Chelsea transfer news: Eden Hazard, Ivan Rakitic, Nicolo Zaniolo, Tiemoue Bakayoko
Hazard ‘makes decision’ on future and Rakitic is expected to stay at Barcelona
Eden Hazard has told French broadcaster RMC Sport that he has “made a decision” on his future. Or has he?
The football world went into meltdown yesterday when the Belgian’s comments were revealed ahead of a documentary about his career being broadcast today. But it’s subsequently been claimed that the “quotes were from several months ago”.
The Daily Star says that Hazard hasn’t said anything recently that could give Chelsea fans reason to believe he doesn’t want to be at Stamford Bridge next season.
One step closer
That hasn’t stopped The Guardian claiming that a move to Real Madrid is “closer” as a result of the interview.
The Spanish club are believed to be “admirers” of the 28-year-old, and the newspaper says the Blues “are unlikely to stand in his way, although it could take a nine-figure bid to seal his departure”.
Rakitic on the radar
Barcelona ace Ivan Rakitic will not leave the Camp Nou this summer, despite interest from Chelsea, according to his agent Arturo Canales.
The 30-year-old has been a vital member of the Catalan club since his arrival from Sevilla in 2014, but the signing of Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong has prompted speculation that Barcelona will be open to offers at the end of the season.
Having let Cesc Fabregas join Monaco last month, Chelsea are known to be on the hunt for midfielders, but Canales told Spanish media it was “impossible” that Croatian international Rakitic would be willing to leave.
But might he be pushed? The London Evening Standard says he is “waiting for the club to open negotiations over a new and improved contract” - but so far Barcelona have not obliged.
According to Football.London, Chelsea have joined the race to sign Roma “wonderkid” Nicolo Zaniolo.
The 19-year-old is enjoying his breakthrough season with the Serie A outfit, and Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport says the Blues are “keeping tabs on the midfielder”.
However, so are Real Madrid and Juventus. If Chelsea are serious about signing the teenage sensation, they will have to meet Roma’s £38m asking price.
Bakayoko wants out?
Tiemoue Bakayoko has said he would like to stay at AC Milan for the foreseeable future. The 24-year-old midfielder has flourished in Italy and appears to be hoping to prolong his time at the San Siro beyond the one-year loan agreed last summer.
He told French newspaper Nice Matin: “Who wouldn’t want to stay at a club like AC Milan for a long time? But I still have three years left on my contract at Chelsea and I do not control all the elements.”
The Independent says that Chelsea would look favourably on any request from Milan “to activate the €35m [£30.8m] buyout clause for a permanent transfer”.
Premier League fixtures and TV guide
Wednesday 6 February
- Everton vs. Manchester City (7.45pm, no live broadcast in the UK)
Saturday 9 February (3pm unless stated)
- Fulham vs. Manchester United (12.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Crystal Palace vs. West Ham United
- Huddersfield Town vs. Arsenal
- Liverpool vs. AFC Bournemouth
- Southampton vs. Cardiff City
- Watford vs. Everton
- Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Burnley (5.30pm, live on BT Sport)
Sunday 10 February
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Leicester City (1.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Manchester City vs. Chelsea (4pm, live on Sky Sports)
Monday 11th February
- Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Newcastle United (8pm, live on Sky Sports)