Europa League Review: Arsenal, Chelsea book all-England final

By Lance Whittaker, Mariah Ramharack& George Davis May 09, 2019

Arsenal and Chelsea scored contrasting victories in wins over Valencia and Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.

Related items

  • Derby grant Lampard permission to speak to Chelsea Derby grant Lampard permission to speak to Chelsea

    Chelsea have been granted permission to speak to Derby County manager Frank Lampard with a view to appointing the ex-Blues midfielder as Maurizio Sarri's replacement at Stamford Bridge.

    The 41-year-old spent 13 years as a Chelsea player, winning 11 major honours, and has been consistently linked with the vacancy at his former club since it became clear Sarri was set to leave.

    Former Napoli boss Sarri returned to Serie A to take charge of Juventus earlier this month after a single season in London, with Chelsea finishing third in the Premier League and winning the Europa League.

    Derby became the first club of Lampard's managerial career when he was appointed on a three-year contract in May 2018.

    He guided the Rams into the Championship play-off final, where they lost 2-1 to Aston Villa, but his achievements in an impressive first season in management were enough to convince Chelsea he has a bright future ahead of him.

    Lampard scored a club-record 211 goals for Chelsea, while only three players have made more appearances for them.

    He now seems set for an emotional return, although Derby stressed the need for a swift resolution with pre-season around the corner.

    A Rams statement read: "Derby County Football Club can confirm that they have granted permission for Chelsea Football Club to speak to Frank Lampard about the vacant managerial position at Stamford Bridge.

    "With pre-season fast approaching for both clubs it is hoped this will allow Chelsea to swiftly conclude their discussions.

    "The club will make no further comment until it is appropriate to do so."

    Sarri helped Chelsea reach the EFL Cup final, where they lost to Manchester City, and then delivered glory in Europe by beating Arsenal in Baku, but his time in charge was a tumultuous one, marked by unrest among his players.

    Sarri won 39 games in 2018-19 in all competitions, the most in a debut season at Chelsea since Jose Mourinho in 2004-05, but his spell will also be remembered for goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga's refusal to leave the field when called to be substituted at Wembley and a humiliating 6-0 defeat at Manchester City in February.

    Should Lampard be handed the reins at Chelsea, he will be unable to bring in new players due to the transfer ban imposed on the club, and he will need to usher in a new era after the departure of star forward Eden Hazard.

  • Rumour Has It: Man United reject Neymar-Pogba swap with PSG Rumour Has It: Man United reject Neymar-Pogba swap with PSG

    Neymar for Paul Pogba?

    That was the proposal by Paris Saint-Germain to Manchester United, who are both set for busy off-seasons due to their wantaway stars.

    But a swap between the two clubs does not appear to be on the agenda.

     

    TOP STORY – WOODWARD SAYS NO TO NEYMAR

    A swap deal involving Neymar and Paul Pogba was rejected by Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

    That is according to the Independent as Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar and United midfielder Pogba both seek exits.

    Woodward reportedly said no to the idea due to costs and his determination to keep Pogba, who has been linked with a return to Juventus and Real Madrid .

    Neymar is set to leave PSG and the world's most expensive player is ready to publicly apologise to Barcelona over his exit in 2017 to help facilitate a return to Camp Nou, according to AS.

     

    ROUND-UP

    Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has agreed to join Paris Saint-Germain in an €80million deal, according to Serbian newspaper Blic. The 24-year-old was linked with Manchester United and Real Madrid prior to the 2018-19 season. AS reports that Ligue 1 champions PSG are also set to sign Sevilla attacker Pablo Sarabia.

    - A move to Barcelona for Matthijs de Ligt is "still possible", according to Mundo Deportivo. Italian press have reported that Juventus are favourites to sign the 19-year-old Ajax captain, however, LaLiga champions Barca still appear to be in the running.

    - According to AS, Real Madrid are keen on signing Napoli midfielder and Spain international Fabian Ruiz. The 23-year-old only moved to Serie A from Real Betis in 2018-19.

    Edin Dzeko's move from Roma to Inter will be announced shortly, Corriere dello Sport reports. Antonio Conte's Inter are now targeting Cagliari star Nicolo Barella. The Nerazzurri are also interested in Brazil captain Dani Alves after his Paris Saint-Germain exit, according to France Football.

    - Former Manchester City and Arsenal star Samir Nasri is a target for new A-League side Western United in Australia, according to the Herald Sun. The 31-year-old Frenchman is a free agent after leaving West Ham.

    Borussia Dortmund defender Dan-Axel Zagadou is wanted by Arsenal, according to the Mirror. The Gunners have been linked with Saint-Etienne teenager William Saliba but Zagadou could be available following Mats Hummels' return to Dortmund.

    - Serie A rivals Juventus and Napoli are battling it out to sign Tottenham full-back Kieran Trippier, the Mirror reports. Joao Cancelo is reportedly close to joining Manchester City and Juve see the England international as the perfect replacement.

  • Gerrard aware of Derby speculation amid Lampard's expected Chelsea switch Gerrard aware of Derby speculation amid Lampard's expected Chelsea switch

    Steven Gerrard has rejected speculation he could leave Rangers for Derby County should Frank Lampard be appointed by Chelsea.

    Lampard's return to Stamford Bridge as the successor to Maurizio Sarri is reportedly close despite his single season of experience with the Rams.

    And former England team-mate Gerrard is said to be on Derby's list of targets should Lampard's move to Chelsea be completed.

    The Rangers manager, however, insisted he is not looking to leave the Glasgow giants after helping to narrow the gap on Celtic last term.

    "Yes, I'm aware of it but there's nothing to say on it," Gerrard told Sky Sports of the speculation.

    "I'm very happy here, it's a privilege to be the Rangers manager. My focus is on the up and coming season.

    "It's very similar to when there's noise around players. I ask the players to stay focused on the job and that is what I will continue to do. There is nothing really to add to that.

    "Nothing has changed in my mind. I was very lucky and appreciative of the opportunity I got 12 months ago.

    "I'm delighted to be at Rangers, managing one of the biggest clubs you can manage, so nothing has changed in terms of my focus."

    Rangers finished second behind Celtic last term and lost to Aberdeen in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup.

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