Chelsea warned Sarri-ball may force Hazard & Kante away from Stamford Bridge

Chelsea have been warned that Sarri-ball may be pushing Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante towards the exits, with Mario Melchiot suggesting that tactical tweaks could lead to high-profile departures.

Two star performers at Stamford Bridge have often been asked to play out of position this season.

Belgian forward Eden Hazard was used as a ‘false nine’ prior to the January arrival of Gonzalo Higuain, while World Cup winner Kante has been moved out of a holding midfield post.

Questions continue to be asked of Maurizio Sarri’s selection policy, with the Italian coach refusing to change his ways, and it could be that the Blues pay the price for the stubbornness of their manager.

Former Blues defender Melchiot has told talkSPORT: “If you play players out of their position, you’re taking away their happiness and when their happiness goes, players are going to start looking at somewhere else.

“Kante is happy doing the job he’s good at, but now Sarri is making him go forward.

“His strength is breaking up play and winning the ball back, and that allows other Chelsea players to take more risks because they have that security of Kante being behind them.

“That security is gone now and if they lose the ball, their opponents come straight at them.

“It’s the same with Hazard – if you want to keep hold of your star players you have to make them feel good about what they’re doing.

“Sarri has started to complain that he dribbles too much with the ball, but what do you want?

“That’s his ability and there is no player who wants to play against him when he does that.

“If you do not want him to dribble, if you want him to play one-touch instead, he should not be in your team.”

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Hazard continues to spark talk of interest from Real Madrid and has done little to curb the speculation.

He claims to have made a decision on his future and will be revealing that to the world “soon”.

Kante, meanwhile, has left many confused this season, with Sarri’s decision to remove him from a role in which he is considered to be the best in the world causing widespread bemusement.


Eriksen ‘only focused on football’ amid continued Real Madrid links

Christian Eriksen “only wants to focus on football”, claims his agent, with the Tottenham playmaker set to see Real Madrid rumours rumble on as no further contract talks are planned at this stage.

Having proved himself as one of the top creative influences in the Premier League, the Denmark international is a man in demand.

Spurs are eager to tie him to fresh terms and extend a deal which is currently due to expire in the summer of 2020.

No agreement has been reached as yet, though, and the 27-year-old continues to spark talk of interest being shown from afar.

La Liga giants Madrid and their Clasico rivals Barcelona have been heavily linked with big-money moves for Eriksen.

His representative insists no thought is being given to the future at this stage, with transfer gossip and contract negotiations put on hold until at least the end of the season.

“Christian only wants to focus himself on football,” Martin Schoots told ESPN.

“Besides his technical, tactical and athletic skills, also this attitude has contributed over the years to his impressive transformation from world-class talent to world-class player.

“At this moment I would prefer not to join the speculations about contracts and transfers.”

Eriksen has been with Tottenham since 2013.

He was snapped up from Ajax at that stage, with Spurs winning the race to buy into the potential of a player clearly destined for the top.

A healthy return has been received on their £11 million ($14m) investment, with Eriksen having taken in over 250 appearances for the club.

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During that time he has contributed 63 goals and a haul of assists that few players in the English top-flight can claim to have got near.

Those in north London are understandably keen to ensure that they remain the ones to benefit from his obvious ability.

Exit rumours refuse to go away, though, and it has been suggested that Eriksen may be tempted to take on a new challenge if one of the leading sides in Spain puts an enticing offer on the table.


Stanley Amuzie joins Slovenian outfit NK Aluminij

Stanley Amuzie has joined Slovenian outfit NK Aluminij from Logano FC on a one-and-a-half year deal.

Last summer, the left-back sealed a two-year deal with Swiss outfit Logano after initially impressing while on loan from Sampdoria.

He failed to make the cut at the Serie A outfit – where he joined in 2015 – playing for their B side and making two loan moves, the first at Portuguese club Olhanense before heading for Switzerland.

On his new adventure in Slovenia, the 22-year-old told club website: “I watched some matches of NK Aluminij and I was impressed.

“I watched the profiles of the players and saw that this is a very young team. Young players, like me, get the chance to play and develop. That’s why I am here because I want to play and advance and help the NK Aluminij team in achieving good results.”

A former Logano teammate, Domen Crnigoj’s advice was helpful in making the decision to move to Slovenia, according to the Nigeria international.

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“A lot of the decision made me a good opinion of the club, which was given by my teammate from Lugano and the Slovenian national team, Domen Crnigoj.”

Aluminij resume the second half of the Slovenian First Football League 2018-19 season with a trip to Triglav and Amuzie will hope to make his debut.

Oliver Bogatinov’s men are third in the log after garnering 30 points from 19 games.


African All Stars Transfer News & Rumours: Chelsea monitor Ajax star Hakim Ziyech

Chelsea monitor Ajax star Ziyech

Chelsea have set their sights onAjax star Hakim Ziyech for a potential swoop at the end of the season, according to Calciomercato.

The Moroccan playmaker has been a key force in Erik ten Hag’s set-up this season with 15 goals and 13 assists in all competitions this season.

Hi recent performances, including his impressive outing against Real Madrid, have caught the attention of the Blues.

Arsenal, Tottenham eye Mandi

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are targeting a move for Real Betis right-back Aissa Mandi in the summer, according to El Desmarque via Spurs Web.

Mandi has featured dominantly in Betis three-man defence this term and has become an interest for the north London clubs who are looking to bolster their defensive ranks.

The Algeria international has established himself in Los Verdiblancos’ team since his arrival Reims in 2016 and has made 34appearances across all the competitions this season.

Wolves turn to Sobhi

Wolverhampton Wanderers are considering a summer move for Huddersfield Town loanee Ramadan Sobhi after impressing at Al Ahly.

Daily Mail reports that Wolves would want an early agreement for the Egyptian winger who has helped the Red Devils moved to the summit of the Egyptian Premier League with a goal in six appearances.

Sobhi returned to Al Ahly in January after struggling for playing time at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Stoke to offload Berahino

Championship club Stoke City are set to offload Saido Berahino in the summer after he was charged for drink driving, according to Daily Mail.

The Burundi international was arrested in London on Monday morning, few hours before he was due to play for the club’s U23 team against Manchester United in the night.

Berahino had played 23 games in the second-tier league this term with three goals and an assist to his credit.

Bayern Munich interested in Wan-Bissaka

German champions Bayern Munich have joined Chelsea, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund in chasing Crystal defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daily Mail claims.

The 21-year-old has been a regular fixture in Roy Hogdson’s squad since he made his Premier League debut last season.

Wan-Bissaka who has played all but one of the Eagles’ league games this season is reported to be valued at £40m.

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Saiss close to new Wolves deal

Wolverhampton Wanderers are close to tying Morocco midfielder Romain Saiss to a long-term deal, the Telegraph reports.

Nuno Espirito Santo is keen on keeping the 28-year-old at the club despite reports of interest from Spanish clubs as he builds for the future.

Saiss has scored two goals in 13 Premier League outings this term.


James open to Real Madrid return as Bayern loan nears end

James Rodriguez has suggested he would be happy to return to Real Madrid from Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

The Colombia international’s two-year loan with the Bundesliga champions ends in June and Bayern are yet to take up their option to sign him permanently for €42 million (£37m/$48m).

Although the 27-year-old has started their last five games in all competitions, his future has been the subject of speculation during what has proved to be a more difficult second season in Germany under Niko Kovac.

The Bayern boss said last year that he expects James to stay permanently, but he has since warned that the attacking midfielder is playing for his future at the club, but other clubs have emerged as potential destinations. Arsenal have recently been linked to the attacking midfielder, while his father talked up the prospect of him joining Juventus in the next transfer window and insisted that “he has many offers”.

A return to Madrid has also been touted recently and, while James insists his focus is on Bayern’s objectives this term, he concedes the Spanish capital is still very much his home.

“I have to think hard about what I’m doing [in terms of my future],” he told Cadena SER’s El Larguero. “In Madrid, I have everything: my house, people who love me.

“We will have to see what happens, but at the moment I have a contract with Bayern Munich. I just want to finish the season and we’ll see what happens.

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“I keep in touch with some Real Madrid players.”

James was speaking after playing in Bayern’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Anfield.

James joined Madrid from Monaco in 2014 and made 111 appearances in all competitions before making the switch to Bayern, where he has featured 57 times and scored 11 goals.