A former Chelsea manager wants to sign a massive four of their current crop of stars in the January transfer window, a report has claimed.
The Blues often have a stacked arsenal of players, many of whom are loaned out to trim down their squad. While they are sometimes criticised for the approach, it is one that has proven to be successful.
More often than not, the Stamford Bridge hierarchy manage to get successful loan spells for their stars. They are then either sold on for a tidy price or progress to feature.
As the depth of talent in west London is so large, losing four players at once isn’t out of the question. And that’s what Maurizio Sarri is hoping will happen.
According to Il Massaggero, the Lazio boss is ready to raid the side he managed in the 2018/19 season for a quartet of Thomas Tuchel’s men.
Sarri is eyeing moves for second string goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and out-of-favour left-back Emerson Palmeri.
And he also fancies swoops for midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and young gun Callum Hudson-Odoi.
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The Italian worked with all four players during his time with the current European champions.
He of course had the infamous moment with Kepa, who refused to be substituted when injured during the Carabao Cup final.
Aside from nearly winning that competition, Sarri took Chelsea to Europa League glory. And they finished third in the Premier League.
Emerson, who is on loan at Lyon, was used sparingly throughout the campaign. But Loftus-Cheek enjoyed his most active season for the club that year.
Husdon-Odoi, meanwhile, made 10 league appearances as he began to breakthrough into the first-team picture.
The winger neared an exit in the summer. It is hard to see him or any of the trio of team-mates being allowed to leave next month, though.
Possible Chelsea exodus
Meanwhile, a further two Chelsea players have told their representatives of their plans to leave the club, according to one transfer reporter.
One player who is out of contract at the end of the season is captain Cesar Azpilicueta. Some of his teammates are reportedly puzzled as to why his future has not been tied down yet.
Now, it has emerged that Azpilicueta is one of two Chelsea players who could be trying to orchestrate an exit so he can be guaranteed of his place at the 2022 World Cup with Spain.
The other could trigger a defensive crisis for the Blues…
READ MORE: Chelsea pair previously ‘irreplaceable’ team up with double exit requests
Chelsea risk complete depletion after transfer update for tempted star Tuchel is relying on
Marcos Alonso remains a top target for Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, despite it being questionable as to whether Chelsea would sanction a transfer.
Chelsea are currently facing a shortage of players in the full-back positions. Alonso is their only natural fit on the left-hand side at present due to Ben Chilwell’s ACL injury. They have been trying to recall Emerson Palmieri from a loan spell at Lyon, but are struggling.
Therefore, the Blues continue to be linked with signing new left-backs in January. But now a further complication has arisen in the shape of Atletico chasing Alonso.
According to Marca, Simeone still dreams of signing the Spaniard, whom he wanted at Atletico three years ago. Back then, the La Liga giants opted to sign Renan Lodi instead.
Now, Simeone is hoping to lure Alonso back to his hometown. The Atletico boss still feels a need to strengthen at left-back and Alonso has the traits he desires.
Marca (whose report is adapted by Sport Witness) claim a transfer is back on the agenda, then. Although whether that would appeal to Chelsea is debatable.
Alonso lost his place as a starter after Chilwell relied, but they are relying on him now until they can recover the Englishman’s services or sign another reinforcement.
But the 31-year-old may be keen to make the move to Madrid. According to Marca, he would welcome the chance to play in La Liga.
Alonso came through the academy ranks at Real Madrid before making one La Liga appearance in 2010. He has never played in the competition since after spending his club career between England and Italy.
Spanish return appealing to Alonso?
Recent reports claimed he was keen to explore a future away from Chelsea to boost his chances of representing Spain at the 2022 World Cup. Alonso has five international caps to his name after debuting in 2018, including two last year.
He may now have hopes of playing club football in his homeland, rather than just representing their national team. And Atletico see him as a perfect fit.
It is not yet clear if they will make a formal move, or how much they may offer. But if anything happens between now and the end of the month, it would heighten Chelsea’s dilemmas.
Atletico have Marcos Alonso alternatives
However, in an update that may allay any fears Chelsea have of losing Alonso, AS claim Atletico are also looking at Reinildo of Lille.
As cited by Football Espana, the report claims there have been discussions between the Spanish and French champions over his transfer.
Reinildo is out of contract with Lille in the summer. So he could be available for a cut-price fee.
AS also list the versatile Daniel Wass of Valencia as a priority option for Atletico.
However, the Mattress Makers are also long-term admirers of Alonso, as Marca remind. Therefore, his future at Chelsea will still be in question unless Atleti sign one of the other options.
READ MORE: Chelsea bid ‘accepted’ as Tuchel nears stellar signing in favourite position
Ranieri sack moments away with ‘stunned’ Watford chiefs ‘preparing’ new appointment
Watford are poised to sack manager Claudio Ranieri and have already begun sizing up replacements after being left stunned by their ineptitude versus Norwich, per reports.
The Hornets suffered a humbling 3-0 defeat to relegation rivals on Friday night. The contest had been hyped up as a potential relegation decider given how few points both teams have accrued against stronger opposition.
But despite home advantage, Watford looked off the pace throughout, and manager Ranieri could soon pay the price.
Watford are not known for exhibiting patience when it comes to their hirings and firings. Indeed, Xisco Munoz was relieved of his duties less than two months into the season.
Now, according to the Telegraph, Ranieri is poised to follow suit after lasting just three months.
The newspaper state Watford are ‘ready to end’ Ranieri’s reign following their dismal Norwich defeat. The Italian is ‘close’ to being fired, and both staff and players are ‘preparing’ for the appointment of a new head coach.
Watford are deemed to be ‘already targeting replacements’, though the article does not speculate as to their identities.
Ranieri sack due ‘this weekend’
With Watford’s players not due in for training until Tuesday, the article concludes Ranieri is likely to be sacked ‘this weekend’.
The Hornets have lost seven out of their last eight league matches. Their only non-defeat was a 1-1 draw with Newcastle last weekend.
TEAMtalk’s own sources have echoed the sentiments of the Telegraph report.
We have been told by more than one reliable source that Ranieri’s time is up. A final decision could come as early as tonight.
READ MORE: Paper Talk: Man Utd seeking triple exit with trio of ‘mood killers’ facing axe