Media Watch: Carlo Ancelotti backs Blues for Europa League final, Chelsea win would benefit Lyon, Nice confirm interest in Olivier Giroud

In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti says he is backing the Chelsea and Maurizio Sarri for the Europa League final, Lyon will also be hoping for a Blues win to ease their passage to the Champions League and Nice confirm that they are interested in signing striker Olivier Giroud.

These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.

Ancelotti backing the Blues

Former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is backing the Blues and the man he replaced as manager of Napoli, Maurizio Sarri, for our Europa League final against Arsenal later this month.

Ancelotti, who led the Blues to the Double in 2010, replaced Sarri at the helm of the Naples club last summer and has helped them to secure a runner-up finish in Serie A for the third time in four seasons.

However, with his current club no longer in the running in the Europa League after their quarter-final exit to the Gunners, he has thrown his support behind his former club for the final in Baku.

‘I hope Maurizio Sarri lifts the trophy. I will support Chelsea, because I’m a former coach of the Blues and I am still close to them,’ he told Italian newspaper Il Roma, as reported by the Football Italia website.

Ancelotti added that his team can take some consolation from their early exits from this season’s European competitions after they also went out of the Champions League at the group stage for scoring two fewer goals than Liverpool in their section.

‘It is a small consolation that the two teams we went out to in Europe are competing in the finals of both the Europa and Champions League,’ he said.

Chelsea win could benefit Lyon

The Daily Star is reporting that Lyon would like to see Chelsea win the Europa League as it would ease their passage into the group stage of next season’s Champions League.

Only the top two teams in Ligue 1 will earn spots in the Champions League group stage and Paris Saint-Germain have already been crowned champions while Lille looking likely to take second spot after opening up a six-point lead over Lyon with two matches to play.

The third-placed side would normally have to go into the qualifying rounds but football pundit Andy Brassell explained on the 'On the Continent' Podcast that the situation could change if Chelsea beat Arsenal in the final.

‘They're probably going to have to win their last three games to see themselves in the top three,’ he said before Lyon won 3-0 at Marseille on Sunday to open up a four-point gap over fourth-placed Saint Etienne.

‘Incidentally, third-place would be good enough for an automatic Champions League group stage if Chelsea win the Europa League and England would then only get four spots,’ he added.

Nice confirm Giroud interest

Nice technical director Gilles Grimandi has confirmed that the Ligue 1 club have discussed signing Olivier Giroud this summer.

According to the Sun, Grimandi confirmed his club’s interest while speaking to Canal Football.

'If Olivier Giroud decides to come that is because he likes the project at OGC Nice,' said the former Arsenal player.

'If Olivier is not happy at Chelsea, if he wants to play, we will take all the elements into account.

'I have spoken with [Nice manager] Patrick [Vieira] about Olivier Giroud, but we have not spoken with Olivier Giroud.'

Grimandi was working for Arsenal in 2012 when he helped bring Giroud to the Premier League after the striker had helped inspire Montpellier to a surprise French league title.

'Olivier I know him very well. Very well because I was involved in his transfer from Montpellier to Arsenal. Olivier will choose his destination,’ added Grimandi.
'For the moment I have not spoken to him. If Olivier Giroud decides to come to OGC Nice it is because he knows the means that we have.'

Palace keen to keep Batshuayi

The Evening Standard reports that Crystal Palace are interested in keeping Michy Batshuayi after a successful half-season spell for the Belgian at Selhurst Park.

Batshuayi joined Palace in January after a disappointing first half of the season at Valencia and scored twice in their 5-3 win over Bournemouth on Sunday to finish the campaign with six goals in 13 appearances.

Palace manager Roy Hodgson was pleased with the contribution of the 25-yaer-old and is hoping that he will remain in south London next season.

‘If Michy Batshuayi was going to be available, either on loan or buy him, I would be very happy with that,’ said Hodgson.

‘My coaching staff would be happy, the other players would be happy and I know Michy himself would be very happy.

‘Nobody at the club is anxious to see any of those players (Batshuayi, Wilfried Zaha or Aaron Wan-Bissaka) leave; in fact quite the reverse. That's why we've committed them to long-term contracts.

‘Batshuayi is a different case, he's on loan. That's not in our hands. I do know he has been happy with us here. It's been pretty obvious we appreciate him.’

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