Chelsea agree terms with Atletico Madrid for sale of Diego Costa

Chelsea have agreed terms with Atletico Madrid for the transfer of striker Diego Costa back to the Spanish club.

Atletico will pay more than £50m for the Spain international, who will now have a medical in Madrid and discuss personal terms.
Chelsea will not be subsiding his wages after he has signed for Atletico.

A Chelsea statement read:

“Chelsea Football Club has today agreed terms with Atletico Madrid for the transfer of Diego Costa.

“The transfer will be subject to the agreement of personal terms and a medical.”

Costa refused to return to Chelsea’s Cobham training base this summer, instead remaining in Brazil in hope that Atletico could strike a deal to bring him back to Madrid.

Atletico failed to push through the move before the transfer deadline, safe in the knowledge that Costa would not be able to play for them until January due to the club’s transfer ban.
Costa has not played for 98 days since he appeared for Spain in a World Cup Qualifier against Macedonia in June.

The two teams play each other next Wednesday in the Champions League.

He scored 58 goals in 120 appearances for the Blues, including 20 in the Premier League last season as Chelsea won the title.

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UCL: Group C results: Batshuayi bags brace as Chelsea run riot on debutants Qarabag; Stalemate at Stadio Olimpico

Chelsea 6 – 0 Qarabag FK
Roma 0 – 0 Atletico Madrid

  • Chelsea 6 – 0 Qarabag FK

Michy Batshuayi scores twice as Chelsea thrashed Qarabag 6-0 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in the Champions League.

Davide Zappacosta scored a wonder goal on his full debut.

Pedro Rodriguez powered home the opener from 20 yards in the fifth minute.

Zappacosta beat goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic with a spinning cross-shot from almost on the touchline to put Antonio Conte’s team two up following Pedro’s fifth-minute 20-yard strike.

Cesar Azpilicueta headed a third early in the second half, before a first Chelsea goal from Tiemoue Bakayoko and a brace from Michy Batshuayi saw Conte’s side blitz Qarabag with three strikes in 11 minutes.

The tournament debutants from Azerbaijan rarely looked like troubling Thibaut Courtois in the home goal, with South African centre-forward Dino Ndlovu limited to speculative efforts from distance as the hosts cruised to a comfortable opening-day victory in Group B.

    • Roma 0 – 0 Atletico Madrid
  • Roma and Atletico Madrid played out a goalless draw at the Stadio Olimpico.


    Saul Niguez squandered a gilt-edged chance at the death as his effort was saved by keeper Alisson before he smashed the rebound against the post to let the Italians off the hook.

    Chelsea forward Loic Remy join Las Palmas on a two-year deal

    Chelsea striker Loic Remy has signed a two-year deal with La Liga club Las Palmas.

    The transfer is acceptable because the Spanish transfer window remains open until 11pm on September 1.

    After completing his medical in London on Thursday, Remy flies to Gran Canaria on Friday night and will be presented as their new player at the Gran Canaria Stadium at Saturday lunchtime.

    He is the second former Premier League player to sign for Las Palmas this week, after ex-Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani was also brought in.

    A Chelsea statement read:
    “A popular member of the dressing room and a player who will always have a place in our history books for his contribution during the 2014/15 season.

    “We thank Loic for his efforts and wish him all the best for the future.”

    The arrival of Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid limited the opportunities of the French forward, despite the ongoing impasse over Diego Costa’s future.

    Remy joined the Blues from west London rivals QPR in August 2014and scored 12 times in 46 appearances.

    Only eight of those appearances came last season, however, and Remy did not even make a single matchday squad during the current campaign.

    Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain rejects €40m Chelsea move, eyes Liverpool

    Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has turned down a move to Chelsea after the Premier League clubs agreed a £40m fee.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain believes the Blues planned to use him at wing-back, and his primary reason for wanting to leave Arsenal is to play in central midfield.

    Meanwhile, Chamberlain is reportedly waiting on Liverpool to return with an improved offer after Arsenal rejected their opening bid of around £30million for the England star.

    The Reds are hoping to wrap up a deal for the 24-year-old for less than the £40m the Gunners agreed with Chelsea for the sale of the midfielder.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain is in the final 12 months of his Arsenal contract and there have been no suggestions he is going to commit his future to the Gunners.

    Should Arsenal not sell the player this summer, they run the risk of losing for nothing upon the expiration of his contract.

    Chelsea sign Eden Hazard’s younger brother Kylian Hazard

    Eden Hazard’s younger brother Kylian has joined Chelsea from Hungarian club Ujpest.

    Kylian, an attacking midfielder, will be added to the Premier league champions’ development squad and could make his debut in their fixture against Sunderland on Saturday week.

    The 22-year-old began his professional career in his native Belgium, where he played for White Star Brussels and Zulte-Waregem.

    He moved to the OTP Bank Liga in 2015 and made 42 appearances for Ujpest.

    Kylian is the third Hazard brother to join Chelsea after Thorgan – the middle of the three – spent 2012 to 2015 at Stamford Bridge, although for virtually all of that time he was loaned out.

    Chelsea agree fee with Arsenal for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

    Chelsea have agreed a fee with Arsenal for England international winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for an undisclosed fee believed to be £30million.

    The former Southampton man, who is out of contract next summer – along with Arsenal team-mates Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, has been linked with moves to both the Blues and Liverpool this summer.

    However, it is Chelsea who are believed to have won the race to sign him, having agreed a deal with Arsenal, according toSky Sports News.

    The 24-year old is with the England squad at St George’s Park and it is understood large parts of a medical could be carried out at England’s training base in the Midlands.

    The sale of Oxlade-Chamberlain will mark a rapid U-turn by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who has consistently said he wants the player to stay at the Emirates in the long-term.

    But the former Saints player rejected the Gunners’ latest offer of a new deal last week, which would have seen his weekly wage rise to £180,000, forcing Arsenal into a rethink.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain is understood to have met with Wenger before their weekend trip to Liverpool to talk over his future, and while he was named in the starting line-up for the 4-0 defeat at Anfield, it is thought it was agreed he would be allowed to leave.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain had also been mooted as a target for Liverpool but appears set to stay in London with the reigning Premier League champions.

    Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has been desperate to further bolster his side before the window slams shut on Thursday night and said after Sunday’s 2-0 win over Everton:

    “There are four days to go in the transfer market. I think the club is working very hard to try and improve our squad. “Don’t forget when we start next month we have to play seven games and I need to rotate my players.”

    Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Arsenal from Southampton in a £12million deal in 2011.

    He made just 68 Premier League starts for Arsenal in his six years at the club, coming on off the bench 64 times.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain had played in all four of Arsenal’s games this term but refused to pen a new deal. His move could end Chelsea’s interest in Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater.

    Nemanja Matic takes a dig at Chelsea, claims Manchester United are ‘definitely’ a bigger club

    Nemanja Matic has had a dig at his former employers Chelsea, insisting Manchester United are “definitely” a bigger club.

    The midfielder made the switch to Old Trafford this summer in a £40million deal, ending a three-and-a-half year stint in his second spell with Chelsea.

    Matic was awarded man-of-the match in his Premier League debut for United as they ran out comfortable 4-0 winners over West Ham.

    Asked if United were the biggest club he has played for, Matic told Sky Sports:

    “Definitely, everyone knows what Manchester United is about. “When you say Manchester United, it is different.

    “Also Chelsea is a big club, Benfica are the biggest club in Portugal. But Manchester is Manchester.

    “When I came here for the first day, I could feel that the people at the club help you every day if you need something and supporters are very important for this club.

    “After every training session, they are waiting for us outside the training ground to take pictures, to give a signature so I think the club is one of the biggest in the world.

    “Maybe you have two or three clubs similar to United, but Manchester is one of the biggest clubs in the world for sure.”

    Matic also revealed that Mourinho was a big factor in convincing him to swap blue for red.

    “He was very important for me,” Matic said of Mourinho. “He bought me to Chelsea from Benfica and now when I decided to come to Manchester, he was a reason to come here.

    “Mourinho was the reason and so was the club, Manchester United, so you don’t need to think a lot about if you are going to come. “My decision was very quick and very clear.”

    EPL results – Lukaku scores twice as United cruise; Champions Chelsea shocked by Burnley; Liverpool held by

    SUNDAY

    • Manchester United 4 – 0 West Ham United

    Romelu Lukaku announced his arrival at Old Trafford by scoring twice on his Premier League debut for Manchester United as they embarrassed West Ham.

    Jose Mourinho’s team were a constant threat against a poor Hammers side, offering excitement and encouragement to their supporters on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season.

    Lukaku, a £75m summer signing from Everton, put the Red Devils ahead with a rising drive off the post after racing onto Marcus Rashford’s pass.

    The Belgium international doubled the lead after half-time, glancing in a header from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s inswinging free-kick.

    United teenager Rashford curled against the inside of Joe Hart’s left-hand post before substitute Anthony Martial ended the match as a contest with a slick finish.

    There was still time for a fourth, however, as Paul Pogba curled in from distance.

    The Hammers offered little going forward in a passive performance, although new signing Marko Arnautovic did flick a header onto the top of the home crossbar at 2-0.

    The Red Devils have now lost only one of their 14 opening-day Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford, while West Ham’s season began with a record 11th defeat.

    • Tottenham 2-0 Newcastle United

    Tottenham made a winning start to the 2017-18 Premier League season as 10-man Newcastle endured a difficult return to the top flight.

    The Magpies, promoted as winners of the Championship last term, had captain Jonjo Shelvey sent off early in the second half for standing on Dele Alli.

    The Spurs attacker then put his side ahead with a close-range finish before Ben Davies finished off a neat move for Tottenham’s second.

    It was a harsh re-introduction to life back in the Premier League for Newcastle, who were relegated from the division at the end of the 2015-16 season.

    Rafael Benitez’s side did not really threaten Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal until late on, Christian Atsu forcing the goalkeeper into a low save and Ciaran Clark going close with a volley from 12 yards.

    Instead, Spurs could have added to their lead as Harry Kane, last season’s Premier League top scorer with 29 goals, struck the post in injury time.

    SATURDAY

    • Chelsea 2 – 3 Burnley

    Champions Chelsea suffered a nightmare start to their Premier League title defence, having two men sent off as Burnley claimed a superb win at Stamford Bridge.

    Chelsea were down to 10 men with 14 minutes gone when captain Cahill was dismissed for a lunging challenge on Steven Defour, and they fell behind with 24 minutes gone as Sam Vokes guided the ball past Thibaut Courtois.

    Burnley’s lead was doubled when, with a little over five minutes remaining until the break, Jack Cork set up Stephen Ward to hammer home, and it was 3-0 before the interval when Vokes scored his second with a header.

    Marcos Alonso had an effort saved by Burnley keeper Tom Heaton early in the second half before Alvaro Morata was brought on for Michy Batshuayi, and Alonso had a free kick saved soon afterwards.

    Morata dived to head home his first Premier League goal from a Willian cross and bundled the ball home moments later only to see an offside flag deny him.

    Fabregas then saw red for a second booking — but David Luiz pulled another one back to set up a frenetic finish in which Burnley’s Robbie Brady hit the post and Morata failed to touch home late on.

    There was no Diego Costa (on his way out), no Eden Hazard or Pedro(injured) and, after 24 minutes, no Cahill, exposing the decisions to let Nathan Ake join Bournemouth and fellow defender Kurt Zouma go on loan to Stoke.

    Cahill’s red card ended Jeremie Boga’s shock debut early, as he was replaced by Christensen, and handed the initiative to Burnley, whose three-goal salvo added disbelief to the list of negative emotions ripping through the home support.

    • Everton 1 – 0 Stoke City

    Wayne Rooney scored on his Premier League return to Everton as they beat Stoke 1-0 in their opening fixture of the season.

    It was a fairy-tale return to his boyhood club as Rooney headed home the winning goal in the added minute of injury time in the first half, and sealed the three points for the hosts.

    The Toffees had drawn their last four opening day matches but managed to hold out for the victory against a Stoke side who had very few clear-cut chances, with Xherdan Shaqiri almost snatching a draw late on, only to be denied by a superb Jordan Pickford save.

    • Watford 3 – 3 Liverpool

    Liverpool conceded an injury-time equaliser as they were held 3-3 at Watford in their Premier League opener.

    Mohamed Salah looked to have netted a winner on his Liverpool debut, but Miguel Britos headed home from point-blank range in the dying moments to secure a share of the spoils.

    Liverpool — without Philippe Coutinho, who was ruled out with a back injury amid intense speculation over his future — fell behind on eight minutes, with Stefano Okaka taking advantage of some poor defending from a corner to head past Simon Mignolet.

    Sadio Mane hit back on 29 minutes, but Liverpool’s defensive weaknesses were exposed again as Abdoulaye Doucoure slotted in for 2-1.

    Liverpool turned it around early in the second half, with Roberto Firmino equalising from the penalty spot after Salah was brought down in the area by goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes on 55 minutes and then Salah nudging home.

    • Brighton & Hove Albion 0 – 2 Manchester City

    Sergio Aguero was on target as Manchester City denied Brighton any hope of a shock on their Premier League debut.

    Pep Guardiola’s side, for all their riches, took time to get into their groove in a 2-0 win at the Amex Stadium.

    But the moment they did it was ruthless as striker Aguero converted 20 minutes from time.

    Lewis Dunk turned Fernandinho’s cross through goalkeeper Mathew Ryan grasp and into his own net soon afterwards as City prevailed after previously being frustrated.

    • Bromwich Albion 1 – 0 AFC Bournemouth

    West Bromwich Albion made another set piece pay as they opened the season with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth at The Hawthorns.

    The visitors produced plenty of neat football throughout, but were unable to create much threat and fell behind after 31 minutes when Ahmed Hegazi headed in a Chris Brunt free kick.

    Jermain Defoe came on for Bournemouth after the break, replacing Benik Afobe, but the former Sunderland striker had little to work with as West Brom held firm.

    • Crystal Palace 0 – 3 Huddersfield Town

    Two goals in three minutes set Huddersfield up for a dream start to life in the Premier League as they defeated Crystal Palace 3-0 at Selhurst Park.

    Tom Ince missed an early chance to give the Terriers the lead when he sent a bouncing effort from Tommy Smith’s cross straight at keeper Wayne Hennessey.

    But they were ahead after 23 minutes when Palace failed to deal with an Aaron Mooy corner and the ball deflected in off Joel Ward — and with Palace rocking Mooy crossed again and Steve Mounie headed home. Palace made a half-time change, with Andros Townsend coming on in place of Luka Milivojevic, and Christian Benteke almost pulled a goal back — but Huddersfield made sure when Mounie struck again.

    • Southampton 0 – 0 Swansea City West

    Southampton suffered a frustrating afternoon as they were held 0-0 at home by Swansea City.

    Watford 3 – 3 Liverpool

    Chelsea 2 – 3 Burnley

    Crystal Palace 0 – 3 Huddersfield Town

    Everton 1 – 0 Stoke City

    Southampton 0 – 0 Swansea City West

    Bromwich Albion 1 – 0 AFC Bournemouth

    Brighton & Hove Albion 0 – 2 Manchester City

    Tottenham 2-0 Newcastle United

    Manchester United 4 – 0 West Ham United

    Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi denies laughing at Alvaro Morata penalty miss

    Michy Batshuayi has denied claims that he enjoyed teammate Alvaro Morata’s penalty miss after TV footage appeared to show him stifling laughter during Chelsea’s shootout defeat to Arsenal in the FA Community Shield.

    Chelsea lost 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Wembley as both goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and striker Morata — the club-record signing who came on for Batshuayi in the 74th minute — failed to convert in the first use of the new ABBA shootout system.

    Batshuayi and Morata are expected to compete for one starting spot as the central striker in Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 formation this season, but the Belgium international dismissed any suggestion that he revelled in his rival’s disappointment on Sunday.

    “Wow lol some people really believe I laughed at my teammate and/or us losing ? Sorry to disappoint but I wasnt,” he wrote on Twitter.

    “I’m enjoying every goal for us scored by anyone in the team, thats the only thing you have to know. Have a blessed day.”

    Batshuayi signed for Chelsea in a £33 million deal from Marseille last summer but the presence of Diego Costa restricted him to just one Premier League start in his debut season season, though he did come off the bench to score the goal that clinched the title for the away at West Brom in May.

    Costa has since been exiled as he seeks to force through a return to Atletico Madrid, but Morata’s arrival from Real Madrid for an initial fee of £58m this summer appears likely to maintain Batshuayi’s status as a backup option.

    Antonio Conte backtracks on his comment on Eden Hazard

    Chelsea manager Antonio Conte appears to have backtracked in his comments regarding Eden Hazard’s Chelsea future.

    The Belgian winger has been linked with Barcelona to replace Neymar, with Conte responding by rubbishing the speculation, insisting that Hazard was “happy” at the club.

    However, he has now admitted that heis powerless to influence Hazard’s future – if the club decide to sell him.

    “Eden Hazard is a really top player, but I repeat I am the coach and I can give my opinion.

    But the final decision is always the club’s,” Conte told reporters.

    “I expect Eden to play for Chelsea. It is not the right moment to lose a player or players.”

    2017 Community Shield: Courtois and Morata miss penalties as Arsenal beat Chelsea to win community shield

    Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea (PK 4-1)

    Alvaro Morata and Thibaut Courtois missed penalties as Arsenal won the Community Shield with a dramatic 4-1 shootout victory over 10-man Chelsea.

    Premier League champions Chelsea had gone ahead through Victor Moses, before Pedro was sent off for an ugly lunge on Mohamed Elneny.

    From the resulting free-kick, debutant Sead Kolasinac headed the Gunners level to take the match to penalties.

    The shootout – the first in English football to follow the ABBA format- saw Chelsea miss back-to-back penalties to allow Olivier Giroud to win the match from the spot.

    Trailing 2-1 in the shootout, Courtois took Chelsea’s second kick but failed to equalise, blazing over, before club-record signing Morata fired wide.

    That handed Arsenal the initiative, allowing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to score before Olivier Giroud netted the decisive strike to secure the Shield, and a timely boost ahead of their Premier League opener against Leicester on Friday Night Football.

    Alexis Sanchez was present as a spectator, as was Eden Hazard but Diego Costa remained in exile.

    Manchester United sign Nemanja Matic from Chelsea for £40m

    Manchester United have completed the signing of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea for £40m on a three-year deal.

    Matic, 28, becomes United’s third summer buy, following £31m defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica and £75m striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton.

    The defensive midfielder joins for a fee believed to be £40m and re-joins manager Jose Mourinho, who brought him back to Chelsea in January 2014.

    Matic told the club’s website: “I am delighted to have joined Manchester United. To work with Jose Mourinho once again was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

    “I have enjoyed my time at Chelsea and would like to thank the club and the fans for their support. I cannot wait to meet my new team-mates and to start training with them. “This is a very exciting time for the club and I am looking forward to playing my part in creating more history for this great club.”

    As well as winning the title with Mourinho two years ago, he also won another Premier League crown last season.

    His departure this summer was made possible by the London club’s signing of Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco.

    Mourinho said: “Nemanja is a Manchester United player and a Jose Mourinho player. He represents everything we want in a footballer; loyalty, consistency, ambition, team player.

    “I would like to thank him for his desire to join us because without that, it would be impossible to have him here. I am sure our players and supporters will love him. A big welcome to our new number 31.”

    The move ends Matic’s second spell at Chelsea. He first joined the Blues in 2009 but left the following year.

    After making his name at Benfica, he was brought back to Stamford Bridge by Mourinho in a £21million deal in 2014.

    The Serbian replaces Bastian Schweinsteiger in wearing the No 31 shirt for the coming campaign.

    Matic could make his debut in Wednesday’s clash with Sampdoria in Dublin.

    Forward Izzy Brown joins Brighton on a season-long loan after new Chelsea four-year deal

    Brighton have signed Chelsea forward Izzy Brown on a season-long loan.

    Brown has also agreed a new contract with Chelsea which runs until 2021.

    The 20-year-old helped Huddersfield to promotion via the play-offs while on loan last season and the Terriers were understood to be keen to re-sign him. But Brown has instead signed for fellow Premier League new boys Brighton and becomes their sixth signing of the summer. Pascal Gross, Josh Kerr, Mathew Ryan, Markus Suttner and Mathias Normann have also signed for the club.

    Brighton manager Chris Hughton said: “The natural progression for Izzy, having enjoyed such a successful season in the Championship last season, was to step up to the Premier League. “And we are delighted he will be doing that with us, here at Brighton. “He is a player with great potential and will bring a different dimension to our attacking options for the season ahead, alongside our existing strikers.”

    He began his career with West Brom before moving to Chelsea in 2013. Although the 20-year-old has been with the Blues since 2013, he has made only one substitute appearance.

    Brown has had loan spells at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, Rotherham United and Huddersfield.

    Brown has won the FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League with Chelsea and made his first appearance for the senior side in May 2015.

    Chelsea send Kenedy home after negative China comments

    Kenedy has returned to the UK and will play no further part in Chelsea’s pre-season tour.
    The club have taken action to send him back to England after the negative reaction in China to his offensive social media posts.

    The Blues issued a public apology on Monday after the Brazilian made negative comments about the country on his Instagram account.

    The 21-year-old posted two images that attracted criticism and jeering from Chelsea’s Chinese supporters during Saturday’s 3-0 win over Arsenal in Beijing.

    Kenedy has since apologised and Chelsea followed suit, confirming the Brazilian has been disciplined for his actions.

    Kenedy made just two appearances for Chelsea last season after returning from a spell on loan at Watford, where he made only one appearance, during the first half of the Premier League season.

    Chelsea could face ban from China, may be treated as ‘persona non grata’ after Kenedy’s social media post

    Chelsea left-back Kenedy’s offensive social media posts about China may result in the club being banned from the country, a report has claimed.

    The player posted two videos on social media regarding China that were considered offensive, and resulted in the defender receiving boos and jeers from Chinese fans during Chelsea’s preseason game against Arsenal.   
    According to  Goal.com, government authorities have ordered Chinese media to “withdraw all related stories about Chelsea from their dual homepages and news apps”. There is also a “remote” chance of an outright ban, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will “monitor the situation closely”.

    Chelsea have issued a statement apologising for the player’s actions, and confirming that he has been “strongly reprimanded and disciplined”.

    However,The People’s Daily (the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China), did not appear to be satisfied with the apology, and responded with a strongly-worded editorial:

    “Best to keep your mouth shut, you troublemakers. If you do not learn to respect others, you will never earn the respect yourself.

    “Kenedy is still defending himself in his apology, and Chelsea’s statement is perfunctory to say the least.

    “The hospitable Chinese people don’t welcome such guest(s). As such Chelsea will be treated as a ‘persona non grata’ in the future.”

    Kurt Zouma joins Stoke City on a season-long loan after signing new six-year deal at Chelsea

    Stoke City have officially announced the signing of Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma on a season-long loan.

    The French international “completed a medical at Clayton Wood earlier this week before travelling back to West London to complete the necessary paperwork”, according to  stokecityfc.com.

    Kurt Zouma has signed a new six-year contract with Chelsea and will spend the 2017/18 season on loan at Stoke.

    Manager Mark Hughes said about the new signing: “Kurt is undoubtedly one of the most talented young defenders in the game, so naturally his arrival will enhance our playing squad for the forthcoming campaign.

    “We have prioritised adding further strength in depth to defensive positions this summer, and we have certainly done that by fending off any number of clubs who were all interested in taking Kurt on loan.

    “He first caught my attention as a 17-year-old during his time at St. Etienne, and in fact, I actually tried to sign him at that point in his career, but whilst that deal never materialised I am delighted to finally get the opportunity to work with him now.

    “On his day he is one of the most impressive defenders in the league, and whilst injury unfortunately hampered his progress at Chelsea last season, we are certain that we can give him the platform to recapture the form he showed prior to his setback.”

    Chief Executive Tony Scholes told  stokecityfc.com: “Kurt is a player that has many admirers within the game, and we are understandably delighted to have been able to bring him to the Club.”

    Chelsea sign striker Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid for a club-record fee

    ​Chelsea have completed the club record £60m signing of striker Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid on a five-year deal.
    The Spain international, 24, scored 20 goals last season after rejoining Real from Italian champions Juventus.
    Morata won La Liga and the Champions League, but the majority of his appearances were as a substitute.
    Morata told the Chelsea website: “I am so happy to be here. It’s an incredible emotion to be part of this big club.
    “I am looking to work hard, score as many goals as I can and to win as many trophies as possible.”

    Morata was poised to join Manchester United until their recruitment of former Blues striker Romelu Lukaku, and has instead ended up with the Premier League champions.
    Blues boss Antonio Conte briefly worked with Morata at Juventus and believes the forward – who scored 20 goals as Real won both LaLiga and the Champions League last season – can bring something different to the Chelsea frontline.
    Speaking at a press conference in Beijing earlier on Friday, Conte said: “We have added a fantastic striker, even at a young age he has won a lot already and we are looking forward to welcoming him to the squad.
    “I think for sure this is a good signing for us. He is a young player, but has a lot of experience, he went to Juventus and Real Madrid. He has a lot of experience and I think this is a good sign for us.”
    Morata will now join up with the Blues squad on their pre-season tour of Asia. They play Arsenal in a friendly at the Bird’s Nest Stadium on Saturday before heading to Singapore.
    Blues technical director Michael Emenalo told the club website: “We are delighted to complete Alvaro’s signing and welcome him to the club. We believe he can make a great impact for Chelsea and look forward to seeing him in action.
    “Alvaro has proven class at the highest level and his quality will be a huge asset to Antonio and the squad.”
    Morata is set to replace Diego Costa in Conte’s starting line-up next season.
    Conte revealed on Friday that the 28-year-old frontman, who has not travelled to Asia, was told in January he was not part of the club’s plans.
    “I don’t like to talk about players that don’t stay here, but the only thing I can tell you (is) in January, the Costa situation was very clear, for the club, for him and his agent,” said the Italian.
    “For me the situation is closed.”
    Costa is reported to be keen on a return to Atletico Madrid, although the Spanish club are currently banned from completing the signing of players until January 2018.
    Premier League champions Chelsea have also signed goalkeeper Willy Caballero, defender Antonio Rudiger and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer.

    Chelsea defender Jay Dasilva rejoins Charlton Athletic on a season-long loan 

    Chelsea ​full-back Jay Dasilva has rejoined Charlton on a season-long loan.

    Dasilva captained England’s U19s to European Championship victory last week and is back at the Valley after impressing during a loan spell last season.

    He said: “I’m very happy to be back at Charlton. I really enjoyed myself here last season and I feel like I did well when I got my chance in the team. We finished strongly and I’m hoping that I can build on that momentum when the new season starts.

    “I really enjoyed playing under Karl Robinson. He gave me a lot of freedom when I was on the pitch and hopefully this season I can do as well as I can, I can help the team and we can get Charlton back into the Championship.”
    Robinson is also happy to see Dasilva return.

    He said: “Everyone at the football club saw how influential he was in the last few games of the season. He worked really hard to put himself in that position to play. We had so many options in that position over the summer but we held out and we waited and we waited.

    “One thing I’ve noticed about being here is everyone loves attacking full-backs who get crosses in and play with a youthful enthusiasm which Jay does. It’s an important one for us.

    “He brings pace, talent, desire and a willingness to improve. He’s only going to keep improving.

    “Winning the trophy in the summer and captaining that team to victory, it was an amazing time for him. Hopefully he can have an amazing season after his successful summer.”

    Chelsea confirm deal agreed to sign Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid 


    Chelsea have confirmed they have have agreed a deal with Real Madrid for striker Alvaro Morata.

    A statement on the club’s website read: “Chelsea Football Club and Real Madrid have agreed terms for the transfer of Alvaro Morata to Stamford Bridge.

    “The move is now subject to him agreeing personal terms and passing a medical.

    “Morata, 24, is a Spanish international forward, and helped Real to lift a second successive Champions League last season.”
    Morata joined Real Madrid’s youth team in 2008 and was handed his senior debut aged 18 in 2010.

    The 6ft 3in striker moved to Italy in 2014, scoring 27 goals in two years for Juventus, winning both Serie A and the Coppa Italia twice and playing in the 2015 Champions League final.

    Real exercised a buy-back option in June 2016 to take him back to the Bernabeu.

    Morata has won 20 caps for Spain, scoring nine goals, since his international debut in 2014.
    Morata scored 20 goals last season after rejoining Real from Juventus.

    He won La Liga and the Champions League, but the majority of his appearances were as a substitute.

    Morata could replace Spain team-mate Diego Costa, who says he has been told by manager Antonio Conte that he is no longer in  Chelsea’s plans.
    Chelsea have been linked with Andrea Belotti, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexis Sanchez and Sergio Aguero, but Morata is their man after Romelu Lukaku signed for Man Utd.
    The sale of Morata will allow Real to step up their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe.

    Chelsea coach Antonio Conte signs new improved two-year deal

    ​Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has signed an improved two-year deal with the Premier League champions.

    The new deal does not extend Conte’s commitment to the club, as he signed a three-year contract on his arrival in west Londonin the summer of 2016, keeping him at Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2019.

    Conte said: “I am very happy to have signed a new contract with Chelsea. We worked extremely hard in our first year to achieve something amazing, which I am very proud of. Now we must work even harder to stay at the top.

    “The Chelsea fans have given me so much support since I arrived here one year ago and it is important we continue to succeed together.”
    The decision to sign a new contract without extending the terms runs counter to previous comments by Conte, who had indicated his willingness to commit to a longer deal.

    Speaking in May,he said he wanted to stay with Chelsea “for many years”, adding: “If the club give me the possibility to stay and extend my contract, for sure I’m available to.”

    Conte lifted the Premier League title at the first attempt in the 2016-17 season, winning 30 games, which included a club record 13 consecutive victories. He also guided the Blues to the FA Cup final, though they were beaten by Arsenal.

    The former Juventus and Italy manager was credited for transforming the Stamford Bridge club’s fortunes after they could only finish 10th the previous season.

    A brutal training regime was part of the transformation, as was his decision to switch to a three-man central-defensive set-up – his preferred tactic at both Juve and Italy.
    Conte’s team has flown out to China and Singapore for pre-season games against Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.
    Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia added: “Antonio achieved incredible success last season, adapting to English football very quickly and leading us to the Premier League title.

    “This new contract reflects our belief that he can continue to deliver results both domestically and as we return to European competition in the Champions League.”
    Even if Antonio Conte’s improved contract is worth £9m a year as reported, it still leaves him trailing the league’s biggest earners, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.
    And when you consider that since 1991 only Mourinho and Claudio Ranieri lasted longer than three years in the job at Stamford Bridge, committing for an extended period seems a bit pointless.

    Chelsea midfielder Mukhtar Ali joins Vitesse Arnhem 


    Midfielder Mukhtar Ali has completed a permanent transfer from Chelsea to Vitesse Arnhem.

    The 19-year-old, who played for England at both Under-16 and Under-17 level, moves back to the Eredivisie club where he spent the second half of last season on loan.

    Ali, who was born in Somalia, came through the Chelsea academy and was part of the team which won the FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League in 2015/16.

    A statement on Chelsea’s official website added: “We thank Mukhtar for his service and wish him well for the future.”

    Diego Costa hints at exit after trolling Antonio Conte and Chelsea


    Diego Costa has appeared to blow any faint chances he had of rekindling his Chelsea career with an Instagram post of him partying in a Atletico Madrid shirt and passing comment on Antonio Conte.

    The 28-year Spain striker is expected to leave Stamford Bridge this summer after reportedly being texted by Conte that he is longer wanted at the club.

    And any hope of saving his career at the club appears to have gone up in smoke after the player posted a picture on Instagram of him partying in Brazil wearing an Atletico shirt.

    To add insult to injury, the volatile centre-forward also threw shade at manager Conte in a reply to Cesc Fabregas’ comment on his live video.

    ‘Give Conte a hug,’ Costa said.

    The post has since been deleted.

    Costa has had a fractious relationship with the Chelsea manager since the Italian’s arrival in West London and looked destined to leave in January after his attitude was questioned amid interest from Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian.

    Chelsea announce the signing of Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko on a five-year deal 


    Chelsea have signed midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko from French champions Monaco in a reported  £40m deal.

    The 22-year-old France international has signed a five-year deal with the Premier League champions.

    He becomes Chelsea’s second major summer signing after they brought in defender Antonio Rudiger from Roma.

    The 22-year- old has cost the Blues  £40m- some £10m less than Fernando Torres in 2011.
    He told the club website: “I am very happy to be here and to join this great team. I have grown up watching Chelsea. Signing was the natural thing for me because it is a club I loved very much in my childhood.”

    Bakayoko, who also helped Monaco win the Ligue 1 title last term, added: “I am now looking forward to evolving under this fantastic coach and alongside so many great team-mates.”

    Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo said: “Tiemoue was outstanding as Monaco emerged as one of Europe’s best sides last season and we are delighted to welcome him to Chelsea.

    “Despite his young age he already has plenty of experience as a French title winner and having competed in the latter stages of the Champions League, we believe he will add considerable quality to our squad.”

    The imposing defensive midfielder will add considerable power and energy to Antonio Conte’s side, but his signing raises further doubts about the future of Nemanja Matic.
    Bakayoko, who joined Monaco from Rennes in 2014 and made his senior France debut in a friendly loss to Spain earlier this year, is Chelsea’s third summer signing.

    Watford sign Nathaniel Chalobah on a five-year deal from Chelsea


    Watford have signed midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah from Chelsea on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

    The 22-year-old was part of the England Under-21 side that reached the semi-finals of the European Championships in Poland last month.

    Chalobah played 10 times as Chelsea won the Premier League last season.

    He spent 2012-13 on loan at Watford, making 42 appearances for the Hornets, and has had five other loan spells, most recently with Napoli.

    Chelsea agree deal with Monaco for Tiemoue Bakayoko 


    Tiémoué Bakayoko will undertake a full medical at Chelsea on Friday after the payment structure on a deal worth up to €45m (£39.7m) was agreed with Monaco to secure the France midfielder.
    The deal had been slightly delayed as Bakayoko has been recovering from minor knee surgery that he underwent at the end of last season.

    Bakayoko helped Monaco win the French title last season for the first time in 17 years, making 51 appearances as Leonardo Jardim’s side also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.

    Crystal Palace sign Ruben Loftus-Cheek on a season-long loan from Chelsea

    ​Crystal Palace have signed Chelsea and England Under-21 midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek on loan until the end of the season.

    The 22-year-old, who has made 32 career appearances for the Blues, is Frank de Boer’s first signing since  taking chargelast month.

    “Palace have a very strong team and I’d like to be a part of that this season,” said Loftus-Cheek.

    “I live not too far away, I was born in Lewisham and Palace are a good club.”

    Loftus-Cheek made three league appearance when Chelsea won the title in 2014-15 and six substitute appearance when they were champions again in 2016-17.

    De Boer’s side begin their season with a home fixture against promoted Huddersfield Town on 12 August.

    Liverpool sign forward Dominic Solanke from Chelsea

    Liverpool have completed the signing of Chelsea’s teenage forward Dominic Solanke after his contract with the Premier League champions ended.

    The fee for the 19-year-old will be decided by a tribunal, with Liverpool expected to pay about £3m.

    Solanke scored four goals as England won the under-20 World Cup in South Korea this summer.

    “It feels amazing and everyone has made me feel welcome already,” Solanke said.

    “Even just pulling on the training top, I was over the moon. Hopefully I can put on the shirt in the near future and make some history here.”

    Solanke spent the 2015-16 season on loan at Vitesse Arnhem, scoring seven goals in 25 games.

    Solanke, whose only Chelsea game came as a substitute in a Champions League victory against NK Maribor in October 2014.

    Chelsea youngster Ola Aina joins Hull City on loan

    Hull City have signed Chelsea defender Ola Aina on a season-long loan.

    Full-back Aina, 20, made three substitute appearances in the Premier League and one in the FA Cup, and started two EFL Cup games last season.

    He is the first major arrival at Hull since Leonid Slutsky was appointed  as managerin June.

    “I’m very excited to be here and it is the start of a new chapter in my career. I just want to hit the ground running,” Aina told Hull’s website.

    Born in London and with England caps up to under-20 level, Aina has declared his allegiance to Nigeria.

    He been part of three FA Youth Cup-winning sides at Stamford Bridge and twice helped them win the Uefa Youth League.

    Chelsea have completed  the signing of  Roma defender Antonio Rudiger

    ​Chelsea have completed the signing of Roma defender Antonio Rudiger on a five-year contract.

    The 24-year-old Germany international will cost the Stamford Bridge club an initial £29million with add-ons potentially taking the deal to £33.3m.

    Rudiger will take over the number two shirt left vacant after Branislav Ivanovic’s departure to Zenit St Petersburg in February.
    The German defender becomes the Blues’ second major signing of the summer after the arrival Manchester City  goalkeeper Willy  Caballero.

    Rudiger, 24, completed the transfer one week after helping world champions Germany win the  Confederations Cup.
    The defender said: “It’s a great feeling because not every player has the opportunity to join a huge club like this.

    “I am looking forward to meeting up with my new team-mates and I’m very proud to officially become a Chelsea player.”
    Rudiger has spent the last two seasons in Serie A, joining Roma on loan at the start of the 2015-16 season and then joining the club on a permanent basis last summer for £7.6m.
    “Antonio is still young but is experienced at club and international level and possesses all the requisite attributes to thrive in the Premier League,” said Chelsea’s technical director Michael Emenalo.

    “He is a player of proven quality.”
    Rudiger played for Borussia Dortmund at youth level before moving to Stuttgart in 2011.

    He made his Bundesliga debut in January 2012 and clocked up 66 appearances in Germany’s top flight before moving to Roma in 2015.

    Rudiger made 30 Serie A appearances in 2015-16 as Roma finished third and a further 26 in 2016-17 as they were runners-up to Juventus.

    He also played six Champions League games in 2015-16 as Roma reached the last 16.

    In addition, Rudiger has made 17 appearances for Germany, including a 1-0 win friendly win over Englandin March, but was ruled out of Euro  2016after tearing cruciate knee ligaments.
    Because he was set to take a break after his involvement in the Confederations Cup, Rudiger is unlikely to be involved when the majority of Antonio Conte’s squad return to pre-season training on Monday.

    Tammy Abraham join Swansea  on a season-long loan from Chelsea 

    Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has signed a new five-year contract at Stamford Bridge and joined Swansea City on a season-long loan deal.
    The Welsh club beat fellow Premier League clubs Brighton and Newcastle to his signature.

    Swansea announced the expected move on their official website, saying Abraham will link up with his new team-mates during the club’s tour of the United States later this month.

    Abraham, 19, spent last season on loan at Bristol City where he scored 26 goals, 23 of them in the Sky Bet Championship.

    He has just returned from international duty with the England Under-21s at Euro 2017 and becomes Swansea’s second summer signing following the arrival of Dutch goalkeeper Erwin Mulder from Heerenveen.

    Swansea had emerged as favourites to sign Abraham, with head coach Paul Clement knowing the Camberwell-born teenager from his time on the Chelsea coaching staff.

    “I’m really excited,” Abraham told the official Swansea website.

    “I enjoyed my time at Bristol City last season, playing regular first-team football and scoring goals. Hopefully I can do the same at Swansea.

    “I watched Swansea a lot last season when they played Chelsea and on TV.

    “I know it was a difficult season for them at times, but you could see that they always try and play nice football.”
    Abraham said he had sought advice from Swansea defender Alfie Mawson, an England Under-21 team-mate in Poland, before committing himself to the club.

    “Alfie is a great lad and told me a hell of a lot about Swansea,” Abraham said.

    “He said it was a good club and a great place to get your head down, work hard and concentrate on your football. He said it would be a great move for my ongoing development.”

    Swansea are also closing in on Las Palmas midfielder Roque Mesa, with the player set to undergo a medical on Wednesday.