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Sad to see Thiago leave Stamford Bridge

I was sad to receive the news that Thiago Silva is leaving Chelsea at the end of the season. This brilliant Brazilian defender wanted to…

I was sad to receive the news that Thiago Silva is leaving Chelsea at the end of the season. This brilliant Brazilian defender wanted to stay in the Chelsea/Cobham area because his family are settled, his sons play for Chelsea’s young team and he genuinely loves the club. He said this week, “Chelsea means a lot to me, I came here with the intention of only staying for a year and it ended up being four.” Regrettably the 39-year-old might not be seen in the Chelsea team again after sustaining a groin injury in the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa. Thiago has played 151 times for the Blues and also won the FIFA Club World Cup.

Liverpool vs Tottenham

Liverpool return to action when they host Spurs on Sunday afternoon which leaves Jurgen Klopp just one remaining home match in charge at Anfield. The Reds have two more games after this and the campaign ends by entertaining Wolves on May 19. They could still reach 84 goals this season which would be their fifth highest since the Premier League was formed. A frustrating April saw the end of their title dreams. Following last weekend’s 2-2 draw with West Ham the players were given three days off from training. Andy Robertson and Harvey Elliot were in the medical room when the players returned on Wednesday morning. Both players were injured during the Hammers game at the London Stadium. Robertson in particular was desperate to avoid injury following his shoulder problem last October which meant a lengthy lay off. Thiago Alcantara, Joel Matip, Diogo Jota, Ben Doak and Conor Bradley are all still injured and Robertson and Elliott were being assessed on Friday.

All indications are that Mo Salah is ready to play his part against Spurs following his argument with Jurgen Klopp last week at West Ham. Luis Diaz and Cody Gakpo will be ready and either Salah or Elliot will start. Liverpool are strong at the back and Robertson (if fit), Van Dijk, Quanash and Alexander-Arnold will face Son Heung-Min, Kulusevski, Maddison and possibly Richarlison replacing the injured Werner. Defender Ben Davies will not play again this season after being injured in the defeat against Arsenal and the man he replaced Destiny Udogie is also out. Right-footed Emerson Royal or possibly centre-back Micky van de Ven will probably play. Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou said this week that his team needs more strengthening during the summer break and has again emphasized that Spurs are in an improving transition period and will be stronger next season. They are seven points behind Aston Villa with an inferior goal difference which makes Champions League football almost impossible next year given that the Premier League will probably not secure the extra fifth place being granted to the best performing European clubs.

Salah staying at Liverpool

Despite what you might have read or heard about Mo Salah leaving Liverpool there are no current plans to sell their main striker this summer. Coach Jurgen Klopp stressed that his row with Mo at the weekend is over and settled and plays no part in the rumours that his striker is leaving. There was strong interest from the Saudi Pro league last year with the 31-year-old striker being offered a two year contract worth £150million. Mo’s contract ends in 2025 but the Saudi’s will try to lure him to the Middle East again this summer.

All but four of United’s players up for sale

Manchester United have put out the word that all but three of their players are available for sale. Rasmus Hojlund, Andre Onana, Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho will not be allowed to leave and Marcus Rashford will only be sold if he wants to go. United have indicated that they will listen to offers for Rashford who has scored only eight goals this season and has mentioned to friends that at 26 years-of-age a fresh challenge could strengthen his form and put him in a better place to protect his England international place in coach Gareth Southgate’s squad.

New owner Sir James Ratcliffe and his team have to contend with a delicate balancing act. They want to get rid of some of United’s higher paid stars who they feel are not contributing to take the club forward in the fight for a Champions League place but financial fair play rules will restrict the club from spending on a large scale. Therefore, they need to get rid of players before recruiting. United’s priorities are a central defender and a new striker with England players Marc Guehi and Ivan Toney being regularly watched by United’s scouting team.

Denials from Chelsea and Liverpool about Amorim’s trip to London

Despite reports in the Portuguese press there is no truth that Ruben Amorim and his advisors flew by private jet to London for talks with Chelsea and Liverpool. Chelsea responded by stating that the flight had nothing to do with them and they did not charter the plane despite rumours about Mauricio Pochettino’s future at Stamford Bridge. Likewise, Liverpool denied they had met with Amorim and are about to announce that Arne Slot is replacing Jurgen Klopp at Anfield. Claims, again in the Portuguese press, that Amorim had been offered a £10million signing fee by Liverpool and a three-year contract worth £10million a year are not true.

On the brighter side for Everton…

Defender Vitalii Mykolenko has confirmed he will not be having surgery on the ankle injury he picked up against Liverpool in their 2-0 derby victory with Liverpool. The Ukraine international was helped off in pain and replaced by the evergreen Ashley Young. The left back also missed the game against Brentford last weekend. Mykolenko assured his supporters that he should be fit for the European Championships this summer but he is unlikely to play for Everton in their remaining fixtures this season.

Trippier hopes to be back for Newcastle

Newcastle captain Kieran Trippier has flown to Dubai for warm weather training to heal his calf injury sustained on March 2nd. Kieran said he is planning to make a return to the team for the match against Brighton in a week’s time. He will not make the trip to Burnley but the Baggies still have matches against Manchester United and Brentford during which they hope to secure European football next season.

Ten Hag begs for patience

Erik Ten Hag has begun the process of fighting for his job. He wants to remain as the coach at Old Trafford despite interest in him from Dutch club Ajax. Manchester United owner Sir James Ratcliffe and his INEOS team plan big changes when this season ends and a big clear-out of players and Ten Hag is on the discussion list. Ten Hag said that he is still in the process of rebuilding the squad and pointed out that players such as Garnacho, Hojlund and Mainoo are still learning their trade and adjusting to the high tense pressures of the Premier League. Answering criticism from previous United icons Rio Ferdinand, Phil Neville, Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, Ten Hag pointed out that in their playing days they too went through rebuilding processes and the team went through difficult periods when results under Sir Alex Ferguson were poor. He said, “I’m very impatient but we need patience, we’re building a team here and we need the experience.” The question is of course does Sir James Ratcliffe also have the patience to wait?


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