Chelsea have submitted a €45 million (£39m) bid to sign Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic, according to reports in Germany.
The 21-year-old is considered one of the top young prospects in Europe and has enjoyed a standout season so far with 19 goals in 27 games. Jovic, who is currently on loan at Frankfurt from Benfica, is being monitored by several clubs including Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Earlier this week, reports in Spain claimed that Barcelona had agreed personal terms with Jovic and were preparing to hold negotiations with Frankfurt over a transfer fee.
Even though the striker is on loan, the Bundesliga club have already said they will exercise their right-to-buy clause as part of their deal with Benfica. But according to Bild, Chelsea have made Jovic their priority target for the summer window and are ready to table a £39m offer.
Having signed Gonzalo Higuain in January, Chelsea are also in the market for another striker this summer with Olivier Giroud’s contract due to expire at the end of the season, although a one-year extension is a possibility. Jovic’s representative, Fali Ramadani, is currently in talks with Frankfurt to discuss potential options once the season has finished.
There are 16 days to go in the January transfer window and Chelsea have quite a bit of sorting to do before it slams shut until the summer.
The Blues, as usual, have been linked with several players since Maurizio Sarri took charge of the club back in July, but of course not every one has actually past the test of truth.
Sarri has stated that he is looking for two signings this winter, stating that the midfield position is one after the departure of Cesc Fabregas, while a new striker is likely to be another after the failings of the Blues’s front men so far this season.
But who are the players that have been linked with the club and which players could they get over the line before the deadline slams shut on January 31.
This remains the main talking point for Chelsea right now but there are a lot of complications that surround the deal. The player wants to make the move, but the fact that he is on loan from Juventus to AC Milan makes it difficult.
Milan wants a replacement as they had an option to buy the 31-year-old, while Juventus are now the middle men in any negotiation with the Blues having to buy him from them.
There is also the difficulty of his age. Chelsea’s over 30 policy means that they wouldn’t likely offer him anything more than an 18 month deal, like they did with Olivier Giroud last January.
The Blues are still confident of getting a deal over the line, however, with Alvaro Morata departing on loan or on a permanent basis.
After the departure of Cesc Fabregas to Monaco, Maurizio Sarri has insisted that he wants a replacement for the central midfield position, and Paredes appears to be the best bet.
The 24-year-old Argentine has spent time Roma after moving to Europe from Boca Juniors. The Blues are interested in the midfielder and should be pursuing a deal before the month is out.
While Zenit St Petersburg may not want to let him go, it is believed a price close to £35milion might be enough to convince them to part ways with him.
This is a slightly more complicated move and one that might well be impacted on other things. Firstly, Arsenal are interested in the 21-year-old Cagliari midfielder.
Meanwhile, Cagliari’s sporting director Mario Passett has denied that they will be selling the midfielder this January, although they might be interested in letting him go in the summer.
Like Christian Pulisic, Chelsea could look to make a pre-contract agreement for the summer, however if the Paredes deal gets over the line then it is unlikely the Blues would need another midfielder with their options already strong.
There could well be a striker merry-go-round for Chelsea this January with Atletico Madrid looking at taking another Blues forward in the space of a year.
Sevilla have ruled themselves out of signing the Spaniard on loan this month and then permanently in the summer, saying that the deal had too many complications.
After just 18 months it appears the striker wants out of the club and the Blues want to make some money back from the £60million they handed to Real Madrid for him.
The winger/wing-back appeared on the bench for the FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest but that is about as close as we have seen him playing for the Blues since his last appearance in October.
Sarri has said that the 28-year-old does not fit into his system and if the Italian is going to be the head coach for a while then it is best if the Nigerian moves on.
He has been linked with Crystal Palace and Cardiff City and it is likely that he will depart this month.
This is a worrying one for many Chelsea supporters with Callum Hudson-Odoi being a real target of Bayern Munich and the 18-year-old yet to sign a new deal with the Blues.
A £35million offer has been broached by the German side to the Blues, but they are unwilling to part ways with the winger just yet. They also want a buy-back clause inserted in the deal should it go through.
More game time from now until the end of the season, should the Blues keep hold of him, might well just convince him to stay and sign a new deal with the club.
While Cesc Fabregas got the opportunity to say goodbye to the Stamford Bridge crowd, Gary Cahill might well be saying goodbye to the club without such an honour.
The 33-year-old has not featured for the Blues since the Europa League match with PAOK in November and his time at the club appears to be coming to an end.
Fulham are interested in taking the defender on loan for the rest of the season, however it would mean having to send back Timothy Fosu-Mensah to Manchester United as they have two loanees already with them from other Premier League clubs.
The identity of the Chelsea fan who allegedly racially abused Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling has been revealed.
Colin Wing, 60, has come forward to protest his innocence and claims he did not call the England international a ‘black c**t’, although he did admit to verbally abusing the footballer.
He told the Daily Mail: ‘I’m deeply ashamed by my own behaviour and I feel really bad. ‘But I didn’t call him a black c***, I called him a Manc c***.’
He added he had lost his job and season ticket after being identified and he should now be left alone because everyone had ‘got what they wanted’.
But Sterling, 24, said he did hear racial abuse and has since spoken to police about the incident.
Chelsea have said they will issue severe sanctions if it is proved some of their fans racially abused Sterling during Saturday’s 2-0 home win against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
The London club, who have suspended four fans while investigations into alleged racist abuse towards Sterling are continuing, have also said they will support any criminal prosecutions.
Television footage showed a group of home supporters screaming abuse – alleged to be racist in nature – at Sterling as he retrieved the ball from behind the goal.
A statement published on Chelsea’s official website read: ‘Chelsea Football Club has suspended four people from attending Chelsea matches pending further investigations into allegations regarding the behaviour of supporters towards Raheem Sterling during our match against Manchester City. ‘Our investigations into this matter are ongoing.
We are fully supporting the police investigation and any information we gather will be passed on to them. ‘Chelsea Football Club finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour abhorrent and if there is evidence of ticket holders taking part in any racist behaviour, the club will issue severe sanctions, including bans. We will also fully support any criminal prosecutions.’
Manchester City issued a reactive statement welcoming Chelsea’s announcement and confirmed they and Sterling were helping with police inquiries.
The Metropolitan Police are investigating the incident, while the Football Association has said it will work with the clubs and other authorities to ensure the matter is dealt with appropriately. Officers have spoken to Mr Wing twice but have not yet charged him.
Sterling criticised football media in general for the way it reported on black footballers following the incident on weekend.
Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award in more than a decade.
The top 10 includes;
1. Luka Modric (Real Madrid and Croatia)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal)
3. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid and France)
4. Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain and France)
5. Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
6. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt)
7. Raphael Varane (Real Madrid and France)
8. Eden Hazard (Chelsea and Belgium)
9. Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium)
10. Harry Kane (Tottenham and England)
Modric, 33, won his third successive Champions League in May before helping Croatia to a first World Cup final.
Former Brazil and AC Milan forward Kaka, in 2007, was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win it.
Ronaldo came second.
Barcelona forward Messi finished fifth, with Atletico Madrid frontman Antoine Griezmann and PSG attacker Kylian Mbappe – both of whom won the World Cup with France – third and fourth respectively.
Victory caps a stellar year for Modric, who also was named the world’s top male player at the Best Fifa Football Awards and received the Golden Ball award for the best player at the World Cup.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Modric dedicated the award to all of the other players who have missed out in the 10 years dominated by Messi and Ronaldo.
“Maybe in the past there are some players who could have won the Ballon d’Or like Xavi, Andres Iniesta or [Wesley] Sneijder but people finally now are looking at someone else,” he said.
“This award is for all the players who probably deserved to win it and didn’t. It was a really special year for me.
“It is difficult to express my emotion and how I feel in words. It is something unique for me. It was very special.”
Modric described Ronaldo and Messi as “phenomenal players”, adding: “To win means I did something really special on the pitch this year, that’s why 2017-18 was the year for me.”
Modric was one of eight Real Madrid players in the top 30, including Wales international Gareth Bale in 17th.
Other winners include Lyon and Ada Hegerberg, 23, won the inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or, while Mbappe, became the first winner of the Kopa Trophy – awarded to the best under-21 player and selected by former Ballon d’Or winners.
As announced on the official twitter handle of Chelsea FC ”We have some great news…”
The 27-year-old player also confirmed his renewal of contract
Kante said: ‘I’m happy to extend my time with Chelsea, it has been two beautiful years and I wish for more to come. Since I came, I completely improved as a player, challenged myself and got some awards I never thought about. I like the city, I like the club and I am happy to be here for more time.’
Club director Marina Granovskaia also said: ‘We are delighted N’Golo has signed a new contract and sees his long-term future with Chelsea. When he arrived, we knew we had signed a special player but he has astounded everybody with his tireless and unselfish displays.
‘Off the pitch, he remains a dedicated professional and a humble human being despite the fact he is a world champion and a two-time Premier League winner. We now look forward to five more years with N’Golo at the heart of the Chelsea midfield.’
Didier Drogba, has confirmed his retirement from playing football.
The Chelsea legend and Ivory Coast striker won four Premier League titles and the 2012 Champions League with the Blues.
Drogba spent the last 18 months of his career with US club, Phoenix Rising, which he was also a co-owner.
He announced his retirement on his Instagram page, stating that he has had an “amazing 20 years’’ in his professional career.
He wrote: “1989 or where it all started!! When I think of the last 20 years of my professional career, looking at this picture can’t make me more proud of what I’ve achieved as a player but most importantly how this journey has shaped me as a man.
“If anyone tells you your dreams are too big, just say thank you and work harder and smarter to turn them into reality. #alwaysbelieve
“I wanna thank all the players, managers, teams and fans that I have met and made this journey one of a kind!!!
“Also a huuuuge thank you and love to my family.
“My Personal Team for supporting my entire career during all the ups and downs no matter what.
“Looking forward to the next Chapter and hoping God will bless me as much as he did for my football career DD11.”
A panel of journalists, one from every country, will decide the winner, and will grade their nominees in three categories: performances during the calendar year, talent and fair play, and achievements throughout a career.
The favourite for this year’s Europe topflight individual prize remains Real Madrid midfielder, Luka Modric, who won the Champions League before leading Croatia to its first World Cup final in Russia this summer, where they were defeated 4-2 by France.
Modric recently won the FIFA Men’s Best Player award and also the UEFA’s Best Player of the year award.
According to Mirror UK, below is the list of every winner of the Ballon d’Or till date:
1. Stanley Matthews (1956)
2. Alfredo Di Stefano (1957), (1959)
3. Raymond Kopa (1958)
4. Luis Suarez (1960)
5. Omar Sivori (1961)
6. Josef Masopust (1962)
7. Lev Yashin (1963)
8. Denis Law (1964)
9. Eusebio (1965)
10. Bobby Charlton (1966)
11. Florian Albert (1967)
12. George Best (1968)
13. Gianni Rivera (1969)
14. Gerd Muller (1970)
15. Johan Cruyff (1971), (1973), (1974)
16. Franz Beckenbauer (1972), (1976)
17. Oleg Blokhin (1975)
18. Allan Simonsen (1977)
19. Kevin Keegan (1978), (1979)
20. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (1980), (1981)
21. Paolo Rossi (1982)
22. Michel Platini (1983), (1984), (1985)
23. Igor Belanov (1986)
24. Ruud Gullit (1987)
25. Marco van Basten (1988), (1989), (1992)
26. Lothar Matthaus (1990)
27. Jean-Pierre Papin (1991)
28. Roberto Baggio (1993)
29. Hristo Stoichkov (1994)
30. George Weah (1995)
31. Matthias Sammer (1996)
32. Ronaldo (1997), (2002)
33. Zinedine Zidane (1998)
34. Rivaldo (1999)
35. Luis Figo (2000)
36. Michael Owen (2001)
37. Pavel Nedved (2003)
38. Andriy Shevchenko (2004)
39. Ronaldinho (2005)
40. Fabio Cannavaro (2006)
41. Kaka (2007)
42. Cristiano Ronaldo (2008), (2013), (2014), (2016), (2017)