Premier League • England

Pochettino betrayed as Chelsea star’s exit request provokes alarming asking price amid new defender link

Ben Chilwell speaks with Trevoh Chalobah

Trevoh Chalobah wants to leave Chelsea despite being shown faith by Mauricio Pochettino in pre-season, a report has claimed.

Chalobah only started 18 Premier League matches last season, so has already been low in the pecking order. After previously attracting interest from suitors such as Inter, his future at the club is now in jeopardy.

According to the Evening Standard, Chalobah is now ready to turn his back on Pochettino by leaving Chelsea. Aware that the club are ready to sign Axel Disasi from Monaco, he fears his gametime could diminish further.

In addition to Disasi, Chalobah believes Pochettino will give more minutes to Benoit Badiashile, Levi Colwill and Thiago Silva than himself. Wesley Fofana is out with a long-term injury, but would otherwise likely be ahead of Chalobah in the pecking order as well.

Therefore, despite being under contract until 2028, the 24-year-old – who earlier in his career underwent loan spells with Ipswich, Huddersfield and Lorient – is seemingly ready to ask to leave the club.

However, their asking price for him may raise a few eyebrows. The report claims Chelsea want £45m for their academy graduate before cashing in.

For a player with 63 Chelsea appearances to his name, it seems quite a lofty demand. It is questionable whether Inter or any other interested party would be willing to meet that valuation.

But at his age, Chalobah is keen to be playing more regularly and so will be exploring all his options.

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The former England youth international – who, per the report, hasn’t given up hope of making it into the senior squad by Euro 2024, despite yet being to debut for Gareth Southgate’s side – picked up an injury in Chelsea’s recent friendly against Fulham, but Pochettino is hoping it isn’t a long-term blow.

“I hope it’s not a big issue,” the head coach said after taking him off. “It’s a precaution. We need to assess him next few days.”

Any injury may damage Chalobah’s chances of securing an exit, given the medical processes involved before transfers can be completed. However, just over a month of the transfer window remains, giving him plenty of time to recover and potentially find a new club.

Chelsea scouting next defensive target

Chelsea seem well-stocked enough in his position to sanction his departure. Nevertheless, there have been recent suggestions that another defensive arrival could follow Disasi.

According to London World reporter Rahman Osman, Chelsea have scouted Ousmane Diomande from Sporting CP. The 19-year-old has only been with the Lisbon outfit since January, but has been catching the eye.

As things stand, it is unclear whether or not Chelsea will pursue talks with Diomande after the Disasi deal. However, given his potential, he is probably someone they should be keeping sight of.

Sporting have Diomande, who comes from the Ivory Coast, under contract until 2027.

Given the age of Silva, it perhaps makes sense for Chelsea to be looking at younger options to evolve their defence. That said, the Brazilian is still reliable. Besides, Chelsea must be careful not to make their squad size too big after the negative impact that had last season.