10:30 am Chelsea transfer news LIVE: Rice ‘agrees five-year deal and will request move’, ‘Kepa loan’, Jorginho could go

BALLACK BIRTHDAY

Chelsea have been paying tribute to their former midfielder general Michael Ballack, who turns 44 today.

Favourite Ballack moment, Blues fans?

One that springs to mind has to be the German berating the very unpopular ref who refused to give Chelsea any pens as they crashed out against Barcelona in the Champions League thanks to Andres Iniesta’s late goal in 2009.

RICE KNOWING YOU

Chelsea have agreed a five-year deal with Declan Rice, according to reports.

Italian journalist Nicola Schira tweeted: “Chelsea are literally on fire: after Mendy’s signing Blues are working to close Declan Rice’s deal.

“Talks ongoing with West Ham (rejected a bid of €50M + add-ons). The midfielder has already agreed personal terms for 5-year contract.”

Attention will now turn to agreeing a fee after the Blues’ £46m bid was rejected, but that could be made easier by Declan Rice insisting on leaving.

Fellow Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano told the Here We Go podcast: “Declan Rice will push to join Chelsea. He will go strongly to join Chelsea.

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“We will have to see what will happen because he also respects West Ham as normal but he’s going to tell West Ham ‘I want to join Chelsea’.”

MORNING, CHELSEA FANS

Chelsea will face London rivals Spurs in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup next week after Jose Mourinho’s side were given a bye.

Their tie against Leyton Orient was scrapped after a number of Covid-19 positive tests in the O’s ranks.

Gazzetta reports Chelsea star N’Golo Kante is “open” to reuniting with former boss Antonio Conte at Inter Milan this summer.

But the Italian giants must first raise money through player sales to afford the Blues’ £46million asking price.

Frank Lampard is expected to hand Prem debuts to Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell on Saturday when The Blues travel to West Brom.

But he confirmed new keeper Edouard Mendy will not be ready to start after a hectic week finalising his £22million deal from Rennes.

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Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic are still a couple of weeks away from returning.

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly interested in signing Chelsea’s outcast defender Antonio Rudiger.

The French champs have ‘expressed interest’ in signing the 27-year-old – with a season-long loan most likely according to RMC and The Telegraph.

Midweek hat-trick hero Kai Havertz has been compared to the legendary Johan Cruyff by Ralf Rangnick.

The ex-RB Leipzig coach and sporting director believes The Blues have done great business by bringing Havertz in from Bayer Leverkusen for £72million.

He said: “He’s one of those players where I don’t see any weaknesses in his game. He’s the type of modern Johan Cruyff – he can score goals and he can provide assists.”

KEP A LOAD OF THAT

SunSport revealed Frank Lampard is prepared to shift out flop Kepa on loan.

But reports Roma were in for the Spanish keeper appear to be wide of the mark.

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Sky Sport journalist Angelo Mangiante reports the Italian side have NOT made a move.

SKY KAI

Chelsea’s Kai Havertz has been compared to the legendary Johan Cruyff by Ralf Rangnick.

The ex-RB Leipzig coach and sporting director believes The Blues have done great business by bringing Havertz in from Bayer Leverkusen for £72million.

He told Sky Sports: “I have no doubts whatsoever that he will become a sustainable success and that he will become one of the top players in the next two or three years.

“Maybe, he will need a couple of weeks to get adjusted because he has a fantastic family background – I know that because I was also trying to convince him to join us at Leipzig but he was completely dedicated to Bayer Leverkusen.

“He’s one of those players where I don’t see any weaknesses in his game. He’s the type of modern Johan Cruyff – he can score goals and he can provide assists.”

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