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Mauricio Pochettino has work to do at Chelsea

Newly appointed ex-Spurs and PSG chief Pochettinio have gotten the ball rolling at Stamford Bridge, with critical changes already in place for the club.

Mauricio Pochettino

Newly appointed ex-Spurs and PSG chief Pochettinio have gotten the ball rolling at Stamford Bridge, with critical changes already in place for the club. He inherits a team in turmoil and crisis and is tasked with rebuilding the side to make them a top-tier team after their disastrous 12th-place finish. 

Fans with Chelsea tickets can finally rest this summer after the trauma and the pain they had to go through this season and feel positive about what’s to come next season. 

One of the significant problems at Chelsea is their excessive number of players. They had over 30 players during the 2022/23 season, which is considered more than necessary. Pochettino aims to offload several players this summer and utilize the funds to strengthen the squad where needed.

According to reports, Pochettino has identified 15 players he wants to sell, along with the desired transfer fees for each player:

  • Christian Pulisic – £25 million
  • Mateo Kovacic – £30million
  • Hakim Ziyech – £15 million
  • N’Golo Kante – £0
  • Kalidou Koulibaly – £20m
  • Edouard Mendy – £25 million
  • Kai Havertz – £65m
  • Cesar Azpilicueta – £5 million
  • Callum Hudson-Odoi – £10 million
  • Mason Mount – £65 million
  • Conor Gallagher – £40 million
  • Trevoh Chalobah – £25 million
  • Ruben Loftus-Cheek – £25 million
  • Joao Felix – End of loan
  • Denis Zakaria – End of loan

The total amount Chelsea aims to generate from these sales is well over £300 million.

Notably, critical players like Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic could be sold, with Manchester United interested in Mount, while Kovacic is linked with a move to Manchester City. N’Golo Kante may also depart on a free transfer after an injury-plagued season.

Other players such as Callum Hudson-Odoi, Conor Gallagher, Trevoh Chalobah, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are potential departures, with Chelsea hoping to earn a combined £100 million for the quartet. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kalidou Koulibaly could leave for free as Chelsea aims to reduce their wage bill.

Pulisic Out? 

According to ESPN, Chelsea is willing to sell Christian Pulisic for around £20 million. The arrival of Mauricio Pochettino as the club’s manager is not expected to change Chelsea’s decision to offload the American forward.

Pulisic has one year remaining on his contract with Chelsea but has become surplus to requirements at the club. At the Bridge, he was a fan favourite for everyone with Chelsea tickets but failed to go the extra distance. He had limited playing time during the 2022/23 season, starting only 10 out of 30 games across various competitions, and he scored one goal and provided two assists during that period.

Several clubs have been alerted to Pulisic’s availability, including Manchester United, Newcastle United, Napoli, AC Milan, and Galatasaray. However, Juventus is considered the frontrunner, although they are unwilling to match his salary of £13 million per year with Chelsea.

Juventus is looking to strengthen their attacking options at the Allianz Stadium, especially with the departures of Angel Di Maria and Juan Cuadrado as their contracts expire this summer. 

After missing out on Champions League qualification and finishing seventh in Serie A due to a 10-point deduction, Juventus is eager to reinforce its squad for the upcoming season.

Pulisic’s time at Chelsea has been disappointing since he arrived in 2019 from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of £57.6 million. He was initially seen as a replacement for Eden Hazard and arrived as one of Europe’s most promising forwards. However, he has struggled with form and fitness issues, and his performances have fallen short of expectations. 

Pulisic has made 145 appearances in his Chelsea career, scoring 26 goals and providing 21 assists.

Chelsea’s new goalkeeper options? 

Chelsea reportedly wants to change their goalkeeper position in the summer transfer window. While they currently have Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy as goalkeeping options, the club hopes to sign a new goalkeeper and offload one of the current shot-stoppers.

Mendy took the spotlight with Tuchel, bringing in those important saves, and delighting everyone with Chelsea tickets, but this season has been a complete letdown. 

The Blues have previously shown interest in Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana. However, recent reports suggest that discussions have quietened as Inter Milan and Onana focus solely on their upcoming Champions League final against Manchester City on June 10. 

Once the final is concluded, the transfer speculation is expected to pick up again.

Onana, who is 27 years old, has been in excellent form leading up to the final and has kept clean sheets in the Champions League this season. The report suggests that Inter Milan would ask for a transfer fee of €40-45 million for the goalkeeper.

While this amount is significant, it is not considered absurd. If they are eager to resolve their goalkeeping situation early, Chelsea could be willing to pay that fee without hesitation. 

The final decision on pursuing Onana will likely involve input from new Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino, who may have his ideas and preferences regarding the goalkeeper position. However, it is unlikely that Pochettino sees Kepa Arrizabalaga or Edouard Mendy as long-term solutions, so he is expected to support the club’s pursuit of a new number-one goalkeeper.

Another option Pochettino would be interested in would be Aston Villa’s, Emi Martinez. The World Cup winner for Argentina is a clear shot-stopper in England, and his skills in Qatar were a true reflection of his abilities. While Unai Emery has indicated that Martinez is not considered a futuristic option for Villa, Chelsea could be looking at Martinez as a viable option around the posts next season. 

Manuel Ugarte to Chelsea? 

Chelsea’s pursuit of Sporting CP’s talented midfielder, Manuel Ugarte, is progressing unexpectedly. Esteemed journalist Dean Jones revealed that talks have been moving forward swiftly, indicating the Blues’ eagerness to secure the 22-year-old’s signature as soon as possible.

The Guardian reported that Ugarte has a release clause of £52 million, and Chelsea has already agreed on personal terms with the Uruguayan midfielder. Furthermore, Ugarte has expressed a strong desire to compete in English football, adding to the excitement surrounding the potential transfer.

Ugarte’s performances for Sporting CP this season have been nothing short of exceptional. He has showcased his prowess as a formidable defensive-minded midfielder, consistently leading the charts in tackles and interceptions per game. With an average of 3.9 tackles and 1.8 interceptions, he has proven to be a tenacious force in shielding the backline.

Beyond his defensive capabilities, Ugarte possesses impressive athleticism, allowing him to glide effortlessly across the pitch, as evidenced by his 1.8 dribbles per game. Despite his young age, the Uruguayan has developed into a well-rounded orchestrator, excelling in protecting the defence while contributing to the team’s attacking play.

A selfless destroyer like Ugarte in the squad can unlock the full potential of more attack-minded players. In Chelsea’s case, this could prove crucial in unleashing the maximum influence of their dynamic full-backs, Ben Chilwell and Reece James

When both are fit and firing, they have established themselves as two of the club’s most risky assets, amassing an impressive 65 assists throughout their careers.

As the negotiations for Ugarte intensify, Chelsea fans eagerly await the outcome, eager to witness his skill and contribution to the team’s midfield. For those passionate supporters looking to experience the excitement firsthand, securing Chelsea tickets will undoubtedly provide an opportunity to witness the club’s potential new signing in action.

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