What the Papers are Saying … 03/07/11

As per usual there has been lots of gossip surrounding the Blues, as the season gets closer there will be many more players linked with the club especially with the change of management.                                                                                                                   
On Tuesday, Brazilian football website www.globoesporte.com, reported that Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro announced that there were five top European clubs chasing young Brazilian striker Neymar – the big guns Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City are keen, as are surprise package Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala.                                                                                                                                                                              
Excellent news coming from Michael Essien’s agent Fabien Piveteau when he told African football website www.MTNFootball.com: “There’s absolutely no chance of the midfielder leaving Chelsea”. Andre Villas-Boas has been busy interviewing candidates to become his new number two, that followed his first choice Vitor Pereira replaced him as the Porto boss.                                                                                                                                                                          
Wednesday, saw the Daily Star ran with the story that the Blues are locked in a battle with Manchester City to sign Brazilian striker Neymar –  both sides were thought to have had bids of £40m accepted by his club Santos. Meanwhile the Daily Mail says Chelsea are monitoring Sergio Aguero’s situation, his advisers have held talks with Atletico Madrid as they are trying to get the Argentina striker’s release clause reduced from £32m – A big drop from the current £45m. Sadly, ex-Blue defender Juliano Belletti, has retired from football at 34-years-old due to an Achilles tendon injury.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Rumours surrounding new blood appeared on Thursday, when Inside Futbol released the story that the Blues had a £4m bid for 19-year-old Genk keeper Thibaut Courtois rejected, after an excellent season with the Belgian champions he could be seen as the long term successor to Petr Cech. Villa-Boas is up against his old mentor and friend, the Special One as he tries to sign Benfica wing-back Fabio Coentrao according TALKSPORT, and the Sun ran the story that John Terry will stay as captain for the moment.                                                                                                                                           
More gossip appeared on Friday about who will be Villas-Boas’ first signing, the Daily Mirror said that the Blues have offered £45m for Palermo’s talented Argentine playmaker Javier Pastore … well, according to his club anyway.                                                                                                                                                                                                       
A bit of a shock name was linked with Chelsea on Saturday – The Daily Mirror believes that the Blues and London rivals Arsenal are chasing Birmingham’s Scott Dann who is also wanted by Stoke – During his Premiership years he constantly impressed and could become a top defender for one of the top four.                                                                                             
Following the two Manchester clubs being linked to Nasri, the Daily Mail believes that Chelsea have now entered the race for the French midfielder who rejected a five-year deal worth £90,000-a-week. They also reported that Bolton defender Gary Cahill could be Villas-Boas’ first signing, the 25-year-old centre-half would cost around £17m and is wanted by Arsenal and Tottenham. Santos’ are set to give Neymar a huge pay rise, which would mean he is earning £90,000-a-week, and would keep him at the club.                                                                                                                                                                                                  
The Sunday papers were full of gossip, with the Sunday Express reporting that Marseille’s £10m-rated midfielder Lucho Gonzalez is on Villa-Boas’ radar, and the News of the World reported that Fabio Coentrao’s move to Real Madrid has collapsed, leaving the Blues in pole position to sign him.                                                                                                                 
One player who could move on, well on loan, is  Ryan Bertrand who could link-up with ex-Blues coach Brendan Rodgers at Swansea. The Daily Mail ran a story that the Blues could make a shock bid for Arsenal winger Theo Walcott … whilst he would add value, there are much better players on the market out there ….                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
By Scott Balaam
Twitter @theshed11


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