January Window – Chelsea make opening bid for Serie A midfielder as Conte wants to finalize deal in January, Pedro’s prediction for Chelsea v Stoke

Chelsea have made an opening offer to sign Atalanta starlet Franck Kessié, L’Equipe reports. The highly rated 19-year-old midfielder is one of Europe’s most promising midfielders and Atalanta hope that the best clubs out there will start a bidding war to sign him at the end of the current campaign.

Trouble is, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte does not want to wait as much and is willing to finalize the deal during the January transfer widow. Chelsea’s city rivals Tottenham are also preparing an opening offer for KessiE, though the Blues are ready to offer € 25 million to seal the transfer of the former Cesena man who was a target of Juventus a few weeks ago, before the best European clubs entered the race to sign him.

Chelsea are also going to offer the player a €2.5-million-a-year deal, whilst Tottenham’s opening offer to Atalanta is said to be in the region of € 23 million.

Conte wants to sign Kessié now, but the player has just joined his national team Cote d’Ivoire to play the African cup of Nations. In case Chelsea manage to sign Kessie in January, they might have to wait until the end of the competition to see him playing at the Stamford Bridge.

Pedro states his prediction for Chelsea v Stoke

Pedro Rodriguez has warned his Chelsea team-mates not to take anything for granted ahead of their Premier League clash against Stoke City on New Year’s Eve.

The west London side will host the Potters at Stamford Bridge as they look to make it 13 wins in a row in the top flight and continue to cement their place as the favourites to win the Premier League title this season.

Chelsea have been in fine form in recent weeks and Pedro found the net to help the Blues secure a 3-0 victory over Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.

However, the Spain international accepts that there is plenty of work to do in the weeks ahead and says that Stoke will prove a stern test of their title credentials at Stamford Bridge.

Speaking to Chelsea’s website, Pedro said: “It’s difficult because the season is very long, there are a lot of games still to play but at the moment it’s very good for us to be top of the league.

“Bournemouth are a good team and it was very difficult.

“Stoke are also a very good team but we must take it game by game.”

Ian Wright’s blunt response when asked why Eden Hazard struggled for Chelsea last season

Ian Wright believes Jose Mourinho was to blame for Eden Hazard’s poor performances last season after the forward inspired Chelsea to a 3-0 win against Bournemouth on Boxing Day.

The Belgium international has rediscovered his best form under new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte this season after a return of eight goals in 16 Premier League appearances ahead of the visit of the Cherries on Monday afternoon.

The 25-year-old netted his ninth strike of the 2016-17 Premier League season after Hazard scored Chelsea’s second goal from the penalty spot at Stamford Bridge.

Pedro Rodriguez scored either side of Hazard’s penalty spot to secure three points and help the west London outfit notch up a 12th successive win.

The 2014 PFA player of the year didn’t score until a trip to Bournemouth in April earlier this year after a miserable 2015-16 campaign under Mourinho and then interim boss Guus Hiddink.

Asked on Match Of The Day to explain why Hazard played so poorly last season, former Arsenal striker Wright replied: “The manager made him unhappy.”

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