Chelsea are on the verge of signing Fernando Llorente after agreeing terms for a loan switch with Swansea City, according to reports.
Antonio Conte is said to view Llorente, 31, as an ideal back-up to top goalscorer Diego Costa.
And the Daily Star say the Premier League clubs have agreed on a deal, with Llorente set to join the Blues until the end of the season.
It is claimed the Swans are targeting Michy Batshuayi’s brother, Aaron Leya Iseka, as a replacement for the departing Llorente.
Spain international Llorente has scored six goals in 17 league appearance for Swansea since joining the club in the summer.
Pedro gives his verdict on playing wing-back and missing the wide open net from three yards out
Pedro had a string of six seasons with double digits goals in all competitions broken last year, after he managed just a combined nine between his games for Barcelona and Chelsea. Halfway through this season, he looks to be back on track, with his brace on Sunday giving him six in 21 appearances in the current campaign. Of course, it should’ve been a hat-trick, but somehow he contrived to miss the open net from three yards out.
“I had one chance in the first half which was unlucky, I shot very hard and it went up, but I’m happy to have scored two goals. It’s a new position for me but it means the same in terms of work. I had to run a lot but it was good for me and a good performance.”
The new position he’s referring to is left wing-back as Antonio Conte chose to use him there to give Marcos Alonso a well-deserved rest. Pedro had played there twice before due to in-game changes, but this was the first time he had started a match at the position. Since he wasn’t required to defend too much, he did just fine and contributed with a goal in either half, first to open the scoring and then to make sure of the win after John Terry was sent off and Peterborough started having a few delusions of grandeur.
“It was a good win for us in the third round of the FA Cup, especially at home in front of our supporters. There was very good teamwork and we’re very happy with the result. Peterborough are a good team, every game in England is very tough, it doesn’t matter which division you’re in. They fought to win.”
After a disappointing first season in English football, Pedro has finally started to show his true Barcelona self at Chelsea. In addition to his six goals, he also has six assists, and after starting the year strictly as a backup, he’s worked himself ahead of Willian for the third forward role. Or, in the case on Sunday, backup left wing-back. Versatility is key in the modern game.
Next up for Chelsea will be Leicester City away as the Blues look to restart our Premier League winning streak following the defeat against Tottenham last week.
“Against Spurs it was a different game. We lost, but no problem, we just continue taking it game by game. Next we face Leicester, a very difficult team, but we will prepare all week and go for the win.”
-Pedro; source: Chelsea FC
Part of the problem against Spurs was a lack of clinical finishing and despite the four goals against The Posh, Chelsea showed plenty of poor finishing and decisions in the final third as well. We won’t be able to afford hilarious misses like Pedro’s against Leicester.
Dutchman: I’m returning to Chelsea a better player
Nathan Ake has insisted he is returning to Chelsea a better player following his loan spell at Bournemouth.
Ake, 21, originally joined Bournemouth on a season long-loan but the Blues inserted a recall option in his contract which allowed Chelsea the option to bring him back early.
However, the Dutchman believes he’s returning to Chelsea a better player, as he’s had to show resilience at Dean Court to fight for his place in the Cherries’ starting XI.
Ake told Bournemouth’s official website: “I really enjoyed it.
“From the first day I joined I was made to feel part of the group. Everyone took me in and welcomed me and as a result both myself and partner settled quickly.
“Over the six months I feel I have developed as a player, both on and off the pitch. To start with I wasn’t playing too much, but I dealt with that mentally, kept going and was happy when I got my chance.
“I was able to learn a lot from the manager. He spoke to me a lot about how I could improve and I picked up a lot of little ideas and different ways of thinking.
Ake played ten times in the Premier League for Bournemouth starting eight times, scoring three goals – including the dramatic winner in the Cherries’ 4-3 victory over Liverpool.
The Dutchman played in a back three for Eddie Howe and excelled, winning 68% of his tackles and 52% of his headed duels.
Meanwhile, Ake also made nine Defensive Actions – only Steve Cook made more (13) for Bournemouth.
Chelsea’s next game sees them face Leicester City in the Premier League and Ake will be eager to make the Blues’ matchday squad, especially since captain John Terry is suspended.