Chelsea news LIVE: Roman Abramovich 'begs Rush Hour director for £1m loan' EXCLUSIVE, Ricketts takeover moves closer

TOM RICKETTS has stepped up his Chelsea takeover bid, despite protests from a section of Blues supporters over previous Islamophobic comments.

American Billionaire Ken Griffin, Ricketts' partner in the pursuit of the Blues, is reported to be flying to London to personally negotiate the deal.

Meanwhile Roman Abramovich is going cap in hand to celebrity pals for money after being sanctioned by the UK government, The Sun can reveal.

Rush Hour director Gerald Ratner is believed to be among the people the Chelsea owner has asked for a £1m loan.

Keep up to date with all of the latest updates from the takeover.

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  • Kealan Hughes

    Morning Chelsea fans

    Thomas Tuchel is hoping Carlo Ancelotti recovers from Covid in time to be in the dugout at Stamford Bridge.

    The Real Madrid boss faces missing the clash after testing positive for the virus six days ago.

    Ancelotti missed the 2-1 win over Celta Vigo at the weekend, and could also be absent for the crunch Champions League quarter-final first leg.

    Speaking on Tuesday, Tuchel said: “I have the information that he will try to arrive tomorrow in the evening.

    “I personally hope he makes it. He’s a big coach, a big personality and it would be nice to have him on the sideline for this kind of game.”

    In other news, Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca is out to prove that his bid to buy Chelsea is no Mickey Mouse offer – and has sought financial support from former Walt Disney chief Bob Iger.

    Sky News understands private equity billionaire Pagliuca has been in discussions with a number of potential co-investors about backing his bid to buy the Premier League club.

    Their sources suggest that Iger, who stepped down as Disney’s executive chairman in December, is among those who have been contacted by Pagliuca since he was shortlisted as one of the four remaining bidders in contention to own the Londoners.

    The quartet have until April 11 to submit their finalised offers to Raine Group for consideration.

    Meanwhile, Chelsea star Jorginho has been working with a Brazilian psychotherapist to help him get over Italy’s World Cup heartbreak.

    Rafael Barreiros has worked with the Blues midfielder since Euro 2020 and helped Jorginho prepare mentally for matches.

    Barreiros specialises in neurolinguistics and hypnotherapy but has concentrated on helping Jorginho emotionally, rather than hypnotising his client.

    Specifically, he has helped Jorginho with meditation and understanding that lessons can be learned from defeats.

    And finally, Serge Gnabry is reportedly contemplating leaving Bayern Munich this summer with several Premier League giants chasing his signature.

    The 26-year-old’s contract with the Bavarian outfit is up next summer and talks between the two parties have stalled due to his wage demands.

    According to Goal, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester United top the list of interested parties.

  • Jake Lambourne

    Toon keen on Chelsea’s Kepa

    Newcastle United are preparing to end Kepa Arrizabalaga’s Chelsea nightmare by signing the goalkeeper at the end of the season.

    The 27-year-old has endured a torrid time at Stamford Bridge since his record £71million move four years ago.

    After a series of high-profile mistakes, Kepa lost his first-team spot to new arrival Edouard Mendy in 2020.

    The Spaniard maintained a reputation as a penalty expert, but failed to show it in this season’s League Cup Final when he was brought on for the shootout.

    Kepa failed to save any of Liverpool’s 11 spotkicks at Wembley, and then missed the decisive penalty himself as the Reds took the trophy.

    Eddie Howe is known to be incredibly keen on the stopper, but is also considering a move for Kepa’s compatriot Robert Sanchez at Brighton.

  • Jake Lambourne

    Tuch of class from Thomas

    Thomas Tuchel is hoping Carlo Ancelotti recovers from Covid in time to be in the dugout at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

    The Real Madrid boss faces missing the clash after testing positive for the virus six days ago.

    Ancelotti missed the 2-1 win over Celta Vigo at the weekend, and could also be absent for the crunch Champions League quarter-final first leg.

    Tuchel though has said it would be "nice" to have Ancelotti in the opposite dugout on Wednesday night, in a classy message to the Italian.

    The Blues boss said: "I have the information that he will try to arrive tomorrow in the evening.

    "I personally hope he makes it. He’s a big coach, a big personality and it would be nice to have him on the sideline for this kind of game."

  • Jake Lambourne

    Courtois wants Lukaku Chelsea absence

    Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is hoping Belgian compatriot Romelu Lukaku will not feature for Chelsea in tomorrow's Champions League clash.

    He said: "Romelu is a great striker so it’s strange not to see him playing much lately.

    “He’s a guy with so much quality who finds the goal easily, but there are other great strikers at Chelsea and if the team is winning without him the manager keeps picking the same players.

    “Everyone needs time to adapt to a new club with a new coach and new tactics. My first year at Madrid was also not easy.

    “I am sure that Romelu will come good. But I hope he can wait one more week before he does that.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    Thibaut Courtois expects Chelsea boos

    Thibaut Courtois is steeling himself for a rough return to Stamford Bridge and hopes that Romelu Lukaku won’t be part of the welcoming committee.

    The Belgian keeper has never been forgiven by Chelsea fans for the way he forced a cut-price move to Real Madrid in 2018.

    And while last season’s Champions League semi-final was played behind closed doors, this time he will feel the full force of the wrath of the team he left behind.

    So it’s no surprise that Courtois is eager to play down any animosity, insisting: “I played here for four years and won two League titles and some cups.

    “Chelsea was a big part of my career. They gave me the chance to grow and to learn from Petr Cech.

    “Maybe my departure was less pleasant, but it is always difficult to leave any club and I am always happy to come back here.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    Petit Kante believe it

    EXCLUSIVE – N'Golo Kante is beginning to feel the effects of his selfless playing style, according to former Chelsea ace Emmanuel Petit.

    He said: “You can see the last two years though, so many injuries. The machine isn't the same anymore. He can bring the same energy and the same display on the pitch but not every three days. 

    “I don't know how many miles he has run over six or seven years in England. He has probably run twice around the world.

    “He's not immortal, the way he plays physically, you can see he's struggling. He's 31 years old and he's not immortal, especially in this position in the middle of the park.

    “I wish he could take care of himself a little bit more and be a bit more selfish, maybe think 'I'm not going to make this run anymore'. 

    “His sacrifices on the pitch are so overwhelming for his team-mates all the time, but Chelsea need the best Kante they can to win trophies and reach their targets.

    “This is the end of the season and the most important part of the season so Tuchel cannot put Kante on the bench and tell him to rest. It's impossible.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    Tuchel wants better fan support

    Thomas Tuchel says the Chelsea fans need to raise their game as much as his players if they are going to see off Real Madrid this evening.

    He said: “We need to be better on the pitch than we were on Saturday but we absolutely also need the crowd to be better.

    “Everyone has to be on the front foot for such a big occasion against opponents like Real Madrid because that will be crucial in this game.

    “It’s always much harder to play against the spectators as well. We felt it against Juventus and in Malmo and St.Petersburg and we will face it again in Madrid next week.

    “We normally have a real atmosphere in the stadium for our evening games and for the big matches here.

    “In the Champions League the crowd gives us a huge push in terms of energy and support and we need everyone to arrive at the ground to get behind us.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    Jorginho seeks help after World Cup exit

    Chelsea star Jorginho has been working with a Brazilian psychotherapist to help him get over Italy's World Cup heartbreak.

    Rafael Barreiros has worked with the Blues midfielder since Euro 2020 and helped Jorginho prepare mentally for matches.

    Barreiros specialises in neurolinguistics and hypnotherapy but has concentrated on helping Jorginho emotionally, rather than hypnotising his client.

    Specifically, he has helped Jorginho with meditation and understanding that lessons can be learned from defeats.

    Jorginho was partly responsible for Italy failing to qualify for Qatar 2022 after missing two penalties in two games against group winners Switzerland – one of which was saved by Jann Sommer.

    Read more HERE.

  • Jake Lambourne

    Tuchel on Christensen's Barca switch

    Thomas Tuchel has commented on Andreas Christensen's expected switch to join Barcelona in the summer.

    He said: "No concerns. Maybe it is a big more challenging for him that normal in a moment where everything is clear.

    "But maybe he cleared his future. I don't know it yet, but for me it is very clear when I had conversations with him last summer and through winter.

    "The bottom line was that as long as he is my player, I will not expect anything less than 100 per cent commitment. This is what I demand for him."

    Before adding: "You can't take these things personally. If he decides to continue his career somewhere else, we will understand it even if we do not agree."

  • Jake Lambourne

    Chris is on the Pul

    Christian Pulisic believes Chelsea must bounce back with a win against Real Madrid after their defeat to Brentford.

    Speaking in the pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday's clash against Los Blancos, he said: "The game at the weekend was a tough one.

    "But maybe it was the kick we needed to get us ready for tough games coming up.

    "So I think the guys will turn it around. We'll still be confident.

    "It won't be easy but we'll want to get back out there as soon as possible and try to win a big game."

  • Jake Lambourne

    Are Roo being serious?

    Wayne Rooney has claimed that Manchester United's academy "didn't exist" under ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

    The former Red Devils striker served as club captain during Mourinho's first season in charge at Old Trafford.

    Rooney, 36, had become used to a great link between the United academy and first-team during Sir Alex Ferguson's time at the helm.

    But that eroded under Mourinho's stewardship.

    Appearing on Monday Night Football, Wazza said: "The distance between the academy and the first team and the manager, especially under Mourinho, was huge.

    "It was almost as if they didn't exist, if you like. Having the relationship they had with Sir Alex for 26 years and then not being allowed anywhere near the first team…

    "It's almost like there was a divorce between the first team and the academy."

  • Jake Lambourne

    Tammy on potential England return

    Tammy Abraham has failed to rule out a Premier League return despite his starring form for Roma.

    The ex-Chelsea man has scored 23 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions this season.

    Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: "When I see reports linking me with other clubs it makes me feel good, it makes you feel like you’re doing something right.

    "It’s a nice feeling seeing your name all over newspapers. But for me, it’s about focusing on doing my business here.

    "I can keep getting linked with many clubs, but who knows what the future holds?

    “Of course, I grew up in England, I’m a London boy. So maybe one day I’ll be back in the Premier League to make noise there.

    "But for me right now it’s about focusing on Rome, on doing the best I can and hopefully winning these guys a trophy, which they haven’t done in many years."

  • Jake Lambourne

    Abraham praise for Jose Mourinhi

    Former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham still thinks that Jose Mourinho is the best manager in the world.

    Gushing over his current Roma boss, the striker told talkSPORT: "There’s a reason why I call him the best manager in the world.

    "He knows how to drive you, he knows how to get under your skin and he knows how to make you feel like a very special player at times.

    “He’ll never tell you but I always want to do my best for him.

    "He pushes me to do my best. When I feel like I’ve done enough he tells me I have to do more.

    “To come here and have a manager like Mourinho to coach you, to believe in you only gives you more confidence.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    Premier League return for Gnabry?

    Serge Gnabry is reportedly contemplating leaving Bayern Munich this summer with several Premier League giants chasing his signature.

    The 26-year-old's contract with the Bavarian behemoths is up next summer and talks between the two parties have stalled due to his wage demands.

    The ex-Arsenal ace has rapidly transitioned into one of Europe's best wingers – scoring 61 goals and providing 40 assists in 163 games since joining Bayern.

    Although Bayern are desperate to keep hold of the winger, a gang of the continent's biggest clubs have caught wind of his fraught relationship with the Bundesliga side.

    And according to Goal, via the Daily Mail, Premier League big boys Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester United top the list of interested parties.

  • Sam Dymond

    Pagliuca approaches former Disney chief

    Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca is out to prove that's his bid to buy Chelsea is no Micky Mouse offer – and has sought financial support from former Walt Disney chief Bob Iger.

    Sky News understands private equity billionaire Pagliuca has been in discussions with a number of potential co-investors about backing his bid to buy the Premier League club.

    Their sources suggest that Iger, who stepped down as Disney's executive chairman in December, is among those who have been contacted by Pagliuca since he was shortlisted as one of the four remaining bidders in contention to own the Londoners.

    The quartet have until April 11 to submit their finalised offers to Raine Group for consideration.

  • Sam Dymond

    Fan-tastic Courtois wants warm welcome

    There will be Eden Hazard in the Real Madrid ranks at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, and possibly no Carlo Ancelotti either, but Thibaut Courtois will be in town for a reunion with his former club.

    The Belgian stopper was at Chelsea for seven years before moving to Real in 2018, and hopes that the fans still have fond memories of his time in goal – and don't decide to boo him.

    The 29-year-old told RealMadrid.Com: “I hope it's a happy return to Stamford Bridge.

    "We're now rivals. They'll want to win and the same goes for me too and so I'm not expecting any applause from the fans. I hope that they don't boo me, but you never know. I’m prepared for whatever comes and we'll have to see how it goes.

    "I'm happy to be returning there with fans in the stands because last year when we played them the stadium was empty”.

  • Sam Dymond

    Tuchel keeps faith with Kai

    Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is resisting calls to replace Kai Havertz in attack for tomorrow's huge Champions League clash with Real Madrid.

    The German forward has been in impressive form – scoring six goals in his last nine appearances – but was wasteful during Brentford's shock 4-1 win at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

    Observers are now speculating as to whether traditional strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner would be better options up front with Havertz playing in behind.

    However, Tuchel appeared to be having none of that when he addressed the press after the game.

    “I felt he was our strongest player,” the German revealed. “I think he worked like an animal and was very dangerous. I am very happy with his performance, in particular.”

  • Sam Dymond

    James has Real chance of return

    Reece James is in line for a start against Real Madrid in the Champions League tomorrow night, having made his return from injury as a sub in Saturday's defeat to Brentford.

    Christian Pulisic has also been given the green light to feature after returning late from international duty with the States, and could play behind Kai Havertz with either Mason Mount or Hakim Ziyech.

    Blues fans are also urging Thomas Tuchel to start with Mateo Kovacic after he showed himself to be one of the few bright spots against the Bees.

  • Sam Dymond

    Werner sale may leave Blues red-faced

    Former Chelsea boss Glenn Hoddle has warned his old club that selling Timo Werner may end up backfiring in the future.

    Werner has been linked with a move back to his native Germany after a fruitless couple of years in west London, but Hoddle feels he may be worth keeping for one more season.

    The BT Sport pundit was discussing the striker situation at Stamford Bridge and said: "[Werner] doesn't look confident in a Chelsea shirt and looks much more at home in Germany.

    "He seems to affect the game more from the bench than when he starts. That's not bad to have someone like that up your sleeve from the bench who you can look upon to change the dimension of the game.

    "You've got to say it hasn't worked for him. Will Chelsea wait for another year? I don't know. Werner is a weird one as you could see him moving to a club slightly below Chelsea, they sell him and he goes on to score a load of goals again. It makes you look stupid."

  • Sam Dymond

    Carlo may still make Chelsea return

    Real Madrid have travelled to London to take on Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Champions League tomorrow – but have done so without their manager Carlo Ancelotti.

    The former Blues boss has tested positive for Covid-19, and has been forced to self-isolate until he can show a negative test.

    However, according to Spanish journalist Jorge C. Picon, Real have organised a further PCR test for Ancelotti tomorrow in the hope that he shows no sign of the virus, and can make a last-ditch trip to England for the game.

    Ancelotti managed Chelsea for two seasons between 2009 and 2011, and led the Stamford Bridge outfit to a league and cup double in 2010.

  • Sam Dymond

    Terry: Blues player power a myth

    John Terry has slammed accusations that Chelsea players had too much power and influence in the dressing room during his time at the club.

    The 41-year-old has commented on claims that certain individuals at Stamford Bridge were dictating what was happening behind closed doors.

    Those suggestions failed to go away during Terry's trophy-laden 19-year career in West London before he departed in 2017.

    There has even been speculation that player power at Chelsea saw the likes of Avram Grant, Roberto Di Matteo and Andre Villas-Boas get the boot.

    But Terry has rubbished those rumours as he declared that he and his former team-mates never wielded that much influence.

    Speaking to Stadium Astro, he said: "No, definitely completely untrue in terms of the players being in charge and making decisions.

    "The reasons that we had such success in Chelsea at my time, we always had one man in charge and that was the manager. We had such a strong group of players to help that process.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Good morning, Chelsea fans

    Juventus are lining up a summer swoop for Antonio Rudiger, according to reports.

    The German has been heavily touted to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, when his current contract expires.

    Rudiger has been linked with the likes of Man United and Barcelona – but Juve reportedly fancy their chances of landing his signature.

    According to 7Gold Sport, veteran Giorgio Chiellini has agreed to terminate his contract after 18 years this summer in order to clear room for Rudiger.

    The 37-year-old has played more than 400 times for the Old Lady.

    A potential Rudiger replacement, Ronald Araujo, admitted that he’d like to stay at Barca.

    Asked about a potential new deal, the Uruguayan defender said: “We are working. This week we have a meeting.

    "I hope it will be resolved soon so that I can continue many years at this club. I am optimistic."

    Meanwhile, John Terry has rubbished suggestions of “player power” during his stint with the club.

    He told Stadium Astro, he said: "No, definitely completely untrue in terms of the players being in charge and making decisions.

    "The reasons that we had such success in Chelsea at my time, we always had one man in charge and that was the manager. We had such a strong group of players to help that process.”

  • Etienne Fermie

    Silva reflects on Champions League glory

    Brazilian has opened up to Chelsea’s club media about what it meant to win the Champions League last year.

    He said: “It was difficult, it was hard because a year earlier I had lost the final against Bayern in Lisbon.

    “After some time I was back again to the final where I had some of the worst news of my life, which was tuberculosis, since I was in Porto. I didn’t play for some time.

    “I think that only those who have lifted that trophy know how it feels. Going back to a Champions League final and winning that long-awaited title where I spent one of the worst moments of my life, it certainly made me emotional.”

  • Etienne Fermie

    Gallagher helps Palace batter Arsenal

    What a night for Chelsea youngster Conor Gallagher!

    The impressive midfielder played the full 90 minutes as Crystal Palace humiliated Arsenal 3-0 at Selhurst Park.

    Gallagher was simply everywhere, never giving his opponents a moment's peace.

    The result keeps the Gunners five points behind the Blues.

    Credit: Alamy
  • Etienne Fermie

    Drogba on Chelsea woes

    Blues legend Didier Drogba has had his say on his old club's current predicament off the pitch: "It’s difficult to see the club in this situation.

    "I feel for the club, I feel for the fans, and all the people working there."

    Source: Read Full Article