CHELSEA travel to Sheffield United this afternoon on a crucial weekend for their Champions League hopes.
Off the pitch things are exciting for Blues fans, with £38m Hakim Ziyech flying into the UK as the club pursue £90m Kai Havertz.
Striker Tammy Abraham has 'activated' an extra year option on his Chelsea contract, but midfielder Billy Gilmour is out for the season after undergoing knee surgery.
Follow all the latest transfer gossip and updates below….
Billy Gilmour will be missing for “three or four months” with a knee injury, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has confirmed.
The 19-year-old has burst onto the scene in 2020, producing mature performances beyond his tender years.
But an injury sustained in Tuesday's dramatic 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace will see the Scot miss the remainder of his breakthrough season – as well as the beginning of next.
Gilmour suffered ligament damage and went under the knife yesterday morning – but not before Lampard offered comforting words to his talented rookie.
He said: “I am very disappointed. We all are here, so is Billy. I spoke with him yesterday at length and gave him some support. He is a tough boy.
“It hit him hard, I get that as well as a younger player. He’s just made his breakthrough in recent times. He was doing so well.”
ZIYECH IN LONDON
Looks like the new Chelsea man is enjoying the sights and sounds of the capital.
He appeared to be at Novikov restaurant near Mayfair last night.
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Kan geen echte dingen praten in een fake cirkel, ze begrijpen je niet en jij wordt als de boeman neergezet ?⭕️
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Tammy Abraham has activated a one-year contract extension in his contract to ease doubts over his Chelsea future, according to reports.
The Blues striker had an initial £50,000-a-week deal until the summer of 2022.
Chelsea chiefs were fearing that the 22-year-old would delay putting pen-to-paper on a new deal meaning they could have been backed into a corner in 12 month's time.
But the Telegraph report how Abraham's contract was automatically extended until 2023, including receiving a pay rise, after he reached a certain amount of games and goals.
Chelsea are reportedly in pole position to sign the 'new Romelu Lukaku'.
Stoke's 16-year-old striker Mohamed Sankoh is said to be close to sealing a deal with the Stamford Bridge club.
Sankoh cannot sign a professional deal until he turns 17 in October.
Chelsea might not have it all their own way, however.
It is further claimed that Spurs have also offered Sankoh a deal, but that West London remains the most likely destination.
Frank Lampard has suggested he wants to keep Jorginho at Chelsea.
“I have selection issues in midfield,” the Blues boss said. “Good issues because I have N'Golo Kante, Billy Gilmour, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic.
“And then in slightly more advanced areas I have Mason Mount, Ross Barkley and I have Ruben Loftus-Cheek now.
“There are always players who are maybe unhappy or have moments out of the team and that's Jorginho at the moment.
“If a player is missing for one game or a few games, it doesn't mean in any way that they are out of my thoughts going forward.
“There have been times when he has been pivotal for me this year certainly on and off the pitch. That doesn't change and I am very happy with him.”
Hakim Ziyech has boarded a private jet for the UK with his entourage as he prepares to join Chelsea.
Pictures and images of Ziyech on the flight with his crew have emerged on social media.
The Blues wrapped up his transfer for a fee of about £37.8million back in mid-February.
He will join £54m striker in Frank Lampard's new-look squad, while he could be joined by £90m Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz.
GOOD MORNING CHELSEA FANS
Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour will miss up to four months of action after undergoing knee surgery.
Frank Lampard confirmed in his Friday press conference: “I am very disappointed. We all are here, so is Billy. I spoke with him yesterday at length and gave him some support. He is a tough boy.
“It hit him hard, I get that as well as a younger player. He’s just made his breakthrough in recent times. He was doing so well.
“But I explained he should be very pleased with the impact he has had this season and that this is part of football.”
In better news, Tammy Abraham has activated a one-year contract extension in his contract to ease doubts over his Chelsea future, according to the Telegraph.
The Blues striker had an initial £50,000-a-week deal until the summer of 2022, which was automatically extended, including receiving a pay rise, after he reached a certain number of games and goals.
Finally, Chelsea will face Napoli or Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals… if they do the impossible.
The Blues are 3-0 down to Bayern Munich in their last-16 tie with the second leg set for August 8 at Allianz Arena.
Mark Halsey has called for refs chief Mike Riley to quit after the latest set of Premier League blunders.
Under-fire VAR chiefs admitted they cocked up with THREE penalty errors at Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Everton alone on Thursday night.
Halsey told SunSport: “Everyone has a shelf-life and the time has come for Mike Riley to step down.
“We have seen a steady decline in the standard of officiating and things are getting worse.
“The implementation of VAR has been a disaster and the buck stops with Mike.
“We need an overhaul and the time is now for change.”
Manchester United will battle it out with Chelsea and Man City for £60million Ben Chilwell.
The Leicester left-back has emerged as a major transfer target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this summer as the Red Devils boss builds a side to challenge for the title next season.
And the move will cast doubt over the future of Chilwell’s England team-mate Luke Shaw.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was convinced he had Chilwell lined up as part of his spending spree that has seen £80m pair Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech arrive.
'I'M NOT READY'
A gay Premier League footballer has revealed the daily torment of keeping his sexuality secret from his team-mates.
In an open letter — aimed at authorities and fans — he says he is taking the “huge step” of opening up over his ordeal
But he says football is not ready for an openly gay player and he is scared to reveal his identity.
He is being supported by the Justin Fashanu Foundation, run by the tragic footballer’s niece Amal.
In it the player writes: “I am gay. Even writing that down in this letter is a big step for me.
“But only my family members and a select group of friends are aware of my sexuality. I don’t feel ready to share it with my team or my manager.”
Read the letter here.
Willian has been offered a huge signing-on fee to join Tottenham.
That's the claim from Football Insider as the Brazil midfielder, 32 next month, eyes a free transfer from Chelsea this summer.
Tottenham chief Jose Mourinho is favourite to land a player he bossed at Stamford Bridge, despite Arsenal reportedly being ready to pay Willian £250,000 a week.
Spurs are reportedly dangling a huge contract in front of the ex-Shakhtar Donetsk and Anzhi Makhachkala star.
OH, KOH ON THEN
Mohamed Sankoh is one name you may not have heard of – but Chelsea certainly have.
According to Football Insider, the Blues are chasing the 16-year-old forward before he puts pen to paper on a professional deal at Stoke.
Tottenham, Everton and Celtic are all said to be keen on the Dutch youth international.
ED SCREWED ON
Eden Hazard is not a man that Christian Pulisic is obsessing over, the American has asserted.
While the Belgian had a fantastic career in West London, the current Chelsea left-winger wants to make his own mark on the club.
He told Sky Sports: “He's an unbelievable player. It's pretty obvious what he accomplished at this club and I'm not trying to compare myself to that.
“What's important for me now is winning games and having an impact for my team.
“I'm really happy I can do that as of recent and my style is always going to continue to be that very attacking-minded and creative kind of player. I'm happy I can help the team any way I can.”
FLECK OF HOPE
Sheffield United are set to make some late fitness calls before tomorrow’s game with Chelsea.
John Fleck may be fit after three games out with a groin problem.
David McGoldrick could return after sitting out the win over Wolves due to an ankle knock, with John Lundstram also battling to make the XI.
Luke Freeman and striker Leon Clarke will both miss the clash at Bramall Lane.
STARS AND STRIKES
Christian Pulisic has certainly made his presence known these past few weeks…
With the confirmation that Billy Gilmour is out of action for Chelsea’s game with Sheffield United, we now know that three players will be unavailable.
Gilmour is to spend three to four months on the sidelines after knee surgery.
N’Golo Kante is also missing for Saturday’s game due to a hamstring issue.
And while Fikayo Tomori is nearing a return from his own muscle problem, this clash will come too soon in his recovery.
Gary Neville has claimed that Premier League VAR officials are “frightened” to overrule decisions made by the on-site referee.
In most leagues implementing video technology, it is customary for the on-field official to consult a pitch-side monitor for big decisions.
He tweeted: “On VAR. Send the Ref to the screens for goodness sake!
“The 'we know better' than Europe way is failing badly. The officials off-site are frightened to death to overrule on-site colleagues.”
Earlier in the season, Chelsea were left furious after Harry Maguire escaped a red card for an apparent stamp before Manchester United claimed a vital 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester United, Chelsea, Leicester, Sheffield United, Wolves and Arsenal will all be united in watching the news ticker on Monday.
That is because the Court of Arbitration for Sport will be announcing their decision of Manchester City’s appeal of their two-year suspension from the Champions League.
The Citizens deny any wrongdoing after Uefa punished the club for Financial Fair Play breaches.
And, should they lose their appeal, fifth place will suddenly be good enough to reach next season’s Champions League…
Bad news for Chelsea in their pursuit of Kalidou Koulibaly, courtesy of SunSport’s Daniel Cutts…
Manchester City's Nicolas Otamendi and Oleksandr Zinchenko could be used in a sensational swap deal with Napoli for Kalidou Koulibaly.
The City defenders have been bit-part players in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI at times this campaign as their title challenge faltered.
The former Premier League champions are interested in bringing in a centre-back, and scouts have kept an eye on the 29-year-old Senegal ace.
It is understood Napoli have already been in contact with City over the availability of both Otamendi and Zinchenko.
And that could pave the way for them to be used as part of a £65million-plus swoop for Koulibaly, regarded as one of the best defenders in Europe.
PUL'D TO ONE SIDE
Christian Pulisic has revealed how the coronavirus shutdown helped focus his mind on revamping his Chelsea form.
Since the restart, the American has been in top form and he revealed to Sky Sports that a return Stateside was key to his comeback.
Pulisic said: “I had that first game on my mind.
“I was really hungry the whole time to get back and get back on the field. I was training hard and I’m really happy now to be able to make an impact.
“I was able to get some work in back in the States, as well, and be able to continue to work on my game but also rehabbing and making sure I was 100 per cent fit and ready to go.
“So during a really tough time for a lot of people, that was the one positive thing that I could do for myself.”
AND THERE'S MORE
Andreas Christensen is content that he is in Frank Lampard's plans for the future.
Declan Rice has been strongly linked with a move into the Chelsea defence, leading to speculation that Kurt Zouma or Fikayo Tomori may leave.
But Christensen is happy with his recent increase in game time, telling BT: “I can only try to show that I deserve that trust, and I try to show that in every single match.
“When you [are on the bench], of course, you are not happy, but when the others play well, I can do nothing but train.
“I’ve been getting a lot of games again [and] then you feel that you are believed in and that they trust you.”
COUT OF ORDER
Barcelona are reportedly confident that Philippe Coutinho will make a return to England this summer.
Catalan outlet Esport3 claim that the Brazilian's agent Kia Joorabchian is working on a Premier League transfer amid interest from Arsenal and Tottenham, while Man Utd and Chelsea have also been linked.
The report adds that Bayern Munich, who had Coutinho on loan this term, have not yet been ruled out as a permanent option.
The 28-year-old, who pockets around £240,000-a-week, has already agreed a reported 50 per cent pay cut to stay at the Bavarians until August.
The Bundesliga champions still have the option of landing the playmaker on a permanent deal for £108million at the end of the season.
But with Bayern likely to turn their attentions elsewhere, Coutinho has been linked with a move back to the Premier League.
SON OF ABRAHAM
Frank Lampard has shut down talk that Tammy Abrahram is nearing the end of his contract.
Speaking ahead of the Sheffield United clash, he sated that the striker is not a critical stage of his contract.
The Guardian meanwhile have revealed that the England international has penned a 12-month extension at Stamford Bridge until 2023.
Frank Lampard has revealed that Billy Gilmour is set to be out for up to four months.
He said: “Billy Gilmour has had an operation on his knee this morning and we estimate he'll be out for somewhere between three and four months unfortunately.
“We're all disappointed but I've spoken to him and he's a tough lad.”
KAL TO ARMS
Former Chelsea star Salomon Kalou has joined Brazilian side Botafogo on a free transfer.
The winger was without a club after his contract at Hertha Berlin came to an end earlier this summer.
The terms of Kalou's deal remain unknown but he is the second high profile player at the club following the arrival of Japan legend Keisuke Honda.
Over 13,000 people attended the stadium when Honda was unveiled to the fans in January.
Kalou, 34, spent six years with Hertha Berlin but his exit was effectively sealed when he was suspended in May for breaking distancing rules during lockdown.
The Ivorian was caught on camera shaking hands with team-mates and interrupting a medical check-up during the coronavirus pandemic.
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