Brazilian midfielder Willian has confirmed he would leave Chelsea after seven “wonderful” years at Stamford Bridge.
The 32-year-old, linked with a move across town to Arsenal, posted a farewell letter to the club’s fans on Twitter.
“The time has now come to move on. I am certainly going to miss my team mates,” he said.
“I leave with my head held high, safe in the knowledge that I won things here and always did my best in a Chelsea shirt!”
Willian, who began his career with Corinthians in Sao Paulo, joined Chelsea from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013 and made over 300 appearances for the club, winning two English Premier League titles.
He was out of contract this summer and had failed to agree a new long-term deal with the club.
“In August 2013 when I received the offer from Chelsea, I was convinced that this was where I had to play,” he said.
“Today I am certain that it was the best of decisions. There were so many happy times, (and) some sad. There were trophies and it was always very intense.”
Spanish midfielder Pedro also announced he was leaving the club on Sunday after five years.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
Bale signing leaves Alli’s Spurs future in doubt
Of the Tottenham Hotspur players impacted by the loan signing of Gareth Bale from Real Madrid, Dele Alli appears the most vulnerable but manager Jose Mourinho has said he will not be sacrificed in the transfer window.
Bale will not be ready to resume his Tottenham career until October as he regains fitness, but when he does it is likely to be in an attacking trio with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
Alli burst into the spotlight at Tottenham in 2015-16 when he was named PFA Young Player of the Year and made his England debut, but his form has dipped to such an extent that he has lost his place in Jose Mourinho’s side.
Left out of Gareth Southgate’s last England squad too, Alli, now aged 24, is at something of a crossroads.
His preferred position, playing just behind a front two, looks tailor-made for Bale and Mourinho also has an abundance of attacking options in the form of Lucas Moura, Steven Bergwijn, Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela.
Mourinho demands a high work ethic and a recent behind-the-scenes documentary about Tottenham featured one episode in which Mourinho tells Alli he is “lazy” and later, in a one-to-one chat, warns him that he could regret not reaching his potential.
Alli was substituted at halftime in Tottenham’s first Premier League game of the new season, a 1-0 loss to Everton.
He did not feature at all in last week’s Europa league win at Lokomotiv Plovdiv, nor the 5-2 win at Southampton on Sunday in which Son scored four goals.
With three weeks of the transfer window left, Alli’s name is already being linked with a move to Paris St Germain, but his stock is not what it was when he scored twice for Tottenham in their first ever win against Real Madrid in 2017.
“I want a balanced squad, that’s what I want. He doesn’t need to be sacrificed, but the squad is a puzzle,” Mourinho said when asked about Alli’s future on Sunday.
Former Tottenham midfielder Michael Brown believes it might be in everyone’s best interests if Alli were to be sold.
“It doesn’t look like they’re getting on very well,” Brown told BBC Radio. “I’m hoping he has a reaction and takes the challenge head on, but it doesn’t look good and maybe this one’s broken.”
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)
Man City’s Gundogan tests positive for COVID-19
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has tested positive for COVID-19, the Premier League club said on Monday.
Gundogan is the third player in the squad to return a positive test in recent weeks.
City winger Riyad Mahrez and defender Aymeric Laporte previously tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month.
“Gundogan is now observing a 10-day period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine,” the club said in a statement.
Gundogan is likely to miss three matches for City while he self-isolates, including Monday’s league clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Thursday’s League Cup tie against Bournemouth and Sunday’s league game against Leicester City.
Both Mahrez and Laporte returned to training last week but City boss Pep Guardiola said only the Algerian winger would be available against Wolves — City’s opening game of the season.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
Edited By: Joseph Edeh
Aston Villa sign forward Traore from Lyon for 18 million euros
Aston Villa have signed Burkina Faso international, l Bertrand Traore from Olympique Lyonnais for 18.4 million euros (16.88 million pounds) plus up to 2.2 million euros in incentives, the Ligue 1 club announced on Monday.
Traore, 25, made 126 appearances for Lyon and scored 33 goals after his arrival from Chelsea in 2017.
Lyon confirmed they would receive 15 per cent of the funds generated from any future transfer.
“Olympique Lyonnais wishes Bertrand the best of luck in the top flight of English football four years after his initial experience with a Premier League club,” Lyon said in a statement.
Traore began his professional career at Chelsea in 2014 but failed to cement a spot in the first team and was loaned out to Vitesse Arnhem and Ajax Amsterdam before joining Lyon in 2017.
Capped 54 times by Burkina Faso, Traore was part of the side that won the bronze medal in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
He will add attacking firepower to an Aston Villa squad that finished 17th last season, narrowly avoiding relegation.
Lyon also confirmed the departure of Romanian goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu to AC Milan for 0.5 million euros, while German goalkeeper Julian Pollersbeck arrives from Hamburg SV on a four-year deal for 0.25 million euros plus incentives.
Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
Mane double eases Liverpool to 2-0 win over 10-man Chelsea
Two goals from Sadio Mane just after halftime eased champions Liverpool to a 2-0 win over 10-man Chelsea in the Premier League season’s first heavyweight clash at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The game never threatened to live up to the eight-goal thriller when the side’s met in July, and it proved all-too-easy for Liverpool to lay down the season’s first big marker.
However, Chelsea were architects of their own downfall.
Chelsea managed only one goal attempt in the first half but were solid enough until Danish defender Andreas Christensen was sent off shortly before the interval for hauling down Mane.
Mane headed Liverpool in front five minutes after the interval and four minutes later took advantage of a dreadful error by Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga as the hosts crumbled.
Liverpool gave new midfield signing Thiago Alcantara a debut off the bench but the Spaniard’s first impact was to offer Chelsea a lifeline.
The former Bayern Munich player fouled Timo Werner to concede a penalty with a little under 20 minutes remaining.
But Jorginho’s effort was saved by the otherwise redundant Alisson Becker to spare Liverpool any late tension.
Liverpool have won both their opening games while Chelsea have three points.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed