Chelsea: Shock exit on the cards; £21m defender to sign; Fabregas denies rift
In a shocking development, Metro report that Kurt Zouma could be set to leave Stamford Bridge on loan for Schalke with an option for the move to become permanent. The 21-year-old was a fan favourite with his promising performances before he suffered a nasty knee ligament injury against Manchester United which kept him out for the rest of last season. Now nearing recovery, he appears to be set to leave to regain fitness and prove himself to Antonio Conte, who is not convinced by the Frenchman.
If the rumours are correct and Zouma does leave, it would be a massive surprise. The club have been chasing central defenders throughout the summer, so to allow one to leave now; particularly one as promising as Kurt Zouma, would be madness. The only way in which it can be imagined is if the player himself demands the move as he is concerned about re-establishing himself in the Chelsea first team upon his return from injury, and even then the move seems unlikely, even less so with the possibility of a permanent deal in the future.
Another defender could be coming the other way though, with a £21 million move for left-back Marcos Alonso set to be tied up before deadline day as Antonio Conte seeks to bring players into his squad before it’s too late. Marca claim that the 25-year-old is on his way to London to seal a deal to see him provide competition for fellow Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta at left-back and also to provide more depth and flexibility across the back line.
The deal seems to be a convenient, if not spectacular one. With Premier League experience at Bolton and Sunderland in the past, Alonso should have no problem adapting to the physicality and pace of English football. Over the past few years he has come on leaps and bounds at Fiorentina, and could bring that quality to Chelsea. Whilst £21 million may seem a big fee, in the current market it is not a bad fee for a player who will be pushing for a place in the starting eleven.
Star midfielder Cesc Fabregas has also spoken out to deny that there has been a falling out between him and manager Antonio Conte, and has also denied that he will leave the club or has been told that he can. On Sunday evening he posted on social media:
“Contrary to what has been written, the manager and I have a good relationship and he has NEVER told me that I can leave. He said that he counts on me, as I count on him. I will continue to fight for this club until the very end and when called upon I will always give my very best. I’m fully committed to Chelsea and my only goal is to help them win football matches.”
The news comes as a boost to the Blues, despite the Spaniard’s poor form last season and a slow start this term too. Fabregas undoubtedly has quality to play at the very highest level and offers a more creative midfield option than the likes of Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante, so could prove valuable in Conte’s set-up.
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