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Mauricio Pochettino given another defender at Chelsea after club director confirms transfer decision



(Photo by FRANCOIS NASCIMBENI/AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea will welcome back Malang Sarr this summer following his loan spell at AS Monaco.

The 24-year-old made the season-long loan switch for the 2022/23 season, which saw the deal include an obligation to buy clause of £12.6 million if conditions, including the number of games Sarr played, were met during the campaign.

Despite the January transfer of Benoit Badiashile to Chelsea, Sarr only played 17 times for Monaco in all competitions, a loan spell hampered by a muscle injury in February which ruled him out for the rest of the season.

Following the conclusion of the campaign, Sarr’s future has now been confirmed by Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell.

Speaking to Get French Football News, Mitchell revealed the centre-back will return to Chelsea this summer.

“Malang unfortunately got an injury, a muscular abdominal injury in training a few months ago so he wasn’t available for selection for a long time,” admitted Mitchell.

He added: “Malang has already gone back to Chelsea.”

It’s another decision for new head coach Mauricio Pochettino to make ahead of his official start date on July 1.

Kalidou Koulibaly and Cesar Azpilicueta face uncertain futures at Stamford Bridge, while Ian Maatsen could leave after his loan spell at Burnley concluded.

Pochettino already has Levi Colwill returning to the fold and with numbers increasing in defence, the 51-year-old boss is likely to deem Sarr surplus to requirements.

Chelsea are hoping to avoid a repeat of the ‘disappointing and difficult’ 2022/23 campaign, which saw them finish 12th in the Premier League, with the owners confident Pochettino can be a success for the Blues.

“We remain completely committed to the long term and sustainable success of our club and fulfilling that promise we made to you,” read a message written by the Chelsea ownership group on Thursday. “We know the huge potential we must grow to develop Chelsea FC and it is a role we take seriously. Everybody working here is relentlessly focused on driving us forward. 

“Clearly, for our men’s team, it has been a disappointing season and there is a lot we can and will do better.”

They added: “For all the challenges of the past year, we are optimistic about the future. We are looking forward to welcoming Mauricio Pochettino as the head coach of our men’s team in July.”