7.30am Chelsea news LIVE: Rice £90m interest, Atal transfer battle, Hudson-Odoi boost – The Sun
CHELSEA are preparing for the return of club football and a trip to Wolves.
They will be hoping Callum Hudson-Odoi's return is not far off – while should their transfer ban be overturned, Declan Rice is among their targets.
Follow ALL of the latest Blues news, updates and gossip below…
EMERSON PALMIERI has not missed a minute of Chelsea's Premier League campaign this season but that could change at the weekend.
The left-back lasted just eight minutes on Sunday before he was forced out of Italy's clash with Finland due to a hamstring injury.
Chelsea have conceded that he is a doubt for Saturday's clash with Wolves and Frank Lampard will make a late call on his fitness.
However, the club are confident that it is not a serious problem and he will not be a long-term absentee.
NABIL FEKIR was linked with almost every club in England but Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea emerged as the leading contenders in the summer of 2018.
Fekir was within a few hours of signing for Liverpool but the deal fell through – and now the then-Lyon star has spoken out about why.
Stories emerged that the Reds had concerns about his knee and Arsenal and Chelsea appeared to abandon their interest after that reservation too.
But Fekir has refuted that injury or off-field issues blocked the transfer.
Fekir told French newspaper L'Equipe: “It’s a lie […] Lots of lies were told and they affected me, especially those told about my family.
“It hurt them and me, especially when you know that what’s being told is false.
“You want the truth? Even I don’t know, I promise you!
“I did my medical and then [Liverpool] decided not to sign me.
“At some point they wanted to have me believe it was because of my knee, but an excuse needed to be found.”
CHELSEA fans are probably not running to find a way to watch Grimsby Town vs Macclesfield tonight – but they are the prize in the Carabao Cup clash.
The first scheduled meeting between the two sides was abandoned because of torrential rain at Blundell Park.
But the two sides will now kick off in under half an hour with the winner set to face Chelsea in the third round of the Carabao Cup later this month.
CHELSEA are expected to challenge Manchester United and make a bid for Declan Rice in 'the near future', according to one West Ham insider.
Rice will start in the central midfield for England tonight against Kosovo (7.45pm kick-off) to earn his fifth cap for the Three Lions since switching allegiance from Ireland.
The 20-year-old has been the subject of interest from almost every corner of the Premier League and beyond since breaking into the West Ham team in 2017.
And now anonymous but reliable source ExWHUemployee claims both Manchester United and Chelsea will make bids for the player with the Blues a more 'worrying' suitor for Hammers fans.
Rice was on the books at Chelsea as a youth but was released at the age of 14.
CHELSEA are fighting to cut short their ban on signing players and have reportedly identified Youcef Atal as a target should they succeed.
The full-back played 29 times as Nice reached seventh in last season's Ligue 1 and is seen at Chelsea as a long-term replacement for Cesar Azpilicueta.
But according to Calciomercato, Chelsea will face competition from Valencia for Atal's signature.
They will also have to convince the Court of Arbitration for Sport that they have served their time for flouting FIFA rules on signing young players.
An appeal to the two-window punishment is still due to be heard and Chelsea hope to have the period halved with Blues bosses telling agents they expect to be active in the January transfer window.
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