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Chelsea confirm Mario Pasalic loan shortly after midfielder pens new deal

Chelsea have confirmed that midfielder Mario Pasalic has penned a fresh three-year deal with the club before joining Atalanta BC on loan for the second-straight season. The Croatian helped Atalanta reach the Champions League for the first time last term and he has now been offered with the chance to earn more gametime with the Serie A outfit.

“Mario Pasalic has signed a new contract at Chelsea until 2022 and will now return to Atalanta on loan for a second season. The 24-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge in 2014 from Hajduk Split and has represented Croatia 10 times at senior level, most recently in his country’s 2-1 European Championship qualifying win over Wales and a friendly defeat to Tunisia. Last season he helped Atalanta come third in Serie A, their highest league finish ever. They were also runners-up in the Coppa Italia,” a statement on the club’s website read.

Merson believes Lampard would fit as Chelsea manager

Arsenal legend-turned-pundit Paul Merson believes Frank Lampard won’t be under immense pressure from the fans, should he take up the managerial duties with the club. The 40-year-old has recently emerged as the outright favourite to become the new Blues boss following the departure of Maurizio Sarri to Juventus.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Merson said that the current transfer ban should prove an advantage for Lampard, given it may help him to ease into the job. He added that the former England international should have a good knowledge regarding some of the young players in the setup and they may get the chance to impress under his tutelage.

Olivier Giroud pens contract extension at Chelsea

France international Olivier Giroud has committed his future to Chelsea by penning a fresh one-year deal. The striker had previously spoken about the prospect of leaving the Blues amid the reduced gametime in the Premier League but he has made a surprise U-turn to extend his contract for another campaign.

Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “I feel very good at Chelsea, in the club. My family has settled well, myself also. We have a very good squad, a good understanding all together on and off the pitch. I really wanted to carry on and I think the club has given me its trust. It means they are happy with what I have achieved until now. I really want to do more and reward them for the trust they have given to me.”

Sarri insists he will respect Eden Hazard’s contract decision

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has said that he will respect the contract decision of Eden Hazard when the season comes to a close. The Belgium international has just 13 months remaining on his existing deal with the club and reports indicate that he is likely to head through the exit door with Real Madrid lurking to secure his signature.

Speaking after the 0-0 draw against Leicester City, Sarri said that he is hopeful that Hazard will remain with the club but he will respect any decision taken by the Belgian regarding his career, he told: "I hope he will stay. I think Eden has played here in Chelsea for seven seasons, trying in every match to do his best and now it's time to respect his decision."

HIGUAIN: I DON’T LISTEN

Gonzalo Higuain says that criticism doesn’t affect him emotionally anymore as it used to do to him earlier when he was a youngster. It actually used to disturb him so much that he would opt to remain inside most of the time because he was afraid if he stepped out and went into the public areas, he might have to hear some unpleasant things about himself and he was mentally not prepared to hear that.

But now it’s not the case because now he has understood the fact that it’s only a sport and even if he makes a mistake on the pitch, that’s okay, he doesn’t need to lock himself in for that.

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