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Media Watch: Zola believes boring training methods reaped rewards, Blues midfielder on shortlist of Serie A giants, Chelsea linked with young Nigerian

In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Gianfranco Zola gives an insight into Maurizio Sarri’s training methods at Chelsea and there are rumours of a possible return to Italy for one of our midfielders.

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

Sarri’s boring training methods paid off - Zola

Gianfranco Zola claims Maurizio Sarri’s training methods last season caused boredom for our players but they ultimately proved fruitful as Chelsea finished third in the Premier League and won the Europa League, Sky Sports reports.

Zola was an assistant first team coach under Sarri and got a close look at how his fellow Italian’s methods on the training ground affected the players.

‘At the beginning the players were very much behind everything that we were saying, they were brilliant,’ said the Chelsea legend to beIN Sports.

‘They were following everything, but then as the weeks passed due to the repetition and the amount of games they were playing, the players got tired and they also got bored in a way.

‘But boring is part of our job. Sometimes you need to get bored but when you get bored you persist in what you're doing and you get better.’

While the form of the team dipped in mid-season, Zola said the professionalism of our senior players helped us to finish the campaign strongly.

‘They were talented players, like [Eden] Hazard and Willian, players who know how to win games on their own, but they were suffering from the type of exercises and type of training we were doing - but it was necessary for the others,’ Zola added.

‘I'll be honest, they were brilliant. They got bored but they kept doing it throughout and that was the reason why when everyone was dropping, we were going up towards the end.’


Bakayoko on Milan shortlist

According to the Sun, AC Milan have put Tiemoue Bakayoko on a list of six midfielders they could potentially sign this summer.

The paper claims the Serie A side are interested in a deal with Chelsea for the Frenchman, who played on loan for them last season before spending the 2019/20 campaign at Monaco.

‘The Italians have already made a move for [Burnley’s Jeff] Hendrick, after missing out in January, and 25-year-old Bakayoko has been added to that list as they made signing a midfielder their top priority,’ states the report.

‘Bakayoko has struggled to nail down a first-team spot at Stamford Bridge with the likes of Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and N'Golo Kante ahead of him. That list deepened with the sensational form of Chelsea youngsters Billy Gilmour and Mason Mount this term.

‘Italian sports media outlet Calcio Mercato claim Bakayoko and Hendrick are two of the six players on Milan's hotlist.

‘Benfica’s Florentino Luis is their main target as they need a defensive midfielder ideally. AZ Alkmaar captain Teun Koopmeiners, FC Nantes youngster Imran Louza, 21, and Nice's Italian-born teenager Khephren Thuram are possible alternatives.’


Blues linked with young Nigerian

The Daily Mail reports Chelsea are looking at Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze as a potential transfer target this summer.

While the Mail claims that Jadon Sancho is the club’s main target, its says the Nigerian would be a good alternative for the Blues.

‘The 21-year-old has already emerged as a key player for Villarreal after breaking into the side during the 2018-19 season and has 12 goals and seven assists from 68 appearances,’ states the report.

‘The winger is also a Nigeria international and has earned 13 caps, scoring twice in that time for the Super Eagles.

‘Chukwueze was a target for Liverpool last summer but Jurgen Klopp's interest appears to have cooled since then with the Reds on their way to the Premier League title.

'Although he is under contract at the Spanish side until 2023, he represents a much cheaper option than Sancho and could be available for around £45million.’

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