Maurizio Sarri has reportedly told Chelsea’s board to sign Elseid Hysaj once Gonzalo Higuain completes his move to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are closing in on the loan signing of Higuain, who could even be eligible to face Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-final 2nd leg on Thursday night if he arrives before midday on Wednesday.
But now the Daily Mirror is reporting that Sarri has already got his next target lined up, in the form of Napoli defender Hysaj.
The report states that the Chelsea chief is ready to axe favourite Cesar Azpilicueta from his starting XI and sees Hysaj as the ideal replacement for the Blues stalwart.
Sarri was left fuming with his squad in the aftermath of their defeat to Arsenal last weekend and is said to want to surround himself with players he knows he can trust.
Hysaj, who also played under Sarri at Empoli, has dropped down the pecking order under Carlo Ancelotti in Naples – with the former Stamford Bridge boss favouring Nikola Maksimovic and Kevin Malcuit ahead of the Albanian.
Chelsea’s board would reportedly prefer to bring in Hysaj on loan but Napoli are instead looking for a sale and want a fee of around £45million for the 24-year-old.
Indeed, Hysaj’s agent has hinted that his client could join Chelsea this winter, with Sarri having already enquired about the player over the summer.
Mario Giuffredi told Rai Sport earlier this month: “I had a meeting for about four hours with Ancelotti and (Napoli director of sport Cristiano) Giuntoli this week.
“We clarified the situation regarding the player and the lack of playing time. Ancelotti gave me his reasons, which I share fully, because he works with the player every day and knows his condition.
“The important thing is hearing that Ancelotti respects Hysaj. He confirmed his faith in him.
“Of course, the January transfer window is always to be evaluated and there has been talk of Chelsea, for example.
“If there are situations that are mutually advantageous, then we’d evaluate them. If nothing happens in January, then we’ll discuss a contract extension.”
Eden Hazard, meanwhile, has categorically ruled out ever signing for Manchester United – even if his schoolboy idol Zinedine Zidane gets the long-term job. Read the full story here…
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