Daily Archives: July 19, 2017

Antonio Conte signs improved two-year deal with Chelsea

Published by:

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has signed an improved two-year deal with the club after winning the Premier League title in his first year with the club.

Chelsea confirmed the deal as the manager left for Beijing along with his squad ahead of a three-match pre-season tour of China and Singapore, on with Conte also describing the team’s achievements last year as “something amazing” in the club’s statement.

Aside from their Premier League title victory, the Italian had also inspired the Blues to put in their best club performance, winning 30 games and a club record of 13 consecutive victories. He also led his team into the final of the FA Cup, albeit losing the title to Arsenal.

Conte came to Chelsea under three-year contract London in the summer of 2016. Although the new deal does not extend Conte’s commitment to the club, it eases any immediate concerns over his future especially after speculations of a move to AC Milan.

“I am very happy to have signed a new contract with Chelsea,” said Conte. “We worked extremely hard in our first year to achieve something amazing, which I am very proud of. Now we must work even harder to stay at the top.”

However, the decision to sign a new contract without extending the terms contradicts previous comments by Conte, who had indicated his willingness to commit to a longer deal.

Back in May, he said he wanted to stay with Chelsea “for many years”, adding: “If the club give me the possibility to stay and extend my contract, for sure I’m available to.”

Furthermore, the Italian manager would also most certainly have questions for the board regarding their lack of transfer activity, and their loss of a major target in Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, who moved to Manchester United instead.

Dortmund tell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang he is not leaving this summer

Published by:

Borussia Dortmund have reportedly informed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that he will not be allowed to leave the club this summer.

Aubameyang, who scored 31 league goals in 32 games last season and won the Bundesliga golden boot had been expected to move to either China, the Premier League or Milan in Serie A but he has been told that he will continue his career in Dortmund.

Dortmund, who finished third in the Bundesliga table last season had allegedly gave him a deadline for him to complete a move beforehand, and that with the deadline now passed club officials will move to restrict any possibility of a deal to sign their player.

The Dortmund CEO, Hans-Joachim Watzke, said on Sunday that they had given the 28-year-old, who joined Dortmund in 2013, “a few days” to make his mind up and the German magazine Kicker reported on Tuesday that the deadline has now passed.

“The timing was decisive in the end,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc added. “We have decided that “Auba” will stay with Borussia Dortmund. The transfer window is closed as far as he is concerned.”

Chelsea were mooted as possible suitors despite the fact that they need to find a replacement for the departing Diego Costa. The Blues never submitted a formal bid to Dortmund and their priority is still understood to be Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata.

Aubameyang, incidentally, faced Milan, one of the clubs interested in signing him, in a pre-season tour of China and scored twice in a 3-1 win.

The new Borussia Dortmund coach, Peter Bosz, said after the game: “I am glad that he is in my team. Aubameyang was fantastic today. He played just the way we want him to play.”

Antonio Cassano joins Verona, but retires and then un-retires

Published by:

Former Italy international Antonio Cassano has sensationally “un-retired” from football a few hours after telling his Verona team-mates that he was missing his family too much and wanted to quit the game.

Cassano, 35, who joined Verona only eight days ago and made the decision to leave the club and retire from football early on Tuesday.

However, after Verona have promised that they they will ensure that his family move closer to him, he held a press conference in the afternoon to tell the media that he had reconsidered and was now looking forward to “having a fun season” with his new club.

“This morning I had a moment of weakness,” he said. “A ‘fall’, but then I thought about it again. If I had decided to go through with this gut-feeling it would have been a catastrophic choice and I’ve gone with my gut-feeling too many times in my career.”

“I had a sudden feeling of missing my family and I got too emotional. But now I want to have a fantastic season. I’ve already lost seven kilos and I am fully motivated. Don’t be irritated by all this, in two games’ time we will forget all about this.”

Cassano began his professional career at Bari in 1999 and played for, among others, Roma, Real Madrid, Milan and Internazionale. While considered by many as one of the most talented players of his generation, he missed Italy’s World Cup triumph in 2006 after a poor season with Real.

But since joining last week, the veteran had already played in two friendlies for Verona and impressed in both, before Tuesday’s series of events.

Verona, who won promotion back to the Italian top-flight after a brief season in Serie B, will now hope he can form a productive partnership up front with Giampaolo Pazzini, whom he played with at Sampdoria.