Premier League • England

Tuchel reaches decision on Chelsea star subject of surprise four-way Prem scramble

Chelsea defender Malang Sarr

Thomas Tuchel has made a call over a proposed Chelsea move that had attracted the attention of West Ham, Leicester, Newcastle and Everton, per a report.

Chelsea’s squad has been stretched to breaking point over the last six weeks. Injuries and Covid absences have hit hard, and Chelsea’s own success has ensured their fixture list is packed.

As such, the full breadth of their squad has been utilised, including a string of appearances for Malang Sarr.

The 22-year-old featured in Chelsea’s EFL Cup quarter final and semi-final clashes. He also started in the crunch league clash with Man City, and despite emerging on the losing end, put in a solid individual display.

It has been a remarkable upswing in fortune for the Frenchman who was pencilled in as Tuchel’s sixth-choice centre-half when the season began.

However, his impressive displays and ability to also operate at left-back has seen him attract attention from wannabe suitors.

Leicestershire Live (citing Get French Football News) reveal the Foxes, Magpies, Toffees and Hammers are all seeking his signature this month.

Sarr in demand as Tuchel makes call

A loan deal is the only possible route, while Jose Mourinho’s Roma are also keen admirers. AC Milan too have been linked after Simon Kjaer suffered a season-ending ACL injury.

However, GFFN (citing Foot Mercato), state Tuchel has ‘decided’ against sanctioning a loan exit this month.

The promise of more regular minutes elsewhere could benefit Sarr in the short term and Chelsea in the long term. However, with Covid absences a constant threat, Tuchel is unwilling to deplete his options.

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Newcastle are instead hot on the heels of Sevilla’s Diego Carlos – though Tottenham could yet scupper their plans.

West Ham, meanwhile, could explore a deal for Liverpool’s Nat Phillips after the Reds recalled Rhys Williams from Swansea to cover his potential loss.

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Raiola sewing seeds for Chelsea target to move

Meanwhile, notorious agent Mino Raiola is reportedly pushing a Chelsea and Manchester City target to move on this year.

According to Goal, who cite Italian newspaper La RepubblicaRaiola is ‘positioning’ de Ligt to leave Juventus.

The Dutch centre-back apparently has a release clause worth €150million (£125m) which becomes active in the summer. But Juve are now reportedly willing to accept a far more modest €65m (£54.1m) for the star.

But it will not be easy to complete a deal, despite the 22-year-old’s reduced transfer fee. The report claims de Ligt is Xavi’s ‘dream signing’ at Barcelona.

That could prompt the Blaugrana to enter the race for his services. They could take him to the Nou Camp in the summer, as a January deal is unlikely.

Should Juve sell for just €65m then it would see them take a €10m hit. They brought the defender in from Ajax after he helped the Dutch club to reach the Champions League semi-final in 2018-19.

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