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Cuadrado at a crossroads

Chelsea
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 By Phil Lythell

Chelsea showing all the right signs before start of season

In an exclusive chat with ESPNFC's Shaka Hislop, Jose Mourinho says the wealth of the Premier League makes it the top competition in the world.

It is always dangerous to read too much into preseason performances, whether they happen to be good or bad. The lower level of intensity compared to competitive matches, the experimental lineups and the markedly less stringent officiating make them little more than exhibition matches. Although they might be irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, it is still possible to glean some useful pointers as the start of the new campaign approaches.

Chelsea's preseason fixture list has been relatively...

Diego Costa and Radamel Falcao -- how a partnership was born

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno declares Diego Costa as the best transfer in the Premier League this season.
In an exclusive interview with ESPN FC Jose Mourinho tells Shaka Hislop he was "scared" when Radamel Falcao signed for Manchester United.
The ESPN FC crew respond to your tweets in regards to whether or not Arturo Vidal makes it into Bayern Munich's starting XI and how Shaka Hislop enjoyed interviewing Jose Mourinho.

Perhaps no other player influenced Diego Costa's career as much as Radamel Falcao, with whom he will be reunited this season after Chelsea completed a loan move for the Colombia captain.

When Costa returned to Atletico Madrid after the last of his three loan spells away, in 2012, Falcao was the man in possession of the striker's jersey for Diego Simeone's team. As a fellow non-EU squad member, he was also part of a problem that had Costa on the brink of a transfer out of Madrid, where the league...

 By Ian Darke

Premier League season preview from Arsenal to West Ham

In an exclusive interview with ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says letting Petr Cech go to Arsenal was tough but Thibaut Courtois is one of the top three goalkeepers in the world.

Until the transfer window shuts, it is hard to get too dogmatic about how the Premier League season will unfold. But right now Chelsea look solid bets to retain their title. Manchester City are always more dangerous when fighting to regain the crown, but is their defence good enough? Arsenal should get closer with their array of creators. Yet somehow they always hit a bad patch and fail to sustain a challenge. Signing Petr Cech in goal will not on its own change that. Manchester United have splashed...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Karim Benzema flying to Arsenal? Erik Lamela to move to Porto?

Sid Lowe confirms that the Spanish centreback will stay at Madrid, despite rumours of a move to Manchester United; however ESPN FC's Craig Burley wonders how much value a reluctant player will have for the Spanish giants.

Karim Benzema's cryptic Instagram caption has prompted speculation.
 

As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to all the latest rumours and gossip. See all the latest deals here.

TOP STORY: Karim Benzema on his way to Arsenal?

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is travelling somewhere. The Frenchman posted a cryptic message on his Instagram account as the rest of his teammates flew out to China.

Instead of going with them, the 27-year-old was flying solo on a private plane and wrote: "Let the past remain the past," with a...

 By Mark Worrall

Jose Mourinho could be the difference in a tighter Premier League title race

In an exclusive interview with ESPN FC Jose Mourinho tells Shaka Hislop he was "scared" when Radamel Falcao signed for Manchester United.
The ESPN FC crew respond to your tweets in regards to whether or not Arturo Vidal makes it into Bayern Munich's starting XI and how Shaka Hislop enjoyed interviewing Jose Mourinho.
In an exclusive interview with ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says letting Petr Cech go to Arsenal was tough but Thibaut Courtois is one of the top three goalkeepers in the world.

With less than two weeks until the big Premier League kick-off on Aug. 8, the excitement and tension that surrounds world football's elite club competition is building as every aspect of the chances of the teams involved is dissected and discussed.

Will Chelsea retain the title they won at a canter last season? Can Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United close the gap, or even unseat the champions from their perch? What about Liverpool? And will there be a surprise team or two challenging...

Mourinho's monumental task: Helping Chelsea retain the Premier League title

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says his Premier League rivals are now the ones attempting to buy their way to glory, a charge that used to levelled at the Blues.
The ESPN FC panel answer your tweets, including whether or not Chelsea are still favourites to defend their Premier League Title.

It might have been an underhand trick to undermine a rival, it might have been an attempt to hide his genuine concerns about the move or it might just have been honest analysis. Either way, Jose Mourinho refused to evade questions about former Chelsea attacker Kevin De Bruyne's anticipated move to Manchester City in the way the Portuguese might have.

The 24-year-old Belgian left Stamford Bridge for Wolfsburg just a few months after Mourinho's return in 2013, and did so after making just nine first-team...