Emerson Palmieri will undergo a medical with Lyon on Thursday to complete his move from Chelsea – but he will have to reach one agreement before the transfer becomes official.
Chelsea have been trying to find a taker for Emerson after he fell behind Ben Chilwell and Marcos Alonso in the pecking order at left-back. He only made two Premier League appearances last season. In fact, the highest number of league games he has ever played in a season for the Blues was just 15, in the season before last.
From the player’s perspective, it is important now to find more regular gametime elsewhere – even if he has remained a regular member of Italy squads while his club chances have been limited.
The Euro 2020 winner was wanted back in Serie A, but interest from Lyon emerged earlier this week. Things have accelerated quickly and the finishing line is now in sight for the transfer.
According to L’Equipe, Emerson will have a medical on Thursday after Lyon struck an agreement with Chelsea.
The Ligue 1 side will take him on loan, without an option to buy. Because Emerson’s contract expires in June 2022, the Blues will first tie him down to a longer-term deal. It would be a repeat of the strategy they used when offloading Michy Batshuayi to Besiktas.
If it means he will be able to play more, Emerson will accept the terms before heading to France. As long as he signs his paperwork with Lyon on Thursday, he will be eligible to play for them this weekend.
Emerson came on as a substitute in Chelsea’s first Premier League game of the season, a win over Crystal Palace. However, more opportunities will be open for him with Lyon, who have seen him as their top left-back target all summer.
In doing so, they are set to win the race to sign him ahead of rival suitors Napoli, who wanted to reunite him with his ex-Roma coach Luciano Spalletti.
The conclusion is now imminent, with Lyon ready to get their man – but just for one season. This time next year, Chelsea will have further decisions to make about him.
Emerson ready to play
The Brazilian-born defender told ESPN recently: “I know it’s not easy, but I’m hungry to play. I want to play, I know I can be on the field, I’ve already tasted it.
“So, I will do everything to be on the pitch. Of course, I still have two more years on my contract with Chelsea, who are a big club.
“I’ve already proved that I can play here, but at the same time I want to be on the field. I want to play, I want to feel important, like I already felt.
“I want to have the same feeling I felt when I scored the goal against Atletico Madrid, to have the same feeling when I won the Euros.
“I’m really going to choose the best option. If it’s to stay at Chelsea, if it happens to Napoli or another team.
“I still have another 25 days, practically, to think about, to be able to choose the best place, right. Where they really want me, want me happy, and where I’m going to choose.
“Because I’m 27 years old today so I’m at an age where I believe I’m at the top of my maturing age, as a player, like everything else.”