Ramires Joins Jiangsu Suning

Chelsea’s battling midfielder Ramires has left the club to join the Chinese team Jiangsu Suning in a move believed to be worth in the region of £25 million.

The Brazilian signed a new four-year deal in October of last year but has only made seven league appearances for the Blues so far this season. He originally joined the club from Benfica in 2010 for £17 million and went on to make 251 appearances, scoring 34 goals.

Ramires won the Premier League, the FA Cup, the League Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League during his time with the current defending Premier League champions but his lack of playing time has caused him to look elsewhere for the betterment of his career.

Jiangsu are currently managed by former Chelsea defender Dan Petrescu and finished ninth in the top-tier of China’s football leagues last year. The country has been attempting to better its image in recent months and have made efforts to sign several high profile players.

Cahill Wants To Leave Chelsea

The Independent newspaper has revealed that Gary Cahill is ready to leave Chelsea Football Club in order to salvage his England career.

The defender is getting increasingly frustrated with his lack of first-team football and would consider leaving the London club if it meant he was more likely to be considered for Roy Hodgson for England’s European Championship squad.

Although Cahill is England’s vice-captain and has made more than 170 appearances for the defending Premier League champions, he has only appeared 12 times for the Blues in the league so far this season. He has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, with John Terry and Kurt Zouma becoming the regular starters under the interim manager Guus Hiddink.

The 30 year old cost Chelsea £7 million when they bought him from Bolton in the 2012 January transfer window. He made 10 appearances under Jose Mourinho before the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ was sacked by Roman Abramovich, the club’s owner, after leading Chelsea to their worst start to a top-flight campaign since the late 1960s.

He has played two games since Dutchman Hiddink took over from Mourinho and feels he is now at a ‘crossroads in his career’. His lack of appearances has left him ‘genuinely concerned’ about his chances of starting for England in the European Championships in France this summer. He played in eight of the national side’s ten games, all of which they won, as they qualified for the tournament with ease.

The emergence of John Stones at Everton, a player that the Blues tried to sign in the summer transfer window, and Chris Smalling at Manchester United has left the defender with real concerns about the likelihood of him starting for England in the Euros. This despite the fact that he won his 40th cap in a match against France in November last year.

Cahill will almost certainly be snapped up by any of the top clubs should his services become available. In May last year he became the fastest player in the Premier League era to win all five of the major trophies in the club game. Over the last three years with the Blues he has won the Fa Cup, the Champions League, the Europa League, the League Cup and the Premier League.

Chelsea And West Brom Both Fined By The FA

The Football Association have fined both West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea for failing to control their their players during an ill-tempered game at Stamford Bridge earlier this month.

West Brom came from behind on two different occasions to earn themselves a draw in the match, but there were numerous flashpoints concerning both sets of supporters. Chelsea’s forward Diego Costa was involved in several contentious moments, most notably with West Brom’s Claudio Yacob after he was tripped in the game.

Yacob was already on a yellow card when he brought Costa down and Tony Pulis, the West Brom manager, substituted him shortly after. Guus Hiddink, Chelsea’s interim manager who was brought in after the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, sacked Jose Mourinho last year, had some choice words about the referee’s performance after the match.

Speaking to Jon Moss, the fourth official, about Anthony Taylor’s performance in the middle of the pitch Hiddink said, “I told him: ‘This is one of the worst referees of the Premier League I have experienced’. He said to me ‘you haven’t seen me yet’, which was a beautiful remark I think”.

Chelsea have been fined £65,000 by the FA whilst West Brom face a £35,000 fine. In a statement the Football Association confirmed that the financial punishment had been doled out because both Premier League clubs ‘failed to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion’.

Atsu Heading To Malaga On Loan

Christian Atsu has left Chelsea Football Club to join Malaga, the Spanish side, on loan until the end of the season it has been revealed.

Atsu was brought in to Stamford Bridge from Porto in September 2013 but hasn’t yet made a competitive appearance for the Blues. He has been on loan at Bournemouth so far this season but didn’t make any Premier League appearances for the South coast club.

As is the case with many of Chelsea’s younger players, the Ghanian has spent most of his time signed to the club on loan elsewhere. He was at Everton last season and has also spent time with Vitesse Arnhem in the Eredivisie.

Atsu initially told BBC Sport that he was heading to Levante, another Spanish club, but the move didn’t come off and so Malaga jumped in. The 24 year old said, “Spanish football will suit me. A player should be able to play in any league but right now it’s not what suits you or doesn’t suit you it’s where I will get time to play”.

Chelsea released a statement on their official website confirming that the player would head to the Primera Division side to ‘continue his development’.

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea Match Report – Sunday 24th January 2016

Chelsea got back to winning ways after they saw off Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday. The Gunners had been leading the table going in to the weekend, and they were heavy favourites to take all three points. However, the Blues have an excellent record in clashes against the north London side in recent years, and they did the double over 10 man Arsenal thanks to Diego Costa’s goal.

Costa was widely expected to be missing here, which did little for pre-match optimism. After bruising his shin bone in the draw with Everton, it was thought that he faced a few weeks out. The Spaniard started up front, however, and made a huge contribution. Pedro pulled out injured before the game, meaning Oscar took his place on the left. Eden Hazard was back to fitness, but he was overlooked, leaving him to watch on from the bench.

Chelsea were in control of the opening stages and, pretty early into the game, everything was turned on its head. Costa was sent through on goal, after using his pace to get around Per Mertesacker, but then the big German was rash to dive into a challenge and hauled the Spaniard down. The referee had the red card out right away, leaving Arsene Wenger a little less than pleased.

While Wenger was annoyed about the decision, his next move didn’t help things very much. We all know that the Gunners are short in the striking department, so it made little sense when Wenger took off Olivier Giroud and replaced him with Gabriel following the red card. Theo Walcott moved up front for a while, but he quickly dropped back, leaving Arsenal effectively playing without a forward.

Chelsea’s forward showed exactly what that kind of presence up front can do just a minute later. He didn’t mind that he was up against two centre halves again, as he was first to the ball when Branislav Ivanovic whipped in a cross from the right. Costa was more alert than anyone else in the box, turning it past Petr Cech to open the scoring.

The second half saw the Blues move to keep what they had, as Arsenal came pushing for an equaliser. They had started with Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel once again, and that defensive shield did well on this occasion, screening runs and passes form the Gunners’ midfield. Kurt Zouma was a monster at the back once more, repeatedly throwing himself in the way of the ball like a man possessed.

Of course, the Gunners kept pushing, which opened up gaps at the back for the Blues to exploit. Loic Remy, who replaced Costa in the second half, seemed to spend the entire time offside, ruining some great build up play. Willian missed a great chance to make it 2-0, but in the end it didn’t matter, as the team held on for all three points.

LCN Man of the Match: John Obi Mikel

Drogba Will Stay At Montreal Impact

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba will remain at the Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact, putting an end to speculation that he could return to West London in some capacity this season.

The forward, who struck the decisively penalty when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich to win the Champions League in 2012, had discussions with the club in December about returning to Stamford Bridge as part of interim manager Guus Hiddink’s coaching staff. Montreal said at the time that Drogba had a ‘desire to help’ his former club and that things were ‘out of our control’.

The 37-year-old refuted the notion that he was going to end his playing career at the time, taking to social media site Twitter to say, “I have not yet announced my retirement”. That seems to have been confirmed this week when he once again used social media and tweeted, “On way to Qatar to do some preparation work for pre-season”.

The Ivorian is contracted to Montreal until the end of this year and will almost certainly go on to see out said contract. He was the club’s top scorer last season when he netted 11 goals and helped them reach the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Wenger: Costa Cost Us Once Again

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was angry with Diego Costa in the aftermath of his club’s home loss to Chelsea at the weekend and claimed that the striker had ‘cost’ his side for the second match in a row.

Per Mertesacker, Arsenal’s central defender, was sent off by Mark Clattenburg after he attempted to to get a foot on the ball when Costa broke free of the Arsenal defence. There was some debate about whether or not Mertesacker actually touched the Brazilian born Spanish international, however, and Wenger declared the red card to be ‘harsh’.

Wenger said, “Costa has got two of our players sent off in the last two games against Chelsea. Is the decision right or wrong? I don’t know. That is a fact, without accusing him of anything”.

The other red card Wenger was referring to came in the match between the two clubs at Stamford Bridge when Costa’s behaviour provoked Arsenal’s defender Gabriel into reacting and getting himself sent off. His red card was later rescinded and Costa himself was given a ban by the Football Association.

The red card issued to Mertesacker yesterday was the seventh that the Gunners have been shown against Chelsea and is the most red cards the North London club have received against any one team. It was also the third that they have received this season as Santi Cazorla was also dismissed in the match at Stamford Bridge.

Wenger was quick to ask questions of Mark Clattenburg’s keenness to show his player the red card, saying, “I don’t know whether Costa was offside or not or whether Per Mertesacker touched him or not. It was a decision we had to take on the chin and I thought we did that. The referee was very quick to take the red card out. We coped with the decision well and should have had a draw at least. We had the chances. Mentally we were focused. Sometimes when you lose you can still say ‘well done’ to the players”.

The Arsenal manager also felt that Diego Costa made the most of the challenge, adding, “That is the game of the striker. Diego Costa is good at that”.

Chelsea’s interim manager, Guus Hiddink, didn’t quite see it the same way as his French counterpart. He said, “There was no doubt. It was a great ball through and Diego could run straight at Petr Cech but he was tripped. That is obvious”.

Whilst the defeat saw Arsenal miss out on the chance to go clear at the top of the Premier League and remain level on points with Manchester City, the three points for Chelsea saw them climb to 13th place in the league. It meant that questions were inevitably asked about whether the club could still finish in the top four despite the fact that they are still 14 points behind Tottenham Hotspur who remain in fourth place.

John Terry, Chelsea’s captain, said he felt that a fourth placed finish was still ‘do-able’, whilst Dutchman Hiddink said, “When the captain says that then I will follow the captain. It is a gap and the Premier League is competitive with all teams whether you are down at the bottom or higher in the rankings. If the captain says ‘yes’ we will follow the captain”.

Chelsea remain unbeaten in all competitions since the owner, Roman Abramovich, decided to sack the previous manager Jose Mourinho. The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ led the club to its worst start to a top-flight season since the late 1960s and was sacked in December after he oversaw a 2-1 home loss to high-flying Leicester City.

Hiddink: Wenger’s Spell Will Not Be Matched

Chelsea’s interim manager Guus Hiddink has expressed his admiration of Arsene Wenger and said that he doesn’t imagine that any Premier League manager will be given the same amount of time as him in the future.

The 66 year old Frenchman has been in charge of Chelsea’s London rivals for nearly 20 years, winning the Premier League three times during that period. He came under pressure when he went eight years without winning a trophy, before seeing his side lift the FA Cup two years in a row over the last two seasons.

Dutchman Hiddink said, “He might be one of the last to sit on the chair that long. Him being in charge in those years without a title means there is a lot of confidence from the board. It’s always good to have men who have a long period at a club”.

Hiddink himself has benefitted from Chelsea not taking the same stance with their managers as Arsenal have. His current spell at Stamford Bridge is the second time he has taken over at Chelsea on an interim basis. In 2009 he took over from Luis Felipe Scolari when Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, fired him. The same thing happened in December when the Russian decided to call time on Jose Mourinho’s second spell at the club.

Whilst Arsene Wenger has been manager of the Gunners for 19 and a half years, Chelsea have changed manager 12 times and won the Premier League on four different occasions.

Ivanovic Signs New Chelsea Contract

Chelsea’s right-back Branislav Ivanovic has signed a one-year contract with the club that will keep him tied to Stamford Bridge until 2017.

The Serbian joined the club from Lokomotiv Moscow in the January transfer window of 2008 and has so far made 341 appearances for the Blues. He’s scored 32 goals during that time.

So far in his Chelsea career he’s collected two Premier League medals, three FA Cups, a League Cup and a Champions League medal as well as a Europa League medal, having scored the winning goal in the 2013 final against Benfica.

Although the 32 year old fell out of favour under Jose Mourinho’s stewardship, he has been invited to extend his stay in West London and said, “This is my home and there is no other place I would rather play”. He was made vice-captain at the beginning of this season and will hope that his new contract sees an upturn in his form in the coming months.

Mourinho’s Agent: United Letter An Absurd Notion

Reports emerged in today’s Independent On Sunday claiming that Chelsea’s former manager Jose Mourinho has written a six-page letter to Manchester United explaining why he is the right man to take over from Louis Van Gaal, should the hierarchy at Old Trafford decide to call time on the Dutchman’s rule there.

The Portuguese manager’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has moved to declare the report as ‘totally absurd’, however.

52 year old Mourinho was sacked as Chelsea’s manager in December after over-seeing the club’s worst start to a season since the late 1960s. It was his second spell at the club and he led them to the title for the third time last season. Behind-the-scenes, though, many people felt that the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ deliberately burnt his bridges at Chelsea this in order to make himself available for the Manchester United manager’s position, a job he’s always considered to be his ‘dream’.

The Independent claim that Mourinho wrote a ‘forensic analysis’ of the situation at Old Trafford, including a deep look at the squad and the weaknesses that lay therein. They also suggest that Mourinho has out-lined the ways in which he will try to change himself, aware as he is that some members of the Manchester United hierarchy don’t think he’s a suitable candidate for the manager’s job.

Mendes has completely dismissed the reports, however, saying, “[It’s] ridiculous. It does not occur to anyone that a coach like Jose Mourinho can write letters to clubs offering their services”.