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8.15am Chelsea news LIVE: Werner £54m transfer agreed LATEST, Premier League fixtures, Chilwell asks for Blues move

CHELSEA players are back on the training pitch with the Premier League's return under two weeks away.

And the Blues have all but agreed their first summer signing, and an ambitious one at that, as they beat Liverpool and Man Utd to RB Leipzig's Timo Werner.

Follow all the latest updates and transfer gossip from the Bridge below...

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    'OK THEN'

    Former Chelsea ace Patrick van Aanholt has slammed Katie Hopkins for racism in a bizarre Twitter spat.

    The Crystal Palace star, 29, demanded Hopkins be “cancelled” a completely unnecessary rant following Blackout Tuesday.

    Never one to miss out on an argument, Hopkins replied: “Dear @pvanaanholt. My name is Katie Hopkins.

    “I am a white Christian Conservative. You May kneel and kiss my ring.”

    The Dutch left-back then posted a terrifying picture, captioned: “Katie be like I'm “Christian and I'm white”…. OK THEN.”

    Van Aanholt later wrote: “Can't have racism on Twitter like that mate and not be called out.”

  • sstreet 's avatarsstreet9 minutes ago

    YOU'VE BEEN WERN-ED

    Chelsea's imminent signing of Timo Werner shows they are playing a different financial ball game to their Premier League rivals, writes SunSport's Martin Lipton.

    He commented: “A day which demonstrated just why Premier League clubs are so keen to turn Project Restart into a bells and whistles reality ended with a huge Blues statement.

    “Not for the first time under Roman Abramovich, Chelsea might be playing a different financial game to many of their rivals.

    “Of course, a significant factor was the Fifa transfer ban which Chelsea were so angry about last year.

    “And the mountains of cash — £88m — they banked from Eden Hazard’s transfer to Real Madrid which will allow Frank Lampard to land top target Werner — while the rest of the division face their greatest ever financial uncertainty.

    “That is why, as football-starved fans look forward to 36 games in the first 16 days of the great return, it is clear the prime mover is the financial necessity, the impetus for a collective punt Covid-19 will not come back with a devastating second wave.”

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    MARIO KART

    Chelsea will sell Mario Pasalic to Atalanta for £13.4million, according to reports.

    And that cash is expected to be given to Frank Lampard to help in his pursuit of Jadon Sancho and Ben Chilwell this summer.

    Pasalic, 25, has spent the last two seasons on loan with the Serie A side, scoring 15 goals across 74 appearances.

    Now Italian journalist Nicolo Schira believes a deal is in place for the Champions League quarter-finalists to make the switch permanent.

    An agreement was put in place earlier in the season and it now looks as though Atalanta will complete the transfer.

    Pasalic signed for Chelsea from Hajduk Split in his homeland of Croatia in 2014 as part of a £3m deal.

  • MORNING CHELSEA FANS

    The Blues look set to beat Liverpool in the race to sign RB Leipzig star Timo Werner after agreeing a £54million deal with the German side.

    Werner is set to sign a five-year contract after Frank Lampard made it clear he is ready to meet the German's release clause.

    He will pocket around £200,000-a-week, making him one of Chelsea’s top earners.

    In other news, Diego Costa has been sentenced to six months in jail for tax offences but will pay a £32,000 fine to avoid serving the time.

    The ex-Blues striker pleaded guilty to an offence which occurred in 2014 – the year he left Atletico for Chelsea.

    According to reports in Spain, the 31-year-old avoided paying £980,000 in tax – which he paid back last year – by not declaring payments of around £4.6million.

    Meanwhile, Pedro is set to shun Juventus' interest in favour of a summer switch to Serie A rivals Roma this summer.

    With his contract set to expire at Stamford Bridge, the 32-year-old has been linked extensively with both clubs.

    But AS have reported that Pedro sees a switch to Rome as “a priority” this summer.

    And finally, rumoured Chelsea target Victor Osimhen's asking price is lower than originally expected, according to reports.

    After a breakout season for the Nigerian in Ligue 1, Lille have been expected to demand a fee similar to the £72million received by Arsenal for Nicolas Pepe last year.

    But according to Alfonso Pedulla, a potential suitor could now land the 21-year-old for between £49m and £53m.

  • NEW PROBLEM

    The Premier League are reportedly “fully considering” calls to pull the plug on Newcastle's £300m takeover.

    Public Investment Fund and dealmaker Amanda Staveley were hoping to complete the deal that would finally see Mike Ashley relinquish control.

    But now, according to The Telegraph, Premier League executive Richard Masters has been contacted by lawyers representing the fiancee of murdered Jamal Khashoggi.

    Hatice Cengiz insists the deal, which would give the PIF an 80 per cent stake in Newcastle, is in breach of the PL’s owners’ and directors’ test.

    Journalist Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

    Independent investigators claim Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was directly involved — which he denies.

  • JUVE WORK TO DO

    Football fans are worried Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain has returned to Juventus training well-short of match fitness.

    The Serie A season will resume on June 20 after coronavirus halted match action.

    Higuain took part in a training session for Juve, who top the table by a single point to Lazio.

    But as photos of the former Chelsea striker were shared around social media, football fans were less-than complimentary about how the 32-year-old looked.

    One cruel comment was that he “looked like he had been on a diet of Dominoes” during the lockdown.

    John Mitchell posted that he had returned “looking like Tony Soprano”.

    Another wrote that he “was on lockdown socially distancing from healthy food”.

  • VICTOR-IOUS

    Rumoured Chelsea target Victor Osimhen's asking price is lower than originally expected, according to reports.

    After a breakout season for the Nigerian in Ligue 1, Lille have been expected to demand a fee similar to the £72million received by Arsenal for Nicolas Pepe last year.

    But according to Alfonso Pedulla, a potential suitor could now land the 21-year-old for between £49m and £53m.

    Arsenal, Napoli and Spurs are also believed to be interested.

  • AVOIDING A PED-ROW

    Chelsea winger Pedro is set to shun Juventus' interest in favour of a summer switch to Serie A rivals Roma this summer.

    With his contract set to expire at Stamford Bridge, the 32-year-old has been linked extensively with both clubs.

    But AS have reported that Pedro sees a switch to Rome as “a priority” this summer.

    This backs up a story in Italian publication Il Tempo – even though Pedro is not short of potential suitors back in his native Spain.

    Mundo Deportivo write that, in addition to the Italian pair, Pedro is being courted by Valencia, Real Betis and Sevilla.

  • WATCH AND WERN

    BIG NEWS!

    Chelsea have agreed a £50million deal for RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.

    The striker looks set to sign a five-year contract after Frank Lampard made it clear he is ready to meet the German's release clause.

    Werner will pocket around £175,000-a-week, making him one of Chelsea’s top earners.

    But there is still the danger of Liverpool making a last-gasp bid.

    Lampard’s men have already signed Hakim Ziyech from Ajax in a £37m deal.

  • PREM FIXTURES IN

    Chelsea will kick off their return to action with a trip to Aston Villa on Sunday 21 June at 4.30pm live on Sky Sports.

    Frank Lampard's men will then host Manchester City on Thursday 25 June at 8.15pm, live on Sky Sports.

    The following weekend the Blues will take on Leicester in an FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday 28 June at 2.30pm, live on BT Sport.

    Chelsea will then travel to West Ham on Wednesday 1 July for an 8.15pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports.

  • IT'S TOTT IDEAL

    Daniel Levy has called for talks to find a way to get fans back into stadiums after Tottenham were forced to take a £175million loan from the Bank of England to deal with the crisis caused by Covid-19.

    Tottenham Hotspur Stadium limited has taken the finance available through the government’s CCFF Scheme to help the club through the financial turmoil caused by the global pandemic.

    But with social distancing measures likely to remain in place for months to come, the Spurs chairman says it is vital for live events industries to come up with a plan with the government which would ease the cash-crisis caused by playing in empty stadiums.

    Levy said: “We have always run this Club on a self-sustaining commercial basis. I said as early as 18 March that, in all my 20 years at the Club, there have been many hurdles along the way but none of this magnitude – the COVID-19 pandemic has shown itself to be the most serious of them all.

    “It is imperative that we now all work together – scientists, technologists, the Government and the live events sector – to find a safe way to bring spectators back to sport and entertainment venues.

    “Collectively we have the ability to support the development of new technologies to make this possible and to once again experience the passion of fans at live events.”

  • SUPER GRAN

    Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia is a fierce negotiator and her transfer record backs the claim up.

    The Russian-Canadian is one Roman Abramovich's most trusted allies and her ability to recoup £175million for David Luiz, Oscar and Alvaro Morata will have endeared her to the Blues' chief even more.

    In addition to that impressive business, Granovskaia has also landed £40m for Nemanja Matic, £130m for Eden Hazard and £57m for Diego Costa in her time at the club.

  • BLUE MOON

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    INJURY RATES SET TO SOAR

    Players may be at an increased risk of injury as professional sports rush back into action following the coronavirus stoppage, a global union representing 85,000 athletes said on Thursday.

    Some football leagues in particular have condensed a large number of fixtures into a short space of time in an attempt to complete the season.

    “Many players will not have had access to the necessary training methods to ensure that they have the necessary fitness and conditioning to compete,” said the World Players' Association (WPA), whose members play in the NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, European soccer and Australian Rules football, among others.

    WPA executive director Brendan Schwab pointed to a study conducted by Australian sports scientist Joel Mason last month which suggested an increased injury rate in the Bundesliga since Germany's professional soccer league restarted on May 16.

    According to the study, a pre-stoppage rate of 0.27 injuries per match this season climbed to 0.88 in the first round of matches following the restart.

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    GOOD TO SEE YOU

    Ethan Ampadu has returned to training at RB Leipzig after being sidelined by injury.

    The Welshman, 19, impressed at centre-back in Julian Nagelsmann’s side’s 1-0 win over Spurs in the Champions League in March, but was dropped to the bench for the second leg.

    Since then the defender – who often plays defensive midfield for Wales – has been nursing a back problem.

    Alongside pictures of the Chelsea loanee training, RB tweeted: “Good to see you!”

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    DILLY DALLY

    Top flight clubs avoided a vote – but effectively kicked the can down the road – if a second wave of coronavirus kicks in, reports MARTIN LIPTON.

    While there remains a split over what should happen if the season is “curtailed” by a second outbreak of Covid-19, the clubs opted to avoid a spat.

    And rather than pit the divisive issue to a vote, the teams took a position that it was not necessary to fight over a situation that may never actually arise.

    An agreement was reached that the debate will only be reopened if the season is forced into stopping for a second time.

    That avoided the faultlines between the clubs being further exposed.

    If the season cannot be finished, a points-per-game option is available, but clubs facing relegation are not keen on it.

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    PREM'S HIGH FIVE

    Premier League clubs have again put off a decision on what to do if the restarted League cannot be completed, reports MARTIN LIPTON.

    In a surprise move, the clubs agreed that the issue will not discussed UNLESS it becomes necessary because of a second shut-down.

    But the clubs did vote to approve a vote urged by Chelsea which means managers will be able to make five substitutions for the rest of the season.

    And there was also approval for another Chelsea proposal for teams to put nine players on the bench for the final part of the campaign.

    The latest meeting of the 20 Shareholder clubs lasted just under three hours.

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    BLUE ARE YA?

    John Terry shared a picture to his Instagram yesterday of his Chelsea youth team-mates from the 1996-1997 season.

    Terry went on to captain Chelsea and England in a trophy-laden career and is now assistant manager to Dean Smith at Aston Villa.

    TOP ROW: Shayne Demetrious, Stephen Broad, Paul Nicholls, Mark Royal, Sam Parkin, Jay Richardson.

    BOTTOM ROW: Steve Osborne, Courtney Pitt, Darren Baxter, Rob Wolleaston, Warren Cummings, John King.

    READ WHAT HAPPENED TO THESE CHELSEA STARLETS’ CAREERS HERE

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    COSTA PRETTY PENNY

    Diego Costa has been sentenced to six months in jail for tax offences but will pay a £32,000 fine to avoid serving the time.

    The ex-Blues striker pleaded guilty to an offence which occurred in 2014 – the year he left Atletico for Chelsea.

    According to reports in Spain, the 31-year-old avoided paying £980,000 in tax – which he paid back last year – by not declaring payments of around £4.6million.

    He is also said to have concealed image rights payments of around £890k.

    The Spanish Tax Agency said Costa defrauded them out of taxes and also charged him with a separate financial offence in the 2013 financial year.

    Costa initially refuted the claims but reconsidered his original stance and reached an agreement with Spanish authorities which was confirmed in court today.

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    BLUES' SAVI-OR?

    Chelsea are among the favourites to sign Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

    A transfer move may become pertinent if the club lose Jorginho to Juventus, at Maurizio Sarri's desire.

    Here are the latest club-by-club transfer odds from Betfair:

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    HAPPY HAZARD DAY

    On this day eight years ago, this little Belgian wizard arrived at Stamford Bridge.

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    C-RUUD SURROUNDINGS

    Ruud Gullit has revealed why he signed for Chelsea in 1995 as the club celebrates the 25th anniversary of his arrival from AC Milan.

    The Dutch legend told the BBC: “Nobody I spoke to that summer understood why I chose Chelsea.

    “I must say I didn't know much about the club or even that part of town when I went there – it was just because Glenn Hoddle was manager, that's what persuaded me to go.

    “When I came for the first time to see Stamford Bridge, I was like 'what the hell kind of stadium is this?'

    “I was used to playing in the best stadiums in the world, but here there were only two stands.

    “The place wasn't just a building site, it was a total wreck. You had to walk around on planks of wood.”

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    WERNER TO LIVERPOOL 'EFFECTIVELY DONE'

    Timo Werner’s agent has reportedly told Manchester United and Chelsea to stop wasting their time as the deal to take the German to Liverpool is effectively done.

    Transfer expert Ian McGarry said: “Werner has agreed personal terms with Liverpool.

    “On a five-year contract that will pay the player around £140,000-a-week.

    “It has been widely reported that Chelsea and Manchester United have been interested in the player. Our information is that's not the case.

    “The reason for that is that they believe and have been told by the player's representatives that a deal is effectively done to Liverpool.

    “And effectively they would be wasting their time.”

Football news:

Klopp on players who have played less than 5 matches: They will receive a gold medal. If you are not from the Premier League, something from me
Messi may move to Manchester City (Fox Sports)
Salihamidžić on the transfer San to Bavaria: It can make the difference in the game. Now we have top-level variability on our flanks
Cavani is close to a contract with Roma
Balotelli can move to Boca juniors
Rummenigge on Havertz: Bayern will not pull his transfer this year
Bayer sports Director Feller on Havertz: We agreed that if possible, he could leave this summer