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Mauricio Pochettino outlines Chelsea’s summer transfer plan after Christopher Nkunku injury blow



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Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed Chelsea are working on a solution following the huge Christopher Nkunku injury blow.

Nkunku has been ruled out for several months and it looks likely it will be until December after he suffered a knee injury during their 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund in pre-season earlier this month.

Chelsea confirmed the blow after scans. A statement read: “Nkunku has sustained a knee injury which will rule the forward out for an extended period.

“The 25-year-old has undergone an operation and will now begin a rehabilitation programme with the club’s medical department.”

The absence of Nkunku, who arrived from RB Leipzig this summer in a £52 million switch, has been felt by Chelsea and now Pochettino has outlined their plans to explore the transfer market to find cover.

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“We feel very sorry about him because he was doing well, a really important player,” reflected Pochettino on Nkunku’s injury. “One of the best offensive players that can play in positions. It’s now about not thinking too much about the injury. It’s time to think positive about his recovery.

He added: “We are working on the transfer market because we are missing one offensive player. The club is working to find a solution, medium, short and long term for the right profile for the team.”

Chelsea have been linked with Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic as part of a potential swap deal involving Romelu Lukaku, however the Blues aren’t interested in the Serbian.

Reports of Chelsea wanting to strike a deal for Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise have increased in recent days, which could prove to be a strong option to fill the void in Nkunku’s absence.

“It’s obvious,” insisted Pochettino on if he still needs to improve his Chelsea side. “Look at the squad. Compare with last season. Too many midfielders left the squad, we have different options.

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‘We are working really hard. We have to be respectful with the names that are there and the clubs that the players belong to. For us it is so important to be respectful. It’s the way I love to work and we work at the club.”

Chelsea are still working to try to sign Moises Caicedo, who Brighton have accepted a British record £110 million offer from Liverpool for, however are yet to lodge an improved bid after their £80 million bid was rejected.

Pochettino refused to comment on Chelsea’s pursuit of Caicedo and instead threw praise on his current communications with the club’s sporting department and hierarchy.

He continued: “I think you know me very well. I never talk about players that don’t belong to us. I am so respectful. I can tell you we are working very hard to add more players. To add quality. When we have news for you the club will tell you.

“At the moment I don’t want to talk about players that don’t belong to us. It’s important to be respectful. We are working hard to reinforce the team and the squad. I am so happy in the way we are doing things with Paul, Lawrence and the owners. The relationship is really good and close. So far so good. We are so happy.”