Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has one week left to sell his unwanted players or face having to split up his group, according to reports.
The Blues have already shipped out Mason Mount, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Kai Havertz, N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Edouard Mendy, and Dujon Sterling this summer, while Joao Felix and Denis Zakaria returned to their parent clubs.
But Chelsea are not done there with the Premier League club still looking to offload a number of other players in order to balance the books after spending £600m over the previous two transfer windows.
And now the Daily Telegraph claims that Pochettino has ‘one week to sell’ his ‘bomb squad’ with Chelsea hoping to sell ‘Romelu Lukaku, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic before pre-season training starts’.
The Blues want to ‘avoid the threat of an awkward reunion’ that could force Pochettino to decide ‘whether or not to split his players’ up.
All four of the so-called ‘bomb squad’ are looking to leave Stamford Bridge this summer and ‘the club want to sell before they start to return for pre-season training at Chelsea’s Cobham complex next Wednesday’.
The Daily Telegraph added:
‘Pochettino wants to work with players who want to be at the club, which could place him in an awkward position if any of the foursome have to return to pre-season training.
‘Ideally, Pochettino does not want to take any players who do not want to be at the club on Chelsea’s pre-season tour of America, which the squad leave for on July 17.
‘That means he would have to decide whether or not to leave anybody at home if Lukaku and Co returned, with sources fearing that a B-team training group could be established for unwanted players who have not clinched a move away.’
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has given his own update today on the situation surrounding a number of potential Chelsea exits.
Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column: “We’ve seen so many players leave Chelsea this summer, and I have further updates on some big names who could follow the likes of Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante, Kai Havertz and Kalidou Koulibaly out of Stamford Bridge.
“I’ll start by saying that Christian Pulisic is really, really tempted by Serie A. AC Milan asked about Pulisic one year ago when they spoke to Chelsea about Rafael Leao, but then the Portuguese forward was, and remains, untouchable. Still, talks are ongoing – Pulisic is in the club’s plan and he’s pushing to join Milan, but Chelsea want €25/30m so I expect Milan to bid again soon.
“Conor Gallagher has been on Newcastle’s list since May. Of course, after signing Sandro Tonali they are now discussing internally about how to spend money in the next weeks, but Gallagher has always been appreciated by West Ham and Newcastle, these two clubs. Ben Jacobs has reported on Chelsea’s stance on Gallagher here.
“At the moment, the situation is quiet around Hakim Ziyech after his move to Al Nassr fell through. For sure all parties will try to find the best solution together in the next days. As he’s hinted on social media, Ziyech believes that many stories in the recent days were not correct, I’m sure he will clarify his position soon.”