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Chelsea are ‘done as a top-four force’ after transfer ban, says Perry Groves on talkSPORT

Chelsea are ‘done as a top-four force’ after being hit with a transfer ban until 2020.

That’s according to former Arsenal winger Perry Groves, who had a blunt response to Blues fans who claimed the FIFA ban could be good news for the club’s long-term future.

The news is a blow to Maurizio Sarri, although some claim the ban could have also saved his job

Chelsea have been forbidden from signing any new players for the next two transfer windows after breaching regulations surrounding the signing of under-18 players.

The Premier League side have confirmed they will appeal the decision.

The news has naturally been met with fears by supporters, but for some fans, it’s a glass-half-full situation.

As a number of talkSPORT callers pointed out, Chelsea have plenty of talented players in their squad whose play time is limited, plus they boast a further 41 currently out on loan.

Among that number are January signing Christian Pulisic, strikers Alvaro Morata, Michy Batshuayi and Tammy Abraham, midfielders Tiemoue Bakayoko and Mason Mount plus many more.


So, some will say it’s not all doom and gloom at Stamford Bridge – although talkSPORT pundit Perry Groves disagrees with that claim… strongly.

Speaking to Jim White on Friday, the ex-Arsenal man said: “For Chelsea to stay in the top four, they’ve got to get quality players in and that will not happen now.

“They can’t buy new players, they’re not going to get a new manager and they have a manager most fans don’t want.

“Tottenham have not signed anyone for two transfer windows, but they had better young players.

“Of the 41 players out on loan, how many of them are good enough for Chelsea’s first team?

“I think this is the end of Chelsea as a top-four force.

“Chelsea have no culture of promoting young players in their team, so are you telling me there is going to be a complete change, a complete turnaround in their club culture?

“Are you telling me as well that Chelsea fans are going to be patient over the next two seasons? That’s not going to happen, they’re used to winning trophies!

“I think, this season and going forward, Chelsea are done as a top-four force.”

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Transfer gossip: Paris Saint Germain star Adrien Rabiot hires new agent after sacking his mum as Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur rumours persist

Paris Saint-Germain star Adrien Rabiot has hired a new agent after sacking his mother in the wake of his failed move to Barcelona.

With just six months remaining on his deal at the Parc des Princes, the midfielder looked set to move to Spain in a deal worth €40million.

Rabiot has been forced to train with the PSG kids after asking for a transfer

Inexplicably however, the deal failed to materialise after Rabiot’s entourage didn’t finalise negotiations.

According to SportRabiot’s mother promised her client she would look at Barcelona’s offer to finalise the details of the move, but never did.

The 23-year-old has since replaced his mother with a new agent in preparation of his contract expiring at the end of the season.

After falling out with PSG boss Thomas Tuchel, Rabiot has been cast aside to play with the Under-23 side and will remain there for the remainder of the season.

However, Barca’s €86m signing of Frenkie De Jong from Ajax means it is unlikely they will seek to reinforce their midfield further – leaving the door open for other interested parties.

Tottenham Hotspur remain interested in the player, although reports suggest he would rather join Liverpool if he were to move to the Premier League.

The indecision has also seen Manchester United join the race for the starlet, having poached Alexis Sanchez and Fred from under Manchester City’s noses in previous transfer windows.

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Chelsea transfer ban: FIFA sanction may have saved Maurizio Sarri’s job, claims talkSPORT pundit Simon Jordan

Chelsea’s transfer ban will have a major impact on Maurizio Sarri’s future as manager, believes talkSPORT pundit Simon Jordan.

The Blues have been banned by FIFA from signing new players for the next two transfer windows – until the summer of 2020 – after breaching regulations surrounding the signing of youth players.

After an investigation into Chelsea’s signing of foreign under-18 players, most notably former striker Bertrand Traore, the world governing body says it found infringements in the cases of 29 signings.

What does Chelsea’s transfer ban mean for Eden Hazard? Will the Blues let their star man leave if they can’t sign a replacement?

The Premier League club have said they will appeal against the decision which could give Chelsea the opportunity to sign players this summer, although that is still unclear.

Barcelona saw their punishment pushed back a year when the Spanish club appealed a similar FIFA ban, allowing them to sign Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Jeremy Mathieu, Claudio Bravo and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

But while many may be wondering how it will affect Chelsea’s recruitment, former Crystal Palace owner Jordan believes it will have a major say on Sarri’s future in charge.

The Italian boss is under pressure in the Stamford Bridge hotseat after a dreadful run of form and ahead of a run of crucial games – starting with Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Manchester City.

Another defeat to City – after their 6-0 humiliation earlier this month – may spell the end for Sarri.

Or it could have, according to Jordan, who believes Chelsea may have no choice to stick with the boss now, as no other top manager would want to replace him if they cannot sign any new players.

“It will impact upon Chelsea,” Jordan told talkSPORT host Jim White.

“It will force them into either staying with Sarri or make knee jerk decisions.

“No manager of any real significance in world football is going to want to come and manage a team with no control over its direction or recruitment.”

Asked for his professional opinion on FIFA’s verdict, Jordan added: “It needs to be done.

“There are such bad practices in football, there is such a breach of covenants and illicit payments and inducements to parents that something needs to be done to stop this.

“It’s all about incentives being provided to third parties, like parents. Back in the day when Wayne Rooney was going to sign for Manchester United there were rumours his agent was bouncing houses off his mother and father. It’s all about this kind of practise.

“FIFA made a stance recently saying they were going to crack down on agents, and Chelsea have got a policy which is very aggressive on the youth development front and there’s a lot of contention about how much money they have made from trading youth players – rumoured to be about £150millon.

“Now, if they haven’t got a contingency plan, then Bruce Buck should be taken out the back and shot. Because ultimately they’ve known this was coming for two years.”

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Talk Sport

Chelsea hit with transfer ban for next two windows by FIFA

Chelsea have been hit with a transfer ban for the next two windows by FIFA.

The club will not be able to register any players until the summer of 2020 after breaking rules surrounding the signing of 29 players under the age of 18.

Chelsea have been handed a two window transfer ban

FIFA also handed the Blues a £460,000 fine, while the FA have also been fined £390,000 for breaching rules in connection with minors.

The world football governing body said in a statement: “Chelsea was found to have breached art. 19 of the Regulations in the case of twenty-nine (29) minor players and to have committed several other infringements relating to registration requirements for players.

“The club also breached art. 18bis of the Regulations in connection with two agreements it concluded concerning minors and which allowed it to influence other clubs in transfer-related matters.

“The disciplinary committee sanctioned Chelsea with a ban on registering new players at both national and international level for the next two (2) complete and consecutive registration periods.

“This ban applies to the club as a whole – with the exception of the women’s and futsal teams – and does not prevent the release of players.”

More to follow…

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Talk Sport

Transfer news and football gossip: Barcelona target Marcus Rashford, Arsenal teen linked with PSG, Chelsea ‘make contract’ over Mauro Icardi move rounds up all the latest transfer news and biggest football gossip from Friday’s papers and online…

Barcelona are showing an interest in Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford, according to reports in Spain. (Mundo Deportivo)

Chelsea and Real Madrid have reached out to Inter Milan about Mauro Icardi after he was stripped of the club captaincy. (The Sun)

Gareth Bale has no interest in returning to the Premier League and wants to see out his contract at Real Madrid, which expires in 2022. (AS)

Rumours linking Arsenal’s 19-year-old midfielder Matteo Guendouzi to a £60million move to Paris Saint-Germain have been dismissed by manager Unai Emery. (Football.London)

Rashford’s impressive form for Manchester United has reportedly alerted Barcelona

Arsenal have been joined by Barcelona in the race for 23-year-old Lille winger Nicolas Pepe. (Sport)

Frank Lampard has admitted he is not surprised he has been linked with replacing Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea manager, but insisted he is focused on his job at Derby County. (Daily Mirror)

Leicester boss Claude Puel has held talks with goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, after his father – Man United legend Peter – suggested his son wants to play for a bigger team and that Puel is unable to inspire his players. (Leicester Mercury)

It is claimed Leicester are considering replacing Puel with Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez, who has postponed contract talks at St James’ Park. (Daily Mirror)

Could Chelsea bring Argentine hitman Mauro Icardi to the Premier League?

The agent of Manchester United target Kalidou Koulibaly has dismissed talk of the 27-year-old Napoli defender joining Juventus. (Sky Sports)

United have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Slovakian centre-back Milan Skriniar, who is close to a new contract at Inter Milan. (

Liverpool Under-18 captain Paul Glatzel has signed his first professional contract with the club. The 18-year-old has scored 23 times for the Reds’ youth team this season. (Liverpool Echo)

Fulham’s on-loan goalkeeper Sergio Rico has said he would like to join the Premier League club in a permanent deal from Sevilla. (Sky Sports)

Stoke want to sack striker Saido Berahino, after the 25-year-old was charged with drink-driving. (Daily Mail)

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Chelsea transfer news: PSG willing to offer Callum Hudson-Odoi escape route from Maurizio Sarri

Callum Hudson-Odoi is even more determined to leave Chelsea, with Maurizio Sarri refusing to come good on his promise to give the winger more game time, reports claim.

And now French champions Paris Saint-Germain are also willing to offer the 18-year-old a way out of Stamford Bridge, joining Bayern Munich in the hunt for his signature.

Sarri is refusing to give Hudson-Odoi game time

The talented winger submitted a transfer request in January amid several offers from Bayern, but eventually stayed with the Blues as Sarri hinted he would get more minutes on the pitch.

But since asking to leave, Hudson-Odoi has played just 13 minutes of Premier League football and continues to wait for his debut start in the English top-flight.

The England youth international was left on the bench for Monday night’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester United, which saw the Blues eliminated from the FA Cup.

Fans inside Stamford Bridge repeatedly chanted Hudson-Odoi’s name, begging Sarri to introduce the teenager, but instead the manager made three like-for-like substitutions which failed to impact the game.

Bayern are expected to return with a bid in the summer, after their £35million offer was rejected in January, while PSG are also plotting their move, according to The Sun.

Callum Hudson-Odoi has played just 13 minutes of Premier League football since asking to leave

Chelsea are desperate to agree a new contract with Hudson-Odoi, whose current deal expires next year, and the club may regret missing the opportunity to cash in last month.

With his contract running down, his value is likely to decrease, and the Blues could lose one of Europe’s brightest prospects for next-to-nothing.

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Anthony Martial: Manchester United’s striker’s recall to France squad reportedly set to cost Red Devils further £8.7million

Manchester United look set to fork out an extra £8.7million as striker Anthony Martial appears primed for a return to the France squad.

Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps said Martial is “back at a very, very good level”.

Martial lost his place in the France squad just before the World Cup, which they ended up winning

And this could prove costly for the Red Devils as there is a clause in Martial’s deal from Monaco in 2015 that includes an add-on triggered by 25 caps for his national team, according to The Sun.

Martial, who has played 18 times for his country, needs to play 45 minutes in the game for an appearance to count.

Having missed out on a place in the World Cup squad, the 23-year-old is in line for a recall for European Championship qualifiers against Moldova and Iceland and could lead to him reaching the 25-cap mark before the end of the 2020 campaign, including the tournament finals.

Like many other United players, Martial’s form has improved dramatically since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge of the club.

He agreed a long-term deal at Old Trafford in January before scoring two goals in four games.

Martial picked up an injury in United’s Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain but could be fit to face Liverpool on Sunday, a game you can listen to live on talkSPORT.

Upcoming Live Football on talkSPORT

Thursday 21st February

Valencia vs Celtic – 5:55pm – talkSPORT 2

Saturday 23rd February

Burnley vs Tottenham – 12:30pm – talkSPORT

Bournemouth vs Wolves – 3:00pm – talkSPORT 2

Leicester vs Crystal Palace – 5:30pm – talkSPORT

West Brom vs Sheffield United – 5:30pm – talkSPORT 2

Sunday 24th February

Manchester United vs Liverpool – 2:05pm – talkSPORT

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It is understood Martial will trigger another £8.7m payment if he is named as a nominee for the Ballon d’Or award.

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Manchester City transfer news: How Citizens could line up next season with English starlets Declan Rice, Ben Chilwell and Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Transfer windows have been very exciting times at Manchester City since Sheikh Mansour took control of the club in 2008.

The club’s incredible financial backing has seen them attract some top players in world football including Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne to name but a few.

City’s financial backing has helped them develop into a powerhouse in world football

But it seems as though City’s targets for the summer are shifting to players a bit closer to home.

According to The Sun, the reigning Premier League champions are looking to make a triple swoop for promising English youngsters Declan Rice, Ben Chilwell and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

So here at we took a look at how Pep Guardiola’s side could line up next season if these deals were to go through.


No need to change Ederson in goal with the Brazilian’s contract running out in 2025.

He is definitely viewed as City’s main man between the sticks in the long-term.


The back four is where we could be seeing the biggest change next season with full-backs Aaron Wan-Bissaka of Crystal Palace and Leicester’s Ben Chilwell linked with move to the Etihad Stadium.

Wan-Bissaka kept Leroy Sane quiet during Palace’s surprise win over City in December

Chilwell has made five international caps after breaking into the England senior squad earlier this season and while Wan-Bissaka has yet to receive his call-up from Gareth Southgate, it’s surely just a matter of time before this happens if he carries on playing how he does.

Chilwell has been on City’s radar for a while

Wan-Bissaka would also hugely benefit from having right-back Kyle Walker as a club team-mate to help him take his game to the next level.


Guardiola is on the lookout for a long-term replacement for 33-year-old midfielder Fernandinho and it looks as though West Ham starlet Rice could be the man to step into the Brazilian’s shoes.

Rice made the headlines last week after choosing to represent England internationally despite making appearances for the Republic of Ireland in friendlies.

A move to City would increase his chances of cementing his place in the Three Lions’ senior squad.

Rice choosing to represent England will help his chances of securing a move to a top club

Rice’s primary role of breaking up the play would allow for creative midfielders David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne the licence to get forward knowing they’re protected when the opposition launches an attack.


Up front, City have many options with last season’s Young Player of the Year Leroy Sane on the bench in this XI with Sergio Aguero being flanked by Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling.

There’s no pressing need for the Citizens to bring in any more forwards but they undoubtedly could if they feel like it.

Will this be City’s starting line-up on the opening weekend of the 2019/20 campaign?

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Transfer news and football gossip: Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard in swap deal, Paris Saint-Germain join race for Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, Arsenal suffer blow in pursuit of James Rodriguez rounds up all the latest transfer news and biggest football gossip from Thursday’s papers and online…

Real Madrid are planning to use Gareth Bale as makeweight in a move for Chelsea winger Eden Hazard, as the La Liga giants consider letting the Welshman leave in the summer. [Marca]

Paris Saint-Germain have joined the race to sign 18-year-old Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi, who was heavily pursued by Bayern Munich in January. [The Sun]

Arsenal have suffered a blow in their pursuit of Colombia international James Rodriguez. The Real Madrid midfielder, currently on loan at Bayern Munich, has revealed plans to return to his parent club at the end of the season. [The Mirror]

Manchester United have made a breakthrough in their contract negotiations with 21-year-old striker Marcus Rashford and expect the England international to pen a new six-year deal. [The Mirror]

Tottenham are planning two test events at their new stadium next month, on March 16 and 23, in a significant step towards opening the venue this season. [FULL STORY]

Leeds’ remarkable season is being captured by a local film company, however the club are yet to agree a deal with TV producers about a potential documentary. [Daily Mail]

Leeds could get their own documentary

Newcastle midfielder Miguel Almiron, who became the Magpies club-record signing in January, was also being tracked by Manchester United, according to the Paraguayan’s agent. [Newcastle Chronicle]

Chelsea and Liverpool are both monitoring 17-year-old Khephren Thuram, the son of former France international Lilian Thuram. The teenager is yet to sign a professional contract with Monaco. [Daily Mail]

Manuel Lanzini has not played for West Ham since last May

West Ham midfielder Manuel Lanzini, who has been out with a serious knee injury since before the 2018 World Cup, could return to action against Fulham on Friday. [The Times]

Inter Milan are in talks with Barcelona over Croatia international Ivan Rakitic, who is valued at around £39million by the Spanish club. [AS]

Top stories…

Pep Guardiola makes surprise admission about Man City’s Champions League chances.

The picture Tottenham fans have been waiting to see since January.

Kane is back in training

John Barnes tells ‘nervy’ Liverpool fans to calm down as pressure ramps up.

Arsenal legend believes Arsene Wenger would be the perfect fit at Chelsea.

talkSPORT host predicts another trophyless season for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool.

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Gareth Bale future: Real Madrid given £131million valuation by president Florentino Perez – reports

Any hope Manchester United may have had in landing Gareth Bale have suffered a blow after Real Madrid reportedly slapped a £131million price tag on the player.

Bale, 29, joined the LaLiga giants from Tottenham for a then-world record £86m in 2013 but has struggled for first-team football this term.

The substitutes bench has become an all too familiar sight for Bale this season

He has played second-fiddle under Santiago Solari – with the caretaker boss opting to play talented Vinicius Junior ahead of the Welshman.

However, this has not stopped Real president Florentino Perez from valuing Bale at £131m, according to Spanish TV network TeleMadrid.

The winger’s career at the Bernabeu has been hampered by injuries but he has also been criticised by his own fans for an alleged lack of effort during matches.

Bale was linked with a move away from Spain when he outlined his disappointment at not starting enough games last season following his brace during Real’s Champions League final victory over Liverpool in May 2018 – a game where Bale started on the bench.

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