Chelsea next face Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday. The Blues have just exited the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals in midweek despite winning the second leg 3-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Meanwhile, Juventus are interested in Blues goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. Elsewhere, Barcelona are planning to start negotiations with the London giants for Cesar Azpilicueta.
On that note, here’s a rundown of Chelsea’s top transfer stories as of April 15, 2022:
Juve interested in Kepa Arrizabalaga
Juventus are interested in Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to The Hard Tackle via Fichajes.
The Serie A giants are planning a major squad overhaul this summer after a disappointing 2021-22 season so far. Among the players tipped to leave is Wojciech Szczesny, who has endured an indifferent season so far. The Pole has been blowing hot and cold since arriving in Turin, so manager Massimiliano Allegri wants to replace him this summer.
Kepa caught the eye of the Juventus manager. The Spaniard has brought down the hierarchy at Chelsea since the arrival of Edouard Mendy in the summer of 2020.
Kepa has delivered every time he’s been called up but is yet to convince Blues manager Thomas Tuchel. The 27-year-old is frustrated with the situation and is ready to go in search of regular football, having played just 1,200 minutes this season.
The Spaniard has no shortage of suitors but could be tempted by a move to Turin to revive his career. The Bianconeri are preparing to return to their best level next season, and Kepa represents a decent option for Allegri. The Blues could be ready to let Kepa go but are likely to demand a hefty transfer fee for the 27-year-old.
Barcelona plan negotiations with Chelsea for Cesar Azpilicueta
Barcelona plan to start talks with Chelsea over a possible Cesar Azpilicueta transfer, according to Marca. The Blaugrana are interested in the Spaniard and previously planned to secure his services in a Bosman transfer. However, Arrizabalaga’s stay at Stamford Bridge was automatically extended for another year due to a clause in his contract.
Nevertheless, the Blaugrana aren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. Barcelona are confident that they won’t have any problems agreeing personal terms with the Spaniard. However, they are hoping to convince the Blues not to execute the clause and allow their captain to leave for free.
Thomas Tuchel opens up on UEFA Champions League exit
Thomas Tuchel has revealed Chelsea are on two points after their midweek exit from the UEFA Champions League. The London giants won the match against Real Madrid 3-2 but lost 5-4 on aggregate.
Speaking ahead of the FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace, the German manager reveled in the positives of the midweek win. However, he also admitted that the Blues were disappointed to leave the UEFA Champions League.
“We are all a bit in between. In terms of confidence, I think it’s a huge boost, but it’s a disappointment to come out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals. Not in a big drama, but it’s still a disappointment because we feel that we could have been one of the four teams in the semi-finals, ”said Tuchel.
“It was a fantastic performance at the Bernabeu, and it stays that way. But it’s a bit bittersweet. Too many mistakes were punished by individual quality. We now have training time before our game on Sunday, and we’re going to use it to sweat it out and be ready for Sunday.”
Tuchel also revealed he apologized to Conor Gallagher for Chelsea’s decision not to let him play in the FA Cup semi-finals, saying:
“I had the chance to speak to Conor and I could see his frustration. We met a few weeks ago, after the international break; we met by chance, and we had a conversation, and I apologize because I know how competitive he is. That’s how it is. We play to win the game, and the rules were clear when we went on loan. I can understand Conor’s disappointment.” said Tuchel.
Gallagher is currently on loan at Palace but is not permitted to play against his parent club, as per a contract in his loan deal. Palace had made a request to the Blues to allow them to play against Gallagher, but Chelsea did not relent.