In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Ajax coach Erik ten Hag insists he is only concerned with his team’s Champions League tie against the Blues amid speculation he could take charge of Bayern Munich, the Blues have been linked with a bid for one of the top strikers in Ligue 1 and former referee Dermot Gallagher explains why Watford’s penalty against Chelsea last weekend should not have been awarded.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Ten Hag focused on Chelsea tie
Ajax coach Erik ten Hag has committed himself to the Dutch club and insisted he is fully focused on his side’s Champions League visit to Stamford Bridge tonight despite reports he could be appointed as the new manager of Bayern Munich, Goal.com reports.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday, the 49-year-old responded to rumours he would take charge of the German side, where he spent two seasons as reserve team coach, following the departure of Niko Kovac.
‘Bayern is a fantastic club - I felt really comfortable and really enjoyed working there. They are still in my heart, but now I am with Ajax,’ he said.
‘I'm not a dreamer – I focus on Ajax and that's important. I live for today, my only focus is on Ajax and tomorrow's game with Chelsea.’
The Blues beat the Erevidisie champions 1-0 in the Netherlands two weeks ago and Ten Hag said his team will have to play a ‘perfect’ game if they are to get the better of Frank Lampard’s side
‘Chelsea are among the favourites. It will be a difficult game but every game in this competition is difficult,’ he said.
‘We have a big challenge, we’re looking forward to it and if we play perfect then we have a chance.
‘Chelsea are a very good team. They are in good shape, on a roll and the returning N’Golo Kante can improve them.
‘We will see and of course there are a lot of good players in their squad. We have to perform for ourselves to compete with them and beat them.’
Chelsea linked with Dembele
The Daily Mail reports Chelsea are lining up a bid to sign Lyon striker Moussa Dembele next summer after the club’s transfer ban expires.
The 23-year-old has been heavily linked with Manchester United and was reportedly watched by their scouts last weekend when he scored his eighth league goal of the season in Lyon’s 3-2 win at Toulouse.
However, the Mail believes there could also be interest from Chelsea in the striker, who has represented France at several youth levels.
‘The Blues are exploring a move for the former Celtic striker next summer,’ the paper reports.
‘United view Dembele as a good option for the January window as they look to improve their forward options. Yet it is understood Lyon might want to hold onto Dembele until the summer to maximise his value.
‘He is more settled under new manager Rudi Garcia than previous boss Sylvinho and less likely to push for a move in January. And that could suit Chelsea, who are in the middle of a transfer ban that will likely last until the summer window.’
Ex-referee says Watford penalty wrongly awarded
Former Premier League Dermot Gallagher has told Sky Sports the penalty awarded to Watford after a VAR review in their 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Saturday should not have stood.
Trailing 2-0, the Hornets got a late lifeline in the match when they were given a penalty in the 79th minute following a lengthy VAR consultation after Jorginho was deemed to have tripped Gerard Deulofeu in the Chelsea box.
However, Gallagher told Sky Sports’ Ref Watch that he did not believe the decision was correct.
‘On reflection - I don't think it's a penalty,’ he said.
‘There is contact but it doesn't affect him [Deulofeu] in any way. The wisest decision would be to give a goal kick.’
Deulofeu converted the resulting spot kick but Chelsea hung on to win the match 2-1.