6.15pm Chelsea news LIVE: Hudson-Odoi rape case dropped, Werner transfer structure being decided, Rice-Batshuayi swap – The Sun

CHELSEA continued their preparations for the return of the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Reading as Pedro scored the only goal.

Meanwhile Callum Hudson-Odoi has had the rape allegations against him dropped in a big boost ahead of the restart.

Follow all the latest updates and transfer gossip from the Bridge below…

  • CHILL OUT

    Chelsea have been given a clear path to sign Ben Chilwell after Man City pulled out of the race to sign him.

    ESPN say Guardiola's side are not 'that keen' on landing the Leicester defender.

    City are said to be focused on prioritising other positions, especially a central defender.

  • CORONA NO GO

    Chelsea have reportedly withdrawn their interest in Porto winger Jesus Manuel Corona.

    Blues transfer chief Marina Granovskaia is believed to have instructed scouts to turn their attention elsewhere.

    Corona has banged in four goals and registered 17 assists for the Portuguese side this year.

    The 27-year-old's agent Matias Bunge confirmed the Blues had made contact earlier this year.

    But their stance changed when they found out Liverpool had pulled out of the race to sign Timo Werner.

  • CLEARED

    Callum Hudson-Odoi today said police will take no further action over a rape allegation made against him last month.

    The 19-year-old Chelsea star was arrested and questioned last month having invited a glamour model to his flat during the coronavirus lockdown.

    In an Instagram post on Saturday, Hudson-Odoi stated that a full investigation had now been completed.

    Police have told the Blues ace that no further action will be taken.

  • TIM'S UP

    Timo Werner has already agreed to join Chelsea and the finishing touches are now being put on the deal to bring him to Stamford Bridge, reports The Telegraph.

    The Blues and RB Leipzig are now discussing the structure of the £53m deal which will go through in the near future.

    And there is no rush as Leipzig are not listed on the stock market so neither side is under pressure to announce the deal imminently.

  • ACH, SACK AND CRACK

    Chelsea and Arsenal are set to miss out on Achraf Hakimi after Borussia Dortmund confirmed they want him for a THIRD loan season.

    Real Madrid's loan star has been in stunning form for Dortmund in the Bundesliga this term.

    The Moroccan wizard, 21, can play at full-back or on the wing.

    Gunners chief Mikel Arteta had pinpointed Hakami for one of his first summer signings.

    Blues boss Frank Lampard is also interested in the African.

    But now Dortmund, who have good relations with Bernabeu chiefs, are ready to do a deal to keep him in Germany.

  • AS THE WERN TURNS

    Chelsea fans were not too impressed with £54million recruit Timo Werner – after he missed an absolute sitter for RB Leipzig.

    The Germany striker has been out-of-sorts since the Bundesliga returned from the coronavirus.

    But that did not stop Blues boss Frank Lampard completing a big-money deal for a man who has 32 goals in 46 games this season.

    However, Werner fluffed an easy chance in the 2-0 win at Hoffenheim.

    The 24-year-old was through on goal and eight yards out with just the keeper to beat but blazed his effort well over the bar.

    One Blues critic slammed on Twitter: “Chelsea is this your striker? Another huge miss from Werner. Sorry for the bad vid quality.”

  • JUSTIN TIME

    Chelsea have invited highly-rated Nigerian central defender Abdulmalik Justin Owolabi-Belewu to train with the club.

    Reports in Nigeria claim the Blues have extended the invite with a view to a permanent transfer for the 17-year-old.

    Owolabi-Belewu was born in the UK but is currently on the books of Toronto FC Academy U19 team.

    Anderlecht have also shown an interest in signing the 6ft 2ins star, who started out as a striker before moving to defence.

    Prior to joining Toronto FC, he played for London Youth Whitecaps and was the league's top scorer for three consecutive years from 2016.

    He has been described as a versatile central defender with good vision, range of passing, physical build and high IQ.

  • HAV-ING A LAUGH?

    Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen are reportedly 'miles apart' in negotiations over Kai Havertz.

    It seemed like the Bundesliga star was all set to join Frank Lampard's side.

    Havertz is under contract at the BayArena until 2022 but has already indicated he is looking for a new challenge and prepared to move abroad.

    But The Athletic say Blues transfer chiefs are struggling to reach an agreement with Havertz's advisers.

    Man Utd, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are all interested in the youngster.

    Havertz is valued at £89m and it is believed Leverkusen are holding out for that amount despite the financial restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • ICYMI – WERNER MISS

    Chelsea fans were not too impressed with £54million recruit Timo Werner – after he missed an absolute sitter for RB Leipzig.

    The Germany striker has been out-of-sorts since the Bundesliga returned from the coronavirus.

    But that did not stop Blues boss Frank Lampard completing a big-money deal for a man who has 32 goals in 46 games this season.

    However, Werner fluffed an easy chance in the 2-0 win at Hoffenheim.

    The 24-year-old was through on goal and eight yards out with just the keeper to beat but blazed his effort well over the bar.

    One Blues critic slammed on Twitter: “Chelsea is this your striker? Another huge miss from Werner. Sorry for the bad vid quality.”

    'Stuff Boyd' bit back: “Don't apologize, quality of the vid is better than the quality of the finish.”

  • MORNING CHELSEA FANS

    Frank Lampard would be willing to offload N'Golo Kante to help Chelsea sign Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell.

    That's the biggest claim on the transfer speculation front around Stamford Bridge over the past 24 hours – as incoming Timo Werner was mocked for an amazing miss.

    Leicester's England left-back Chilwell and Bayer Leverkusen's Germany prodigy Havertz are commonly regarded as Chelsea's top summer targets, now that Werner's £50m arrival seems all but sealed.

    And with Real Madrid said to be hovering around Kante as a midfield anchorman, it has now been suggested selling the French World Cup winner would be the ideal fundraiser.

    Meanwhile, Werner showed none of his usual cool as he blazed high when put completely free in a 2-0 winat Hoffenheim on Friday night.

    Frontman Michy Batshuayi finally seems on his way out of the Bridge.

    But there are conflicting reports over his future, amid speculation Chelsea might try to part-exchange him for West Ham's England midfielder Declan Rice.

    The Belgian's wages are rated as a huge stumbling block, particularly for Premier League rivals like the hammers and Crystal Palace.

    But as Chelsea prepare for their Premier League return at Aston Villa on Sunday week, the exit of Croatia midfielderMario Pasalic seems clearer.

    Atalanta are ready to trigger a release clause to make his two-year loan deal a permanent move.

  • N'GO NOW

    Real Madrid have set their sights on a £71million swoop for Chelsea star N'Golo Kante.

    Blues boss Frank Lampard does not see the Frenchman as part of his Stamford Bridge revolution.

    So Zinedine Zidane can steal in and grab his countryman as he looks to shore up his midfield at the Bernabeu.

    There has been speculation that Kante could leave the Blues for some time now  and this would give Lamps the cash to complete his other business.

    Lampard has plenty of options in midfield with Jorginho, the impressive Mateo Kovacic, new hope Billy Gilmour, Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

    There is also talk Lamps could re-sign West Ham's Declan Rice in a big summer raid.

  • MORNING, CHELSEA FANS

    Frank Lampard would be willing to offload N'Golo Kante to help Chelsea sign Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell.

    That's the biggest claim on the transfer speculation front around Stamford Bridge over the past 24 hours – as incoming Timo Werner was mocked for an amazing miss.

    Leicester's England left-back Chilwell.and  Bayer Leverkusen's Germany prodigy Havertz are commonly regarded as Chelsea's top summer targets, now that Werner's £50m arrival seems all but sealed.

    And with Real Madrid said to be hovering around Kante as a midfield anchorman, it has now been suggested selling the French World Cup winner would be the ideal fundraiser.

    Meanwhile, Werner showed none of his usual cool as he blazed high when put completely free in a 2-0 win  at Hoffenheim on Friday night.

    Frontman Michy Batshuayi finally seems on his way out of the Bridge.

    But there are conflicting reports over his future, amid speculation Chelsea might try to part-exchange him for West Ham's England midfielder Declan Rice.

    The Belgian's wages are rated as a huge stumbling block, particularly for Premier League rivals like the hammers and Crystal Palace.

    But as Chelsea prepare for their Premier League return at Aston Villa on Sunday week, the exit of Croatia midfielder  Mario Pasalic seems clearer.

    Atalanta are ready to trigger a release clause to make his two-year loan deal a permanent move.

  • DRUG TESTS RAMPED UP AGAIN

    Premier League stars have not been drug tested for THREE MONTHS.

    But anti-doping officers are set to massively ramp up testing next week ahead of the restart.

    Although clubs resumed training weeks ago, testers have not been seen at any training grounds for spot checks to track either performance-enhancing or recreational drugs.

    Instead, all focus at grounds has been on tests for Covid-19.

    Potentially, during the lockdown, some players could have used recreational drugs and not been tested.

    Even though this time was effectively out of competition, that would still have been breaking rules.

    Next week, UK Anti-Doping are set to give an update of their drug-testing procedures in the Premier League, along with the Championship and clubs in the League One and League Two play-offs.

  • WERNER TAUNTED FOR MISS

    Chelsea's incoming striker Timo Werner was mocked by rival Premier League fans on social media after an incredible miss in RB Leipzig's 2-0 win against Hoffenheim on Friday night.

    The free-scoring Germany star was put clean through by Konrad Laimer in the 44th minute, with just Oliver Baumann to beat.

    But for some reason he chose to shoot from outside the box rather than home in on the Hoffenheim keeper – and fired over.

    Tweets included: “Hope @ChelseaFC remembered to ask for Warranty.”

  • TIMO ECLIPSED

    Timo Werner was for once overshadowed by two-goal Dani Olvo as RB Leipzig won 2-0 at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Friday night.

    Germany striker and impending Chelsea recruit Werner played the whole game but it was Spanish wideman Olmo who pounced on nine and 11 minutes.

  • COUTINHO IN LIMBO

    Newcastle's interest in Philippe Coutinho has reportedly cooled – and not only because they are waiting to see if their Saudi-led takeover goes through.

    Bayern have all but ruled out turning their loan deal for the ex-Liverpool playmaker into a permanent switch from Barcelona, with Spurs, Everton, Chelsea and Arsenal also previously linked with the 27-year-old.

    And Toon would need to pay around £71million for the Brazil star

    Newcastle's would-be owners have signalled their cash injection to the squad will be far less dramatic than speculated, initially at least.

  • STARS USE 'UNIQUE POSITION' FOR GOOD

    Karren Brady expanded her praise of Premier League players' actions for Black Lives Matter.

    She said: “Some Premier League club captains are only in their early 20s but understand that, by speaking out against racial injustice, they are in a unique position of being able to back a cause that can have a permanent and impactful change on society to make things better for future generations.

    “Wearing a Black Lives Matter message on their shirts is a peaceful and powerful message that will have a massive global impact, with every Premier League match being broadcast across the globe, reaching 212 territories and 643 million homes.

    “At West Ham, our players will today stand together at London Stadium and show the world exactly what we represent by posing for a (socially distanced) squad photograph in support of the fight against racism and discrimination.”

  • BRADY HAILS PLAYERS' TOP ACTION

    SunSport columnist Karren Brady says Premier League players returning with ‘Black Lives Matter’ on their shirts shows they can be a force for change.

    Following protests after George Floyd's “senseless death as his neck was knelt on by a US police officer, the West Ham vice-chairperson believes Prem “captains have channelled that hurt, frustration and anger into positive activism, using their massive reach and influence”.

    She added: “Five players alone have 120million Instagram followers between them. I can’t even begin to calculate what the other 495 will add to that total number, but many hundreds of millions more.

    “The players feel empowered to share their sentiments in such an open and honest way with their followers in the hope of creating lasting change.

    “This is an age where you can educate, influence and inspire and make a real difference for generations to come.”

  • PASA DOUGH PLAY

    Atalanta plan to trigger loan star Mario Pasalic's transfer clause to sign him permanently from Chelsea.

    Croatia midfielder Pasalic, 25, has hit 15 goals in 74 games across two seasons for the Serie A club.

    But he has yet to make a single first-team appearance for Chelsea in his six-year stint.

    Atalanta sporting director Giovanni Sartori confirmed they will look to sign the midfielder permanently, meaning he can officially leave Chelsea and end his run of loan moves.

    Sartori told Sky Sports: “We’re going to buy Mario Pasalic on a permanent deal from Chelsea.

    “We want to use the buy option”.

  • ALL BATS ARE OFF

    Crystal Palace and West Ham have reportedly withdrawn any interest in signing Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi permanently.

    The Belgium star is tipped to leave as he is has just one year left on his contract, having also fallen below Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud in the pecking order.

    But HLN say Premier League rivals are worried about the 26-year-old's wages and possible low re-sale value.

    Batshuayi has never made the breakthrough at Stamford Bridge since his £33million arrival from Marseille four years ago.

  • TOP GESTURE

    THE Premier League have confirmed players will have 'Black Lives Matter' on the back of their shirt instead of their names when the season restarts.

    It will be in affect for the opening 12 games of the restart, and when names return a BLM logo will feature on shirts for the rest of the season along with a badge thanking the NHS for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

    A statement from players at all 20 clubs read: “We, the Players, stand together with the singular objective of eradicating racial prejudice wherever it exists, to bring about a global society of inclusion, respect, and equal opportunities for All, regardless of their colour or creed.

    “This symbol is a sign of unity from all Players, all Staff, all Clubs, all Match Officials and the Premier League blacklivesmatter playerstogether.”

    The Premier League will return on June 17 after every top-flight club approved the proposed matchday protocol.

  • RICE KNOWING YOU

    The signing of Timo Werner means Chelsea will finally sell Michy Batshuayi at the end of the season, if they can find a buyer.

    The Athletic states that the Blues are keen to get the Belgian and his £110,000-a-week wages off their books and would have sold last year if Fifa's transfer ban hadn't prevented them signing a replacement.

    Since he joined, Chelsea are said to have become increasingly frustrated with his time-keeping and lack of tactical awareness.

    And one option they could reportedly explore is making a Batshuayi-plus-cash offer to sign Declan Rice from West Ham.

    Rice is not a top target but Frank Lampard is keen to sign him if the opportunity presents itself.

  • BAT'S YOUR LOT

    Michy Batshuayi's days at Chelsea seem numbered.

    The Belgian striker, 26, failed to make either starting XI in the Blues' intra-squad friendly last week.

    And with Chelsea set to sign Timo Werner this summer, reports say Batshuayi is surplus to requirements.

    According to reports, Batshuayi came on for the last third of their in-house encounter but played no part in Chelsea's friendly with Reading at their Cobham training ground on Wednesday.

    The 26-year-old has spent the majority of this season playing second fiddle to Tammy Abraham but a poor performance against Manchester United in February and the resurgence of Olivier Giroud has seen him slide down the pecking order.

    Giroud signed a one-year contract extension at Stamford Bridge last month but no such deal is forthcoming for Batshuayi, whose contract expires in 2021.

  • WERNER CAUSES NAG-ING PROBLEM

    RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann believes replacing Chelsea-bound Timo Werner striker is “not possible”.

    Germany striker Werner, 24, is on the brink of sealing a switch to Stamford Bridge ahead of Anfield.

    Nagelsmann told DAZN: “It's not possible [to replace him], you can't clone a player.

    “If Timo Werner leaves us, the main thing would be to replace 34 goals a season,.”

  • GREEN LIGHT FOR GO

    Chelsea could sell N'Golo Kante to Real Madrid this summer to raise transfer funds, according to reports.

    Frank Lampard has got his sights set on signing Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen and Leicester star Ben Chilwell.

    According to AS, Chelsea are prepared to sell Kante to boost their chances of landing their top targets.

    Real Madrid are believed to have reignited their interest in the French World Cup winner.

    Zinedine Zidane's side have been heavily linked to the midfielder as a replacement for Casemiro.

    Paris Saint-Germain have also indicated their interest in Kante – who joined Chelsea from Leicester in 2016.

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