Premier League • England

Chelsea deciding over two midfield sensations but focused on problem position

Dan Burnham
Thomas Tuchel shrugs during Newcastle vs Chelsea, October 2021

Chelsea are currently mulling over which of two midfield sensations they should pursue, but are prioritising their wing-back problem, as per a report.

The Blues are naturally planning ahead for a big summer of transfers. However, their injury issues have presented them with a tricky task for the January transfer window which was not on the agenda.

First-choice stars Ben Chilwell and Reece James have both suffered nasty injuries. The pair have been crucial for Thomas Tuchel this season.

But the German manager could be without Chilwell for the remainder of the campaign and James for several weeks.

Chelsea correspondent for Goal, Nizaar Kinsella, reports the club are looking to recall Emerson Palmieri from Lyon as the first priority.

The left-back joined the Ligue 1 side on loan for the season last summer. He’s featured regularly, so securing his return could be impossible.

Everton’s wantaway defender Lucas Digne is another option. Alternatively, a different loan move could be sought.

For the right side of defence, recalling Blackpool loanee Dujon Sterling is a potential play. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic are able to deputise otherwise.

While those decisions are being made, the long-term targets of Declan Rice and Aurelien Tchouameni are being considered.

Lucas Digne battle between Chelsea and West Ham

Lucas Digne is set to leave Everton but West Ham will battle Chelsea to get the signature of the left back

Both are fancied by the Blues hierarchy, but Rice, 22, is a much more familiar target than 21-year-old Monaco midfielder Tchouameni.

As such, their scouts are watching the Frenchman very closely. They are said to be going as far as analysing his attitude and personal life.

His performances in Ligue 1 are increasing the interest from Stamford Bridge. They could make a bid come the end of the season.

However, Kinsella claims it is unlikely he and Rice would both be signed. That’s because Tuchel wants to integrate Conor Gallagher into the side upon his return from Crystal Palace.

Lukaku offers Chelsea apology

Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku has issued an apology video to Chelsea fans in which he outlines his plan to recover from his bombshell interview.

In a Twitter clip titled ‘A message from Romelu’, Lukaku said: “To the fans, I’m sorry for the upset that I caused.

“You guys know the connection that I have with this club since my teenage years. So I totally understand you guys being upset.

“Obviously it’s up to me now to restore your trust and I’ll do my best to show commitment every day on the training ground, and in the games, trying to make sure we win games.

Give our social media channels a follow – we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

“Also to the manager I apologise and also to my teammates. And the board because I think it was not the right moment also.

“And I want to move on forward from this and make sure that we start winning football games and I perform for the team in the best manner.”

READ MOREQuick profit possible as Chelsea battle former boss and two others for impressive defender