uploads at the end of each month
Chelsea are ready to offer Valencia £11
million for defender Roberto Ayala. El Clarin says Blues owner
Roman Abramovich has already tabled an £11 million bid for Ayala, who
he tried to sign in January.
At that stage his approach was rejected, but his latest offer is much
closer to Valencia's own valuation of the 31-year-old.
Newcastle 2 - Chelsea 1
Newcastle skipper Alan Shearer smashed
home a stunning long-range effort to finally end Chelsea's bid for the
Premiership title, as the Magpies won 2-1 at St. James' Park.
Joe Cole fired the visitors in front with just five minutes gone, but
Shola Ameobi dragged the home side back into it two minutes before the
break with an excellent finish.However, not to
be outdone by his young sidekick, Shearer lashed the winner three minutes
after half-time to put United level on points and goal difference with
Liverpool in fourth.
Real Madrid have faxed Chelsea the buyout
clauses of all their star players. Real president revealed yesterday:
"If they want to sign Ronaldo or any other player of Real Madrid,
they will have to pay the buyout clause. "And in the case of Ronaldo,
that is £120 million!" David Beckham, Michel Salgado and Roberto
Carlos are also on Chelsea's shopping list, but when chief executive
Peter Kenyon asked about their availability, he was told: "They are
available for what it says in their buyout clause."
Ranieri insists he was misquoted
in a Spanish press interview criticising club owner Roman Abramovich.
"I don't understand Abramovich's complaints. What does he want? My blood?
Abramovich knows nothing about football. That's the real shame," Ranieri
was quoted as saying.
"If he had understood what my side had achieved last season he would
have valued me more highly. We did it all without any money. "Look,
I already have the Abramovich sword embedded in me. "I'm convinced even
if I win the Champions League I will be sacked. I'm certain about that
and ready for it." He also said, "Ever since he arrived at the club
Abramovich wanted Sven Goran Eriksson.
They even met in the summer. "But Eriksson said he couldn't leave England
and so the next day Abramovich met me and told me: 'OK, you've done
a good job these last few years and you are going to carry on'." But
Ranieri's agent denied the Italian had made the comments, insisting:
"This is a complete misinterpretation of an interview done three weeks
ago and should not be taken seriously .
Ranieri has accepted the blame for
Chelsea's Champions League semi-final first leg defeat to Monaco.
The Blues crashed to a 3-1 defeat after the French outfit
came struck twice late on despite being down to ten men.
The fingers of blame were immediately pointed at Ranieri for his substitutions
in the wake of Akis Zikos' dismissal. He introduced Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
to play alongside Hernan Crespo and Eidur Gudjohnsen, which he admits
"I made the changes (putting on a third striker) because we wanted
to go for the win," said Ranieri. "But in the last 15 minutes, we
lost the plot. "The three strikers should have combined better, but
they played for themselves.
"It is not the fault of the players, the defeat is my fault. "All
matches rest on such things. The changes we made, were made for the
right reasons." He added: "We know that it will be difficult to make
up the two goals on Monaco, but we will try."
Claudio Ranieri revealed today
that he has yet to decide on his Chelsea team for their European Champions
League semi-final first leg against Monaco.
"I always pick my team on the night before the match and this will be
the same," said Ranieri. "I always look at the final training session
and feel something is right with this player and perhaps not quite right
with another. "This is very important for me." Ranieri also admitted
that tomorrow's first leg in Monaco is the biggest match of his managerial
career so far. "This is a big game for me," he said.
"This has been my first time in the Champions League and the first time
in the semi-final. "It's all new to me even though I have a lot of experience
in the Italian, Spanish and English cups."
Ranieri has injury doubts about several of his squad, particularly Eidur
Gudjohnsen and Damien Duff, who missed the Everton game on Saturday
through illness, plus French defender William Gallas who limped off
with a hamstring problem in the 0-0 draw. "I am hoping that everyone
will be okay but I will see how they are," said Ranieri. .
Former Chelsea midfielder and current
Monaco coach Didier Deschamps has heaped praise on Claudio
Ranieri and urged Blues owner Roman Abramovich to keep faith with
Ranieri takes his Chelsea side to the Principality on Tuesday in a
surprise UEFA Champions League semi-final and Deschamps admits he
has great respect for the Tinkerman's achievements.
''What Ranieri has achieved has not been easy,'' Deschamps told the
Daily Mail. ''He has had a huge number of new players from different
backgrounds but he's had a very good season. ''It's just his bad luck
that Arsenal are having an extraordinary year. Otherwise, with the
same number of points they would perhaps be the champions of England.''
The highly-rated French coach continued to suggest that The Premiership's
Roman Abramovich has been named
as Britain's richest man with a total wealth of £7.5 billion . The annual
Sunday Times Rich List said Abramovich - who owns the Chelsea Football
Club and real estate in Britain - had a fortune based on shareholdings
in oil, aluminium and pharmaceutical companies.
The Sunday Times lists Abramovich as the sixth richest person in Europe
and the 22nd richest in the world.
Claudio Ranieri admits he could
be sacked next month after revealing Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich
wanted a new boss when he took over. "It could be the case
that I lose my job at the end of the season,'' he told Gazzetta
"When the ownership of a club changes, the owner has the right to
change the coach. "Abramovich wanted to change last July but he didn't
find what he was looking for. "It gives me great pleasure to receive
so much affection (from the fans) but the logic of football is different.
[Vicente] Del Bosque was sacked from Madrid despite winning the league
but not the Champions League. "I try to explain to the English people
that having coached in Italy these situations are elementary.''
Ranieri has been criticised for his rotation policy, most recently
after the 3-2 defeat at Aston Villa on Monday, but with the vast amount
of player resources at his disposal he defended the tactic. "I decided
that in order to create a group, to construct a team, the method was
the systematic turnover,'' he added.
"I have been criticised for some time because I reinforced the team
so much but look at the results. I now have a nearly complete team
with Juan Sebastian Veron and Carlo Cudicini close to making their
comeback and the rest of players are all fresh. "I explained to the
new players that arrived that they would play 30 games instead of
60 and I convinced the veterans that the same applied to them.
"No-one likes to be on the bench but it was the only way to achieve
fusion and the collective spirit.".
Claudio Ranieri is set for the
axe if Chelsea fail to beat Monaco and reach the Champions League final,
according to reports.
Indeed, following a meeting yesterday with chief executive Peter
Kenyon, Ranieri’s agent Phil Smith believes his client could be
dismissed if Chelsea fail to get the better of the French outfit.
"The decision on his future is not going to be resolved overnight,”
said Smith. "There will be another meeting after the Monaco game. It
may well depend on how that goes as to what happens then."
Chelsea are being linked with Porto
midfielder Maniche Ribeiro. Ribeiro has two years left on his
Benfica lost an appeal to over-turn his deal - after they claimed
he signed for them six months before his contract at Estadio da Luz
was due to expire. The midfielder, 26, has impressed both Chelsea
and AS Roma scouts in Porto's Champions League run this season .
Barcelona's board are bracing themselves
for a £50 million offer from Chelsea for attacking midfielder Ronaldinho.
The Sun says Barca vice-president Sandro Rosell is worried Blues owner
Roman Abramovich will swoop in the summer.
Rosell - who deals with all Barca's transfers - did not deny Chelsea's
offer. He said: "I refuse to answer the question of whether we have
received a bid for Ronaldinho." And he added: "I have a degree of fear
concerning Chelsea because if it is true that Abramovich is willing
to invest further hundreds of millions of pounds in the transfer market
then his aim will be to buy one of our best players. "With Abramovich
you know he has the money whereas with, say Real Madrid, you don't know
it to the same degree.
"Barcelona remains a 'sick club' because we still owe £164m but I think
we are imposing financial control and that we are on the road to recovery.
"So I hope that it is one thing for someone like Abramovich to move
for one of our players and quite another that they accept his offer.
"I think that the great players are deeply involved in our rebuilding
project and want to see it continue.
"I mean, look at Arsenal, we know that Arsenal received a £50m offer
for Thierry Henry and they said no. "That is the kind of decision I
would say we would take with Ronaldinho. "I view it impossible that
he only stays here for one season like, say, Romario did. "I think that
Ronaldinho is deeply attached to the club and the city."
| Claudio Ranieri insisted
that the changes he made to his line-up were not the reason for the 2-3
defeat at Aston Villa. Self-styled 'Tinkerman' Ranieri, who made eight
changes to his starting eleven, said:|
"They are used to playing with each other whatever side I put out. "We
certainly started well and got an early goal, but in the battle Villa
were better than us, and when that is the case, you lose. "It's now a
challenge between us and Manchester United for second place." .
|Chelsea moved to within four points
of Arsenal at the top of the Premiership thanks to a slender win over
The win ensures Chelsea can finish no lower than fourth in the Premiership
and guarantees the Stamford Bridge outfit Champions League football next
season. It also continued their hoodoo over Spurs at White Hart Lane -
they have not lost at the ground in the league for 17 years.
Ranieri is confident he can
beat Arsenal - but admits it might not be as manager of Chelsea. The
Italian takes his team to Highbury on Tuesday for the Champions League
quarter-final second leg.
The first leg at Stamford Bridge ended 1-1. Ranieri was in buoyant
mood ahead of the tie, joking: "This is my last chance to beat Arsenal
- as Chelsea manager. That's what you want to hear, isn't it?" He
added: "You think I am a dead man walking, but I am still working
and still the Chelsea manager, but I could face them again with another