Mauricio Pochettino braced for huge Lukaku & Felix Chelsea transfer decisions as summer plans begin
Mauricio Pochettino will be forced into a double transfer decision once he is appointed as Chelsea’s next permanent head coach, according to reports.
An announcement could be made in the next week, according to Sky Sports, to confirm Pochettino’s arrival at Stamford Bridge as the appointment edges closer following several weeks of positive talks with Chelsea.
Pochettino will join in the summer ahead of the 2023/24 season but will be heavily involved, as per reports, in the decision making over the futures of players at the club, with the 51-year-old ready to trim the 30-plus man squad.
The futures of Romelu Lukaku and Joao Felix are two of many which need resolving. Lukaku is on loan at Inter Milan and Felix is at Chelsea until the end of the season from Atletico Madrid.
As reported by Matt Law, Chelsea will hold talks with Lukaku over his options and have not ruled out the possibility of the forward being reintegrated if he is prepared to try to revive his Stamford Bridge career.
Meanwhile, Nizaar Kinsella adds that Chelsea officials will travel to Italy next week to discuss Lukaku’s future with Inter Milan as they start plans ahead of the expected squad overhaul this summer.
Pochettino will also have a say in Felix’s future, with the Portugal international happy in the capital and Chelsea are open to keeping hold of the forward next season.
Nizaar Kinsella reports that Chelsea are weighing up whether to move for the Atletico Madrid forward again by extending his current loan deal.
The input of Pochettino on any potential deal is claimed to be ‘key’, with the former Spurs set to ‘advise on club business’ before his summer arrival.
Felix was asked about his future in March but remained coy, stating: “If I want to stay or not, the future nobody knows. We don’t know what will happen. I am here and the club is so big, it’s amazing. Everyone behind the club is so good so I am happy to be here.”
Chelsea have three guaranteed new additions into the side this summer. Malo Gusto will return from his Lyon loan spell after seeing out the rest of the campaign with the Ligue 1 side following his January transfer.
Christopher Nkunku is expected to join the Blues from RB Leipzig and Levi Colwill will join up with the first-team once his Brighton & Hove Albion loan move has concluded.
There’s a lot to do this summer for Pochettino and Chelsea as they look to avoid a repeat of the difficult 2022/23 campaign. Preparations will be held in the United States with pre-season fixtures against Wrexham, Brighton, Newcastle United and Fulham currently planned.
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