Chelsea’s 3-1 win against Fulham last Saturday virtually assured José Mourinho’s team their first Premiership title in 50 years, allowing his expensive and talented side to concentrate fully on adding the Champions League to their year’s list of honours. One player who might be barring their way, should they get past Liverpool as expected, is Hernan Crespo. Although the property of Chelsea, the Argentinian hitman has been loaned out to AC Milan this season where he has been scoring regularly. Club Director Umberto Gandin has confirmed that Crespo will line up against his former team-mates should Milan overcome PSV Eindhoven in their semi-final.
Another ex-Chelsea player in the news recently is Adrian Mutu. The Romanian, who was thrown out of Stamford Bridge and subsequently banned over cocaine abuse, is to pay his former club an indemnity equal to the wages already paid to him.
The end of the season could also see a summer clear-out of stars surplus to requirements. Top of the list is Serbian striker Mateja Kezman who is likely to return to PSV Eindhoven from where he arrived in a ¤6.75 million deal. Italian reserve goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini is wanted by a host of Italian clubs and Cameroon midfielder Geremi and Russian midfielder Alexei Smertin may also pack their bags. Middlesborough are set to add Geremi to their growing ex-Chelsea contingent and Smertin has attracted the attention of French champions-elect Lyon. Roman Abramovich is intent on upping the quality of his squad even further during the interval but for now, 16-year-old Stockport talent Harry Worley has been snatched from under the noses of Manchester United and Liverpool.