In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, the Blues face a battle for a potential target and the BBC discusses new Chelsea signings Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Johnson and Leboeuf back Blues for top-four
Former Chelsea defenders Glen Johnson and Frank Leboeuf are both backing the Blues to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League and secure a spot in next season’s Champions League.
Speaking to the Mirror, Johnson tipped Frank Lampard’s side to qualify for the Champions League along with Manchester United.
‘I think it will be Chelsea and United,’ said the former full back who played 72 matches for Chelsea from 2004 to 2007.
‘It would have been a different answer if you’d asked me six weeks ago but I just think United the way they’ve found some form, they’re blowing teams away.
‘They’re probably the hottest team right now and I know Leicester have got a couple of tough games, and they play United last game so it could boiling down to that.
‘I think I’d go Chelsea third and United fourth.’
His view was echoed by Leboeuf on ESPN.com.
‘I think that Leicester lost a little bit of something during the pandemic and their restart is not good enough,’ said the former France centre-back.
‘The way they lose games make me think they’re not in the same shape and Chelsea have been fortunate because in the last game (against Sheffield United), they were poor. However they have something to help them keep their position.
It’s only fair to say that Manchester United and Chelsea will get into the Champions League spots. Leicester seem to be away from all those ambitions.’
Man Utd revive interest in Rice
The Mirror reports Manchester United could pose a challenge to Chelsea for reported transfer target Declan Rice.
The former Chelsea Academy youngster has been linked with a return to the Blues but United appear ready to battle the Blues for the West Ham midfielder.
‘The Red Devils had been linked with a move for Rice last summer only for [United manager] Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to cool his interest in the player,’ states the report.
‘However, the Norwegian now sees the 21-year-old as the ideal signing to bolster his midfield and Football Insider claims United have performed extensive analysis of Rice during lockdown and now believe he would strengthen the defensive side of their team ahead of next season.
‘Sir Alex Ferguson is believed to be an admirer of the West Ham midfielder, although Chelsea might have an edge on United in their pursuit of Rice having tracked him for longer.’
BBC evaluates new Chelsea signing and Ronaldo rumour
The BBC has run the rule on Chelsea new signings Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech in its Transfer Target video feature with Blues fan Lewis Gebreselassie expressing excitement at the arrival of the pair at Stamford Bridge.
Gebreselassie spoke about the value Werner will bring on our forward line next season.
‘He can come inside off the left-hand side and shoot,’ he said of the former RB Leipzig forward.
‘He loves to do that regularly which is why he can play in that inside forward role too. Timo Werner is a cold-blooded killer and that’s exactly what we need up front. ‘
While he expects Werner to score plenty of goals, Gebreselassie believes the creativity of Ziyech will be crucial in setting up chances for the German.
‘That left foot is absolute magic – set pieces, long balls for days, switching the play is going to be perfect,’ he said of the Morocco winger.
‘Hakim Ziyech is going to be perfect for this team.’
Gebreselassie also discussed other players who have linked with the Blues including Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell and Nicolas Tagliafico, but he wasn’t interested in the rumours involving Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
‘It’s not the right direction. It completely goes against everything that Frank Lampard is trying to do,’ he said about the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
‘No one can say that Cristiano Ronaldo is over the hill but even by his own standards, I say that he’s dropped off a little bit.
‘Does it make sense to join a club in transition that’s looking forward? No, it doesn’t make sense.’