In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, ex-Blue Jody Morris talks about the strong Chelsea flavour to this season’s Championship play-off final between Derby and Aston Villa, John Mikel Obi is considering offers from Premier League clubs after his departure from Middlesbrough and Alvaro Morata has stated his intention to remain at Atletico Madrid next season.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Morris ‘buzzing’ to face Terry in play-off final
Derby County assistant manager Jody Morris has told TalkSport that he and manager Frank Lampard are looking forward to taking on their former Blues team-mate and current Aston Villa assistant manager John Terry in the Championship play-off final later this month.
The former Chelsea midfielder said they had exchanged messages and congratulated each other after their dramatic play-off semi-finals earlier this week when Villa beat West Bromwich Albion on penalties before Derby came from two goals down to beat Leeds United 4-3 on aggregate.
‘Obviously me and Lamps are very close to JT and we were all absolutely buzzing for him to get through,’ said the 40-year-old who managed the Blues to victory in the FA Youth Cup and the U-18 Premier League last season.
‘It was a tough game against West Brom and penalties can go either way, so we were messaging him congratulations.
‘And I got the same message [the following] night, there were couple of words exchanged saying we’ll see you at Wembley!’
Despite their strong friendship with Terry, Morris and Lampard are not expecting any favours when the teams clash on 27 May for a spot in next season’s Premier League.
‘Villa are a top team, they’ve been better than us a couple of times when we’ve played them this year. It’ll be a massive game and difficult for both teams,’ Morris explained.
‘We both try to play football the right way and we’ve got good players in our teams. It’ll be a good day out.’
Morata wants to stay at Atletico
Marca is reporting that Alvaro Morata wants to remain at Atletico Madrid for the 2019/20 campaign after a good half-season spell at the Wanda Metropolitano.
The striker joined Atletico on loan in January and has netted six goals in 15 La Liga appearances to help the club secure second place behind Barcelona.
And while his partnership with Antoine Griezmann looks set to end after the Frenchman revealed his intention to leave Atletico at the end of the season, Morata is intent on staying put.
‘My focus is to get on the pitch and play. What is clear is what I want, I want to be here,’ he said.
‘I'm going to do all I can to keep playing here, I did all I could to come and I will do all I can to stay.
‘I'm not thinking about going back anywhere, only being here. I'm happy here and I want to be here for the years I have left at the top level.
‘It's clear that I'm on loan, but things are advancing well. If things go well it will come to a good solution.’
Mikel mulling Premier League move
The Sun is reporting that Chelsea legend John Mikel Obi is considering offers from Premier League clubs and will decide on where he will play next season before leaving for the Africa Cup of Nations next month.
The 32-year-old was on a short-term deal at Middlesbrough after leaving Chinese Super League side Tianjin Teda earlier this year, but he looks set to leave the Teeside club after they missed out on the Championship play-offs.
Newly-promoted Norwich City and Sheffield United are among the clubs that have been linked with the Nigerian midfielder and he is expected to make his decision before joining up with the Super Eagles in Egypt for the continental tournament, which kicks off on 21 June.
‘There are some options right now, and a few more we expect to see over the coming days,’ said a source.
‘Once all the options are on the table, he will make a decision. He will most likely make the decision before the finals, although that will depend on what is on the table.’
Chelsea duo on list of world’s top young players
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic have been included on a list of the 30 best players under the age of 21, as compiled by ESPN.com.
In the article, Hudson-Odoi is described as ‘A winger with speed and skill like Raheem Sterling’.
‘The London-born forward can play on the wing or through the middle of the pitch, with his pace, trickery and eye for goal making the 18-year-old an undoubted star of the future,’ it adds.
Meanwhile, Pulisic is described as ‘The next Eden Hazard’.
‘Pulisic is a small, quick attacking player, capable of beating opponents off the dribble or with a pass,’ states the article.
‘He can finish as well, as witnessed by his 10 goals in 25 appearances for the U.S. He's also versatile, capable of playing on either wing or centrally.’