Premier League • England

Chelsea see opening bid rejected for prolific star as Pochettino is made aware of rival interest

Ben Stewart
French forward Elye Wahi battles with Eliot Matazo

French forward Elye Wahi battles with Eliot Matazo

Chelsea have had their initial bid rejected for Montpellier forward Elye Wahi as Mauricio Pochettino is made aware of the competition he faces.

While Chelsea have already added the likes of Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson during the transfer window so far, more additions are needed.

Chelsea have already sold more than 13 first team players and more departures are to be expected as Pochettino looks to balance his squad for the upcoming season.

Given their lack of firepower last year, Chelsea are still in the market for a forward or two. It recently came to light that Chelsea made a verbal offer of £21.4m for Wahi.

As Wahi only has two years left to run on his contract with Montpellier, Chelsea were seemingly hopeful of landing a deal at a discounted price.

However, Chelsea have been knocked back in their opening attempts to sign the forward. According to L’Equipe, Chelsea’s opening offer has been rebuffed.

The French club will be holding out for a higher price as the 20-year-old is coming off the back of his most prolific season to date.

Having scored 19 league goals and provided five assists, it is no wonder the French club is holding out for a higher price.

Along with Chelsea, the report also states the likes of Atletico Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt are interested in striking a deal for the forward.

Wahi predominantly plays as a number nine, although he can operate anywhere across the forward line. He would be particularly useful to a side like Chelsea, although they will have to up their opening offer.

Chelsea still need to sell players

While there is a need to bring in fresh faces, Chelsea are still in a position where they need to offload players. Pochettino himself has commented on the task at hand.

“We are 29 players here and the squad is massive,” the manager told reporters. “It is about creating a squad with good balance and people who can play and can compete for their place.

“That is a big job and challenge for us in the transfer window, to build a good relationship and good balance. If players are not happy because they believe they are not going to play, we are going to find a solution with the club and fix the situation.

“We cannot have a massive squad, players not involved, then it’s going to create a mess. Maybe less is more and more is less. That is why I need to make clear – we don’t need a big squad.

“We need 22, 23, 24 players with some younger, and that’s it. I am so sorry because maybe the decision will be tough, but we need to build a good and balanced team who want to compete for things.”

The club are still on the hunt for a new holding midfielder. Moises Caicedo remains a top target, although Chelsea are yet to agree a transfer fee with Brighton.

With several pressing issues still falling upon Pochettino’s shoulders, he will have his work cut out next season. The new Premier League campaign is just a few weeks away and there is still plenty of work to be done.

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