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Chelsea: Pedro held transfer talks; West Ham defeat reaction; leading race for striker

The scorer of an early and important strike on Sunday afternoon, Spanish winger Pedro has revealed that he was nearly not at the club beyond the summer after hold talks over a return to form club Barcelona as the winger told a Catalan radio station:

“I spoke to [Barcelona president Josep Maria] Bartomeu and it looked as though I’d return to Barcelona last summer. But I think the talks were given more importance than they really had… If you asked me if I’d like to go back, my answer is obvious, because it is a great club where I have great team-mates and a fanbase that appreciates me. I’ve always said I’d like to retire at Barcelona but it is very difficult, almost impossible at this point.”

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The £21 million signing in the summer of 2015 failed to live up to the high hopes that many had for him when he initially moved to the Premier League, but he now seems to finally be finding form and could be on the right path to put his career back on track.

After the elation of an impressive victory at the weekend, the Blues fell to a disappointing defeat with a rotated side at the hands of West Ham last night, with two early goals conceded putting the tie to bed despite a late Gary Cahill consolation goal. Antonio Conte has reacted to the match, telling the press:

“We knew these types of game are very difficult, but I think we played with good intensity and created many chances. I saw good spirit in my players. They tried until the end to change the result and created many chances… This cup was important to check the development of the young players. We have good young players and they need to play. I think the young players played a good game with the right intensity and concentration. Tonight I found a lot of positive things.”

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The Blues boss did not seemed too disheartened by the defeat, and with the Hammers then being drawn away at Old Trafford he is unlikely to be too upset to have missed out and will now set his sights on coming back after a slow start in the Premier League.

Another youngster who could be on his way to Stamford Bridge to join the current batch is Swedish forward Alexander Isak, labelled by many as the ‘next Zlatan Ibrahimovic’. Having scored 10 in 22 games this season, the 17-year-old is now believed to have given Chelsea the edge in the race to sign him by signing with agent Vladica Lemic according to Expressen.

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Lemic is a close friend of Roman Abramovich and the Blues are believed to be among the 90 clubs to have sent scouts to watch Isak last weekend, with the Swede continuing to attract attention from across Europe, with Stamford Bridge a possible destination.

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