Premier League • England

Maresca told to overrule £50m Chelsea transfer as Fabrizio Romano provides Maatsen, Broja exit updates

Ian Maatsen and Armando Broja are likely to leave Chelsea, now managed by Enzo Maresca, this summer

Ian Maatsen and Armando Broja are likely to leave Chelsea, now managed by Enzo Maresca, this summer

New Chelsea boss Enzo Maresca has been implored to do all in his power to block the planned sale of Conor Gallagher this summer – while Fabrizio Romano has revealed all on the likely next destinations of both Ian Maatsen and Armando Broja.

The Italian coach has been lured to Stamford Bridge from Leicester City as their new manager in succession to Mauricio Pochettino, who parted company with the Blues after just one season at the helm. And while Maresca is untested in the Premier League, the 44-year-old blew Chelsea chiefs Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali away with his vision for the club and his tactical approach when interviewed for the role earlier this week.

As a result, sources have confirmed to TEAMtalk that Maresca is set to sign a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge with the option of a sixth year on top of that, though – in the event of failure – it has also emerged that his pay-off will be limited to a year’s salary at best.

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Nonetheless, Chelsea are expected to confirm Maresca’s appointment in the coming days and there is optimism around the corridors of power at Stamford Bridge that the Italian will prove a huge success.

And despite his relative inexperience, Maresca comes with an impressive recent CV, having honed his craft under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City for a year, before leading Leicester to the Championship title in his first and only full season in charge of a team.

Now his plans to take Chelsea to the next level are starting to take shape and a report on Saturday revealed the four additions that Maresca has recommended the Blues board sign this summer – starting with a top-quality Leeds man.

Chelsea transfer strategy focuses on sale of homegrown stars

However, in order to fund these moves and ensure the Blues do not fall foul of the Premier League’s stricter than ever FFP regulations, a number of big-name Chelsea stars are expected to be shown the door.

To that end, as many as nine senior players are expected to leave Stamford Bridge this summer with the brutal Boehly running a scythe through his squad and helping to boost his spending capacity.

Part of the Chelsea ethos under Boehly has been focused on the sale of homegrown talents, given they are classed as ‘pure profit’ under Premier League Profit and Sustainability rules. That plan saw the likes of Ethan Ampadu, Mason Mount, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi all allowed to depart last season to help ease the financial burden.

A similar strategy is likely to be put in place this summer too, with Maatsen, Broja, Trevoh Chalobah and Omari Hutchison all being considered as homegrown assets the Blues are willing to sell.

Another who falls into that category is Gallagher, who emerged as a hugely-influential player under Pochettino last season and wore the armband on numerous occasions owing to the long absences of Reece James and Ben Chilwell.

The England man is valued at around £50m by Chelsea and, with a year left on his deal, looks a strong candidate to leave this summer.

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And with Aston Vila and Tottenham among his suitors, the 24-year-old will not be short of options if Boehly decides to cash in.

Maresca told to put brakes on Conor Gallagher sale

However, former Chelsea men Joe Cole and Andy Townsend feel Boehly would be making an enormous mistake in offloading Gallagher, claiming the 12-times capped England man has evolved into one of the club’s most-important players.

Now Cole, speaking to talkSPORT, is urging Maresca to do all in his power to prevent Gallagher from leaving.

“If I was sitting in front of the Chelsea owners, I would be telling them that Conor is arguably the most important player in the dressing room,” Cole said.

“Before you even talk about what he does on the pitch, he understands the club. During the difficult times you see what a player is worth and Conor was always there and available and driving the team on.

“I think it’s vital for the club to keep him. I’ll admit I don’t understand the financial side of it but purely from a football point of view, he’s in the top-three most important players in the dressing room.”

Townsend also agrees with Cole and claims he has shown in the season just gone why he is one of the first names on the Chelsea teamsheet: “I thought Conor Gallagher had a really good season. I thought he played some really good stuff.

“He was good on loan at Crystal Palace and I think he added more to his game last season. His partnership with Moises Caicedo is much better than the Enzo [Fernandez] one.

“I would love to think that Maresca could say to the hierarchy, “please don’t sell him, I need him and desperately want him to stay”. I think he played really well and deserves to stay.”

On Maresca’s imminent arrival, Cole said: “I think he ticks every box. Everything I’ve heard about him has been positive and that’s always a good sign.”

Next destinations for Broja and Maatsen revealed

Two men even more certain to leave this summer are Broja and Maatsen, with the pair spending time on loan at Fulham and Borussia Dortmund, respectively.

Left-back Maatsen has proved a huge success for Champions League finalists Dortmund and it no surprise they want to make his deal permanent come the summer.

Broja, however, has not fared quite so well at Fulham and a move elsewhere now looks on the cards.

Discussing what comes next for the pair, trusted transfer guru Romano had his say in his column for Caught Offside.

“There’s a lot of movement around Armando Broja at Chelsea, and a lot going on with Enzo Maresca too. The manager is set sign his contract until 2029, with an option for a further season, so now it’s time to prepare the contracts, check them, review them more fully and then pay the compensation fee.

“His arrival is not expected to change the future of Armando Broja who is returning to Chelsea from Fulham but who is still expected to leave Chelsea in the summer transfer window.

“He’s already considering opportunities at home and abroad, with Monaco taking a keen interest in signing him.

“Chelsea need to make a profit, and given that he’s an academy product, any monies received would go straight towards Financial Fair Play.”

Romano added: “Sticking with Chelsea, Ian Maatsen is not part of the Dutch national team because after the incredible, fantastic second part of the season he had on loan with Borussia Dortmund, he is playing at Wembley in the Champions League final.

“It’s important to say that Chelsea are prepared to listen to the first proposal from Dortmund after the final has been played.

“He has a release clause of £35m but Dortmund will try to negotiate to lower the price. Let’s see if they can find common ground with Chelsea.”