I have just returned from sitting in a friend’s garden, staring at the night sky in the hope of seeing the Perseid meteor shower. We managed to see 10 meteors in about two hours, the first of which elicited oohs and aahs normally reserved for New Year’s Eve firework displays. It was awesome.
Anyway, I digress.
After an absence of 81 days (I counted them), the Premier League is back. Chelsea ease into the new campaign with a home game against Hull City, kick-off is 12:45 p.m. BST tomorrow. The match is live on Sky Sports 1 from 12:30 p.m. One piece of team news is that Paulo Ferreira is closing in on a return to first-team action after completing a full training session in midweek. For Hull, Stephen “It Wasn’t Deliberate, Honest” Hunt is likely to start after completing his move to the KC Stadium from Reading. I’m sure he’ll receive a nice warm welcome.
A quick roundup of recent transfer and player news. Michael Mancienne has joined Wolverhampton Wanderers on a season-long loan deal after signing a new four-year contract with Chelsea. Mancienne spent three months of last season at Molineaux during which he earned rave reviews for his performances. With four centre-backs ahead of him in the pecking order, a loan move to a rival Premier League club is a good option at this early stage of his career. At least he’ll get regular first team football.
We’re still being linked with moves for a number of players despite Ancelotti insisting that he doesn’t expect any more arrivals or departures during this transfer window. Several newspapers reported in the week that we remain in the hunt for Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery, while others carried stories claiming that Bayern are close to agreeing a deal to take Bosingwa to the Allianz Arena. There has been no official response from either club.
German rivals Werder Bremen have still not given up hope of signing Claudio Pizarro this summer, according to manager Thomas Schaaf. “I hope we get Pizarro,” he told German newspaper Bild. I do too.
Reports out of Italy on Tuesday said that we approached Roma with a big-money offer, said to be in the region of £22m, for their 26 year-old Italian international midfielder Daniele De Rossi. Giallorossi official Bruno Conti told an Italian radio station that Ancelotti himself made an approach for Rossi.
“I’ve personally had a call from Ancelotti to take the player to Chelsea. But Daniele is untouchable,” Conti told Radio Radio. “The offer was of a lot of money, but it has been refused.”
First Pirlo, now De Rossi. Quite why Ancelotti is looking to sign another midfielder is beyond me. I still think we need another top quality forward to complete the team.
Another Italian linked with a move to Stamford Bridge is a striker, Sampdoria’s Giampaolo Pazzini. ‘Tentative enquiries’ were made over an €18m transfer, according to several reports. But Sampdoria general director, Giuseppe Marotta, insisted that no offer was made, and that even if one did arrive, the striker is going nowhere.
“No offer came in for Pazzini. If one arrives in the next few hours, we won’t consider it,” he said.
One player who does look like joining Chelsea soon is 20 year-old Serbian midfield playmaker Nemanja Matic. A £4m deal is said to be completed with just fine details to be concluded. Matic himself confirmed earlier this week that he has accepted a contract offer from Chelsea.
He told Dennik Sport: “I can confirm that Chelsea have offered me a four-year contract, which I have accepted.
“Now the clubs must come to an agreement.”
Matic currently plies his trade in the Slovakian top division for MFK Kosice and was one of the stars of the UEFA Under-21 Championships before injury cut short his tournament.
One last thing. If you own an iPhone or iPod Touch, Sky have launched their Football Score Centre app. The developers have made a really good job of it, and best of all it’s free. If you can bear Jeff Stelling’s mugshot staring back at you from every page, I highly recommend you download it. Eurosport’s app, which covers a whole host of sports including football, is also worth downloading. It too is free.
If, like me, you like sitting in gardens until the wee hours staring at the night sky, then I also recommend Starmap Pro. At £11.49 it’s not cheap, but it’s well worth it for those moments when you find yourself gazing at the stars wondering what life is all about.
I’m rambling. To bed.
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- Pat Nevin: Time of our lives