CHELSEA players are back on the training pitch with the Premier League's return less than two weeks away.

We've got the very latest transfer news on the likes of Ben Chilwell and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Follow all the latest updates and transfer gossip from the Bridge below…

  • FULL FIXTURE LIST

  • PREM FIXTURES IN

    Chelsea will kick off their return to action with a trip to Aston Villa on Sunday 21 June at 4.30pm live on Sky Sports.

    Frank Lampard's men will then host Manchester City on Thursday 25 June at 8.15pm, live on Sky Sports.

    The following weekend the Blues will take on Leicester in an FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday 28 June at 2.30pm, live on BT Sport.

    Chelsea will then travel to West Ham on Wednesday 1 July for an 8.15pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports.

  • IT'S TOTT IDEAL

    Daniel Levy has called for talks to find a way to get fans back into stadiums after Tottenham were forced to take a £175million loan from the Bank of England to deal with the crisis caused by Covid-19.

    Tottenham Hotspur Stadium limited has taken the finance available through the government’s CCFF Scheme to help the club through the financial turmoil caused by the global pandemic.

    But with social distancing measures likely to remain in place for months to come, the Spurs chairman says it is vital for live events industries to come up with a plan with the government which would ease the cash-crisis caused by playing in empty stadiums.

    Levy said: “We have always run this Club on a self-sustaining commercial basis. I said as early as 18 March that, in all my 20 years at the Club, there have been many hurdles along the way but none of this magnitude – the COVID-19 pandemic has shown itself to be the most serious of them all.

    “It is imperative that we now all work together – scientists, technologists, the Government and the live events sector – to find a safe way to bring spectators back to sport and entertainment venues.

    “Collectively we have the ability to support the development of new technologies to make this possible and to once again experience the passion of fans at live events.”

  • SUPER GRAN

    Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia is a fierce negotiator and her transfer record backs the claim up.

    The Russian-Canadian is one Roman Abramovich's most trusted allies and her ability to recoup £175million for David Luiz, Oscar and Alvaro Morata will have endeared her to the Blues' chief even more.

    In addition to that impressive business, Granovskaia has also landed £40m for Nemanja Matic, £130m for Eden Hazard and £57m for Diego Costa in her time at the club.

  • BLUE MOON

  • INJURY RATES SET TO SOAR

    Players may be at an increased risk of injury as professional sports rush back into action following the coronavirus stoppage, a global union representing 85,000 athletes said on Thursday.

    Some football leagues in particular have condensed a large number of fixtures into a short space of time in an attempt to complete the season.

    “Many players will not have had access to the necessary training methods to ensure that they have the necessary fitness and conditioning to compete,” said the World Players' Association (WPA), whose members play in the NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, European soccer and Australian Rules football, among others.

    It added: “At the same time, many sports will be eager to make up for lost time and revenue which may result in compressed schedules and elevated demands on playing and training load.”

    WPA executive director Brendan Schwab pointed to a study conducted by Australian sports scientist Joel Mason last month which suggested an increased injury rate in the Bundesliga since Germany's professional soccer league restarted on May 16.

    According to the study, a pre-stoppage rate of 0.27 injuries per match this season climbed to 0.88 in the first round of matches following the restart.

  • GOOD TO SEE YOU

    Ethan Ampadu has returned to training at RB Leipzig after being sidelined by injury.

    The Welshman, 19, impressed at centre-back in Julian Nagelsmann’s side’s 1-0 win over Spurs in the Champions League in March, but was dropped to the bench for the second leg.

    Since then the defender – who often plays defensive midfield for Wales – has been nursing a back problem.

    Alongside pictures of the Chelsea loanee training, RB tweeted: “Good to see you!”

  • DILLY DALLY

    Top flight clubs avoided a vote – but effectively kicked the can down the road – if a second wave of coronavirus kicks in, reports MARTIN LIPTON.

    While there remains a split over what should happen if the season is “curtailed” by a second outbreak of Covid-19, the clubs opted to avoid a spat.

    And rather than pit the divisive issue to a vote, the teams took a position that it was not necessary to fight over a situation that may never actually arise.

    An agreement was reached that the debate will only be reopened if the season is forced into stopping for a second time.

    That avoided the faultlines between the clubs being further exposed.

    If the season cannot be finished, a points-per-game option is available, but clubs facing relegation are not keen on it.

  • PREM'S HIGH FIVE

    Premier League clubs have again put off a decision on what to do if the restarted League cannot be completed, reports MARTIN LIPTON.

    In a surprise move, the clubs agreed that the issue will not discussed UNLESS it becomes necessary because of a second shut-down.

    But the clubs did vote to approve a vote urged by Chelsea which means managers will be able to make five substitutions for the rest of the season.

    And there was also approval for another Chelsea proposal for teams to put nine players on the bench for the final part of the campaign.

    The latest meeting of the 20 Shareholder clubs lasted just under three hours.

  • BLUE ARE YA?

    John Terry shared a picture to his Instagram yesterday of his Chelsea youth team-mates from the 1996-1997 season.

    Terry went on to captain Chelsea and England in a trophy-laden career and is now assistant manager to Dean Smith at Aston Villa.

    TOP ROW: Shayne Demetrious, Stephen Broad, Paul Nicholls, Mark Royal, Sam Parkin, Jay Richardson.

    BOTTOM ROW: Steve Osborne, Courtney Pitt, Darren Baxter, Rob Wolleaston, Warren Cummings, John King.

    READ WHAT HAPPENED TO THESE CHELSEA STARLETS’ CAREERS HERE

  • COSTA PRETTY PENNY

    Diego Costa has been sentenced to six months in jail for tax offences but will pay a £32,000 fine to avoid serving the time.

    The ex-Blues striker pleaded guilty to an offence which occurred in 2014 – the year he left Atletico for Chelsea.

    According to reports in Spain, the 31-year-old avoided paying £980,000 in tax – which he paid back last year – by not declaring payments of around £4.6million.

    He is also said to have concealed image rights payments of around £890k.

    The Spanish Tax Agency said Costa defrauded them out of taxes and also charged him with a separate financial offence in the 2013 financial year.

    Costa initially refuted the claims but reconsidered his original stance and reached an agreement with Spanish authorities which was confirmed in court today.

  • BLUES' SAVI-OR?

    Chelsea are among the favourites to sign Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

    A transfer move may become pertinent if the club lose Jorginho to Juventus, at Maurizio Sarri's desire.

    Here are the latest club-by-club transfer odds from Betfair:

    • 11-4- Man Utd
    • 10-3- Real Madrid
    • 4-1- Chelsea
    • 6-1- Tottenham
    • 15-2- Paris Saint-Germain
    • 9-1- Juventus

    HAPPY HAZARD DAY

    On this day eight years ago, this little Belgian wizard arrived at Stamford Bridge.

    C-RUUD SURROUNDINGS

    Ruud Gullit has revealed why he signed for Chelsea in 1995 as the club celebrates the 25th anniversary of his arrival from AC Milan.

    The Dutch legend told the BBC: “Nobody I spoke to that summer understood why I chose Chelsea.

    “I must say I didn't know much about the club or even that part of town when I went there – it was just because Glenn Hoddle was manager, that's what persuaded me to go.

    “When I came for the first time to see Stamford Bridge, I was like 'what the hell kind of stadium is this?'

    “I was used to playing in the best stadiums in the world, but here there were only two stands.

    “The place wasn't just a building site, it was a total wreck. You had to walk around on planks of wood.”

    WERNER TO LIVERPOOL 'EFFECTIVELY DONE'

    Timo Werner’s agent has reportedly told Manchester United and Chelsea to stop wasting their time as the deal to take the German to Liverpool is effectively done.

    Transfer expert Ian McGarry said: “Werner has agreed personal terms with Liverpool.

    “On a five-year contract that will pay the player around £140,000-a-week.

    “It has been widely reported that Chelsea and Manchester United have been interested in the player. Our information is that's not the case.

    “The reason for that is that they believe and have been told by the player's representatives that a deal is effectively done to Liverpool.

    “And effectively they would be wasting their time.”

    RECOVERY TIME

    Willian shared a snap of himself in recovery leggings after training yesterday.

    The Brazilian, whose contract expires at the end of the season, shared the image in his compression socks.

    Athletes the world over use the machines to aid recovery from training and matches.

    BIGGER HURDLES TO OVERCOME

    Callum Hudson-Odoi looks sharp and ready to go as he leaps over some hurdles in training.

    The Chelsea winger shared photos of the warm-up session on social media.

    GROUNDS FOR CHANGE

    Police will look at the final proposed Premier League fixture list before recommending whether any games in London should be moved to neutral venues.

    None of the five matches which the UK's football policing lead said local forces had requested be switched to neutral venues last week were in the capital, despite the city's mayor Sadiq Khan expressing strong misgivings about staging games there during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Tottenham's match against north London rivals Arsenal is one of the games still to be played, as is Spurs against West Ham. The Hammers also have a home game against Chelsea at the London Stadium.

    PA reports a proposed fixture list for at least a proportion of the remaining matches will be presented to clubs at a shareholders' meeting on Thursday, with a provisional restart date of June 17 having been set.

    A statement from the Metropolitan Police read: “Whilst agreement has been reached as to when the season may recommence, the plans for this to happen are still being finalised.”

    JORD IN TROUBLE

    Chelsea and Manchester United target Jadon Sancho allegedly flew to England without permission from Borussia Dortmund, according to reports.

    German publication Bild suggests Sancho, 20, jetted to the UK after he and multiple team-mates were discovered having had haircuts.

    The winger is now in hot water with his club after it emerged they breached lockdown rules.

    Team-mates Axel Witsel, Thorgan Hazard, Raphael Guerreiro, as well as Sancho hired a barber to get stuck into their lockdown locks.

    It is reported Sancho, from Camberwell in South London, also flew to Britain during the height of the pandemic.

    CHIL-SEA ON THE MIND

    Ben Chilwell has reportedly told Brendan Rodgers he wants to be come the next Ashley Cole at Chelsea.

    The England full-back, 23, has been seriously impressive for Leicester over the past two seasons.

    But first he wants to beat Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final.

    Chilwell said: “Our squad has come back in top condition and the best I’ve seen in all the pre-seasons I’ve had at Leicester. We can’t wait to get going again.

    “We’re desperate to finish in that top four and we all want Champions League football back.

    “The FA Cup is also massive for us, if we beat Chelsea we’re in the semi-finals and that’s very much in our minds at the moment as well. “

    TWENTY'S PLENTY

    Chelsea could be set to swoop for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to The Telegraph.

    Arsenal have a new policy of selling any player before they reach the final year of their contract, in order to avoid the kind of scenario which saw Aaron Ramsey join Juventus for free.

    And the Blues therefore believe they are in a strong position to sign the Gabon international.

    Writing exclusively for SunSport, Mark Irwin stated yesterday that a £20m fee could be enough to force Arsenal's hand.

    While the Gunners were able to scare Barcelona away in January by quoting £50m for the striker, the current depressed state of the market means his valuation has significantly lowered.

    However, he Irwin adds that Arsenal would rather let Aubameyang run down his contract than sell for a fee lower than £20m.

    SING WHEN YOU'RE WINNING

    Premier League TV plans will include the option of fake crowd noise and could give fans rare dressing room access, according to reports.

    TV coverage is one of the items on the agenda at today's meeting between all 20 Premier League clubs.

    Sky are said to be one of the channels considering the move for the games that will be played behind closed doors from June 17, according to the Mirror.

    Supporters had the option to listen to fake crowd noise during recent Bundesliga matches and the feedback was mixed.

    Some fans got behind the idea but many said it was “too weird” and had to “mute the unnatural sound”.

    As a result, Sky could offer each game on two of their channels – one with crowd noise, and one without.

    MORNING CHELSEA FANS

    Chelsea are feeding their players meals on wheels in a bid to get them into shape for the restart of the season, exclusively reveals SunSport’s Andrew Dillon.

    Government guidelines on social distancing and coronavirus protection means the squad and coaching staff are not allowed to use the training ground canteen.

    But the club has come up with a clever way to get good nutrition into their stars while observing protocols to stop the spread of Covid-19.

    Food is now being prepared on site at Chelsea’s Surrey training ground while the players are put through their paces by head coach Frank Lampard and his staff.

    It is then placed into the players’ cars by staff wearing gloves and taking extra precautions to maintain the new stricter standards on hygiene during the pandemic.

    Meanwhile, on the transfer front, a number of Italian outlets are making the unsurprising claim that former Blues boss Maurizio Sarri wants to be reunited with Jorginho in Turin.

    According to Calciomercato, Chelsea could even take flying winger Federico Bernadeschi in return for their Italian international midfielder.

    With the Premier League gearing up for its June 17 return, fans are eagerly anticipating the upcoming fixture announcement, with matches set to air on Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and, for the very first time, the BBC.

    CHIL OUT

    Ben Chilwell has reportedly told Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers he wants to join Chelsea.

    The Blues have been linked with an £85million swoop for the left-back this summer.

    And their hopes may have been boosted by the player himself.

    According to The Transfer Window Podcast, Chilwell has discussed his future with his manager at the King Power Stadium.

    He has also admitted a move to Chelsea would interest him should any offer be forthcoming.

    DELIVER-BLUE

    Chelsea are feeding their players meals on wheels in a bid to get them into shape for the restart of the season, as exclusively revealed by SunSport's Andy Dillon.

    Government guidelines on social distancing and coronavirus protection means the squad and coaching staff are not allowed to use the training ground canteen.

    But the club has come up with a clever way to get good nutrition into their stars while observing protocols to stop the spread of Covid-19.

    The Premier League recently increased the number of tests available to each club from 40 to 60.

    Food is now being prepared on site at Chelsea’s Surrey training ground while the players are put through their paces by head coach Frank Lampard and his staff.

    It is then placed into the players’ cars by staff wearing gloves and taking extra precautions to maintain the new stricter standards on hygiene during the pandemic.

    The players then drive home with their unique takeaways to ensure they are eating the right food to help them prepare for the big kick off.

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