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Team News: Star Chelsea duo fit for Wembley showdown but youngster misses out

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Willian's contract runs out at the end of the season

N’Golo Kante and Willian declared fit for FA Cup final

Speaking to the press ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Arsenal, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has confirmed that both N’Golo Kante and Willian will be fit for the game.

The return of the experienced duo will be a welcome relief as Chelsea prepare for their biggest game of the season.

Kante has not played since injuring himself in the win over Watford in early July. Willian, who has been in excellent form since the restart, missed our key clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers last Sunday.

This could turn out to be his last game for Chelsea if he does not renew with us in the coming days.

Frank Lampard has confirmed that both N'Golo Kante and Willian will be fit for the game
N’Golo Kante has endured an injury-hit season at Chelsea

Although the club has done well to cope in their absence, having them available will be a massive boost for the squad. It remains to be seen if either of them will make the starting XI at Wembley.

“N’Golo Kante and Willian are in the squad so we’ll see if they’re fit to be in the starting 11.” 

However, it is not all good news as youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek misses out. According to Lampard, he injured himself yesterday and will not be ready to face Arsenal.

Frank Lampard has confirmed that both N'Golo Kante and Willian will be fit for the game
Willian will be fit for the FA cup final

A two-time winner of the FA Youth Cup, he must be gutted to miss out on the showpiece event. He could still be a part of the squad that travels to the stadium tomorrow. This is because Chelsea will be able to include ten more players in their travelling party for the FA Cup final this weekend.

It will be the second time in a year that Arsenal and Chelsea are facing off in a major cup final. The Blues came out on top last year in the Europa League final at Baku.

Just like last season, the Gunners have a lot riding on the match in terms of continental participation for next season.

Olivier Giroud helped defeat Arsenal in Baku
Olivier Giroud can dent Arsenal’s hopes once again(Image Credits: Getty Images)

A loss last year saw them lose out on a spot in the UEFA Champions League. The same tomorrow will see them devoid of European football altogether next season.

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A victory will not only win Lampard his first major trophy as a manager but also lay the foundations to a successful future. It has been a promising season at Chelsea. It might be about to get even better.

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Fikayo Tomori could help Chelsea in the race for £38m Nikola Milenkovic

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Nikola Milenkovic of Fiorentina is a transfer target for Liverpool, Manchester United, and Chelsea.

Transfer News: Chelsea keen on a deal for Nikola Milenkovic

According to transfer news from SempreMilan, Chelsea are keen on a deal for Nikola Milenkovic. The Blues will face competition from the likes of Manchester United and AC Milan for the Fiorentina man’s signature.

His contract at the Serie A clubs expires in the summer of 2022, which means he could be a free agent by the time the 2022 summer transfer window arrives. However, Fiorentina have been told that there are no plans to renew his current deal and he wants to take on a new challenge.

Nikola Milenkovic in action for Fiorentina. (imago Images)
Nikola Milenkovic in action for Fiorentina. (imago Images)

This is why they could be open to parting ways with the Serbian international this summer itself. Any Chelsea move for the 23-year-old, however, rests on one Chelsea loanee.

If AC Milan make Fikayo Tomori’s deal permanent, they are unlikely to chase Milenkovic anymore, leaving Chelsea to battle only Manchester United for him.

He is an immovable part of the La Viola line-up this season where he has made 28 Serie A appearances, even grabbing 3 goals and an assist in that time. The Serbian is priced at £38m, which is relatively on the higher end given the current situation.

Firenze 07/03/2021 – campionato di calcio serie A / Fiorentina-Parma / foto Image nella foto: Nikola Milenkovic.

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However, with AC Milan all but set to sign Tomori on a permanent deal, the Blues could recycle the funds towards Milenkovic. A solid defender by all means, he could be a long-term addition to the side.

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Transfer News: Olivier Giroud to leave Chelsea and join Inter Milan

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Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud in action. (GETTY Images)

Transfer News: Olivier Giroud could leave Chelsea and join Inter Milan

According to transfer news from SempreInter, Olivier Giroud could leave Chelsea at the end of the season and reunite with Antonio Conte at Inter Milan. The Italian club are looking to replace fourth choice striker Andrea Pinamonti and Giroud is one of the options being considered.

The 34-year-old Giroud has been with Chelsea since January 2018 when he sealed a transfer from Arsenal. The veteran forward has been a handy player for the Blues, chipping in with vital goals on a consistent basis.

So far this term, Giroud has racked up a tally of 11 goals from 26 matches in all competitions, scoring some important goals, especially in the UEFA Champions League. (h/t Transfermarkt)

Sport Bilder des Tages Atletico Madrid v Chelsea UEFA Champions League Olivier Giroud of Chelsea scores their first goal during the UEFA Champions League match at Arena Nationala, Bucharest.

However, the Frenchman’s future at the club is far from certain as he is in the final few months of his contract. Indeed, Giroud’s current deal with Chelsea runs out at the end of the season, which has led to interest from a host of clubs in Italy.

Apparently, Inter manager Antonio Conte is looking to add another reliable striker to his ranks as a backup to Lautaro Martinez, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez. Hence they have zeroed in on Giroud who has previously worked under Conte at Chelsea.

Chelsea s Olivier Giroud with Antonio Conte during the FA Cup Fifth Round match at Stamford Bridge Stadium, London. Picture date 16th February 2018. Picture credit should read: David Klein/Sportimage.

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Giroud has been a very useful squad player. Even at 34, the Frenchman adds a lot of value to the side but has become a bit-part player in recent weeks. So, there is a good chance he could reunite with Conte at Inter should he decide not to renew with Chelsea come the end of the season.

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Chelsea to swap Emerson Palmieri for Juve star Alex Sandro

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Transfer News: Emerson Palmieri – Alex Sandro swap deal could be on the cards for Chelsea

According to transfer news from Football Italia, Chelsea could offer Emerson Palmieri in a swap deal for Alex Sandro. Thomas Tuchel remains a fan of the player while Juventus are keen to offload him. On the other hand, Emerson has often expressed his desire to return to Italy.

There were exit links in January 2020 but Frank Lampard refused to sanction a sale. Emerson has been underused ever since Lampard took over and the arrival of Ben Chilwell did nothing to help that cause.

When Alonso fell out of favour, Emerson was given sporadic chances. However, on Tuchel’s appointment, Alonso was straightaway restored as the first-choice wing-back, with even Ben Chilwell struggling for game time.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Dave Shopland/IPS/Shutterstock 11824144bl Ben Chilwell of Chelsea hugs Christian Pulisic of Chelsea and Emerson of Chelsea as he celebrates his strike at goal being deflected off Oliver Norwood of Sheffield United into the back of the net to make it 1-0 Chelsea v Sheffield United, FA Cup, Football, Stamford Bridge, London, UK – 21 Mar 2021.

Emerson has struggled massively to get any sort of game time this season and an exit has been mooted. The Italian has been linked with a move to Juventus, Inter Milan or Napoli. As for Sandro, Juventus want to get rid of his €6m-per-season wages.

With Emerson returning from abroad, he would be able to take advantage of tax cuts and that in turn can help Juve who would then have to shell out half of what they did on Sandro. The Brazilian is a decent full-back to have but he has not shown much progress in the last few seasons.

FC Porto v Juventus FC Champions League 17/02/2021. Juventus Alex Sandro in action during the UEFA Champions League match between FC Porto and Juventus FC at Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal on 17 February 2021.

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Given his age and experience, Emerson should be playing week in week out. That is clearly impossible at Chelsea due to the presence of Alonso and Chilwell. However, this swap deal hardly makes sense for Chelsea given Sandro would be joining the club in a position that is already stocked.

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Aston Villa to pass up on Ross Barkley but West Ham show interest

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Transfer News: Aston Villa to pass up on Ross Barkley, West Ham show interest

According to transfer news from TEAMtalk, Aston Villa are willing to pass up on a permanent deal for Ross Barkley but West Ham have shown interest.

Villa have reportedly told Chelsea they don’t intend to keep Barley. However, David Moyes has added the player to his transfer wishlist for next season.

Barkley joined Chelsea in January 2018 from boyhood club Everton. Despite showing glimpses of his innate ability, the England international wasn’t able to nail down a spot for himself in the lineup at Stamford Bridge.

Following the arrivals of Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz last summer, Barkley sought to leave the club on loan in order to play regularly.

Ross Barkley in action for Chelsea. (GETTY Images)
Ross Barkley in action for Chelsea. (GETTY Images)

To that end, he secured a loan move to Aston Villa. Barkley made a fine start to life at Villa Park, playing a key role in their strong beginning to the campaign.

However, over the course of the season, has form has declined greatly with intermittent injury problems making things worse. The 27-year-old has now become pretty much an afterthought for Villa manager Dean Smith.

With the season fast approaching its end, Barkley will soon be back at Chelsea, where his chances are unlikely to improve a great deal. Amidst this limbo, he could be offered an escape route by a familiar face in David Moyes.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jed Leicester/BPI/Shutterstock 11850772i David Moyes West Ham United Manager talks to the media in a pre-match interview West Ham United v Leicester City, Premier League, Football, The London Stadium, London, UK – 11 Apr 2021.

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It was under Moyes that Barkley broke through at Everton and the Scotsman is said to be a fan of his former ward. Currently managing West Ham, he could explore the possibility of signing Barkley if an opportunity presents itself.

A transfer away from Chelsea could be the ideal way forward for Ross Barkley with the Blues also keen to get the midfielder off their books.

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