Incoming Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has reportedly handed Todd Boehly a list of five big-name targets to improve the side this summer – with three positions in particularly seemingly identified as an area of weakness.
The Blues have been without a permanent manager since firing Graham Potter back in early April. Frank Lampard has been in interim charge since then and he finally collected his first victory over the weekend at the eighth time of asking.
Clearly his return as boss will only be temporary with the club discussing a number of possible options to take the vacancy long term.
Having ruled out Luis Enrique and Julian Nagelsmann, it is Pochettino who will take the reins. Indeed, the Argentine will likely be confirmed as new manager later this week.
The former Tottenham manager has been out of work for almost a year, having left PSG last summer. But with previous Premier League experience with Southampton and Tottenham, the 51-year-old is the perfect candidate.
Pochettino reportedly impressed Boehly with his wisdom, knowledge, tactically know-how and moreso, how best to evolve Chelsea’s clearly-bloated playing squad.
And after spending well over £500m since taking charge, Pochettino is prepared to get tough with the squad and show a number of unwanted stars the door. However, his first action as boss will likely be tie down Mason Mount to a new deal in news that will frustrate chief suitors Liverpool.
Now it has emerged that in those talks with Boehly, Pochetino has also identified Chelsea’s three positions of weakness.
Pochettino hands Boehly a list of five transfer targets
As a result, the Argentine has reportedly handed Chelsea a list of five targets to fix those issues.
Per the Daily Mail, Pochettino will this summer target a new goalkeeper, central midfielder and centre forward once his appointment is confirmed.
And Pochettino will reportedly instruct Boehly to make Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana as the first signing of his era.
His arrival will likely see both Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy depart Stamford Bridge.
In addition, Pochettino also wants a new midfielder with three Premier League stars on his list of targets. They are Brighton duo Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo, together with Southampton’s Romeo Lavia. Of the three, Lavia – given Southampton’s now near-certain relegation – looks the most obtainable.
The Blues have already sealed a deal to bring Christopher Nkunku to the club this summer from RB Leipzig. He will likely take a central position as a No 10 in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
However, as part of his plans, Pochettino will seemingly turn his back on a permanent move for loanee Joao Felix.
Commanding a near £80m fee, Pochettino has seemingly decided the money is better off spent elsewhere.
Chelsea target Victor Osimhen
Instead, those funds will go towards the signing of a new, top level centre forward.
Their dream signing would reportedly be Victor Osimhen from Napoli. However, there is an exceptance at Chelsea that any such transfer with will be extremely difficult to pull off.
Nonetheless, Chelsea will reportedly at least ask the question. And while it would likely take an offer of around £120m to prise the Nigerian to the Premier League, Chelsea have shown before they are capable of digging deep when required.
Were that to fail, however, reports claim Pochettino has a number of alternatives in mind.
The Mail, however, does say that Pochettino will work with Boehly on significantly reducing the number of players on Chelsea’s books. And they are actively looking to reduce numbers first before bringing new players in.
To that end, and in addition to Felix, Kepa and Mendy, the Blues will sell off several other stars. And among the names on the chopping block are Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Elsewhere, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kalidou Koulibaly will also reportedly leave.
Either way, it’s shaping up to be yet another summer of major changes at Stamford Bridge.