Premier League • England

Game over for big-name Chelsea trio, as brutal Pochettino snubs spark triple exit

Ben Stewart
Chelsea FC manager Mauricio Pochettino

Chelsea FC manager Mauricio Pochettino

Chelsea have made their stance clear in regards to three wantaway stars as Mauricio Pochettino has brutally snubbed the trio.

Having already lost over 13 first team players so far this summer, Chelsea have been in full rebuild mode of late.

They have shifted plenty of high-earners off the wage bill, but they aren’t done yet. In an attempt to further reduce their squad size, Pochettino is keen to shift a few more stars.

The likes of Romelu Lukaku, Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi have been linked with moves away of late and Chelsea have made their stance clear on the trio.

When announcing the squad numbers for the upcoming season, Lukaku, Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi were all absent from the list, despite still being contracted to the club.

This will surely be the final nail in their Chelsea careers and each of the trio now seeks a new club and a fresh start away from Stamford Bridge.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea ‘expect’ all three players to leave in the following weeks.

Ziyech seemingly had his heart set on a move to Al Nassr earlier this summer, but the move didn’t materialise in the end.

The 30-year-old is still being linked with a move to Saudi and there have been some murmurings around a potential Ajax return too.

In terms of Hudson-Odoi, he is seemingly on his way to Fulham. With Marco Silva’s side keen on the winger, Chelsea and Fulham are seemingly close to an agreement.

Where next for Lukaku?

Perhaps the most interesting player from the discarded trio is Lukaku. Let’s not forget this is a player who Chelsea splashed £97.5m on just a couple of years ago.

After losing his way at Stamford Bridge and spending last season out on loan, a permanent exit is now on the cards for the Belgian forward.

The 30-year-old had attracted interest from clubs in Saudi, but he snubbed their interest in favour of remaining in Europe.

Juventus are in the driving seat to land Lukaku’s signature, with a potential swap deal involving Dusan Vlahovic being discussed.

“Chelsea and Juventus have scheduled new round of talks to discuss Vlahovic and Lukaku swap deal. It will take place via intermediaries,” Romano clarified.

“Juve insist on €40m fee to be included but crucial point is Chelsea decision on Vlahovic — it’s up to Pochettino.”

Juventus still see the value in Lukaku and would be willing to hand him a lifeline at the Elite level of European football.

Vlahovic has been a long-term target for Chelsea and you can understand why they would be keen on this sort of deal.

Given Christopher Nkunku is set to miss the start of the season through injury and Nicolas Jackson is still developing, they might be in need of another talisman.

Pochettino still has a big task at hand to turn the ship around at Chelsea, but his new-look side has started to take shape.

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