Sarri seeks answers about his future at Chelsea


I have been told from inside Chelsea that after the Europa League final manager Maurizio Sarri will ask for a meeting with the club’s management and demand an answer as to whether they want him to be a coach for the next season. The Italian has a three-year contract and has delivered a top four place and therefore qualification for next year’s Champions League competition. That was the priority when he was hired. Despite his three-year contract his assistants were given only one-year deals and have yet to be offered any extensions which make Sarri suspicious that he is going to be replaced. Sarri had a rare meeting last week with owner Roman Abramovich. However,  his employment was not discussed. Chelsea might have an exit door open up for them because Sarri has been linked with taking over at Juventus. The 60-year-old chain smoking Italian has 12 months remaining on his £5million-a-year contract and if Juve come calling, the Blue’s management will probably want £5m in compensation. It’s a win-win situation for Chelsea…they get rid of an unpopular manager and collect a handful of cash at the same time. 

Ozil stays at Arsenal

It is official…Mesut Ozil will not be leaving Arsenal this summer. If a genuine offer had come in for £350k-a-week Ozil, the club would have considered it seriously. However,  none came and now that he has been used successfully in the side alongside Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, manager Unai Emery sees the trio as spearheading his attack next season. Ozil himself and his agent Dr Erkuy Sogut have confirmed that the player does not want to move and has two more years on his contract.

Zouma probably on way back to Chelsea

Chelsea had a remarkable 41 players away on loans last season. However, due to transfer restrictions facing the club, they will not be allowed to bring in any new players until after the New Year. That is bad news for Everton who have enjoyed a successful season with Chelsea loanee Kurt Zouma. When Kurt did a lap of honour with the rest of the Toffees last weekend to thank the fans, he had his little daughter on his shoulders and no player received more response from the crowd, who clapped and cheered the big defender. However, Chelsea are looking at bringing him back for the new season which means Everton will be looking for a replacement. Down south in London, Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has stated his intention to hold on to Chelsea’s loanee Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi if he is not required back at Stamford Bridge. Meanwhile, Chelsea striker Oliver Giroud has signed a one-year extension to his contract which means Alvaro Morata can remain on loan to Atletico Madrid. 

Tottenham cool interest in Zaha

Tottenham have told me they will spend no more time trying to sign Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace due to the high fee placed on him. Palace want £100million and Tottenham do not pay that sort of money for any player. In fact, it would double their record transfer fee paid for a player. The Ivory Coast international still has four years left on his £130k-a-week contract with Palace but says he wants Champions League football and a club which can guarantee him a chance of doing that.  I understand that manager Mauricio Pochettino does want two new players and the club has made funds available to him.

Rooney attacks United players

When Wayne Rooney was a Manchester United icon, he was often in trouble and received bad publicity. But one thing he never did was to go missing on the pitch in a game…he always gave 100% even when off form. Now it is his turn to be on the attack as he looks across the Atlantic from his new base in America’s MLS league. And Rooney does not like what he is seeing at his old club. He has accused the United players of letting the club down and having the wrong priorities. He has told manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer that he has to instil strong discipline to get the team playing well again. He said that many of the players were more interested in their social media profiles. He also accused them of using agents to hide behind whenever they were criticised. He said, “You have players who played badly, lost the game and were then immediately posting on social media about their new clothing, aftershave range or whatever products they are paid to promote. It is remarkable.”

He added that they need to fear Solskjaer and that is the only way the manager would get the best out of his highly expensive players.

Klopp send his players to the beach

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is not pressuring his players and over working them in training for the Champion’s League final. Instead, he has told them to go and lie on a beach, relax and have a few drinks. He told them to take a holiday last week to completely recharge their batteries and make sure they win which will help get over the disappointment of losing out to Manchester City in the Premier League title race. The players have relaxed and are now in Marbella on the Costa Del Sol in Spain for a week’s sunshine training and then they fly back to Liverpool for Melwood Training ground preparation. Then it is off to Madrid for the final on June 1st for the match against Tottenham Hotspur at the Wanda Metropolitano, home of Atletico Madrid.


Bale will not be pushed out by Zidane

Gareth Bale has said he does not want to return to Tottenham which is probably a relief to the north London club as they could never afford to pay his wages. Bale earns £600k a week and with three years left on his contract, expects to earn nearly £100million during that time. Manager Zinedine Zidane has made it clear he does not see Bale as one of his game starters and Gareth spent much of last season on the bench after Zidane returned to the club. Bale, however, will not be pushed and insists that unless he leaves on his terms and probably to a European team like Paris St Germain, he will not move. He is the second most wealthy player, behind only David Beckham. He also scored what is arguably the best goal ever in a Champion’s League final with that overhead kick which won Madrid the cup and defeated Liverpool. It was noted at the time that as the world rose to its feet in excitement over Bale’s genius, Zidane turned his back and walked to his seat without any recognition for Gareth winning Real Madrid the match.


Pep urges Sane to sign a new contract

Pep Guardiola is frustrated that Leroy Sane has still not signed a new contract after 18 months! He has two years left on his contract and Pep has made it clear that he wants the German international to stay. Pep will not keep Sane if he does not show 100% loyalty to the champions. Some players will be leaving but no names have been mentioned as yet. Pep said, “People have said how beautiful our football is but we have to keep on winning and the players have to feel that. From Day One next season, we start from zero and I have to see the commitment I have seen during the last three seasons. I want only players who can give me that.” It is going to be a busy summer for Guardiola as they try to buy Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax but with Vincent Kompany already gone, it is possible Ilkay Gundogan, Fabian Delph, Nicolas Otamendi and Claudio Bravo might not be at the Etihad next season.

Llanana seeks Southampton move

Liverpool’s England midfielder Adam Llalana is now 31 years old and feels his time at the club has come to an end and he has talked about a return to his original club Southampton. Adam has been left behind as manager Jurgen Klopp developed his team and he made only five starts last season. Most of his appearances have come off the bench. Hamstring and groin injuries have hampered his progress into Klopp’s main team selection and although he is contracted until 2020 he feels he should move away. When he played for Southampton he made 265 appearances and helped the club move up from League 1 to the Premier League. I am expecting a clear out by manager Ralph Hasenhutti this summer with Charlie Austin and goalkeeper Fraser Forster being two of the casualties so there will be funds to sign Llanana.

Well done Africa!

I liked Arsenal and Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s quote when winning the Golden Boot Award for 2018/19. He shared the award with Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Mo Salah and said, “I share this trophy with two other guys I like, great players and African. We are representing Africa.” The quality of players coming out of this magnificent continent is truly wonderful.


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