Tuchel SLAMS Lukaku's fitness, Blues 'closely monitoring' Paul Mitchell, Real Madrid eye James – takeover latest

Tuchel SLAMS Lukaku's fitness, Blues 'closely monitoring' Paul Mitchell, Real Madrid eye James – takeover latest

April 19, 2022

THOMAS TUCHEL has admitted that Romelu Lukaku's match fitness remains some way off the standard required to match Chelsea's intensity levels.

The £95 million man was left out of the starting line-up yet once again for the 2-0 FA Cup semi-final triumph over Crystal Palace.

Meanwhile, two of the four Chelsea bidders are reportedly monitoring Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell's situation.

And on the transfer front, rumour suggest that Real Madrid are lining up a big money move for Reece James in the summer.

Keep up to date with all of the latest updates from the takeover in our live blog…

  • Etienne Fermie

    Good morning Chelsea fans

    LaLiga leaders Real Madrid are interested in signing Chelsea’s Reece James, according to reports.

    The Mirror are reporting that James, 22, played against Real in the Champions League quarter-finals this month and Carlo Ancelotti is said to have been impressed.

    Two Chelsea bidders are “closely monitoring” Paul Mitchell as they prepare to hire a new sporting director, according to reports.

    The post at Stamford Bridge has been vacant since Michael Emenalo left the club in 2017.

    And Mancunian Mitchell, 40, is being chased by at least two of the three parties left in the running to buy the Blues, say The Athletic.

    German Thomas Tuchel has looked ahead to next month’s FA Cup final clash with Liverpool.

    He said: “We lost of course a final against them when we gave everything and it went until the very last penalty. We were unlucky and we want to turn things around.

    “We were here last season in the FA Cup final and we will be here again.

    “That means an unbelievable lot to us because it’s the FA Cup, it’s prestigious, the most traditional cup in the world and played at Wembley, so there are not a lot of bigger games to be part of.

    "We will be well prepared because we play against one of the strongest teams in the world that have outstanding form. So it will be a tough one and we will try to make life hard for them.”

  • Joshua Mbu

    Money Mase steps up again

    Mason Mount has been in unbelievable form for Chelsea this season.

    England boss Gareth Southgate will be pleased.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Romelu Lukaku highest earner

    Romelu Lukaku is Chelsea's top earner.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Tuchel criticises Romelu Lukaku fitness

    Thomas Tuchel revealed before yesterday’s FA Cup semi-final that Romelu Lukaku’s match fitness remains some way off the standard required to match Chelsea’s tactical intensity.

    The German noted: “He is not fit enough for the intensity of our game in an FA Cup semi-final.

    “It’s not easy to come into a game such as this with so much riding on it after a spell out with injury.

    “It’s just a case of him not having as much minutes recently as the other players, his match fitness is not quite there otherwise there’s a big chance that he would have started today.”

  • Joshua Mbu

    Loftus-Cheek fires Chelsea into FA Cup final

    Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored in the 2-0 FA Cup semi-final victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday.

    The England international helped secure the Blues' place in the final for the third season in a row.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Chelsea ‘closely monitoring’ Monaco sporting director

    Two Chelsea bidders are "closely monitoring" Paul Mitchell as they prepare to hire a new sporting director, according to reports.

    The post at Stamford Bridge has been vacant since Michael Emenalo left the club in 2017.

    And Mancunian Mitchell, 40, is being chased by at least two of the three parties left in the running to buy the Blues, say The Athletic.

    The shortlist to take over from Roman Abramovich at Chelsea had been cut to four parties.

    But after the group led by the Ricketts family withdrew their proposal, the race is now between groups led by Todd Boehly, Stephen Pagliuca and Sir Martin Broughton.

    All parties are keen on keeping transfer supremo Marina Granovskaia.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Chelsea owner search continues

    Chelsea are yet to be bought from Russian owner Roman Abramovich.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Loftus-Cheek keen to stay

    Chelsea academy product Ruben Loftus-Cheek is keen to stay at the club.

    The midfielder helped fire Chelsea into a third consecutive FA Cup final in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday.

    Goal scorer Loftus-Cheek said: "Everyone wants to play and I feel like I’ve done well in the last couple of games and I wanted to keep the momentum, but the strength in depth in the squad is fantastic.

    “The reason why I’m still here is because of my mentality through all the injuries.

    “I keep going and I still believe in myself. My time will come and I will keep knuckling down and working for it.”

  • Joshua Mbu

    Real Madrid eye Chelsea's James

    LaLiga leaders Real Madrid are interested in signing Chelsea's Reece James, according to reports.

    The Mirror are reporting that James, 22, played against Real in the Champions League quarter-finals this month and Carlo Ancelotti is said to have been impressed.

    Chelsea lost the tie 5-4 on aggregate after the game went to extra-time at the Bernabeu.

    James could be a good upgrade on current right-back Dani Carvajal.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Main man Mason Mount

    Mason Mount has been Chelsea's main man this season.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Watch Tuchel go ballistic at Jorginho 

    Thomas Tuchel went ballistic on the touchline after Jorginho was caught dawdling on the ball against Crystal Palace – and fans were quick to notice.

    At times, in-form Palace looked as though they could spring a surprise, too.

    And, midway through the first half, it all got a bit too much for Tuchel.

    Jorginho was caught dawdling on the ball in the middle of the park.

    While the Italian did win a free-kick, Tuchel was left fuming.

  • Joshua Mbu

    Ex-Chelsea doctor owns English football club

    Seven years ago, Eva Carneiro got in a row with Jose Mourinho while she was Chelsea physio.

    She subsequently lost her job with the Blues, but was paid damages for her dismissal in court.

    Now, she is thriving in football once again – as an investor in non-league Lewes FC.

    The Gibraltan, 48, is also working with the Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital in Qatar ahead of this year's World Cup.

    It completes a remarkable turn-around in fortunes for the doctor.

    In 2015, then Chelsea boss Mourinho was left incensed when she ran onto the pitch with chief physio Jon Fearn to treat an injured Eden Hazard during a Premier League match with Swansea.

    The Special One was livid that the match was interrupted in injury time, as Chelsea pushed for a winner.

    Credit: PA:Press Association
  • Joshua Mbu

    Blues in another final

    Chelsea will contest the FA Cup final next month for the THIRD year in a row.

    They lost the last two to Leicester and Arsenal.

    They will face Liverpool, who they lost to in the Carabao Cup final earlier this year.

    Third time lucky?

  • Etienne Fermie

    Ex-Tottenham chief in Chelsea frame

    Two Chelsea bidders are "closely monitoring" Paul Mitchell as they prepare to hire a new sporting director, according to reports.

    The post at Stamford Bridge has been vacant since Michael Emenalo left the club in 2017.

    And Mancunian Mitchell, 40, is being chased by at least two of the three parties left in the running to buy the Blues, say The Athletic.

    The shortlist to take over from Roman Abramovich at Chelsea had been cut to four parties.

    But after the group led by the Ricketts family withdrew their proposal, the race is now between groups led by Todd Boehly, Stephen Pagliuca and Sir Martin Broughton.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Frank Leboeuf hammers Chelsea midfielder

    Ex-Blue Frank Leboeuf has slammed Blues ace Jorginho.

    Speaking to ESPN after yesterday's 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, Leboeuf pointed to the Italian's main flaw.

    He said: "With all due respect to Jorginho, yes, he’s there, he doesn’t lose the ball, but sometimes he slows down the game, and that’s not a very good thing for Chelsea."

  • Etienne Fermie

    Chelsea match club goal record

    Ruben Loftus-Cheek's strike yesterday saw the Blues match an unusual club record.

    The midfielder became the 20th Chelsea player to score this season – the joint highest number of scorers in the club's history.

    The tally matches the club's from the 2015-16 season, during which they came tenth in the Premier League.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Tuchel looks ahead to final

    German Thomas Tuchel has looked ahead to next month's FA Cup final clash with Liverpool.

    He said: "We lost of course a final against them when we gave everything and it went until the very last penalty. We were unlucky and we want to turn things around.

    "We were here last season in the FA Cup final and we will be here again.

    "That means an unbelievable lot to us because it's the FA Cup, it's prestigious, the most traditional cup in the world and played at Wembley, so there are not a lot of bigger games to be part of.

    "We will be well prepared because we play against one of the strongest teams in the world that have outstanding form. So it will be a tough one and we will try to make life hard for them."

  • Etienne Fermie

    Mount desperate for Wembley success

    Chelsea ace Mason Mount is desperate to taste Wembley final success next month.

    The midfielder has lost showpiece occasions under the arch while playing for Derby, England and the Blues.

    After yesterday's cup semi-final win, he said: "I haven’t had the best memories in finals at Wembley so to get to another one is an opportunity to make it right and to finally win one.

    "I’ve always said that I want to win the big trophies and the FA Cup is one of the biggest.

    "We know it’s going to be a very hard game against Liverpool. We watched the game yesterday and we know what they bring but every time we play them there are fireworks so it’s a fairytale game.

    "Of course we remember the last final we played and we have an opportunity to put that right now.

    "It’s definitely time for us to win a final at Wembley. For myself, it’s been five finals I’ve lost so now we have to put the pressure on ourselves to step up."

  • Etienne Fermie

    Tuchel hopes star pushes on

    Thomas Tuchel is optimistic that yesterday's goal against Crystal Palace could be huge for Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

    The German said: "Hopefully it’s a big moment for him.

    "He's normally a very calm, very quiet guy but we saw him jumping and celebrating the goal and that is good because he's the opposite of over-confident.

    "You need to instil this confidence into his body and into his game and these are the next steps for him, that he can absolutely feel how much influence he can have, and that he shows everybody in the stadium his potential, and not only to us on the training ground."

  • Etienne Fermie

    Chelsea ace on goalscoring prowess

    Mason Mount has admitted that scoring more goals has been a focus of his this season.

    After his latest strike against Crystal Palace, he said: "It's obviously been quite a productive season for me.

    "At the start, it was something I really looked at because as a midfielder you want to be someone who gets goals and assists.

    "I’ve always wanted to be that threat and I’ve tried to do it as best I can.

    "It’s started to come off a bit more this season but you always have those periods where you don’t score as well and I’ve had those this season too.

    "It’s been a good little period the last couple of games. I’ve just been trying to focus on getting in the box and trying to take my opportunities.

    "I had a couple of shots today and they went miles over but then I had the one right at the end where it’s the best chance out of all of them. I’ve got to take it and I found the corner which is something I’ve been working on in training."

  • Etienne Fermie

    Mount delighted for Loftus-Cheek.

    Chelsea star Mason Mount is "buzzing" for Ruben Loftus-Cheek after his fellow academy graduate opened the scoring against Crystal Palace yesterday.

    He said: "I’m absolutely buzzing for Rubes.

    "He’s worked so hard to get back into the shape he is now and he’s a top player. He came on in a difficult game but stepped up and did well.

    "He’s a big, dominant player for us and the way he drives the ball forward really helps us move up the pitch. He was brilliant today when he came on."

  • Etienne Fermie

    Mount praises much-maligned star

    Mason Mount has been full of praise for often-criticised German ace Timo Werner.

    Following yesterday's win, the England international said: "He’s been brilliant since he came in at Southampton and then in Madrid.

    "You can see he’s full of energy. In the second half there was a moment where he missed a chance but then me and Jorginho were laughing on the bench because he sprinted all the way back to the halfway line and made a tackle.

    "That’s what we’re all about. He gives everything so I’m very pleased for him.

    "He got me a little assist, could have had another one and he could have had a couple of goals as well. He’s done so well the past couple of games."

  • Etienne Fermie

    James is on Real radar

    Real Madrid are plotting a sensational swoop for Chelsea star Reece James this summer, according to reports.

    The Blues right-back, 22, has been in superb form this season – excelling in attack as well as defensively.

    James is quickly establishing himself as England's No1 man in that position despite Gareth Southgate's plethora of options.

    And Real Madrid are hoping to lure him away from Old Trafford in the summer, according to The Mirror.

    Los Blancos recently got a close look at James during their Champions League quarter-final tie against Chelsea.

    James was in scintillating form as the Blues came within touching distance of a stunning second-leg comeback at the Bernabeu.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Mount talks Palace cup win

    Chelsea ace Mason Mount has offered his reaction to yesterday's 2-0 FA Cup semi-final victory over Crystal Palace.

    The midfielder said: "It's a game that we needed to bounce back. Any time you play at Wembley, it’s a special occasion. I can’t remember the last time I scored here but I think it was quite a while ago.

    "If you look at the game overall, it was very tight. I was speaking to Marc Guehi afterwards and saying how well they played and how good they are as a team with top players.

    "They made it very difficult for us with the way they set up. They have a very good manager and we found it difficult. It took quite a long time for us to break them down.

    "We didn’t have many chances until we scored, which opened the game up. They had to go forward a bit more, which left more gaps and then we got the second which was the game killed off."

  • Etienne Fermie

    Tuchel criticises Romelu Lukaku fitness

    Thomas Tuchel revealed before yesterday's FA Cup semi-final that Romelu Lukaku’s match fitness remains some way off the standard required to match Chelsea’s tactical intensity.

    The German noted: "He is not fit enough for the intensity of our game in an FA Cup semi-final.

    "It’s not easy to come into a game such as this with so much riding on it after a spell out with injury.

    "It’s just a case of him not having as much minutes recently as the other players, his match fitness is not quite there otherwise there’s a big chance that he would have started today."

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