Azpilicueta: Chelsea can sign world’s best without Champions League

Cesar Azpilicueta is confident the world’s best players will still want to join Chelsea, even though they will not be playing Champions League football next season.

The club’s victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup Final earlier this month meant they were the only English club other than Manchester City to win a major trophy this term.

It also meant they maintained their place as the most successful team in English football since Roman Abramovich took over at Stamford Bridge in 2003.

Chelsea have won 15 major competitions in as many years and Azpilicueta believes their record of success will still give them an edge in the market.

“Of course big players will still want to come to Chelsea because we win lots of silverware,” the Spain international told Standard Sport.

“I have no doubt that the club will get a squad that can compete to win for trophies. I am sure that will happen.

“If the club decides that we need to get players in, I’m sure we will get the quality we want.

“It was important to win this season with a trophy. It shows we are still winners. When the results are not there, people look for something else.”

Argentine striker to be Sarri’s first signing as Chelsea boss

Maurizo Sarri will look to make Mauro Icardi his first summer signing if he replaces Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge, talkSPORT reports.

Conte is expected to be sacked by Chelsea this summer with Sarri the hot favourite to replace him.

Sarri is still under contract at Napoli but is expected to be appointed the new Blues boss imminently.

Icardi, currently playing for Inter Milan, is reportedly going to be Sarri’s first major transfer target as Chelsea desperately target a new striker this summer following the inconsistency of last summer’s signing Alvaro Morata.

The Argentine finished as Serie A’s joint top goal scorer last season with 29 goals in 26 games.

However if Chelsea are serious about making a move for the 25-year-old then he will certainly not come cheap.

Icardi has a £96million release clause and it believed that Inter will refuse to sell him for less than that price.

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