CHELSEA are on the hunt for summer transfers to strengthen Thomas Tuchel's squad following Frank Lampard's controversial exit.

And Antonio Rudiger – out of favour under the former boss – has strongly denied having anything to do with Lampard's sacking.

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  • sstreet

    RUDI HELL

    Antonio Rudiger has angrily denied rumours that he played a part in getting Frank Lampard sacked.

    The German said:

    "There have been so many nonsense rumours around about me since last week.

    "I’ve never talked with the board about the situation of the coach or on any other topics.

    “Frank Lampard trusted in my abilities after Christmas in a very difficult situation and I was thankful for this.

    "It was also the main reason I told my representatives not to look for a possible winter move anymore.

    "Unfortunately, it was not meant to be for our team to turn things around for the coach.

    "We always wanted the best for the manager and for the club.”

  • Richard Forrester

    GOOD MORNING CHELSEA FANS,

    Antonio Rudiger has dismissed reports that was involved in the departure of former boss Frank Lampard.

    He told The Athletic: “There have been so many nonsense rumours around about me since last week. I’ve never talked with the board about the situation of the coach or on any other topics.

    “Frank Lampard trusted in my abilities after Christmas in a very difficult situation and I was thankful for this.

    “It was also the main reason why I told my representatives not to look for a possible winter move anymore.

    “Unfortunately, it was not meant to be for our team to turn things around for the coach. We always wanted the best for the manager and for the club.”:

    Rudiger is very much back in new manager Thomas Tuchel's plans as it seems is highly-rated midfielder Billy Gilmour.

    The Scot is now set to be given a chance by Tuchel, after impressing the German in training.

    He had appeared likely to go out on loan, after being left out of the ex-PSG chief's first two matchday squads.

    But according to the Standard, Gilmour’s brilliant performances in training convinced Tuchel that he would be worth keeping around.

    Elsewhere, Tuchel has been praised for being a ‘special’ coach with the ability to think differently.

    His former player at Mainz, Bo Svensson, told DAZN and Goal: “You immediately noticed that he is a special coach and that he thinks a little differently.

    “I had never seen such an appearance in front of a team or such training in this form as a player.

    “There were a few games under Thomas that we were very surprised at. We pressed against Bayern very early in Munich. He didn’t set us up for Bayern’s strengths.”

  • Joe Brophy

    HAV A LOOK

    Tim Sherwood has slammed Chelsea’s summer signing Kai Havertz as a ‘liability’.

    He told Premier League Productions: “I still think he’s got selection problems. I think he was brought in to get the best out of the German boys, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.

    “But at the moment you can’t play Kai Havertz. In my opinion, he’s a liability. He might be a good player in the future but at the moment they’re just carrying him.

    “I wouldn’t play Havertz but I think he might be under a little bit of pressure to play Havertz and to find a position for Timo Werner.”

  • Joe Brophy

    BROTHERS IN ARMS

    Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Burnley came just a couple of days after striker Tammy Abraham defended Antonio Rudiger, which was backed by skipper Cesar Azpilicueta.

    He told the Athletic: “There has never been any problem with Azpi. He’s my captain and I’m very thankful that he and also Tammy reacted that quickly after they’d heard the rumours on social media.

    “It looked like people from outside wanted to bother our unity in the squad. Hopefully, this negativity will go away again very soon and we can continue performances like in the Burnley game.”

  • Joe Brophy

    FEELING BLUE

    Antonio Rudiger has insisted that he would have remained at Stamford Bridge regardless of Frank Lampard's future at the club.

    He told the Athletic: “Just to make this clear: I would have stayed at Chelsea no matter the name of the manager.

    “I was not always happy about the results, but I felt that I’m still an important part of the squad. After a difficult situation for me around autumn last year my playing time increased a lot.

    “There was no reason to look for a new challenge for me, as I feel comfortable at the club and in London.

    “I don’t think we Germans have an advantage right now, just because our coach is German. As the coach has already said, we all have to prove ourselves now and no one can be sure that he has a position in the starting line-up.

    “The first steps with him have been quite good, but there’s still a long way to go.”

  • Joe Brophy

    MORE FROM RUDIGER

    Antonio Rudiger is also adamant Frank Lampard should be remembered for doing a good job at Chelsea.

    He told The Athletic: “He took over the manager position last season when things were very complicated for all of us. But we managed to qualify for the Champions League together with him.

    “He has given so many young players a chance in the first team and they are still doing an amazing job.

    “I’m pretty sure we will see Frank Lampard back again at another club very soon.”

  • Joe Brophy

    RUD AWAKENING

    Antonio Rudiger has dismissed reports that he approached the Chelsea board about former boss Frank Lampard.

    He told The Athletic: “There have been so many nonsense rumours around about me since last week. I’ve never talked with the board about the situation of the coach or on any other topics.

    “Frank Lampard trusted in my abilities after Christmas in a very difficult situation and I was thankful for this.

    “It was also the main reason why I told my representatives not to look for a possible winter move anymore.

    “Unfortunately, it was not meant to be for our team to turn things around for the coach. We always wanted the best for the manager and for the club.”:

  • Joe Brophy

    TUCH OF FINESSE

    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has lifted the lid on his coaching philosophy.

  • Joe Brophy

    ICYMI

    Christian Pulisic has opened up about his experience under Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel at old side Borussia Dortmund.

    The American told the club’s website: “I remember making my debut under him and it was a really exciting time.

    “I was playing in the youth team at Dortmund and then I got the call to say I was going to go up and train with the first team, and be a full first team member. It was really exciting.

    ‘I had to fight my way into that team because it was a very strong team, and being a young player I had to work extra hard.

    ‘The manager trusted in me and most importantly gave me chances to play, so I am grateful for that.

    “He definitely helped me as a young player and I only have good memories of that time. We had some success at Dortmund together, and it’s been good to see him again and work with him once more.”

  • Joe Brophy

    SILVA LINING

    Thiago Silva has again paid tribute to axed boss Frank Lampard.

    When the Brazilian joined Chelsea last summer, he admitted that he 'wouldn't be here' without Lampard.

  • Joe Brophy

    HAYES STAYS

    Chelsea Women boss Emma Hayes slapped down speculation linking her to League One strugglers AFC Wimbledon.

    She said: “I’m not looking for another job, I’m blessed with working with wonderful humans day-in, day-out.

    “I just don’t know why anybody would think women’s football is a step down.

    “If coaching World Cup champions, winners, players who have represented their countries in the Olympics or Euros is a step down from anything.

    "I think the football world needs to wake up and recognise that women's football- while the game is played by a different gender to men – is exactly the same sport."

    “This is not a conversation about Emma Hayes and AFC Wimbledon, but we should be having larger conversations about creating opportunities in the men’s game are not limited to those in privileged positions."

  • Joe Brophy

    LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

    Fans from across Europe have united to slam plans for a European Super League.

    Supporters from 15 countries and those representing more than 30 clubs including all of the Prem’s Big Six condemned the proposals.

    In a joint statement, the fans’ groups described the Super League project as “an unpopular, illegitimate and dangerous scheme”.

    They added: “It would destroy the European model of sport, which is based on sporting merit, promotion and relegation, qualifying via domestic success and financial solidarity.

    “It would also undermine the economic foundations of European football, concentrating even more wealth and power in the hands of a dozen or so elite clubs”.

  • Joe Brophy

    PAY THE BILL

    Billy Gilmour is set to be given a chance by Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, after impressing the German in training.

    The Scot had appeared likely to go out on loan, after being left out of Tuchel's first two matchday squads.

    But according to the Standard, Gilmour's brilliant performances in training convinced Tuchel that he would be worth keeping around.

  • Joe Brophy

    BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE

    Chelsea and Aston Villa will wait until the end of the season before deciding whether to make Ross Barkley’s move permanent.

    The 27-year-old was struggling for game time at Stamford Bridge and joined the Villans on a season-long loan in September.

    Barkley made an impressive start to life under Dean Smith before he suffered a hamstring injury in November.

    He was back with a bang against Southampton last Friday as he headed home the only goal of the game.

    And BirminghamLive claims both the player and club are ‘happy to assess the situation’ at the end of the season.

  • Joe Brophy

    CUTTING COSTS

    A new report has found that the coronavirus pandemic led clubs across the top five leagues to cut their transfer activity by 70 percent.

    The Football Index study revealed that just £231million was spent on new players in January, compared to £781m last winter.

    The transfer deficit across Europe also shrank from £333m to £85m in just 12 months.

    Premier League clubs spent just £68m during the recent window, compared to £188m at the start of 2020.

  • Joe Brophy

    FRENCH DRESSING (DOWN)

    Andre Villas-Boas has been sacked by Marseille.

    The former Chelsea and Spurs boss had laid into club execs in a press conference earlier today where he offered his resignation.

    The Portuguese manager was unhappy the club signed Olivier Ntcham on loan from Celtic against his wishes.

  • Josh Graham

    TOP MARCS

    Barcelona were reportedly lining up a loan deal for Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso.

    The Catalan giants had looked like they could lose Junior Firpo on deadline day with AC Milan interested.

    Mundo Deportivo reports Barca were keen but couldn't broker a move for Spaniard Alonso who came through Real Madrid's academy.

    And Milan were also unsuccessful in convincing Firpo to swap LaLiga for Serie A.

  • Josh Graham

    PUL YOUR PANTS DOWN

    Chelsea's Christian Pulisic is confident the Blues can beat Tottenham on Thursday.

    Former Stamford Bridge boss Jose Mourinho saw his Spurs side go down 1-0 to Brighton on Sunday.

    The winger told the club's website: "It’s a good time to play them coming off a good result for us.

    "We’re feeling confident. We’re really excited. It’s a good chance to make a statement and most importantly really build some momentum.

    "We know what a good result against a good team could do for us."

  • Josh Graham

    PUL IN THE SAME DIRECTION

    Christian Pulisic lifted the lid on life at Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel.

    Christian Pulisic and Thomas Tuchel have a pre-existing relationship from Borussia DortmundCredit: AFP or Licensors

    The American told the club's website: "It’s been good so far.

    "We’ve got a new outlook on things, we have had a really good win so it’s been a positive start.

    "It’s been some crazy times recently and just to get a win left all the guys in the changing room really excited.

    "We have had a lot of fun in training and there are smiles on faces which is good to see."

  • Josh Graham

    FAMILIAR TUCH

    Christian Pulisic has opened up about his experience under Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel at old side Borussia Dortmund.

    The American told the club's website: "I remember making my debut under him and it was a really exciting time.

    "I was playing in the youth team at Dortmund and then I got the call to say I was going to go up and train with the first team, and be a full first team member. It was really exciting.

    ‘I had to fight my way into that team because it was a very strong team, and being a young player I had to work extra hard.

    ‘The manager trusted in me and most importantly gave me chances to play, so I am grateful for that.

    "He definitely helped me as a young player and I only have good memories of that time. We had some success at Dortmund together, and it’s been good to see him again and work with him once more."

  • Josh Graham

    SILVA LINING

    Thiago Silva made clear his appreciation for the time he spent working under Frank Lampard.

    The veteran Brazilian defender, 36, gave an interview with the Chelsea website about reuniting with his old PSG boss Thomas Tuchel.

    But on his Instagram story Silva shared the article along with a classy message for axed club legend Lampard.

    He wrote: "Remembering that I am very grateful to Lampard for what he did for me here!!"

    Thiago Silva reminded fans he was 'grateful' for Frank Lampard's work with him
  • Josh Graham

    TUCH OF MAGIC

    Thomas Tuchel has been praised for being a 'special' coach with the ability to think differently.

    Tuchel's former player at Mainz, Bo Svensson, told DAZN and Goal: "You immediately noticed that he is a special coach and that he thinks a little differently.

    “I had never seen such an appearance in front of a team or such training in this form as a player.

    “There were a few games under Thomas that we were very surprised at. We pressed against Bayern very early in Munich. He didn't set us up for Bayern's strengths.”

  • Josh Graham

    ALL BARK NO BITE

    Chelsea and Aston Villa will wait until the end of the season before deciding whether to make Ross Barkley’s move permanent.

    The 27-year-old was struggling for game time at Stamford Bridge and joined the Villans on a season-long loan in September.

    Ross Barkley's future will be decided at the end of the seasonCredit: EPA

    Barkey started well under Dean Sith before a hamstring injury in November ruled him out but he was back with a bang with the winner against Southampton on Friday.

    He has two years left on his deal in West London.

    And BirminghamLive claims both the player and club are ‘happy to assess the situation’ at the end of the season.

  • Josh Graham

    HAK ATTACK

    Achraf Hakimi could be heading for the Premier league this summer with Chelsea reportedly interested.

    The Moroccan full-back has excelled at Inter Milan under former Blues boss Antonio Conte but The Athletic reports Inter have failed to pay the first instalment of Hakimi's transfer to Real Madrid.

    The cash-strapped Italian giants could be forced to sell the 22-year-old who has a contract until 2025.

    A move is likely to cost Prem clubs – with Arsenal having also monitored the player for years – around £40million.

  • Josh Graham

    MARC OF THE MAN

    Chelsea legend Pat Nevin had his say on Marcos Alonso's goal and celebration on his return.

    The Spanish left-back grabbed the Blues badge and was mobbed by his team-mates after a delightful volley sealed a 2-0 win over Burnley.

    Chelsea's Marcos Alonso grabs the badge in delight after slamming home a great strikeCredit: AFP

    In his Chelsea column, Nevin wrote: "It was particularly interesting to watch the reaction of the team towards Marcos after he scored the cracker that wrapped up the points. He was immediately surrounded by just about every member of the team.

    "Now it is not worth hiding the fact that he was pretty close to persona non grata for a large part of the season, so some may think that the show of affection was aimed elsewhere. I suspect you would be wrong in that assumption.

    "In every club players go in and out of favour with the managers, it is part of life and more often than not the rest of the team do not take sides because they have their own work to be concentrating on.

    “However, when their mate is back in the fold, the welcome is honest and heartfelt, and aimed specifically at him, no one else.

    “It is great to see Marcos back in contention, especially with Spurs coming up in a couple of days, I am sure he particularly likes playing them with his impressive scoring record against the Lilywhites.”

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