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After beating Burnley away 2-1, it is time for Antonio Conte and Chelsea to focus on Sunday’s FA Cup semi-finals against Southampton.

We have the chance of reaching the FA Cup final for the second year in a row against the hapless Saints. However, there will be no favourites at Wembley when the Blues take on Southampton.

Conte would hope his boys finish the season as strongly as possible and has called his team to show the desire and passion as they have done in the last couple of games in the Premier League.

Addressing the media ahead of the FA Cup semi-finals, here are few points Conte discussed on Friday.

The hottest news swirling around is about Arsene Wenger’s departure from Arsenal at the end of the season. The Frenchman has confirmed he will step down as Arsenal boss, ending a 22-year-old reign as Gunners manager.

Wenger made Arsenal a dominant force in the modern era, winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, including the double in 1998 and 2002. He revolutionised the game in England and is one of the top managers to have ever graced football.

Conte started his presser by paying tribute to the departing Wenger (h/t

“I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career with Arsenal. To stay at a club for such a long time, 22 years at Arsenal, is great and is a fantastic story.

“He won a lot for that club and for this he deserves a great tribute. I think Arsene is one of the managers who have had a great influence in football. In every moment, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football.

“He deserves great respect, not only from Arsenal supporters but also from the whole world of football. He is one of the greatest managers, who has had a fantastic career with Arsenal and it will be very difficult to see another manager in the future stay at the same club for such a long time. Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger are two that have done it and are really good stories for football.”

For the first time, our gaffer used Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata together and the duo did well during the win over Burnley. Giroud and Morata linked up well, posed a threat to the Burnley defence and impressed Conte, who hinted that the duo could start up front against Southampton.

“Yesterday I was very pleased for the performances of Morata and Giroud,’ explained the Italian. It was the first time they have played together and they did very well,” Conte was quoted by

“Before it was not simple for many reasons to try this option, but now I know that I have this option and it’s a possibility to play them both together on Sunday, and in the future.

“Both these players worked so hard in the game, with and without the ball, and that pleased me.”

One of the shining lights of our win at Burnley was Emerson Palmieri, who made his full debut for Chelsea after signing from AS Roma in January. The left-back showed plenty of energy, zest and determination by moving up and down the left flank.

With Marcos Alonso suspended for Sunday’s game, there is a big chance we could see Emerson again in the left-back role. However, the Italian tactician didn’t guarantee a start for the ex-Roma ace, claiming that he needs to check the player’s fitness before making a decision.

After winning the Premier League in his debut season, I personally believed Conte to wreak havoc this season. However, his tactics have failed miserably this season with many teams finding the answers to unlock our team’s defence which was rock solid last season.

Marcos Alonso

A poor run of form in 2018 has left Chelsea in danger of missing out on a spot in the Champions League next season. We trail 4th-placed Spurs by 5 points and going by our performances in the last couple of league games, Conte wants his team to put everything on the line and finish the season on a high.

“We must have great motivation to finish the season as strongly as possible, in every case,” added Conte.

“Now we have the opportunity to play at Wembley for the second year in the row and we have the possibility to beat Southampton and get to an important final. We have to try and finish in the best possible way.

“There is an important gap between us and Spurs. There are five points between us with four games to go, and it won’t be easy because we depend on Tottenham’s results. We have to try and get three points in every game.

“The only way to keep hope is to play with the same will and the same desire that we did against Burnley, and what we showed in the second half against Southampton. With this will to fight to reach a good result, we have the possibility [to finish in the top four].”

After our last two games at Southampton and Burnley, it is good to see the boys playing with more freedom and confidence. That’s the magic a couple of back-to-back wins can have on the team’s morale.

After missing out on FA Cup last season, Conte must win it this time around to salvage our campaign but first, let us negotiate Southampton on Sunday.

A View From The Bridge

Ligue 1 club president comments on £65m star’s future amidst links with Chelsea



Houssem Aouar could leave Lyon this summer amidst interest from Chelsea

According to French publication RMC Sport (h/t Metro), Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar could leave the club this summer amidst interest from Chelsea.

That is the opinion of Lyon’s sporting director Juninho. Despite Aouar having three more years to go on his current deal, the prospect of him being lured away this summer remains a reality.

“When you have great players in the squad, it is quite logical that other bigger teams with greater economic power come to seek the players.”

Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar could leave the club this summer amidst interest from Chelsea.
Chelsea are interested in Houssem Aouar

The 22-year-old is a technically gifted footballer who has an excellent passing range. Both a creator and a finisher, Aouar has scored nine goals and eight assists in 39 appearances this season before the French campaign was cut short. His ability on set-pieces is an added benefit.

Having come through the youth ranks at Lyon, he has already won 135 caps and has the experience of playing at the top level in the Champions League.

A versatile player who can perform in the middle or on the left, the youngster’s vision and creativity will add a new dimension to Chelsea’s attack.

Lampard could do with a player of Aouar's vision and creativity
Lampard could do with a player of Aouar’s vision and creativity

Aouar was once again at the forefront as Lyon edged out Juventus in the UEFA Champions League.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas confirmed that there is interest in the young Frenchman. However, no negotiations have taken place, with the French giants keen to keep hold of their star creator.

“Houssem has not said he wants to leave.”

He also went on to add that Aouar was not pushing for a move and is keen to stay on at the Groupama Stadium.

Werner could benefit from playing ahead of Aouar
Werner could benefit from playing ahead of Aouar

Aouar’s performances have caught the attention of a number of clubs from England. The likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Arsenal are all tracking his progress. He is currently valued at £65million. (h/t Daily Mail )

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Whether he eventually moves to Chelsea or not remains to be seen.

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A View From The Bridge

Lampard shows green light to sell under-fire Chelsea star



emerson palmieri

Frank Lampard agrees to Emerson Palmieri sale

According to a report by Football Insider (h/t Express), Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has given his consent for the sale of Emerson Palmieri.

The Italian left-back has come under the scanner after falling down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge. Alongside Marcos Alonso, Emerson has failed to make an impact, leading to the club’s current pursuit of Ben Chilwell.

Brought in by Antonio Conte, Emerson has failed to light up Stamford Bridge. He has made just 21 appearances this season and struggled immensely against Bayern Munich in what turned out to be our last game of the season.

Frank Lampard has given his blessings for the sale of Emerson Palmieri (Image Credits: REUTERS)

His Chelsea nightmare could be coming to an end with Inter Milan keen to take him back to Italy. Now managed by Conte, it will be the second time that the Italian manager has signed the 26-year-old.

Emerson’s contract at Chelsea runs until 2022. Cashing in on him will help raise funds for Lampard to use in the transfer window.

The Chelsea defence remains a huge worry and Lampard is keen to revamp what has proved to be a key weakness in the squad. The Blues have identified Declan Rice and Ben Chilwell as two stars who can help transform their fortunes at the back.

Former Chelsea boss Conte wants to reunite with Emerson at Inter
Former Chelsea boss Conte wants to reunite with Kante at Inter

Selling Emerson will certainly free up funds and wages that will aid Chelsea’s pursuit of the aforementioned duo.

The Italian was given opportunities to impress at the Bridge. In fact, Emerson started the 2019/20 campaign as the first-choice ahead of Alonso. He eventually ended up losing the spot to the Spaniard.

The player too is open to leaving the club as he wants to play regularly. Doing so will boost his chances of making the Italian squad for the European Championships next summer. (h/t The Guardian)

Emerson is behind Alonso in the Chelsea pecking order
Emerson is behind Alonso in the Chelsea pecking order

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Juventus too were linked with a move for Emerson. However, having fired Maurizio Sarri, it remains to be seen if they still retain any interest in the player.

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A View From The Bridge

PL rivals deny reports of Chelsea making £50m bid for in-demand English star



Declan Rice

West Ham United deny Chelsea making an offer for Declan Rice

According to Sky Sports, West Ham United have denied reports that Chelsea have made a £50m bid for Declan Rice

Chelsea are keen to sign Rice with Frank Lampard a fan of the player. The Blues boss views the young Hammer as the solution to his side’s defensive problems.

Primarily used as a defensive midfielder, Rice can slot in seamlessly at the back. A player with good organizational and leadership skills, he can be the lodestone around whom the Chelsea backline can be built.

West Ham United have denied reports that Chelsea have made a £50m bid for Declan Rice
West Ham United have denied reports that Chelsea have made a bid for Declan Rice

West Ham, however, are having none of it and are determined to keep hold of their star player.

The 21-year-old played in Chelsea’s academy for seven years before being released at the age of 14. It proved to be a decision lacking in hindsight as Rice went on to make a name for himself with the Hammers.

According to the report, he has a long-term contract at West Ham which runs until 2024. The Hammer also have the option of extending it by another year. This puts them in a strong position when it comes to negotiations.

Rice was released by Chelsea at the age of 14 (Image Credits: Getty Images)

His performances saw him win West Ham Players’ Player of the Year award while also being declared as Young Hammer of the Year for the third consecutive season in 2018-19. (h/t Mirror)

Chelsea’s hopes of signing the player could be boosted by West Ham’s financial situation. The Hammers made a pre-tax loss of £28.2million in their most recent finances.

With David Moyes looking to bring in new faces, he might have to sell Rice to ensure funds are available to do so.

Rice is one of the best young players in the league and ticks a number of boxes in our search for the ideal defender. Whether a deal can be worked out or not remains to be seen.

Frank Lampard is keen to strengthen his defence
Frank Lampard is keen to strengthen his defence

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It was earlier reported by The Sun that West Ham value Rice at around £70million. It remains to be seen if their head can be turned if Chelsea make a bid close to that amount. 

But for now, he remains a Hammer and will report for pre-season training with his teammates on Monday.

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A View From The Bridge

Transfer News: Liverpool keen to sign under-fire Chelsea star



Antonio Rudiger

Liverpool tracking Antonio Rudiger to replace Dejan Lovren

According to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo (h/t Daily Star), Liverpool are tracking Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger.

The Reds are keen to bring in a central defender after parting ways with Dejan Lovren. The Croatian international ended his six-year spell at Anfield when he moved to Zenit St.Petersburg this summer.

With a spot in the squad now open, Jurgen Klopp is keen to bring in a replacement.

Liverpool are tracking Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger
Liverpool are tracking Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger

Rudiger has far from impressed in what was a forgetful season for the Chelsea defence. The German international’s performance in the FA Cup final saw Frank Lampard drop him for the Champions League trip to Bayern Munich.

With just two years to go on his current deal, Rudiger is yet to be offered fresh terms by Chelsea. This has cast a cloud of uncertainty regarding his future at the Bridge.

The senior-most defender among our center backs, Rudiger has started just 19 Premier League games this season. Lampard has often rotated his backline with Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma, and even Fikayo Tomori.

Liverpool need to replace Dejan Lovren
Liverpool need to replace Dejan Lovren

The 27-year-old made the move to Chelsea from Roma in 2017 for a deal worth £32.4m. Despite his imposing physicality and athleticism, he has at times looked like a fish out of water.

Rudiger is a good defender. However, he is far from a dependable one. The German’s penchant for making errors always leaves a pallor of uncertainty in the Chelsea backline.

Also, his inability to properly read the game on a consistent basis does not encourage the prospect of him becoming the Blues’ lynchpin at the back.

Rudiger joined Chelsea from Roma in 2017
Rudiger joined Chelsea from Roma in 2017

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It is clear that Chelsea need a defensive restructure if they are serious about competing with the big boys.

The Blues backline has shown that it is the club’s Achilles heel when it comes to top-quality opposition. Lampard will have some tough decisions to make this summer.

Losing Rudiger would not be a great blow for Chelsea. If anything selling him will free up funds for us to bring in someone who can change our fortunes at the back.

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