New Chelsea signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas have combined on their debuts to score the opening goal in their side’s second pre-season friendly of the summer.
Diego Costa joined the Blues from Atletico Madrid this summer, having won La Liga with them last season and reached the Champions League final. The powerful striker impressed last season, and changed his national allegiance ahead of this summer’s World Cup, making his way into Vincente del Bosque’s Spain squad for the tournament. Spain were eliminated in the group stages.
Fabregas, part of the same team at the World Cup, also moved to Chelsea this summer after sending a handful of seasons back with Barcelona, where he began his career. He moved to the London club despite holding great allegiance towards their cross-city rivals Arsenal. The talented midfielder is a significant addition at the club, and adds a significant level of creativity to their midfield.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will have been delighted to have seen his new pair combine in such an effective fashion so early into their career at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester United are reportedly not targeting a move for Feyenoord’s Dutch defender Stefan de Vrij, despite consistent rumours that Louis van Gaal was interested in bringing his national team stalwart in to Old Trafford, as reported by Dutch radio station RTV Rijnmond.
De Vrij is considered one of the top young defenders in Europe, and impressed heavily at this summer’s World Cup. Van Gaal selected him for every match as the Dutch national side reached the semi finals, eventually finishing in third place.
Along with Arjen Robben, the central defender was one of two players in Van Gaal’s side who were selected in the Team of the Tournament.
It was no surprise that De Vrij was heavily linked with a move to Man Utd this summer. Van Gaal is seeking to implement his 3-5-2 formation at his new club, but the defence needs significant reconstruction work.
The Old Trafford club have only three central defenders available to them – Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. It would have made sense for Van Gaal to turn to a defender he clearly trusts, who is already used to the new system, to build a back three around.
De Vrij scored his first international goal at the World Cup against Spain.
French international striker Loic Remy has failed his medical at Liverpool ahead of an expected £8.5 million transfer to the Anfield club, according to reports.
The striker was expected to switch to Merseyside from QPR, with Liverpool having met a clause in his contract that allowed him to switch to a side in the top four for a set fee.
Remy spent last season on loan at Newcastle, scoring 14 goals in the process. He earned a place in Didier Deschamps’s squad at the World Cup, playing a handful of games before they were eliminated in the quarter final.
Remy has had issues with his fitness before, and he played only 26 games for Newcastle last season, but this comes as a genuine surprise, given the extent to which a switch to Liverpool seemed likely. He had flown out to join the side in the United States, having his medical at the club’s base at Harvard University in Boston.
Remy was one of a handful of forwards expected to be signed by Brendan Rodgers in order to replace talismanic but controversial striker Luis Suarez, who left this summer to join Barcelona.