Chelsea legend’s surprising statement on N’Golo Kante, Chelsea to move for Premier League star after Conte’s target rules out switch, Stadium update

CHELSEA have received a huge blow in their pursuit of Fiorentina’s Federico Bernardeschi.

Antonio Conte is keen to strengthen this month with the Italian keen to land the Premier League title in his debut season and Bernardeschi is on his wishlist.

But Conte won’t be able to land winger Bernardeschi with the 22-year-old content with life in his homeland.

He said: “My future? I’m just thinking about Fiorentina and this championship. I’m fine here and I’m staying.”

And with a move for Bernardeschi seemingly off the cards, The Sun claim Conte will now turn his attention to signing West Ham’s Michail Antonio.

Conte is a fan of Antonio’s versatility and knows he would be able to fit into his 3-4-3 system.

West Ham are reluctant to let their leading goalscorer leave this month but Chelsea are confident they can try and prise him away from the London Stadium.

The Hammers are thought to be keen on taking Michy Batshuayi on loan and reports suggest he could be leaving in January with the Belgian short of playing time.

Stamford Bridge expansion: Chelsea gets go-ahead for new 60,000 seater ‘cathedral’ stadium

Chelsea FC have been given planning permission to transform Stamford Bridge into a new 60,000 capacity stadium.

Plans for the cathedral-style ground were given the go-ahead by Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s planning and development control committee at a late-night meeting on Wednesday (January 11).

The club, currently sitting top of the Premiership table, said in a statement: “We are grateful that planning permission was granted for the redevelopment of our historic home.”

It is yet to announce when it will play its final season at its current stadium, in Fulham Road, Fulham , and when it would move into the new stadium.

However, it is expected to take four years to build with the club looking to relocate for three years

It was heard during the planning meeting that the proximity of underground and overground railway lines are one of the biggest challenges for such a huge project in an area of west London which offers little wiggle room.

The planning application had been recommended for approval by H&F council officers, and permission was given subject to conditions.

The build will be complex and involve excavation, with the plan to lower the arena into the ground to achieve the capacity on a 12-acre site, and cost £500 million.

It will include other features, including a club shop and museum, plus a separate restaurant/cafe use.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich had previously looked at relocating, and at sites such as Battersea Power Station, before concluding their ideal arena could be created at the present location.

He commissioned Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron to transform the ground, which will feature a three-tiered stack of terraces and is inspired by the design of Westminster Abbey .

Last year computer scientist Neil Vano created an unofficial 3D render of the proposed stadium to give Blues fans a glimpse into what the future could hold .

Stamford Bridge’s current capacity is 41,663, making it the seventh biggest in the Premier League.

Nevertheless, the rebuilt stadium will fall well short of Manchester United’s 76,000-seater Old Trafford, while Arsenal, Manchester City, West Ham, Sunderland and Liverpool all now boast bigger grounds .

London neighbours Tottenham have also begun work on a new 61,000-seater stadium.

Pundit: This was easily Chelsea’s worst player at Tottenham

Pat Nevin has criticised N’Golo Kante’s performance in Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur in their last Premier League fixture.

The France international has been one of Chelsea’s best players since his summer move to Stamford Bridge from defending champions Leicester City.

Kante completed a £32m switch to the west London outfit just months after playing a vital role in Leicester’s surprise title-winning campaign.

The 25-year-old has scored one goal in 19 appearances in the Premier League so far this season.

However, Kante struggled to cope with Tottenham’s midfield duo Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama as Mauricio Pochettino’s denied their London rivals a 14th successive Premier League win.

Speaking on Irish radio station Newstalk, Nevin pointed out that Kante had a rare off day at Tottenham ahead of Chelsea’s clash against his former employers Leicester at the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening.

“If anyone watched N’Golo Kante the other night, he was by a distance the worst player on the park. No, in fact, he was the best player for Spurs! He kept giving the ball to them. It was ridiculous.”

Chelsea are five points clear of their closest rivals Liverpool in the Premier League title race after 20 games.


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