Premier League • England

Pochettino wields axe with forgotten Chelsea star in line for £5m exit as part of double deal

Chelsea players Malang Sarr and Romelu Lukaku

Chelsea players Malang Sarr and Romelu Lukaku are Roma targets

Not only are Chelsea about to offload Romelu Lukaku to Roma on loan, but they could sell Malang Sarr to the Serie A side too, according to reports in Italy.

Sarr has been in the headlines recently after Mauricio Pochettino was asked about him at a press conference and the head coach appeared to not even know who he was. And fairly quickly, an exit from Chelsea could materialise for the defender after last season’s loan spell at Monaco.

According to Calciomercato, Roma have asked about taking Sarr off Chelsea’s hands while they prepare to finalise a deal for fellow Blues outcast Lukaku.

The deal would have to be a permanent one, but Chelsea have been tipped to sanction Sarr’s sale for less than €6m (presumably somewhere around the £5m mark).

Shackled by Financial Fair Play restrictions all summer – which is why they can only take Lukaku on loan and not on a permanent basis – the Sarr deal might be within Roma’s range.

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Jose Mourinho’s side are looking for a new centre-back after selling Roger Ibanez to Al-Ahli in the Saudi Pro League, where he has become a teammate of former Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Earlier in the summer, they signed Evan Ndicka from Eintracht Frankfurt, but he is yet to make his Serie A debut and will be missing over the winter when representing Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Sarr, another left-footed centre-back, has been identified as ideal cover for a defence that still revolves heavily around ex-England international Chris Smalling.

Lukaku joining Roma – but will Sarr follow?

For the time being, Lukaku’s move from Chelsea to Roma is more advanced. Indeed, Calciomercato has predicted that he could travel to the Italian capital tonight (Monday).

Lukaku will fill Roma’s attacking void left by an injury to ex-Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, and will be back in Serie A after being on loan with Inter for a second spell there last season.

In between his two stints with Inter, Lukaku failed to justify his club-record price tag after returning to Chelsea. They would have preferred to sell him this summer, but have struggled to make that solution a reality.

Therefore, he is now ready to reunite with Mourinho in Rome for the season. And because of the positive relations between the two clubs, there is a chance that the 24-year-old Sarr could follow him.

Sarr has 21 Chelsea appearances to his name and a contract until 2025, although it has become clear that Pochettino is overlooking him (deliberately or otherwise).