12pm Chelsea news LIVE: Kai Havertz transfer LATEST, Lampard on Declan Rice, Blues to wear NEW kit vs West Ham tonight – The Sun

CHELSEA take on West Ham on tonight as they look to continue their excellent run of form since the Premier League restarted.

That comes after The Sun exclusively revealed that Frank Lampard expects to sign Declan Rice from West Ham and convert him to a centre-back.

Follow all the latest transfer updates and gossip from West London below…

  • ARCH NEMESIS

    The FA Cup semi-final dates have been confirmed.

    Manchester United play Chelsea on Sunday 19 July and Arsenal will take on Manchester City the day before with both games taking place at Wembley.

    United's clash with the Blues will kick-off at 6pm and will be shown for free live on BBC One and iPlayer.

    And the Gunners' game against City will get underway at 7:45pm and will be on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate.

    Both matches will be played behind closed doors and the winners will meet at Wembley in the final on Saturday August 1.

    • Sat July 18 – Arsenal vs Man City (7.45pm) BT Sport 1
    • Sun July 19 – Man Utd vs Chelsea (6pm) BBC One

    CHELSEA FIXTURES

    Here are the Blues' upcoming games and TV channels.

    Starting tonight, of course.

    BADGE DEBATE

    Prem chiefs will NOT ditch the Black Lives Matter badge on club shirts – despite a growing backlash against the aims of the movement, reports MARTIN LIPTON.

    A player-led call for an official response to the death of unarmed George Floyd in the USA saw players “take a knee” at kick-off when the Prem resumed after the coronavirus lockdown.

    The names of players was replaced by “Black Lives Matter” for the opening 12 games while all shirts have been adorned by a BLM badge designed by Watford ace Troy Deeney and his partner.

    But in recent days the movement has attracted controversy and led to questions for Prem chief executive Richard Masters.

    BLM leaders have posted their beliefs in defunding the police, overthrowing capitalism and “targeted sanctions in line with international law against Israel's colonial, apartheid regime”.

    Sky Sports pundits Patrice Evra and Jamie Redknapp were conspicuously not wearing a BLM badge during yesterday’s coverage of Manchester United’s win at Brighton, after the logo had been worn by all presenters since the restart.

    CHELSEA PREDICTED XI

    Here is how the Blues are expected to line up tonight against West Ham.

    ALICE IN WONDERLAND

    Chelsea have released a video to promote their new kit.

    While fans are not overly enamoured with the fresh jersey, the promo video is pretty impressive!

    AZPI'S THE MAN

    Here are Cesar Azpilicueta's stats this season and how he ranks among his Chelsea team-mates.

    His best season so far, Blues fans?

    IT'S NOT A STITCH-UP

    Chelsea will wear their new 2020-21 home kit against West Ham tonight – and there is a big change on the front of the shirt.

    The Blues' £200million sponsorship deal with Yokohama Tyres has ended.

    Telecommunications company Three have filled that void and have their logo pride of place on the jerseys – which were revealed on hoardings at Stamford Bridge a couple days ago.

    The Nike kit is inspired by Savile Row and London’s association with master tailors, say the sportswear giant.

    A press release said: “The kit is a blend of the latest in athletic innovation with the finesse of fine London tailoring.

    “The Blues’ new home jersey ventures into the realm of statement shirting: a luscious, textured, modern classic with the city’s rich fashion heritage woven in, wholly befitting the capital’s most stylish club.”

    MORE ON MOUNT & RICE

    Lampard added: “There is only one thing I will ask of Mason — and from my point of view that isobviously all I care about going into this one.

    “He texts him tonight, he smiles at him in the tunnel or whatever.

    “But if and when they go up against each other he has to try to beat him in every individual battle that he can.

    “And sensing Declan Rice’s character, I am sensing they will both be like-minded on that one. We will see.”

    BEST OF FRENEMIES

    Mason Mount can finally have thatkick-about with his best pal Declan Rice tonight.

    Last time two of the Prem’s most promising midfielders got together on a pitch they were caught cold breaking lockdown rules in a North London park.

    Lampard has warned 21-year-old Mount about the perils of football friendships when it comes to match day.

    He said: “I think it spurs you on more if you have a personal relationship either way — whether you are best friends or you don’t even like each other.

    “I also think the result of that is not concrete either — you either have your best of games in that sort of circumstance.

    “But you can also become overly focused on that relationship and have a not so good game.”

    GOOD MORNING CHELSEA FANS

    Frank Lampard has claimed Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech will have to train alone when they officially join Chelsea today.

    He insisted the club are devising a training programme for the pair, who have been snapped up for a combined fee of around £83million.

    The Blues boss said: “I am in the process of arranging that pan now.

    “They are also in different positions in the fact that Hakim hasn't played for a long time because of the Dutch league situation and Timo finished at the weekend.

    “We will formulate a plan for them that will look slightly different individually.”

    In other news, Chelsea have reportedly made a lucractive offer to sign Angel Gomes after it was confirmed that he has not extended his Manchester United contract.

    The Independent claim Gomes rejected an offer of £25,000 plus bonuses but had more favourable option, including Chelsea.

    Super-agent Pini Zahavi is involved with the discussion, but Gomes also has plenty of other interest from across Europe.

    Meanwhile, Chelsea goalkeeper Nicolas Tie could be on the brink of joining Portuguese top-flight side Vitoria.

    The 19-year-old has been linked with a permanent exit despite breaking into the Blues' Champions League 'B' list squad in February.

    Reports have claimed the Ivory Coast Under-23 star is in “advanced talks” with Vitoria.

    FEELING BLUE

    Chelsea have been knuckling down at the training ground this week ahead of tomorrow's clash against West Ham.

    The Blues have won 25 of the 47 Premier League matches between the London rivals.

    'WOULD HAVE GONE TO CHINA'

    Timo Werner has lifted the lid on his decision to join Frank Lampard's side.

    Speaking to SportBuzzer, he said: “The entire Chelsea package in the end, however, turned out to be the best in my career.

    “Money played a marginal role.

    “For me, money was never a decisive factor, otherwise I would have gone to China.”

    NIC OF TIME

    Chelsea are planning to make a move for Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico, according to reports.

    The Argentina international is set to leave the Dutch giants at the end of the season.

    Tagliafico, 27, is viewed as a cheaper alternative to top target Ben Chilwell.

    According to Transfermarketweb, Chelsea will make a “serious run” at bringing him to Stamford Bridge.

    BEING FRANK

    Frank Lampard's focus remains on ending the season well as he prepares for his new signings to arrive.

    He said: “The first issue right now is how we finish the season, that's my main focus.

    “In terms of these two players, we have to make sure they arrive with good fitness and freshness levels for next season.

    “They will have a longer break than the player we've already got in the squad so I'll take that firmly into account and when I feel it's the right time to bring them in and around the squad this season, I can do it.”

    OUT-FOXED

    Prem boss Richard Masters admitted the League may not be able to be completed if the Leicester coronavirus lockdown is extended.

    But Masters confirmed that WHATEVER happens Liverpool are now champions.

    He said: “We can clearly cope with the situation in Leicester should it mean that the club can't play home games for the foreseeable future or just this weekend. We can adapt to that.

    “If it were to happen in multiple areas or the course of the virus creates other risks there is the chance we might not be able to complete the season.

    “We have to get through to the end of July, complete our 380 games. That is all dependent on the course of the virus.

    “The clubs decided to deal with the issue of curtailment and what would have happened if the season wasn't completed – there would be a discussion when it occurred.”

    MER TO COME

    Paul Merson reckons Chelsea will topple Liverpool and win the Premier League in the next few years after their transfer splurge. 

    The ex-Arsenal star told Sky Sports: “With Liverpool putting up records like they have with their players being as good as they are, it's only a matter of time before the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid come calling,

    “In three or four years, I'd be quite shocked if Chelsea don't win the Premier League.”

    He added: “To go and beat Man City was massive. It was massive because everyone is looking to close the gap.”

    TIM TO LEARN

    Frank Lampard will put new signings Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech through specific training plans to get them up to pace when they arrive.

    He said: “I'm in the process of arranging that plan.

    “They do become our players but they're in different positions.

    “Hakim hasn't played for a long time and Timo finished at the weekend.

    “So we'll formulate a plan.”

    TIE DRAWN TO MOVE

    Nicolas Tie could be on the brink of joining Portuguese top-flight side Vitoria.

    The Chelsea keeper has been linked with a permanent exit – despite breaking into the Blues' Champions League 'B' list squad in February as fourth-choice stopper.

    The Ivory Coast Under-23 star is in “advanced talks” with Vitoria, according to @Santi_J_FM.

    Lille-born Tie, whose Chelsea deal ends next summer, has rapidly grown in physical stature over the past year.

    REMOVAL VAN

    Chelsea’s forgotten man Marco van Ginkel is set for a FOURTH loan spell in six years despite extending his time at Stamford Bridge by signing a new deal.

    The Dutch midfielder has only just returned to somewhere near full fitness after rupturing his ACL in July 2018.

    The 27-year-old was handed a boost when, out of the blue, the club offered him a one-year extension this week, despite having not turned out for the West London side since the 2013/14 season.

    Van Ginkel was set to become a free agent this summer but now is likely to be shipped out on loan yet again with competition for places tougher than ever in Frank Lampard's side.

    He told Ziggo Sport: “Joining Chelsea is a difficult story, I think. It is of course a top club.

    “To hook [my hopes] on that [playing for the first team] now seems a bit premature. So I will be loaned out.”

    NEWS TO ME

    Frank Lampard claims Chelsea have NOT offered a contract to Angel Gomes.

    The Blues boss also confirmed signing the out-going Manchester United youngster has never even been discussed at the club.

    He said: “I can elaborate to the point that it's never been mentioned on my end. That's it.”

    CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

    Here is how superb Cesar Azpilicueta has been for the Blues this season.

    Check out these stats –most minutes, most tackles, most crosses… he's even had the sixth-most shots, including blocks.

    BEN CHANCE

    Former Chelsea star Loic Remy is to sign for Italian minnows Benevento, according to reports.

    The 33-year-old has played for Lille for the last two seasons, netting seven goals in 20 Ligue 1 outings this term.

    But with his contract in North Eastern France set to expire today, the striker appears to have made a shock decision regarding his next club.

    According to DiMarzio, the Frenchman has decided to join runaway Serie B leaders Benevento.

    Having already sealed the Serie B title with seven games remaining, they want to make Remy an early acquisition.

    He is expected to undergo a medical today.

    PREDICTED BLUES XI

    Frank Lampard will look to reshuffle the pack when his side face West Ham in a crucial London derby on Wednesday.

    The Chelsea manager scrapped his experiment at half-time against FA Cup opponents Leicester on Sunday with his side eventually running out narrow 1-0 winners.

    He had initially started with talented youngster Billy Gilmour in a midfield three with N'Golo Kante and Mason Mount before making a triple substitution at half-time.

    Lampard also described the opening 45 minutes as his side's “worst performance of the season.”

    CHELSEA FIXTURES

    Here are the Blues' upcoming games and TV channels.

    Fixtures leading up to the FA Cup semi-final – as well as the kick-off time at Wembley on July 18 and 19 – are yet to be confirmed.

    HAVERTZ TRANSFER ODDS

    Here are some odds on Kai Havertz’s next move, courtesy of 888Sport.

    The Blues are favourites to sign the German international.

    • Chelsea – 4/5
    • Bayer Leverkusen – Evens
    • Bayern Munich – 9/5
    • Liverpool – 5/2
    • Manchester City – 8/1
    • Paris Saint Germain – 14/1
    • Arsenal – 20/1

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