11pm Chelsea news LIVE: Blues allow Kante to miss training, Callum Hudson-Odoi LATEST updates, Real Madrid aces FOR SALE – The Sun

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

And the Blues may have had a boost on the transfer front with Barcelona putting their entire squad up for sale, including the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho.

Follow all the latest updates from Stamford Bridge below…

  • 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.”

  • GREAT SCOTT

    The government has announced a “renewal taskforce” to help sport return – with ex-England footballer Alex Scott on board.

    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden wants advice on “how to get sport back safely in a way that works for both clubs, players and supporters alike”.

    And amid gradual easing of the Covid-19 lockdown, he said the government are looking for “new and different ways to get industries back up and running”.

    Dowden added: “Finding creative, crowd-free ways to navigate coronavirus is the biggest challenge for our recreation and leisure sectors right now”.

    But he confirmed the government are looking at a gradual process, rather than a sudden return, and insisted that safety concerns will remain the priority.

  • WINDS OF WINTER

    Arsene Wenger has called for the January transfer window to be axed as out-of-favour players “give up”.

    The Arsenal legend who is now FIFA's head of global development, has suggested changes to the game in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

    The Frenchman said: “I am for the abolition of the January transfer window

    “Managers don't deal with this second window well.

    “In October, as soon as a player does not play anymore, he tries to find a solution elsewhere and waits for January to leave,

    “He is no longer mobilised, he gives up.”

  • GIFT OF GAB

    Chelsea and Arsenal 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.

  • OL SHOW YOU

    Olivier Giroud proved to Karim Benzema he is no “go kart” by rocking up at Chelsea training in a stunning Ferrari.

    The Blues frontman was on the receiving end of a harsh jibe from his French compatriot in March.

    Real Madrid's Benzema slammed comparisons between the two strikers – by suggesting the gulf between them is like that of a Formula One car against a go kart.

    Giroud, however, is the first-choice central striker for Didier Deschamps as he closes in on 100 caps.

    And the Blues man, 33, proved he has plenty of class off the pitch, too, with his stylish arrival at Cobham.

  • NEU ERA

    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.

  • WAR OF THE MOSES

    Victor Moses is facing an uncertain future at Chelsea with the winger set to be dumped by Inter Milan after his flop loan spell.

    The Nigerian has struggled to hold down a first-team place while in Italy, making just seven appearances, mostly as a substitute.

    The 29-year-old has also had injury problems, failing to stay fit and not being a major part of Antonio Conte's starting plans.

    It is understood Inter have made an enquiry to Chelsea and were told he would cost around £10.75m to seal a permanent transfer.

    But the Italian club would only be willing to pay around £6m due to financial constraints related to the coronavirus pandemic.

    However, Conte is a big fan of Moses and could ask his old club whether they can take him back on loan for the whole of next year.

  • COUT ON HIS OWN

    Chelsea target Philippe Coutinhois back training on his own for Bayern Munich as the German giants consider extending his deal, according to reports.

    The Brazilian is on loan with the Bundesliga giants from Barcelona and is recovering from an ankle injury which he had surgery on in April.

    Coutinho was due to return to the Nou Camp at the end of the season but Bayern are considering extending his stay on a short term basis until the Champions League is finished, according to Spanish outlet Sport.

    But despite the brief respite, the Bundesliga giants are not expected to make his move permanent and his Barcelona future also looks in doubt.

    Latest reports suggest Bayern have offered Manchester City star Leroy Sane Coutinho's No10 shirt and a bumper pay rise in a bid to land him in the next transfer window.

    The Bavarianshave been desperate to sign the German winger, 24, since last summer, before his season-ending injury in August's Community Shield.

  • YOUNG OFFENDERS

    Chelsea reminded two members of staff of their responsibilities after they reportedly broke lockdown rules to sign two eight-year-olds.

    Saturday was the first day clubs could sign players for under-9 football next season and the West Londoners are said to have flaunted lockdown rules in order to get there first.

    Pictures reportedly seen by Football London appear to show the Blues' local head of recruitment and another member of staff enter the youngsters' homes to sign deals.

    The club had planned to deliver the contracts in hard copy and exchange at a safe distance, according to the Standard.

    Clubs are often in a hurry to snap up the best young talent but other London clubs are said to have acted in a more professional manner by recruiting youth players over Skype, Facetime and Zoom.

    A scout at one of Chelsea's rival clubs called the move “disrespectful” and some reportedly view it as a move to get ahead in the “very competitive market” for kids currently in year three at school.

  • COUT ABOVE

    Chelsea and Man Utd have been urged to make a move for Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho by Owen Hargreaves.

    The former Manchester United and Bayern Munich midfielder believes the Brazilian would be a welcome addition back to the Premier League.

    Speaking on BT Sport, the 39-year-old said: “I love his game, I love him as a player.

    “He is obviously going though a bit of a tough time after leaving Liverpool.

    “Barca didn’t work and Bayern hasn’t really worked, but there is still plenty of time and I would never count him out.

    “I would love to see him back in the Premier League. He makes a lot of teams better.

    “Premier League teams are probably the only ones with the capacity to sign him and, let’s be honest, when he was here he was a dream to watch.

  • PHIL TO THE BRIM

    Chelsea have been handed a huge boost in the race to land Philippe Coutinho after Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick cast doubt over the Brazilian's long-term future in Germany.

    The Brazilian playmaker was left out of the Bavarians squad for their 2-0 win over Union Berlin following a setback he suffered from an ankle injury.

    The 27-year-old now faces a fight to be fit for the rest of Bayern's games before he finishes his season-long loan from Barcelona.

    The Bundesliga champs have the option to make Coutinho's move permanent but have so far seemed unwilling to meet Barca's £100million price tag.

  • PARD UP FOR CASH

    Frank Lampard snubbed the chance to be Ipswich boss – because they had no money.

    His uncle Harry Redknapp revealed the current Chelsea chief was offered the Tractor Boys’ hotseat before he took over at Derby two years ago.

    Redknapp said: “I got him the job at Ipswich.

    “I phoned Marcus Evans and said ‘Listen you need a manager, Frank Lampard’s your man.’

    “He met him, loved him, offered him the job. Frank said ‘Harry, they’ve got no budget, it’s difficult there. I can’t bring any players in. What can I do?’

    “I said ‘It’s a great club, Ipswich, Frank but you’re going to need a bit of help. You ain’t got a magic wand.’

    “Then suddenly the Derby job became available and I rang Mel Morris. He’s got a house up the road from me and I get on ever so well with him.

  • OUT OF THE BLUE

    Chelsea great Michael Essien has revealed he almost signed for rivals LIVERPOOL instead.

    Essien recalled: “I had a lot of offers when I was at Bastia. I was close to signing for Liverpool when Gerard Houllier was their coach.

    “I even went to Melwood to meet the coach. We had a talk, and I returned to France.

    “But the offers were still coming – from PSG, Marseille.

    “However I told Bastia I didn't want to move, and they also didn't want to sell me. They wanted me to stay another year.

    “That was fine with me. I didn't want to leave the club, so I stayed for my third year with them.

    “Lyon joined the three aforementioned clubs to enquire about me. I thought it was too early for me to move to England.”

  • DOR OPEN

    Jadon Sancho remains likely to leave Borussia Dortmund this summer with Manchester United at the front of the queue ahead of Chelsea, according to reports.

    The 20-year-old has persistently been linked with a move away from Signal Iduna Park this season – but the financial effect of the coronavirus has changed the financial dynamics of every club in Europe.

    Ed Woodward himself last month warned of the changes that fans would see in the transfer market this summer.

    But according to The Athletic, the Red Devils are still in contact with Borussia Dortmund and a deal remains likely.

    Speaking on the Ornstein & Chapman Podcast, the former said: “Sancho was expecting to move this summer and there’s still a very high chance that will happen.

    “There’s an understanding between Sancho and Borussia Dortmund that if the right price arrives that he can go and there’s no expectation that Dortmund wouldn’t honour that, they’re said to be very honourable in these sort of situations.

    “They’re looking for no less than €120million [£107m], some say to me no less than €130m [£116m] and that certainly the figure that they want is around what they received or agreed for Ousmane Dembele.”

  • PLAY ON

    Uefa chief Aleksander Ceferin is “absolutely sure” fans will be back in stadiums “very soon” despite fears football faces 12 months of being played behind-closed-doors.

    When asked why he felt the disease would not impact football in the long-run, Ceferin told The Guardian: “It's a serious situation but it is going down now and we are being more cautious.

    “We know more about the virus and in general I'm an optimistic person.

    “I don't like this apocalyptic view that we have to wait for the second and third waves or even a fifth wave … people you know are likely to die one day, but do we have to be worried today? I don't think so.

    “We are ready and we will follow the recommendations of the authorities but I'm absolutely sure, personally, that good old football with fans will come back very soon.”

  • OUT OF THE BLUE

    Roberto Carlos has revealed that he came “very close” to joining Chelsea in 2007.

    He told Goal: “I had two proposals, Fenerbahce and Chelsea. Chelsea didn't work out so I signed for Fenerbahce.

    “But, with Chelsea, it got very close. It was literally agreed and I just had to go there and sign the contract.

    “It was just a week before I signed for Fenerbahce and I had been to Paris to meet both Roman Abramovich and Peter Kenyon.

    “Unfortunately, in the final moments something didn't work out just before finalising, which happens a lot in football. There was an issue with the lawyer.

    “It was all agreed, though, and I am 100 per cent sure I would have done well in the Premier League and it would have suited my characteristics.”

  • N'GOLO TOUPEE

    Chelseafans couldn't believe their eyes when N'Golo Kante rocked up to training with a full head of HAIR.

    The midfielder, 29, has only ever been seen with a shaved head since he made the move to England back in 2015.

    The likes of Manchester United duo Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial decided to brave the shave while on lockdown.

    But Kante clearly resisted the urge to give himself a haircut at home before he made his return to Cobham.

    Chelsea's squad returned to training on Tuesday in small groups as they prepare for the return of the Premier League.

  • LEFT HIGH AND DRI

    Chelsea have been handed a huge blow by reports that Dries Mertens has agreed a new three-year deal to remain at Napoli.

    The Belgian was the subject of concrete interest from the Blues back in January, but a move failed to materialise.

    Frank Lampard was said to be interested in returning for the 33-year-old this summer when his contract expires on June 30.

    But he faced competition from former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who had offered Mertens a three-year deal worth £170,000 a week to join Inter Milan.

    According to the Guardian, Napoli could not match their Serie A rivals' proposal but nevertheless have convinced the attacker to remain at the club.

    The report adds that Mertens has agreed a £140k a week extension to remain at the San Paolo Stadium and will also receive a £2.2million signing-on bonus.

  • ON VIRG OF GREATNESS

    Chelsea are leading the chase for highly-rated Dutch teen Xavier Mbuyamba from Barcelona.

    That’s according to the agent of the 18-year-old centre-half, who has been compared to a young Virgil van Dijk.

    Mbuyamba moved to the Nou Camp last summer from MVV Maastricht in his homeland but his representative confirmed he is already looking to continue his development.

    Carlos Barros told Voetbal International: “Almost all major clubs in Europe have asked about Xavier.

    “Real Madrid are also there, they are serious about their youth system, but that would of course be a sensitive switch. Juventus and Inter are interested, as are top clubs from Germany and England.

    “Chelsea have the best papers. Of course we discussed this extensively last year. Chelsea gave a fantastic presentation. There is a unique football atmosphere there.”

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