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Chelsea agree Courtois deal to Real Madrid

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Chelsea have agreed terms with Real Madrid for the transfer of Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

The 26-year-old goalkeeper will sign a six-year deal at Madrid subject to passing a medical and agreeing personal terms.

Croatia international Mateo Kovacic will be on a season-long loan at Stamford Bridge as part of the deal.

“Chelsea and Real Madrid have tonight agreed terms for the permanent transfer of Thibaut Courtois subject to the agreement of personal terms and passing a medical,” the Premier League club said on Wednesday.

“Subject to the completion of the deal Mateo Kovacic will join the Blues on a season-long loan.”

Madrid have been keen to bring in Courtois in a €35m deal (£31m/$40m).

Chelsea will kick off their Premier League campaign on Saturday with an away trip to Huddersfield Town.

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Antonio Conte sends Morata warning to Tottenham ahead of Chelsea clash

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte believes Alvaro Morata could be returning to form ahead of this weekend’s London derby with Tottenham. Morata has struggled in front of goal since the turn of the year but the 25-year-old striker finally got off the mark for 2018 in Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat of Leicester before the international break.

The Spaniard’s persistent back injury has become the source of major frustration and the forward has picked up five yellow cards and one sending off in recent weeks.

Asked about Chelsea’s striking options ahead of the clash with Spurs, Conte said: ‘I have to wait these three days before making the best decision and for the team. ‘Now we have two big problems, [Thibaut] Courtois and [Andreas] Christensen and we have to check the possibility to play and play well. They have to have the right physical condition.’

Conte praised Morata for ‘working very well’ in his recovery and revealed that the attacker has finally returned to full fitness. ‘This period was very important for Alvaro,’ he said.

‘He has worked very well and he needed to work hard. He was out for one month and a half with his back problem. ‘Now he is really fit, 100% and ready to have a final end to the season for Chelsea and then for him to have a chance for the World Cup.

 

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FA Cup Not Important To Chelsea – Conte

FA Cup is of little importance to Chelsea, according to Antonio Conte.

Chelsea are out of the title race, with Manchester City sure to lift the title, as they face a fight to finish in the top four.

Conte who is under pressure, watched how they crashed out of the UCL to Barcelona. The FA Cup is the only title Chelsea can win.

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“For sure we have to win this competition. But it’s not important,” he said. “A lot of times we compare, good season, bad season, if you win something. But you have to know what our level is now.”

“I’m very satisfied with my job and the work we’re doing. Me, the staff, my players, we’re doing a fantastic job,” he said. “Then, if you are able to win something, it’s good. But you have to understand — what is your level in this moment?

“Last season every player performed 120 per cent, maybe 130%. Also, we lost a lot of players who created a basis for Chelsea for a long time.

“This season has confirmed one thing: that last season we did an incredible achievement.

“Now we are trying to build a basis, fundamentals for this club. For this reason, we have a lot of young players, a lack of experience when you play against teams like Barcelona.”

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Hazard Urges Chelsea To Attack Arsenal

Eden Hazard had a top performance against Brighton over the weekend and wants Chelsea to build on that win, and attack Arsenal.

The Blues travel to  Emirates for the second leg of the Carabao Cup semifinals, after the first leg ended 0-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Hazard scored two brilliant goals on Saturday, and believes Chelsea will attack Arsenal like they did in the 2-2 draw in the PL.

“It’s a semi-final. We will go there to win, for sure,” Hazard said. “If we are thinking about setting up defensively against Arsenal then that’s a bad thing, because we need to score goals. We will see what the team is like – maybe the manager can change some players.

“We need to find ways to create problems for them. We will go there to win the game, create chances, because if we don’t create chances we can’t score. It’s that simple.

“Yes, maybe [it will be exciting like the league match], but we will see. We will go there to win the game because we want to win trophies at the end of the season, and the [Carabao] Cup is a good trophy.

“Big games are special because you know everyone is watching. It’s a semi-final and our fans want Chelsea in finals, so they will be watching the game.

“The Emirates Stadium is good with a lot of fans. It’s the kind of night you want to shine in.”