Premier League • England

Chelsea fears grow as fan favourite considers mega money deal to scupper Pochettino plans

Ben Stewart
Chelsea's Enzo Fernandez, left, is flanked by his teammate Thiago Silva as they cheer supporters at the end of the Champions League, round of 16, first leg soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea FC in Dortmund, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023

Chelsea are expected to be busy in the summer transfer window, but they will have been made aware of a fan favourite being linked with a move away.

There’s no doubt that Mauricio Pochettino will be looking to cut down on his squad next season. In the league alone, Chelsea have used 32 different players this term.

While plenty of exits are expected, they will be looking to keep hold of their top players. Thiago Silva’s future has come into doubt recently, with his contract set to expire next year.

The Brazilian defender has been a popular player since his arrival in 2020, making over 100 appearances and winning three trophies.

According to Football London, an unnamed club from Saudi Arabia have contacted Chelsea over a potential move.

Football in Saudi Arabia is consistently expanding and clubs have the financial wealth to attract some of Europe’s biggest stars.

Since Cristiano Ronaldo’s switch in January, plenty of big-name players have been linked with the league. The likes of Luka Modric and Jordi Alba have also been mentioned in connection with a move.

Silva is 38 years old and he could see the switch as one final payday. With that being said, he is still playing at the level to cut it at the very top.

The Brazilian did miss a chunk of this season through injury. Despite that, Chelsea tend to be a better side with him on the pitch.

Given all of the young stars they have recently signed, Silva’s experience is almost irreplaceable. Mauricio Pochettino would surely value Silva being around next season to steady the ship in defence.

Silva remains focused on Chelsea

A move to Saudi Arabia isn’t his only option this summer. The veteran defender has also been linked with a move to boyhood club Fluminense.

Silva started his career in the youth ranks of the Brazilian club and he has spoken on the speculation linking him back.

Speaking to ESPN Brasil, Silva said: “I have a contract here, right?

“It’s strange, because several things have come out [in the media] and fans become very passionate. Some curse me on social media, others say ‘Come soon’ and some say ‘If you don’t come now, don’t come at all’.

“It’s even boring for me. It’s been only two months since I renewed with Chelsea, if I’m not mistaken, and I’ve always fulfilled my contracts.”

Despite Silva shutting down the speculation, the defender has also stated his desire to play for the Brazilian side once more.

“I’ve always followed them since I left, I’ve always stayed very close. Every time I’m on vacation I go there, I do my training there. I have several friends there.

“I spoke with [Fluminense president] Mario [Bittencourt] yes, in January. I spoke with Mario and [director of sports planning] Fred, I spoke about my position and my desires.

“After that meeting, I still signed my renewal with Chelsea. In fact, that’s exactly what was said at the meeting, that, after another year, there would certainly be a desire to return. And not just to end my career there, but to add something.”

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