Chelsea open to DOUBLE Barca swap deal, Kovacic FIT for FA Cup final, Palace want PERMANENT Gallagher transfer – latest

CHELSEA have been given a boost ahead of this weekend's FA Cup final as Mateo Kovacic is set to be FIT for the clash with Liverpool.

In other news for the Blues, Sevilla ace Jules Kounde is eager to get onboard at Stamford Bridge, according to reports.

However, rumours suggest that Chelsea are considering a double swap deal with Barcelona.

The negotiations are involving Sergino Dest and Neto heading to Stamford Bridge whilst Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta go the other way.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace are hoping to turn Conor Gallagher's loan into a permanent deal this summer after the youngster won the Eagles' Player of the Year award.

Plus, stay tuned for the current team news and info around Chelsea's FA Cup final with Liverpool THIS SATUDAY.

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Keep up to date with all of the latest gossip from the takeover in our live blog…

  • Gary Stonehouse

    GOOD MORNING CHELSEA FANS

    Chelsea loanee Saul Niguez is set to return to Atletico Madrid in the summer.

    That is according to Saul’s brother Aaron, who claims the midfielder is keen to rejoin Atletico.

    And the Blues are still eyeing Sevilla star Jules Kounde – but want to tie down some of their own players first.

    Meanwhile, the West Londoners are set for a takeover by Todd Boehly’s consortium, who will concentrate on clarifying certain stars’ futures.

    The likes of Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are all out of contract next year.

    The Blues will also holds talks with Romelu Lukaku, Marcos Alonso and Christian Pulisic.

    Elsewhere, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is pushing for a transfer exit from Chelsea, according to reports.

    And the Blues midfielder, 26, could be set for a reunion with former boss Maurizio Sarri at Lazio.

    According to Corriere dello Sport, Loftus-Cheek will be allowed to leave the boyhood club he joined way back in 2004 aged eight.

    Finally, Mateo Kovacic is winning his race to be fit for Saturday’s FA Cup Final in a major boost for Chelsea.

    The Croatian was taken off by stretcher following a brutal tackle by Leeds’ Dan James on Wednesday.

    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel later claimed his key midfielder “needs a miracle” to face Liverpool at Wembley.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Lukaku gets Pulisic praise

    Romelu Lukaku's had a tough time at Chelsea this season.

    But he's still appreciated by his Blues team-mates.

    After Lukaku scored in Chelsea's win over Leeds, his Blues compatriot Christian Pulisic raved: “It is what Rom does, he scores goals

    “He’s a great player and it is good to see him in form now.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Liverpool star’s war cry

    Thiago Alcantara is fully focused on winning the FA Cup with Liverpool.

    He said: “It doesn’t matter if we didn’t win for a long time.

    “It’s just about a trophy that we can win and we add in our backpack this new challenge.

    “Wembley is an amazing stadium. It’s special itself but then you know that Wembley is used for special moments.

    “There’s different context and we’re ready to go to London.

    “It’s a new game with Chelsea and we have to be prepared, nothing else.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Fabinho blow for Liverpool

    Liverpool midfielder Fabinho is OUT of the FA Cup final on Saturday, Jurgen Klopp has confirmed.

    The Brazilian was forced off in the first half of the Reds’ game against Aston Villa on Tuesday.

    Klopp confirmed his number one midfield anchor would miss this weekend’s fixture due to a muscular injury but could still make a return before the season concludes.

    He told Liverpool’s official site: “There’s a good chance that he will be back whenever – not for the weekend but whenever.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Mount's hoping for FA Cup win

    Mason Mount is hoping to break his FA Cup curse against Liverpool.

    Mount's lost two FA Cup finals with the Blues and he's hoping the West Londoners can get the job done this time around.

    Mount told the BBC: "I've spoken a lot about how much it would mean to me to win a domestic trophy. So now is the opportunity to really achieve it and go for it.

    "For me to win the FA Youth Cup in the academy – two FA Youth cups actually – and then to go on and lose two finals with the first team, it's heartbreaking. We have another opportunity. Hopefully, it's third time lucky."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Van Dijk's Chelsea admission

    Liverpool star Virgil Van Dijk admitted that Chelsea are a fantastic side ahead of the Prem sides FA Cup final clash on Saturday.

    Van Dijk said: "This is the only trophy we didn’t win so far as a group of players since I’ve been at the club.

    "Now we have a big chance – against a fantastic Chelsea."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Kovacic doubtful for FA Cup

    Mateo Kovacic is winning his race to be fit for Saturday's FA Cup Final in a major boost for Chelsea.

    The Croatian was taken off by stretcher following a brutal tackle by Leeds’ Dan James on Wednesday.

    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel later claimed his key midfielder "needs a miracle" to face Liverpool at Wembley.

    But the club is now hopeful that Kovacic has escaped serious injury even though James was given a straight red card by referee Anthony Taylor for the lunge at his ankle.

    It is welcome news as Tuchel’s midfield has been ravaged by injury lately with N’Golo Kante and Jorginho both missing games in recent weeks.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Ruben's lofty ambitions revealed

    Ruben Loftus-Cheek is pushing for a transfer exit from Chelsea, according to reports.

    And the Blues midfielder, 26, could be set for a reunion with former boss Maurizio Sarri.

    According to Corriere dello Sport, Loftus-Cheek will be allowed to leave the boyhood club he joined way back in 2004 aged eight.

    And it is thought the ten-cap England ace is keen to test himself by playing abroad.

    Lazio finally look set to lose Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in the summer with Manchester United among the interested parties.

    And Loftus-Cheek is viewed as a suitable replacement by manager Sarri.

  • Kostas Lianos

    Jule have to wait

    Chelsea are still eyeing Sevilla star Jules Kounde – but want to tie down some of their own players first.

    The West Londoners are set for a takeover by Todd Boehly's consortium, who will concentrate on clarifying certain stars' futures.

    The likes of Mason Mount, N'Golo Kante and Jorginho are all out of contract next year.

    The Blues will also holds talks with Romelu Lukaku, Marcos Alonso and Christian Pulisic.

    Credit: GETTY IMAGES
  • Kostas Lianos

    Darwin Nunez price named

    Benfica star and Chelsea target Darwin Nunez will cost around €75-80million (£64-68m) in the summer and many teams are expected to go after him.

    Romano told the Wondergoal Podcast: "I'm really curious to see what happens with Darwin Nunez because I see him leaving Benfica this summer.

    "I'm sure. It will depend on the price because, for example, in January on deadline day, West Ham made a proposal of €45m and it was turned down because Benfica wanted €55m.

    "Now I think with €55m, you are absolutely not buying him. So, what is needed is around €75-80m for Darwin Nunez, to open negotiations with Benfica"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Chelsea approached Haaland

    Chelsea held talks with incoming Manchester City signing Erling Haaland’s representatives earlier this year.

    Haaland is set to join City from Borussia Dortmund in the summer transfer window.

    According to ESPN, there was a conversation between the Blues and the striker's team before he signed for City.

    However, the West Londoners will have to look for attacking reinforcement elsewhere

  • Kostas Lianos

    Saul set to go

    Chelsea loanee Saul Niguez is set to return to Atletico Madrid in the summer.

    That is according to Saul’s brother Aaron, who claims the midfielder is keen to rejoin Atletico.

    He told SER Deportivo: “In principle, as far as I know, yes, he has a loan. I have no other news. He has a contract with Atleti and I have no other news.

    “If he wants to? Come on… He is Atletico and everything that isn’t Atletico sounds strange to him.

    "I don’t think he’s ever left 100 per cent of Atletico Madrid. It’s my feeling and my opinion”

  • Kostas Lianos

    Mourinho on Boehly takeover

    Roma manager Jose Mourinho is confident of former club Chelsea's future amid the ongoing takeover process by Todd Boehly's consortium.

    Mourinho said: “It’s a difficult moment and you can even feel it at the football level because they have lost that level of excellence and stability.

    “But this is at the moment, you know. If you ask me do I have someone I would like to take over my Chelsea? Then yes I have, but I close my mouth.

    “I just know the club has reached such a level that it doesn’t matter who it’s with, Chelsea will always be Chelsea. Chelsea will always be.

    “And my house will always be 200 metres from the stadium and I want to keep listening to the sound of happiness and success and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be like that”

    Credit: GETTY IMAGES
  • Kostas Lianos

    Rice won't be sold

    West Ham will not sell Chelsea transfer target Declan Rice in the summer transfer window.

    That is according to Sky Sports, who report the Hammers have absolutely no intention on letting Rice go.

    The East Londoners are also planning to hold more talks with the midfielder about his future when the transfer window closes.

    West Ham have previously stated that the England international's release clause is north of £150million

  • Kostas Lianos

    Parish on Gallagher

    Crystal Palace Chairman Steve Parish gushed over Chelsea loan star Conor Gallagher at the end of year awards ceremony, where he won player of the season.

    Parish said: "We would love to have Conor Gallagher back, I am not going to pretend that is not the case.

    "Conor will make his own choices of course, and the club will have something to say about it, but we have enjoyed every minute of having him here this year.

    "So if that is all we get of him, and I hope not, he has been a fantastic asset to the club as a player, and as a person as well"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Gallagher transfer intention

    Crystal Palace want to secure the permanent signing of Chelsea loan star Conor Gallagher.

    Gallagher was named as Palace's 2021/2022 player of the season on Tuesday.

    According to talkSPORT, the Eagles want to have the midfielder at Selhurst Park on a long-term basis.

    The 22-year-old has made 36 appearances for Palace, scoring eight goals and grabbing five assists

  • Kostas Lianos

    Marsch on James red card

    Leeds manager Jesse Marsch addressed Dan James' red card against Chelsea.

    Marsch told Sky Sports: "I think he was aggressive and thought he could win a ball in the middle there, but wound up being a bit over-zealous.

    "Now we lose Dan for the rest of the season, so it obviously hurts but that's where we are now and we have to stick together and be ready for the next challenge."

    Credit: GETTY IMAGES
  • Kostas Lianos

    Jesse Marsch reacts

    Leeds manager Jesse Marsch admitted he and his team feel "disappointed" after losing to Chelsea.

    Marsch told Sky Sports: "It was similar to the Arsenal match, where we don't really even give ourselves a chance to get going, but the guys fought hard, they never stopped, they ran, tried to play and competed for each other.

    "Obviously, we're disappointed, but right now, we can't feel sorry for ourselves.

    "If we get stuck thinking negative things and worrying about why things happened or what happened, then we won't prepare ourselves for Sunday, so that has to be our total focus"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Tuchel reacts to Leeds victory

    Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel praised his team's 3-0 win at Elland Road after a run of poor results.

    Tuchel told Sky Sports: "We needed a performance like that and it was the foundation for the result. We deserved to win and that's the best message because it's a tough place to play.

    "We were excellent right from the start and kept the focus and intensity high when we were one man up and that's why we deserved to win.

    "We talked and we cleared the air after that late equaliser from Wolverhampton. We knew we had brought ourselves into pressure, results-wise, and we knew what was waiting, but we also had a lot of reason to trust ourselves and we were at our very best level in these circumstances.

    "The players delivered what we demanded of them so full credit to them"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Gift of Todd

    Chelsea incoming owner Todd Boehly is set to splash the cash this summer once his £4.25billion takeover of the club is completed.

    That is according to incoming director Daniel Finkelstein, who told TalkTV: "We're still at the early stages – he's had a sale agreement with Chelsea and now the Government has got to license the sale because it's a sanctioned club and the Premier League has got to decide that I'm a fit director.

    "'I think Chelsea is going to get, in Todd Boehly, a fabulous owner – I'm really impressed by him. I was very impressed before I met him, I think in a similar way to him about sport so it was a sort of meeting of minds anyway.

    "I really like him but I think he's also got big plans. So as a Chelsea fan who was worried when the club had to be sold, I'm looking at how the club can be made better than just how we can stop it becoming worse.

    "The job of the owner is judged by whether we spend money wisely, not just how much we spend. The truth is there is a lot of money behind Todd Boehly's bid, there will be a lot of investment in the club but it will also be invested wisely"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Simply the Dest

    Chelsea are open to a swap deal which would see captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso going to Barcelona.

    In exchange, the Blues would want Sergino Dest and Neto to move to Stamford Bridge.

    That is according to Sport, who report the West Londoners are keen to let Azpilicueta and Alonso go for the Barca pair.

    The two Chelsea stars are both said to be open on a move to the Nou Camp

    Credit: GETTY IMAGES
  • Kostas Lianos

    Kovacic injury update

    Chelsea star Mateo Kovacic is "very unlikely" to play in Saturday's FA Cup Final against Liverpool at Wembley.

    That is according to the Blues' boss Thomas Tuchel, who confirmed Kovacic sustained a swollen ankle against Leeds.

    Tuchel said: "I tell you not as a coach and not as an expert, but for me it is very unlikely. It was a swollen ankle and he is in a lot of pain.

    "For me, I am not a doctor and we need to wait for the examinations, but it is very unlikely he can play. It is absolutely bad news for us on a perfect evening"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Leeds medical emergency

    Chelsea's away game at Leeds had to be stopped on 37 minutes after a medical emergency in the crowd.

    A supporter is believed to have collapsed in the away section.

    Fans alerted referee Anthony Taylor, who blew to pause the game at Elland Road.

    Medical professionals rushed to attend the ill fan and the clash was held up for around five minutes before play resumed

  • Kostas Lianos

    Why Chelsea dropped out of Haaland race

    Chelsea withdrew from the transfer race to land incoming Manchester City signing Erling Haaland because they had doubts about his ability to play in the Premier League.

    The Blues' scouts raised concerns about Haaland's ability to be as prolific in the Premier League, according to ESPN.

    The Borussia Dortmund superstar feeds off space in behind to run in to, something that is more frequently offered to strikers in the Bundesliga.

    But less space for centre-forwards in the Premier League led to doubts about the Norway international's ability to wreak as much havoc on defenders.

    And the West Londoners weren't the only club to raise their concerns about Haaland.

    ESPN claim Barcelona were not convinced by his "personality and character," while Real Madrid had reservations regarding his recent injury record

  • Kostas Lianos

    Kounde keen on Chelsea

    Chelsea are still Sevilla star Jules Kounde's preferred destination ahead of the summer transfer window.

    The Blues were on the brink of signing Kounde last summer but the move collapsed at the eleventh hour.

    However, the centre-back is still keen on a move to Stamford Bridge despite interest from a raft of other clubs, according to Football Talk.

    The report adds that the West Londoners are the "main suitors" for the France international.

    However, he won't come cheap as the Andalusians are demanding £51.4million for the 23-year-old and Chelsea still need to complete Todd Boehly's takeover

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