Premier League • England

Former Chelsea manager wants to raid quartet – including one of Tuchel’s young guns

Dan Burnham
Chelsea players Saul Niguez, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi celebrate a Carabao Cup win against Southampton, October 2021

A former Chelsea manager wants to sign a massive four of their current crop of stars in the January transfer window, a report has claimed.

The Blues often have a stacked arsenal of players, many of whom are loaned out to trim down their squad. While they are sometimes criticised for the approach, it is one that has proven to be successful.

More often than not, the Stamford Bridge hierarchy manage to get successful loan spells for their stars. They are then either sold on for a tidy price or progress to feature.

As the depth of talent in west London is so large, losing four players at once isn’t out of the question. And that’s what Maurizio Sarri is hoping will happen.

According to Il Massaggero, the Lazio boss is ready to raid the side he managed in the 2018/19 season for a quartet of Thomas Tuchel’s men.

Sarri is eyeing moves for second string goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and out-of-favour left-back Emerson Palmeri.

And he also fancies swoops for midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and young gun Callum Hudson-Odoi.

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The Italian worked with all four players during his time with the current European champions.

He of course had the infamous moment with Kepa, who refused to be substituted when injured during the Carabao Cup final.

Maurizio Sarri, Lazio manager September 2021

Aside from nearly winning that competition, Sarri took Chelsea to Europa League glory. And they finished third in the Premier League.

Emerson, who is on loan at Lyon, was used sparingly throughout the campaign. But Loftus-Cheek enjoyed his most active season for the club that year.

Husdon-Odoi, meanwhile, made 10 league appearances as he began to breakthrough into the first-team picture.

The winger neared an exit in the summer. It is hard to see him or any of the trio of team-mates being allowed to leave next month, though.

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Possible Chelsea exodus

Meanwhile, a further two Chelsea players have told their representatives of their plans to leave the club, according to one transfer reporter.

One player who is out of contract at the end of the season is captain Cesar Azpilicueta. Some of his teammates are reportedly puzzled as to why his future has not been tied down yet.

Now, it has emerged that Azpilicueta is one of two Chelsea players who could be trying to orchestrate an exit so he can be guaranteed of his place at the 2022 World Cup with Spain.

The other could trigger a defensive crisis for the Blues…

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