Chelsea: Barcelona star turned down club; Kante rejected Mourinho; Costa launches attack
The transfer window is now closed, but news is still being released to the public about deals that failed during the summer. Mundo Deportivo report that Ivan Rakitic rejected the chance to leave Barcelona and that Chelsea were one of the clubs in for him. Manchester United and Juventus also wanted to sign the Croatian according to the report. This would have been an exciting transfer if it had happened, as Rakitic is one of the best players in the world. It was an ambitious move from Chelsea as he is a regular at Barcelona and would have cost a significant amount. Barcelona are set to offer him a new contract in the coming months, securing his long term future.
This is an interesting development, especially as Cesc Fabregas doesn’t seem to be at the forefront of Antonio Conte’s plans. Although Rakitic is a better player than Fabregas based on the last 12 months, they have similar skill-sets and if Conte wanted to sign the former, surely the latter has to be in his plans. On deadline day, Chelsea had the opportunity to loan Fabregas to AC Milan, but they decided to keep him at the club, which suggests he may still have a part to play at the club.
A more promising story doing the rounds is that Ngolo Kante turned down the opportunity to sign for Manchester United, because he wanted to play under Antonio Conte. The Mirror report that Jose Mourinho phoned Kante and tried to convince him to move to Old Trafford, but his attempts were futile as the Frenchman was already set on joining Chelsea. The Mirror quotes Kante as saying:
“It was amazing to have Mourinho call me, even though I’d been warned before how he would appeal to me.”
“I listened to his arguments about why I should move to United.”
“But at that time I was hesitant between staying at Leicester or leaving for Chelsea.”
“My discussions with them were already well underway.”
“But when I spoke, I had a good feeling with Conte.”
Chelsea supporters will be impressed that Conte convinced Kante to join their club and the fact that they beat out their former manager is an added bonus. The midfielder played a vital part in Leicester’s surprising title win last season and it was a coup to bring him to Stamford Bridge. He has already had an impact on the first team and is perfect for Conte’s system. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he is once again the signing of the summer.
There isn’t a dull moment when it comes to Diego Costa’s career and he has launched a sensational attack on the Spanish press. Despite being recalled to the national team, Costa is still being criticised and he feels he is unfairly treated as he isn’t a native Spaniard. The Express carry these quotes from Costa after Spain’s victory over Belgium:
“Sometimes [the press] criticise me because I don’t play for Madrid or Barca or because I’m not a native Spaniard, but I think I had a good game, possibly my best [for Spain],”
“A new era has begun and my teammates have faith in me. It’s true that the goals are still not there, but today I had a good feeling and [the goals] will come.”
After a good start to the season with two winning goals for his club, Costa looks to be back to his best and will be looking to become a regular for Spain. It has been difficult to break into the Spain squad as a striker under Vicente del Bosque, but Julen Lopetegui is going to change the style of play and he will give Costa more chances. He is always going to looked at differently in Spain due to his Brazilian roots and comments like these will only make it worse.
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