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Alisson Becker a quality replacement for Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea

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Thibaut Courtois
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Thibaut Courtois could be sold by Chelsea this Summer as his future remains uncertain.

On a day where BBC Sport reported that Chelsea owner Abramovich has suspended new stadium developments, uncertainty has now also arisen around the goalkeeping position at Stamford Bridge.

Sky Italia reported that Chelsea are ‘likely to sell’ Belgium international Courtois, after negotiations to extend the 26-year-old’s contract have come to an end.

It is expected that Courtois will now leave the Premier League and head back to Europe with Real Madrid reportedly interested in his services.

Courtois made 46 appearances for the Blues last season and has just one year left on his current contract.

He joins a long list of Chelsea players and coaches whose future appears uncertain at Stamford Bridge.

In fact, there are not many certainties anywhere at Chelsea at the moment.

With Maurizio Sarri linked to the current manager role that is held by Antonio Conte, it is set to be an interesting summer in Central London.

Reports of unrest at the goalkeeping position has just added more fuel to the Blues uncertainty train.

Already rumoured to replace Courtois – should he leave the club – is Roma’s Alisson Becker. Respected Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio reports that Becker is the first name on the club’s list.

The 26-year-old made 49 appearances last season for Roma in all competitions including both legs of the Champions League semi-final against Liverpool.

The Brazilian kept 23 clean sheets last season – including one over the Blues – in a campaign which saw Roma finish 3rd in Serie A with the 2nd best defensive record in the division, conceding just 28 goals in the 38 league games.

Although contracted until 2021, interested parties are queuing up and the La Lupa’s will have a fight on their hands to hold on to him.

Ultimately there is a lot of ‘should he leave’ and ‘if he leaves’ surrounding the club in a variety of positions at the moment. An interesting few weeks and months are ahead for Chelsea.

If Courtois does depart the club, as expected, Alisson is undoubtedly one of the best names out there and Chelsea’s links to him should bring positivity to a cautious situation.

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Chelsea

England must start Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek after Panama reveal tactics

England must opt for creativity after the Panama captain’s comments

Jamie Watts

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Panama have revealed plans stifle England with a physical approach in their upcoming clash on Sunday, in quotes from captain Roman Torres on the Telegraph, and Gareth Southgate should ensure the Three Lions’ approach is suited to the style of opponent.

The Central Americans were beaten 3-0 by a star-studded Belgium outfit on Monday in their World Cup debut, meaning a win against England is pivotal in ensuring they remain in the competition beyond the group stages. And England will have a tough task taking the lion’s share of points on the day.

“England are a bit more direct than Belgium. They try to make use of the pace they have. We’ll need to be compact and limit their space,” revealed Torres told the Telegraph.

Photo: Getty Images

And as a result England must employ the right tactics. Creativity and bravery will be key, as they will undoubtedly have the majority of possession, and Southgate will want to make it count. Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek added instant impetus to a languid outfit, after coming on late against Tunisia.

The team’s performance became full of purpose and directness in the last 20 minutes, with both taking the responsibility of carrying the ball forward and creating, and from that arrived the corner and subsequent winner from Harry Kane.

Photo: Getty Images

The end product from the likes of Rashford was missing in the opening stages of the game also, as team-mate Jesse Lingard squandered a number of key opportunities to put the game to bed early, and Southgate will not want a repeat this time around.

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Chelsea

Crystal Palace should plot audacious loan move for Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi

Crystal Palace should act on the latest reports from Germany.

Jamie Watts

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Photo: Getty Images

Chelsea‘s resurgent striker Michy Batshuayi is back to playing the football that garnered interest from Stamford Bridge last summer. The then-defending champions signed the Belgian international for £33 million, but he was eventually loaned out to Borussia Dortmund in January, after failing to break into the first team in west London.

The 24-year-old instantly hit the ground running in the Bundesliga, bagging an impressive seven goals in 10 league appearances – having scored just two in 12 for Chelsea that term – and he’s also performing well for Belgium when Romelu Lukaku isn’t spearheading the side.

Dortmund are unlikely to sign the striker on a permanent deal this summer, according to reports from Sport Bild, as the German giants look to land a worldy striker to succeed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, which means he’ll likely be resigned to a bit-part role at Stamford Bridge.

Photo: Getty Images

Crystal Palace should make an audacious swoop to land Batshuayi on loan this summer, in their quest for attacking reinforcements if he returns to the Premier League.

The Eagles are in serious need of attacking reinforcements this summer, having flirted with relegation under the winless tenure of ex-boss Frank de Boer, but Wilfried Zaha’s timely return from a long-term injury rejuvenated the squad and Roy Hodgson eventually cemented an 11th place finish.

With Christian Benteke’s slump in form – registering a meagre Premier League three goals – Hodgson will have to ensure the side have more goals in them next term, and signing his fellow countryman would be a fantastic coup.

Photo: Getty Images

The prospect of Batshuayi and Zaha spearheading the attack would be a frightening prospect for any Premier League defence, and Palace need to ensure they have depth in-case their top scorer should face another lengthy stint away from the pitch. Chelsea are under pressure to succeed next term after a disastrous season, and play-time for the Belgian won’t be high on their list of priorities.

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Ross Barkley could be perfect Ruben Loftus-Cheek at Crystal Palace

A loan-deal for the 24-year-old would suit both clubs.

Jamie Watts

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Crystal Palace are reportedly in the market for a central midfielder this summer, as Roy Hodgson is vying for the services of Arsenal‘s Jack Wilshere, according to reports from Evening Standard. But there’s an alternative target the Eagles should be looking at.

Chelsea secured the signing of Ross Barkley from Everton last January, with many tipping the 24-year-old to become a success at Stamford Bridge. However, it seems to move he craved for so long has turned into a nightmare, as his career is currently on hold at Stamford Bridge.

Having made just five appearances, compared to 39 in the previous season with Everton, there’s no doubting the midfielder needs a move away from the west London giants and Palace could prove to be his ideal destination.

Photo: Getty Images

Roy Hodgson’s eagerness to extend Yohan Cabaye’s stay and to bring in Wilshere suggests he’s after a creative, ball carrying box-to-box midfielder and the Barkley of 2016/17 fits the mould perfectly. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is unlikely to extend his stay at Selhurst Park after emerging on the biggest stage with England this summer, and Barkley stylistically is probably the closest thing to his Chelsea teammate.

Chelsea will be keen to offload the player this summer, whether it be on a temporary or permanent basis, but a season-long loan would could suit both clubs perfectly. If regular football with Palace brings back Barkley’s best form – having scored six and assisted nine in 2016/17 – Hodgson’s midfield could flourish, and the absence of Loftus-Cheek wouldn’t leave a void in the side.

Photo: Getty Images

The Blues will also be keen to see results for the £15 million they paid, as selling him on at the moment would likely garner a far smaller transfer fee. And if his immense potential is brought to the fore-front they could bring him back to Stamford Bridge a year later to bolster the squad.

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