Mauricio Pochettino has outlined Chelsea’s transfer plans for two positions this summer after Marc Cucurella committed his future to the club.
Chelsea have already completed the signings of Christopher Nkunku, Nicolas Jackson, Alex Matos, Diego Moreira and Angelo Gabriel this summer, but the Blues are still looking to add to the squad.
Their biggest target is Moises Caicedo of Brighton & Hove Albion. Chelsea have already had two bids rejected, the latest being a £70 million offer this week.
Caicedo is keen on a move but Brighton are holding out for a higher fee for the 21-year-old. Pochettino was coy on Chelsea’s interest, telling reporters: “All of the team are working very hard to get what we want. I don’t want to speak about specific names. Like us, many clubs are working to sign a player to improve their team.”
However, Pochettino did confirm Chelsea are looking to strengthen in midfield following the departures of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount.
“Yes I think we need (a player) there (in midfield), for sure. But I think it is clear. Everyone knows that we need maybe to add some players there.”
Chelsea defender Marc Cucurella, who played with Caicedo at Brighton, hopes they can get a deal over the line, with the Blues set to face the Seagulls this weekend during pre-season.
Cucurella added: “I think Moises wants to come to Chelsea, I read in the media. When we stay in Brighton together, he is a top player. He is very young but his head is very clever. He has a lot of energy. He showed his quality.
“He is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League so if he came to Chelsea, I think we would have a really good player for a long time.”
Chelsea have also lost defender Wesley Fofana for a long period after he underwent anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery. Pochettino expressed his sadness at the 22-year-old’s injury setback.
“It’s really sad, really bad news,” said the Chelsea head coach. “We feel all so sad. All we can do is help him.”
Chelsea only have four fit senior centre-backs following the departures of Kalidou Koulibaly and Cesar Azpilicueta. Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah, Benoit Badiashile and Levi Colwill are the current options.
Pochettino remained tight-lipped over whether or not the Blues would look for a replacement in the transfer market, saying: “Maybe yes or maybe no we need to work to replace him, an idea that we were not thinking. That has maybe made us change direction.”
One player who has confirmed their future is Cucurella. Ahead of Chelsea’s opening pre-season fixture against Wrexham, the left-sided defender insisted he was happy in west London and is ready to put last season behind him.
“Yes, for sure I want to stay at Chelsea,” he said. “I am very happy here.
“It wasn’t an easy season and it was difficult for all the players, we needed time to adapt. You arrive at a big club, you need time to adapt, the results don’t arrive, you feel more pressure and, of course, we are football players but we are normal people as well.
“We have problems in our personal lives and people need to understand this as well. This is part of life and these things can improve in the future. I am very happy, I have a lot of energy and I am happy to stay here and do my best for this team and club.”