Tuchel SLAMS Lukaku's fitness whilst Inter re-open the door for his possible return, Rudiger EXIT plans – takeover news

THOMAS TUCHEL has admitted that Romelu Lukaku's match fitness remains some way off the standard required to match Chelsea's intensity levels.

The £97.5 million man was left out of the starting line-up yet once again for the 2-0 FA Cup semi-final triumph over Crystal Palace.

Meanwhile, Inter have reportedly re-opened the door for Lukaku to make a shocking return in the summer having initially ruled out the swoop.

And Antonio Rudiger's exit plans are ramping up with rumours suggesting that the German international could end up at either Manchester United or Real Madrid.

Keep up to date with all of the latest updates from the takeover in our live blog…

  • Justin Lawrence

    Crystal Palace chase Chelsea duo

    Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has revealed he wants to sign Chelsea duo Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

    Gallagher's loan deal with the Eagles expires this summer and Parish wants him to stay put.

    And Parish would also like Gallagher's Blues team-mate to join him at the club.

    Parish said: “Conor will work out what he thinks the best thing for him is and that will that will be the catalyst for it. If there's an opportunity to get him or even Ruben Loftus-Cheek then of course.

    “These are top players and it's been brilliant having him here this year, not just because of what he does on the pitch. Also because of the way he is around the place, the way he is with the media and supporters and because of how special a lad he is."

  • James Colasanti

    Tuchel on reduced home crowd

    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel admits it is unfortunate they will have a reduced crowd at Stamford Bridge tomorrow for the visit of Arsenal.

    Sanctions place on the club mean the number of fans will be limited to about 25,000 season ticket holders in the 40,000-capactiy ground.

    Tuchel told a pre-match press conference: “It’s not an advantage. We want to play home matches in front of a full stadium.

    “The game is for the spectators and supporters so that’s bad news actually.”

  • James Colasanti

    Tuchel's injury updates for Arsenal

    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has given injury updates on three of his players ahead of tomorrow's London derby with Arsenal.

    The German told a pre-match press conference: "Kova (Mateo Kovacic) is out for the game with a ligament injury. Hopefully, he will not be longer than two weeks out.

    "This is a long time for us in terms of games. Hopefully, as short as possible.

    "Callum Hudson-Odoi is out for this game, and Ben Chilwell is out for the game.

    "There are some players in doubt which we need to examine, but hopefully the rest are OK."

  • James Colasanti

    Lacazette update ahead of Chelsea

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says Alexandre Lacazette might be available for tomorrow's crunch clash with Chelsea.

    A positive Covid test saw the Gunners skipper miss Saturday's 1-0 defeat against Southampton.

    When asked about him at this afternoon's pre-match press conference, Arteta said: "With Lacazette, we have to see him today to see whether he will be available with the team."

  • James Colasanti

    Ferdinand backs Chelsea over Arsenal

    Rio Ferdinand says he does not see Arsenal winning at Chelsea tomorrow night.

    The Prem rivals will be looking to strengthen their top-four bids in a 7.45pm kick-off at Stamford Bridge.

    Retired England defender and now pundit Ferdinand told the Vibe with Five YouTube channel: “It’s a massive game.

    “Can Arsenal turn it around? I don’t know, it’s been a bad couple of games for them.

    “Chelsea look to be back in form, got themselves in the final. Wow, I don’t see Arsenal getting a result there.”

  • James Colasanti

    It is finally Timo time?

    After three brilliant displays on the spin – are Chelsea finally seeing the best of Timo Werner?

    The Germany star has been routinely criticised for sub-par displays and a poor goal return for the Blues since his £54million arrival from RB Leipzig two years ago.

    But the greasy-quick 26-year-old striker has looked like a player reborn this month.

    He has bagged three goals in matches against Southampton and Real Madrid, and produced a man-of-the-match display in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final victory against Crystal Palace.

  • James Colasanti

    Lukaku to Inter link reemerges

    Inter Milan have re-opened the door for a possible return for Romelu Lukaku, according to Gazetta.

    The Blues' £97.5million striker has had a difficult season back at Stamford Bridge and is struggling for regular starts.

    And after previously ruling out a swoop for Lukaku, San Siro chiefs are now reportedly plotting a loan bid for their former talisman amid the chaos of protracted Chelsea’s takeover.

  • James Colasanti

    Rangnick unhappy with Chelsea reschedulement

    Manchester United's interim boss Ralf Rangnick says the decision to bring Chelsea’s visit to Old Trafford forward by nearly three weeks is far from ideal.

    The Prem clash was scheduled for May 15 but will now be played on April 28 after Chelsea booked an FA Cup final meeting with Liverpool on May 14.

    It has left Champions League-chasing United with a congested run-in at a time when they have key players out injured.

    Rangnick told Manchester United's website: "For us it's not good because we have a number of injured players so it would have been better for the Chelsea game to be played two weeks later when it was originally planned.

    "But anyway we have to deal with it and hopefully by then we have two or three of those injured players available again."

  • James Colasanti

    Real or United for Rudiger?

    If Antonio Rudiger does leave Chelsea this summer it seems he is likely to walk into another vital role at a top European club.

    The Daily Mirror report likely incoming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is considering stripping Harry Maguire of their captaincy and replacing him at centre-back with Rudiger.

    ESPN say "multiple sources" have told them Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti wants the 29-year-old Germany star, who will be a free agent in the summer.

    Of course there is option No 3 – he stays at Chelsea, and Rudiger told The Athletic: "I feel great here, I have always said it.

    "I think the way I play you can see that I’m happy here. But there are also other people who have to make decisions.”

  • James Colasanti

    Rescheduled Chelsea fixture 'angers' United

    The decision to bring Chelsea's visit to Manchester United forward by nearly three weeks has left the Red Devils "fuming", according to the Express.

    The Prem clash was scheduled for May 15 but will now be played on April 28 after Chelsea booked an FA Cup final meeting with Liverpool on May 14.

    It has left Champions League-chasing United with a congested run-in at a time when they have key players out injured.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Good morning Chelsea fans

    LaLiga leaders Real Madrid are interested in signing Chelsea’s Reece James, according to reports.

    The Mirror are reporting that James, 22, played against Real in the Champions League quarter-finals this month and Carlo Ancelotti is said to have been impressed.

    Two Chelsea bidders are “closely monitoring” Paul Mitchell as they prepare to hire a new sporting director, according to reports.

    The post at Stamford Bridge has been vacant since Michael Emenalo left the club in 2017.

    And Mancunian Mitchell, 40, is being chased by at least two of the three parties left in the running to buy the Blues, say The Athletic.

    German Thomas Tuchel has looked ahead to next month’s FA Cup final clash with Liverpool.

    He said: “We lost of course a final against them when we gave everything and it went until the very last penalty. We were unlucky and we want to turn things around.

    “We were here last season in the FA Cup final and we will be here again.

    “That means an unbelievable lot to us because it’s the FA Cup, it’s prestigious, the most traditional cup in the world and played at Wembley, so there are not a lot of bigger games to be part of.

    "We will be well prepared because we play against one of the strongest teams in the world that have outstanding form. So it will be a tough one and we will try to make life hard for them.”

  • Joshua Mbu

    Money Mase steps up again

    Mason Mount has been in unbelievable form for Chelsea this season.

    England boss Gareth Southgate will be pleased.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Romelu Lukaku highest earner

    Romelu Lukaku is Chelsea's top earner.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Tuchel criticises Romelu Lukaku fitness

    Thomas Tuchel revealed before yesterday’s FA Cup semi-final that Romelu Lukaku’s match fitness remains some way off the standard required to match Chelsea’s tactical intensity.

    The German noted: “He is not fit enough for the intensity of our game in an FA Cup semi-final.

    “It’s not easy to come into a game such as this with so much riding on it after a spell out with injury.

    “It’s just a case of him not having as much minutes recently as the other players, his match fitness is not quite there otherwise there’s a big chance that he would have started today.”

  • Joshua Mbu

    Loftus-Cheek fires Chelsea into FA Cup final

    Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored in the 2-0 FA Cup semi-final victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday.

    The England international helped secure the Blues' place in the final for the third season in a row.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Chelsea ‘closely monitoring’ Monaco sporting director

    Two Chelsea bidders are "closely monitoring" Paul Mitchell as they prepare to hire a new sporting director, according to reports.

    The post at Stamford Bridge has been vacant since Michael Emenalo left the club in 2017.

    And Mancunian Mitchell, 40, is being chased by at least two of the three parties left in the running to buy the Blues, say The Athletic.

    The shortlist to take over from Roman Abramovich at Chelsea had been cut to four parties.

    But after the group led by the Ricketts family withdrew their proposal, the race is now between groups led by Todd Boehly, Stephen Pagliuca and Sir Martin Broughton.

    All parties are keen on keeping transfer supremo Marina Granovskaia.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Chelsea owner search continues

    Chelsea are yet to be bought from Russian owner Roman Abramovich.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Loftus-Cheek keen to stay

    Chelsea academy product Ruben Loftus-Cheek is keen to stay at the club.

    The midfielder helped fire Chelsea into a third consecutive FA Cup final in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday.

    Goal scorer Loftus-Cheek said: "Everyone wants to play and I feel like I’ve done well in the last couple of games and I wanted to keep the momentum, but the strength in depth in the squad is fantastic.

    “The reason why I’m still here is because of my mentality through all the injuries.

    “I keep going and I still believe in myself. My time will come and I will keep knuckling down and working for it.”

  • Joshua Mbu

    Real Madrid eye Chelsea's James

    LaLiga leaders Real Madrid are interested in signing Chelsea's Reece James, according to reports.

    The Mirror are reporting that James, 22, played against Real in the Champions League quarter-finals this month and Carlo Ancelotti is said to have been impressed.

    Chelsea lost the tie 5-4 on aggregate after the game went to extra-time at the Bernabeu.

    James could be a good upgrade on current right-back Dani Carvajal.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Main man Mason Mount

    Mason Mount has been Chelsea's main man this season.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Watch Tuchel go ballistic at Jorginho 

    Thomas Tuchel went ballistic on the touchline after Jorginho was caught dawdling on the ball against Crystal Palace – and fans were quick to notice.

    At times, in-form Palace looked as though they could spring a surprise, too.

    And, midway through the first half, it all got a bit too much for Tuchel.

    Jorginho was caught dawdling on the ball in the middle of the park.

    While the Italian did win a free-kick, Tuchel was left fuming.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Ex-Chelsea doctor owns English football club

    Seven years ago, Eva Carneiro got in a row with Jose Mourinho while she was Chelsea physio.

    She subsequently lost her job with the Blues, but was paid damages for her dismissal in court.

    Now, she is thriving in football once again – as an investor in non-league Lewes FC.

    The Gibraltan, 48, is also working with the Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital in Qatar ahead of this year's World Cup.

    It completes a remarkable turn-around in fortunes for the doctor.

    In 2015, then Chelsea boss Mourinho was left incensed when she ran onto the pitch with chief physio Jon Fearn to treat an injured Eden Hazard during a Premier League match with Swansea.

    The Special One was livid that the match was interrupted in injury time, as Chelsea pushed for a winner.

    Credit: PA:Press Association
  • Joshua Mbu

    Blues in another final

    Chelsea will contest the FA Cup final next month for the THIRD year in a row.

    They lost the last two to Leicester and Arsenal.

    They will face Liverpool, who they lost to in the Carabao Cup final earlier this year.

    Third time lucky?

  • Etienne Fermie

    Ex-Tottenham chief in Chelsea frame

    Two Chelsea bidders are "closely monitoring" Paul Mitchell as they prepare to hire a new sporting director, according to reports.

    The post at Stamford Bridge has been vacant since Michael Emenalo left the club in 2017.

    And Mancunian Mitchell, 40, is being chased by at least two of the three parties left in the running to buy the Blues, say The Athletic.

    The shortlist to take over from Roman Abramovich at Chelsea had been cut to four parties.

    But after the group led by the Ricketts family withdrew their proposal, the race is now between groups led by Todd Boehly, Stephen Pagliuca and Sir Martin Broughton.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Frank Leboeuf hammers Chelsea midfielder

    Ex-Blue Frank Leboeuf has slammed Blues ace Jorginho.

    Speaking to ESPN after yesterday's 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, Leboeuf pointed to the Italian's main flaw.

    He said: "With all due respect to Jorginho, yes, he’s there, he doesn’t lose the ball, but sometimes he slows down the game, and that’s not a very good thing for Chelsea."

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