8am Chelsea news LIVE: Kante could miss rest of season, Kepa to Valencia, Pjanic transfer UPDATE – The Sun

CHELSEA are back in training as the return of the Premier League draws closer.

But N'Golo Kante is not among the squad due to coronavirus fears, and the club will not put any pressure on the Frenchman to return.

Follow all the latest updates from Stamford Bridge below…

  • GOOD MORNING CHELSEA FANS

    Chelsea will let N'Golo Kante miss the rest of the season if his coronavirus fears linger.

    The midfielder was been granted compassionate leave by the club and it's not known when he will return to training.

    He arrived at Blues' Cobham base on Thursday for tests but was given the green light by boss Frank Lampard to train at home.

    Meanwhile Romelu Lukaku revealed he will never forgive old boss Andre Villas-Boas for 2012 Champions League squad axe.

    He said: “The previous trainer (Villas-Boas), I will never forgive him.

    “I didn’t touch [the trophy] with a finger because I didn’t win this trophy myself.”

    In the latest Blues transfer news, the club could strike a player-exchange deal with Juventus.

    Various reports are claiming Blues midfielder Jorginho could be heading to Italy for a link-up with his former Stamford Bridge and Napoli boss.

    And 30-year-old Bosnian international Pjanic could be coming in the opposite direction, although both Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are also linked with the star.

  • N'GO WAY

    N'Golo Kante has finally treated himself to a flashy footballer's car – swapping his Mini for a new Mercedes.

    There were reports the Frenchman initially started off RUNNING to Foxes training before being told he needed to drive.

    So he went for a modest Mini for around £20,000 and clearly fell in love with the British classic.

    The original one he picked up has been shipped back to France so he can drive it when he goes home while he bought an identical model after signing for Chelsea in 2016.

  • GIFT OF GAB

    Chelsea have reportedly been joined by Real Madrid in the race for Lille star Gabriel.

    Spanish news outlet AS claims the Brazilian centre-back, 22, is a £30million target for both the Blues and Los Blancos.And another added: “This is a very Santimental tweet. Bring him home already, will you?”

    He has enjoyed a great season with Lille in Ligue 1, making 24 appearances.

    And Gabriel is believed to have caught Frank Lampard’s eye after two strong performances against Chelsea in the Champions League last year.

    Lamps apparently believes Gabriel is the man to give his backline some much-needed steel.

  • TERRYBLE TIMING

    Manchester United were crowned kings of Europe in the first all-English Champions League final 12 years ago today after clinching a dramatic penalty shootout 6-5 against Chelsea in Moscow.

    Keeper Edwin van der Sar saved Nicolas Anelka’s spot-kick – after Blues skipper John Terry had the chance to win the club its first European title.

    But he slipped as he struck his penalty and crumpled in a heap, head in his hands.

    Terry sobbed uncontrollably as he watched rival captain Rio Ferdinand lift the trophy in a game which both teams could have won but ended deadlocked at 1-1 after extra time.

    Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored in normal time, but then also missed his penalty, said afterwards: “This is football.I thought we were going to lose. I score the goal, then miss the penalty, the worst day of my life.

    “But the lads did the proper job and I feel very proud for them. It means everything for me.”

  • KAN DO

    N’Golo Kante was back at Chelsea today for a second day of testing – a day after being given compassionate leave due to his fears over coronavirus.

    The midfielder was pictured leaving the Blues’ Cobham base on Thursday afternoon after being told he could train from home on Wednesday.

    Kante, 29, joined Chelsea’s first training ground session on Tuesday after testing negative for coronavirus.

    He looked to be in good spirits as he sported a new haircut.

    And Kante, widely regarded as the nicest man in football, even rocked up to Cobham in a shiny new Mercedes instead of his classic Mini.

    But Frank Lampard gave the star his blessing to continue working out from home a day later.

  • FOOTBALLERS' HIVES

    Football fans will be treated to the return of an MTV classic next month… with a certain Premier League twist.

    The hit show Cribs will be returning to screens around the world and a trio of top-flight footballers in England have signed up to take part.

    Chelsea fans can enjoy exploring former centre-back David Luiz’s pad.

    Borussia Dortmund star Axel Witsel and 2017 Uefa Women’s Player of the Year Lieke Martens will also take part.

    The show will be titled MTV Cribs: Footballers Stay Home and will be produced by Otro Studios.

  • BUY JORG

    Chelsea and Juventus are looking into a potential swap deal that would see Jorginho reunite with Maurizio Sarri with Miralem Pjanic heading to England.

    The financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak has altered a lot of clubs' spending plans, with several looking to offload talents in order to bring in new recruits.

    Now various reports are claiming Blues midfielder Jorginho could be heading to Italy for a link-up with his former Stamford Bridge and Napoli boss.

    And 30-year-old Bosnian international Pjanic could be coming in the opposite direction, although both Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are also linked with the star.

  • KUM GET ME

    Chelsea are set to beat Arsenal and Everton to the signing of Hellas Verona star Marah Kumbulla, according to reports.

    The 20-year-old Albanian has been likened to Juventus legend Giorgio Chiellini.

    He could cost as little as £18million and, according to Corriere Dello Sport, looks set for a move to England.

  • COULDN'T GET A LUK IN

    Romelu Lukaku has lifted the lid on his time under Andre-Villas Boas, revealing he has not forgiven the Portuguese for several snubs while at Chelsea.

    The Inter striker said: “Once I had to play in the front left, another time in the front right. You don’t develop that way.

    “Then at some point you have to think about yourself. So I told the club what I thought of it.

    “I know, Villas-Boas was also under pressure. But that’s why he didn’t have to treat me like that.

    “Di Matteo approached me completely differently, he immediately involved me in everything. That should have been much earlier.

    “Really, I never forgave the previous coach.”

  • CROWD PROUD

    Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin expects fans to be back at matches soon.

    He told El Mundo: “I don't like apocalyptic visions that say we should expect a second wave, a third or a fifth.

    “People we know will die one day, but do we need to be worried now? Should we be fearful now? I don't think so.

    “We are ready (to hold the Euros) and we're going to follow the recommendations of the health authorities.

    “I’m absolutely sure that the good and old football with supporters will be back soon.”

  • LOL

    Michael Essien shared this brilliant picture… and used it as an excuse to take the mick out of Didier Drogba.

    View this post on Instagram

    Yo bro @didierdrogba what happens to your shorts though 🤣🤣😂😂 ⚽️⚽️🏃🏿‍♂️🏃🏿‍♂️

    A post shared byMichael Essien®🇬🇭 (@michaelessien) on

  • START THE BUS

    After beating Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final, Chelsea paraded the trophy down King's Road eight years ago today.

  • GIVE THEM COLD SHOULDER

    Jadon Sancho has been urged to snub a summer transfer to Manchester United and Chelsea by team-mate Emre Can.

    And the former Liverpool midfielder is hoping he can “play forever” alongside the wonderkid at Borussia Dortmund.

    Speaking to the Evening Standard, the 26-year-old said: “I see no reason to put Manchester United above Borussia Dortmund.

    “Not from a sporting side and not because of the appeal.

    “I’d tell him to stay put and let’s play together forever.

    “Jadon has class that not a lot of players possess. I noticed that fairly quickly. He’s enormously important for us.”

  • NOU ERA

    Chelsea target Miralem Pjanic has ruled out joining Paris Saint-Germain, according to reports.

    While the Juventus midfielder is not looking to make a transfer to France, he has not ruled out making a Barcelona switch.

    The Blues could also make a move for Pjanic, 30, according to RMC Sport, given Maurizio Sarri is keen to link up with favourite midfielder Jorginho once again.

    A swap deal has been mooted between the two clubs for the midfielders.

  • ON THIS DAY

    Was it really THREE years ago Antonio Conte's Chelsea lifted the Premier League title?

  • BALLS UP

    The Premier League’s big return to training has been hampered — by sticky balls!

    And some players have angrily slammed the Phase One Covid-19 training programmes as “pointless” and “ludicrous”.

    All 20 top flight clubs have now resumed work in strictly controlled sessions as part of Project Restart, which aims to finish the season.

    But the disinfectant that is being sprayed onto balls has reacted in the hot weather, causing the surface to become tacky and affecting movement.

    Some players also claim sessions are not fit for purpose as they build up fitness ahead of a planned match return next month.

    Motivation is already rapidly vanishing because the carefully regulated training sessions are nothing like what they should be doing as professionals.

  • GI WHIZZ

    Frank Lampard is delighted Olivier Giroud's contract has been renewed until the end of next season.

    The Blues boss said: “Since I have been back at Chelsea, Olivier has been brilliant as a professional and as a man in general.

    “He has great qualities to help the squad both on and off the pitch, not only with his talent but with the example he sets every day and the experience he brings to our young squad.

    “I am very pleased that will continue next season.”

  • JUVE DONE IT THIS TIME

    Jorginho's agent has reignited speculation that he could leave Chelsea for Juventus in the summer.

    Joao Santos told Radio Kiss Kiss: “Juventus are one of the top teams in Europe and any player would like to play for them.

    “I haven’t heard from [sporting director] Paratici, he hasn’t called me. Jorginho has three years left on his contract with Chelsea, he’s doing well in London.

    “I read about the links with Juve through newspapers and various outlets.”

    And pressed on whether Jorginho would like to move to Turin, he said: “I repeat: Juventus are one of the top clubs in football.”

  • MORNING, BLUES FANS

    Chelsea have confirmed that Olivier Giroud’s contract has been extended for another year.

    The Frenchman said: “I am delighted to continue my journey and adventure at Chelsea.

    “I can’t wait to get back to playing and enjoying competitive football with my teammates.

    “I’m looking forward to wearing the Chelsea shirt again, especially in front of our fans at a full Stamford Bridge, whenever it is safe to do so.”

    Boss Frank Lampard added: “Since I have been back at Chelsea, Olivier has been brilliant as a professional and as a man in general.

    “He has great qualities to help the squad both on and off the pitch, not only with his talent but with the example he sets every day and the experience he brings to our young squad.

    “I am very pleased that will continue next season.”

    Chelsea have also decided to extend Willy Caballero’s deal by a further season.

    Meanwhile, Chelsea have reportedly been joined by Real Madrid in the race for Lille star Gabriel.

    Spanish news outlet AS claims the Brazilian centre-back, 22, is now a £30million target for Los Blancos.

    He has enjoyed a great season with Lille in Ligue 1, making 24 appearances.

    Zinedine Zidane’s preferred target is RB Leipzig ace Dayot Upamecano.

    But The Germans are demanding a whopping £54m, while Bayern Munich are also ready to compete for his signature.

    Real are therefore looking at other options and Gabriel is understood to be high on their wish list.

    Finally, Manuel Neuer has signed a new contract at Bayern Munich in a major blow to Chelsea.

    The Blues had hoped to bring the German legend to Stamford Bridge to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga this summer.

    Neuer, 34, was expected to quit Bayern this summer after the club controversially brought in Alexander Nubel as his long-term replacement in January.

    But the German's new deal will see him surely end his career at the Allianz Arena – as he will be aged 37 by the time his deal expires.

  • EXCLUSIVE BY TOM BARCLAY

    Avram Grant has told SunSport he is proud of his achievements at Chelsea – despite losing the 2008 Champions League final to Man Utd.

    He said: “Reading my notes back made me proud of everything. You see only the result and the result was clear.

    “But I consider more what brought us there. The training, the mentality, everything. No doubt, it was a great season.”

  • KANTE DO IT

    N’Golo Kante skipped Chelsea training today because of his fears over coronavirus.

    The midfielder has been granted compassionate leave by the club and it is not known when he will return.

    France World Cup winner Kante completed day one of Chelsea’s return to training on Tuesday after testing negative for coronavirus.

    But it is believed he has concerns over the safety of going back to duty alongside his team-mates full time while England remains in lockdown.

    As a result he was allowed to miss Wednesday’s session with the blessing of head coach Frank Lampard and the club.

  • EXCLUSIVE BY DUNCAN WRIGHT

    Real Madrid and neighbours Atletico are the latest big Spanish club to make it known they are willing to sell some of their stars.

    That is sure to put Premier League giants including Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal on red alert.

    SunSport revealed this week how Barcelona have effectively invited offers for all but three of their players as they desperately look to plug a hole in their finances.

    Now it has emerged that LaLiga rivals Real and Atleti are also in the market to offload players as the cost of the Covid-19 crisis begins to bite.

    The top clubs in the Premier League have all been made aware that the two clubs in the Spanish capital are open to do business for the majority of their players.

    Real are still trying to pursue a plan to find the resources to sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain, but to do that they would need to bring in a huge amount of funds.

    Gareth Bale is one of those they would be happy to move on to get his £650,000-a-week wages off their books, but others are also available.

    But the problem for the Spanish giants is the value of players is likely to drop markedly when football resumes, and they may not get the kind of fees they would hope.

  • EXCLUSIVE BY DUNCAN WRIGHT

    THE Premier League's big return to training has been hampered – by sticky balls.

    All 20 top flight clubs have now resumed work in strictly controlled sessions as part of Project Restart aiming to complete the season.

    But the coating of disinfectant being smeared on all the balls has reacted in the scorching temperatures across the country, causing the surface to become tacky.

    Some players have complained they are now running slowly on the already dry grass in the few ball drills they are able to enjoy in Phase One of the training programme.

    SunSport has learnt how just two days into the new regime stars are claiming they are “pointless” and “ludicrous”.

    They claim the sessions are not fit for purpose to help them build up match fitness ahead of the planned return to action next month.

  • WHERE THERE'S A WILL

    Chelsea have also decided to extend Willy Caballero’s deal by a further season.

    The Argentine goalie beamed: “I am very happy to make this announcement.

    “It is a privilege to be part of this squad and family, at one of the most historic clubs in the Premier League.

    “It is a difficult time for everyone right now so I feel blessed by this opportunity and truly appreciate it.

    “I want to thank my teammates for helping me to be at my best and I want to thank the boss and club for extending my contract.

    “I’m sure they will continue to demand the maximum from me and I will compete with the same energy as always.

    “I am very happy.”

    Boss Frank Lampard added: “I trust in Willy, he trains brilliantly and is a great professional.

    “He stepped into the team earlier this year and showed his quality, and his experience is invaluable in the dressing room.

    “I’m delighted he will be with us next season.”

  • ROUD AWAKENING

    Chelsea have confirmed that Olivier Giroud’s contract has been extended for another year.

    The Frenchman said: “I am delighted to continue my journey and adventure at Chelsea.

    “I can’t wait to get back to playing and enjoying competitive football with my teammates.

    “I’m looking forward to wearing the Chelsea shirt again, especially in front of our fans at a full Stamford Bridge, whenever it is safe to do so.”

    Boss Frank Lampard added: “Since I have been back at Chelsea, Olivier has been brilliant as a professional and as a man in general.

    “He has great qualities to help the squad both on and off the pitch, not only with his talent but with the example he sets every day and the experience he brings to our young squad.

    “I am very pleased that will continue next season.”

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