Madrid Calling? Hazard Rejects Second Chelsea Contract Offer, Other Transfer Gists

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Eden Hazard
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Eden Hazard of Chelsea during The Emirates FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on March 13, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger has completed a deal for Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos, while Chelsea sealed a £15m deal for Ross Barkley yesterday.

According to French publication RMC Sport, Eden Hazard continues to “flirt” with Real Madrid and has rejected a second contract extension and Antonio Conte is getting “irritated.”

Hazard, a vocal admirer of the Liga giants, remains tied to Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2020 and is reportedly not yet ready to commit to any further.

In the meantime, Manchester City are exploring the possibility of signing Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in the January transfer window after losing Gabriel Jesus for two months and mounting interest from Paris Saint-Germain, according to Daily Mail.

Inter and AC Milan are both keen on Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele, who has entered the last 18 months of his contract and struggled with injuries this season, according to Sky Sports. Tottenham will be hoping to recoup the £30m spent on Moussa Sissoko just 18 months ago.

Newcastle United are hoping to complete the signing of Chelsea winger Kenedy next week and retain an interest in Liverpool striker Danny Ings, according to Telegraph.

Rafael Benitez is also exploring bringing in Joe Hart during January after the West Ham loanee lost his starting place.

Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Crystal Palace will be prepared to make Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s stay at Selhurst Park a permanent one should Chelsea opt to sell the midfielder.

Loftus-Cheek’s future at his parent club is likely to come under the microscope following Chelsea’s £15million signing of Ross Barkley, adding to an already well-stocked midfield.

The 21-year-old Loftus-Cheek has made the most of a guaranteed regular place in the Palace side and has emerged as one of the Eagles’ most consistent players during their fine run of form over recent months.

And should the opportunity present itself Hodgson would be desperate to extend Loftus-Cheek’s spell in south London.

“He’s a player we’d like to have at our club, there’s no doubt about that,” Hodgson said.

“Ruben’s a player we like very much. We’re very impressed with him, delighted with the way he’s developed as a player during the time he’s been here. I’m pretty sure that if he’s ever available for sale, we would certainly be in there with our hand up as one of the potential buyers.”

“It could well be that Chelsea would like to have both Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in their team. I wouldn’t mind both in my team, anyway.”

ARSENAL NEWS

We’ve got some fresh contract news coming out of the Emirates this evening, but not quite the line many Arsenal fans will have been hoping for…

Highly-rated Arsenal youngster Xavier Amaechi has signed his first professional contract at the club, writes James Benge.

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The winger celebrated his 17th birthday in great fashion today, putting pen to paper on a deal that could tie him to the club for up to four years.

Amaechi joined the club in August 2013 at the age of 12 and has made swift progress through the ranks.

A statement on the official Arsenal website said: “We would like to congratulate Xavier on his new contract and look forward to his continued progress at the club.”

Amaechi, a left-footed winger blessed with searing pace, is considered the best player in his age group at the Hale End and has already featured for the Under-23 side in Premier League 2 action.

 

Perhaps the highlight of his fledgling career came in Arsenal Under-18s 6-0 demolition against Tottenham in November, where Ameachi scored a superb strike after a searing run past three Spurs defender.

CRYSTAL PALACE NEWS

“People who make offers for Wilfried Zaha are basically wasting their time,” said Hodgson, whose team play Brighton in the FA Cup on Monday.

“I’m certainly not expecting it. I have it on very clear authority from the chairman and owners of the club that they have no interest in selling Wilfried Zaha: quite the opposite.

“Our job is to keep all of the players we’ve got, who’ve been doing reasonably well for us in the past few weeks, to keep all of them, keep them fit, and add to it, and make ourselves stronger.

“I would advise people thinking of making offers to save it, because they’re going to be turned away, and might just be wasting the price of a phone call.”

CHELSEA NEWS

Ross Barkley will wear the number eight shirt at Chelsea, previously worn by club legend, and Standard Sport columnist, Frank Lampard.

The midfielder has big boots to fill and says he is ‘overwhelmed’ to be given a fresh start at the west London club.

“I’m overwhelmed, I’m looking forward to it and I’m really excited to get started,” Barkley told the club’s website.

“To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea, it’s unbelievable for me. I’m looking forward to continuing where I left off at the end of last season and hoping to improve and add more goals to my game.”

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