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Chelsea icon reveals he turned down Manchester United; talks about his new role at club

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Bildnummer: 01514040 Datum: 23.04.2005

Claude Makelele reveals that he turned down Manchester United and Inter Milan before joining Chelsea

Speaking to FourFourTwo (h/t football.london), former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele opened about interest from Manchester United and Inter Milan in 2003 and the new role he now has at the club.

Makelele joined Chelsea in 2003 but revealed that he had interest from other clubs. However, he says that he made the Blues a promise he wasn’t willing to break. (h/t football.london)

I went to Chelsea because they came in first. After that, several other teams approached me, including Manchester United and Inter, who had tried to sign me before I moved to Real.

Due to the way things were happening at Madrid, I told Chelsea, ‘If I go, I’ll come to you.’ I gave them a promise. They went to great lengths to sign me, as I was 30 by then but they still paid a significant transfer fee [£16.8m].”

Claude Makelele enjoyed a great 5 year spell at Chelsea. (GETTY Images)
Claude Makelele enjoyed a great 5 year spell at Chelsea. (GETTY Images)

Makelele joined Chelsea during an era where the club went under a change of ownership under Roman Abramovich. Speaking about the impact of the new ownership on the club, Makelele said that Abramovich made Chelsea a destination for world-class players.

“That’s what the boss did very well because, before then, those kinds of players would move to Manchester United or Arsenal.”

Makelele won 5 trophies in his 5-year stay at Chelsea which included 2 Premier League titles, one FA Cup, and two League Cups. The Frenchman said that he left the club in 2008 to be close to his family.

Eupen’s head coach Claude Makelele pictured during a soccer match between KAS Eupen and Sporting Lokeren, Saturday 19 January 2019 in Eupen, on day 22 of the ‘Jupiler Pro League’ Belgian soccer championship season 2018-2019. BELGA PHOTO BRUNO FAHY (Photo credit should read BRUNO FAHY/AFP via Getty Images)

The Frenchman retired from playing football in 2011 and took up coaching, returning to Chelsea in 2019 as a technical mentor at the club’s academy.

Talking about his role at Chelsea, Makelele believes that he is gaining the necessary experience from his current job to take the next step in the near future.

“It was nice to return to Stamford Bridge with some other former team-mates like Frank Lampard and Petr Cech.

I’m working as a technical mentor for the academy and loan players, which I find very interesting as I deal with a lot of different departments. You speak with the players about their performances on the pitch, and about their personal development off the pitch.”

Makelele featured 219 times for us during his time at the club. Safe to say that he had a huge role in Chelsea establishing ourselves as the superpowers of English football in the early parts of the millennium.

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Tuchel confirms one sure starter for Chelsea against Leicester in the FA Cup final

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Chelsea boss, Thomas Tuchel, speaking in an interview.

Chelsea Team News: Thomas Tuchel confirms Kepa will start FA Cup final

According to Metro, Thomas Tuchel confirmed a bit of team news for Chelsea with Kepa poised to start the FA Cup final. The Blues will take on Leicester in the final which is scheduled on the weekend.

It was a disappointing result for Chelsea as Arsenal got the better of us in the last game. Emile Smith Rowe made the difference as Arsenal made sure Chelsea got their third loss under Thomas Tuchel. Chelsea will now have to turn their attention to the FA Cup final against Leicester on Saturday.

Chelsea v Arsenal – Premier League – Stamford Bridge Thomas Tuchel during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London.

The Blues have done well in the FA Cup, managing to topple a side like Manchester City in the semi-final. As Thomas Tuchel tries to get the side to focus on the job at hand, he did confirm a small bit of team news for the final.

Kepa Arrizabalaga started the Arsenal game and Thomas Tuchel intends to start the Spaniard on Saturday in the final too.

‘We thought it was a good idea to give him the game before. Because first of all we trust him and he deserves [it]. That is the basis for why we put him in the line-up. He deserves it. He is so good in training and we wanted to give him some minutes and take both games together.’

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Dave Shopland/IPS/Shutterstock 11824144ay Kepa Arrizabalaga of Chelsea shout to his players Chelsea v Sheffield United, FA Cup, Football, Stamford Bridge, London, UK – 21 Mar 2021.

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Kepa has been given sporadic chances this season to re-stake his claim as a starter. However, these few games should help Kepa’s confidence in a season that has seen him slip down the pecking order below Edouard Mendy.

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Tuchel admits he is angry with his Chelsea team selection errors vs Arsenal

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Thomas Tuchel angry with Chelsea selection errors

According to Daily Star, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel was visibly angry after his team selection led to the loss against Arsenal. Tuchel admitted that he was not happy with his team selection, which resulted in his third loss as a manager at Chelsea.

Chelsea went into the game with an FA Cup final to look forward to at the weekend and due to the same, a host of changes were visible in the line-up. A total of 7 changes were made from the Man City win, which saw Kepa, Thiago Silva and Billy Gilmour getting a start.

Chelsea v Arsenal – Premier League – Stamford Bridge Chelsea s Jorginho left and Arsenal s Mohamed Elneny right battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Wednesday May 12, 2021.

However, those changes hardly helped in what would be a narrow loss against a spirited Arsenal side. Chelsea failed to break Arsenal. Their woes were compounded when Jorginho’s error allowed Emile Smith Rowe to punish the Blues.

Speaking after the game, Tuchel was left angry that his team selection backfired so badly.

“Bit angry that we had so many changes, that’s on me, not so happy in the end with the line-up, but I didn’t know what would happen, I didn’t feel us today like I normally do and we can’t expect to win games if we’re not 100% in games.

“We didn’t have a shot for almost the whole second half, then we had a big one, maybe we deserved this today, we learn something. I’m not happy with what I saw, I have my responsibility because I picked the line-up, but the performance was the performance.”

Chelsea v Arsenal – Premier League – Stamford Bridge Arsenals Emile Smith Rowe scores their side s first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Wednesday May 12, 2021.

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This loss sees the top four race open up just a bit. The likes of Liverpool and West Ham still have a chance to topple Chelsea. However, it’s pretty much in Chelsea’s hands. Two wins from their remaining two games will be enough for Champions League qualification.

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“Embrace the simplicity” – Tuchel outlines Chelsea transfer plans for the summer with latest comments

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Thomas Tuchel gives a hint on Chelsea transfer plans

According to news from Metro, Thomas Tuchel has discussed the summer transfer plans at Chelsea. The German manager revealed that he does have some new ideas but will not go overboard for any of them.

When Chelsea sacked Frank Lampard and appointed Thomas Tuchel, even the most optimistic of fans wouldn’t have expected the stage where Chelsea are right now. From the more free-flowing nature back then, the Blues have become a tougher unit who are an annoying menace to deal with.

The change and ideas were visible from Tuchel’s first game itself. The formation was changed and some players who were in the cold under Lampard were brought back into the fray.

Liverpool v Chelsea – Premier League – Anfield Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel reacts on the touchline during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Thursday March 4, 2021.

However, as the season is close to wrapping up with Chelsea still having a shot at the big prizes, plans have been made for next season. While Tuchel hardly had time to sign players in January, the summer window will give him a chance to do so.

Nonetheless, despite claiming that he has plans regarding transfers, he refused to sacrifice the squad harmony he has now and go overboard in the attempts to sign any player.

‘I have zero ambition to ruin this atmosphere not for myself or for anybody else. Do we have some ideas how to improve the squad? Yes, we do but will we fight about it? No we will not. We will discuss it and first of all we will finish this season because it is not time to reflect now.

‘I embrace the simplicity. I hope I can continue to live like this on the job. Because it is pure fun, very exciting. Very pure the feeling I have right now even though it is a big challenge and the big games keep coming. We have some ideas but it is crazy times out there that will influence the transfer market and I don’t see any big problems.’

Chelsea boss, Thomas Tuchel, speaking in an interview.
Chelsea boss, Thomas Tuchel, speaking in an interview. (imago Images)

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Tuchel will be aiming to end the season on a high. Chelsea will play the FA Cup final at the weekend and then aim to win the biggest prize – the Champions League at the end of the month. It’s good that Tuchel is more focused on getting through this season and worrying about the next one in due time.

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Man United urged to sign this top-class 26-year-old Ligue 1 Chelsea target

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Transfer News: Manchester United tipped to sign Chelsea target Marquinhos

According to transfer news from Express, Rio Ferdinand has asked Manchester United to go after Chelsea target Marquinhos. The iconic defender has advised his former side to turn their attentions from Raphael Varane and go after the PSG defender.

United are looking towards next season with the prospect of signing a new defender. The club want a partner for Harry Maguire given the likes of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly not proving to be the ideal foil for the captain.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 04: Rio Ferdinand pitchside for BT Sport television during the FA Cup Third Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at Molineux on January 04, 2020 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Ferdinand wants United to go after Marquinhos

That has led them to go after names such as Raphael Varane and Pau Torres. Varane has been a long-term target for the club but Ferdinand wants them to go after the 26-year-old Marquinhos instead.

“If any team is in the market for a centre-back, right now, out of the top teams, with the finances, Marquinhos is the only place I’m going. Big-game player. Every big game you see that guy play he turns up. Fit as you like, quick, robust, hardened, battle-hardened, understands the big-game environments. Top, top player, great attitude, leader, got it all. If I’m looking for a centre-back of experience who can take me to the next level, he’s the one I’m going for.”

Provided United were to switch their attention to Marquinhos, it would step on the toes of Chelsea’s interest in the Brazilian. Thomas Tuchel was earlier keen on a reunion with the PSG star.

Tuchel wants Marquinhos at Chelsea

The Brazilian has become a valued asset at the capital club. Not only is he a robust defender, but he also comes with the threat of goals. He has seamlessly taken over the captaincy and shown good leadership qualities.

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It’s not without reason that Ferdinand is asking his former side to go after Marquinhos. He is a complete package one can want in a defender. Chelsea will have to act fast if they wants to avoid a tussle for the Brazilian.

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