Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 16th 2015 Contents A50
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, November 16, 2015
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has
revealed that he held talks over a Real
Madrid move on several occasions in the
Fabregas was frequently linked with the
Bernabeu giants during the course of his
eight-year spell at former club Arsenal before
he re-joined Barcelona in the summer of
The Spain international has now revealed
that talk of a move to Real Madrid went
beyond mere speculation.
When asked if he was ever close to
becoming a Real Madrid player, he said:
"Well, there were contacts over several years
and with different presidents. An agreement
was never concluded. There were things,
but there was no final agreement. It lacked
the step forward."
Fabregas was back on form for Spain dur-
ing the international break, providing a
chipped assist for Mario Gaspar s stunning
volley against England in Alicante.
Things have not been going as well at
club level, with Chelsea just three points
off the relegation zone after 12 games played.
The midfielder admits his side must improve
quickly to salvage their league campaign,
but believes unity and stability under man-
ager Jose Mourinho will be key to any turn-
"It s tough," Fabregas continued. "Last
season was excellent, despite the pain of
the Champions League. We won the Premier
League title and the Capital One Cup, that
I had never won before. It was a spectacular
"This season is a pain. Things are not
going for us and the results don t do justice
to how we are playing. We are doing things
better, but there s no luck. We have to start
"With Mourinho [it s] fine, fine. Obviously
when you don t win people say things, and
when you win, everything is phenomenal.
When you don t win, everything is tougher,
but we have to be united and strong with
the fans and the boss.
"That s the only thing that can take us
forward. Nobody is going to help us. In the
Champions League we can hurt the big
teams, but in the Premier League we have
to wake up now. Right now."
After three years at Barcelona, often going
head-to-head with Mourinho s Real Madrid,
Fabregas returned to the Premier League to
play under the Portuguese manager.
"Mourinho was our rival [when Fabregas
was at Barca], the same as Real Madrid, the
same as Sergio Ramos, as Pepe, as Cris-
tiano...We wanted to win against Real
Madrid, but not for personal reasons," Fab-
regas said. "You wanted Barcelona to win,
not to defeat Mourinho.
"[The move to Chelsea was] Football,
nothing else," continued Fabregas. "Football
moves very quickly, much quicker than peo-
ple think. It goes from day to day. You talk
to a manager or a player and the next day
there s something different. You turn the
page and you forget everything."
Amavi out for the season
Aston Villa defender Jordan Amavi will miss the
rest of the season with an anterior cruciate knee
ligament injury, the Barclays Premier League club
The 21-year-old suffered the injury during France
Under-21s win over Northern Ireland on Thursday
A Villa statement read: "Aston Villa can confirm
defender Jordan Amavi has been ruled out for the
rest of the 2015-16 Premier League season with a
ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
"Everyone at the club wishes Jordan a speedy
recovery and we look forward to seeing him back on
a football pitch as soon as possible."
The left-back was injured after making a challenge
in the second half of the European Under-21 qualifier
in Guingamp and was taken to hospital before under-
going scans on Friday.
Losing Amavi is a significant blow to new Villa
boss Remi Garde, who replaced Tim Sherwood earlier
Amavi has made 12 appearances since joining from
Nice in the summer and was recalled by Garde for
his first game in charge as Villa drew 0-0 with Man-
chester City immediately prior to the international
Jones fears over blood clot
Phil Jones has revealed he was "frightened" for
his career after being sidelined with a blood clot
in his calf.
The England defender is back playing after the
condition was diagnosed at the start of the season,
having suffered the problem in a pre-season friendly
Ahead of the friendly against France at Wembley
tomorrow, the Manchester United centre-back, who
is now taking blood thinning tablets, said: "It was
pretty frightening at first at least until I found out
the extent of the injury.
"I thought nothing of it at first. We got back to
England but a couple of days before we played Tot-
tenham in the first game of the season I felt it again.
"I just said to the doctor at United it s just not
going away .
"So we had a scan then and discovered there was
a blood clot in the calf. It s not from the tackle or
a stupid injury, it was just a freak incident."
Jones, who played in the Three Lions 2-0 loss to
Spain on Friday, is battling with Chris Smalling, Gary
Cahill, Phil Jagielka and John Stones for a starting
place at the European Championships next summer.
And the former Blackburn Rovers player is desperate
to make up for lost time.
"It was probably the most frustrating time of my
career, not being able to train with the squad or go
anywhere near them," he added.
Lambert gets Blackburn job
Paul Lambert is back in football after replacing
Gary Bowyer as manager of Blackburn.
The 46-year-old had been out of work since he
was sacked by Aston Villa in February with the club
in the Premier League relegation zone.
Lambert arrived at Villa Park in June 2012 with a
healthy reputation after taking Norwich from League
One to the Premier League in two seasons but could
only lead the midlands club to back-to-back 15th-
The Scot signed a contract extension last September
after a good start to the campaign but paid the price
after Villa s form quickly deteriorated and included
a dismal run of 659 minutes without a top-flight
Lambert, who will be presented to the media on
Monday, takes control of a Blackburn outfit currently
16th in the Sky Bet Championship after winning just
three of their 16 games so far.
He will be joined by ex-Rovers player and youth-
team coach Alan Irvine, who was named as his assis-
tant. Blackburn s former head of youth coaching Rob
Kelly and goalkeeping coach Laurence Batty will also
join Lambert s backroom staff.
Cesc says he held talks with Real
Cesc Fabregas...talks over a Real Madrid
move on several occasions.
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