Kai Kavertz, Raheem Sterling, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech.


Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: N’Golo Kante (hamstring) | QUESTIONABLE: Edouard Mendy (knee)

Transfer news: Pulisic, McKennie offered to Manchester United – Report

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Manchester United were offered the chance to buy both Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie late in the summer transfer window, according to a report from Fabrizio Romano.

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The transfer guru revealed on his own YouTube channel that Man United were offered a plethora of players late in the transfer window as a deal for Antony was looking increasingly difficult to push over the line, meanwhile their moves for Frenkie de Jong and Adrien Rabiot stalled.

Per the report, Christian Pulisic was offered to Manchester United but they only wanted to sign the USMNT star on loan. Chelsea were only interested in a permanent move for Pulisic, 23, and nothing happened.

As for McKennie, well, apparently Juve offered the USMNT central midfielder to United but Erik ten Hag’s side were ‘looking for a different kind of player for midfield’ and passed on the chance to sign the 24-year-old.

Intriguing.


What does this mean?

Look, dozens of players (including Memphis Depay, Leandro Paredes and Yannick Carrasco) were offered to Manchester United late in the transfer window.

The fact that two of the USMNT’s star players were reportedly offered to them too is intriguing, as it tells us a lot about their futures at Chelsea and Juventus.

Both have spent plenty of time in and out of the starting lineup as both have struggled with injuries and McKennie has done better than Pulisic in recent months when it comes to locking down a starting spot at a European heavyweight in the Champions League. With both McKennie and Pulisic set for a breakout World Cup in November/December, it will be intriguing to see what happens with them in January and the summer, especially as Pulisic has less than two years to run on his current contract at Chelsea.

This also suggests that Manchester United are keeping tabs on both players, particularly Pulisic, and maybe we will see a move to Old Trafford for one of them in the future.

Another interesting Manchester United and USMNT note is that according to Romano, Sergino Dest was not offered to the Red Devils. However, given his rather hasty loan move to AC Milan may see him behind both Davide Calabria and Theo Hernandez in the pecking order at the full back positions, perhaps Dest will link-up with Erik ten Hag once again in the near future?