Chelsea’s squad overhaul is well underway and Mauricio Pochettino is set for a new-look to his midfield next season.
Planning is already underway despite Pochettino not officially starting his head coach duties until July 1, with recommendations already made and discussions ongoing over transfer targets.
A decision was made to offload Jorginho to Arsenal in January for £12 million, a sign of what was to come in the midfield as part of the clear-out this summer.
Pochettino’s influence in a key area of the pitch has already been noticed. Denis Zakaria’s loan deal from Juventus will not be extended.
As reported by Tom Roddy of The Times, ‘at least one midfielder is wanted’ by Chelsea this summer. They withdrew from the race to sign Sporting CP’s Manuel Ugarte and now other targets have been identified.
Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo is of interest to Chelsea. The Seagulls are likely to command in excess of £80 million for the Ecuadorian midfielder. Meanwhile, Romeo Lavia remains on the shortlist, with a valuation in excess of £40 million likely to be set for the Southampton star.
Additions are required due to Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante both being on the verge of leaving Chelsea this summer. Kante has agreed a two-year deal to join Saudi side Al-Ittihad once his contract in west London expires, while Kovacic has been given permission to speak to Manchester City.
Chelsea are ready to let Kovacic leave for the Premier League champions. They are likely to ask for between £30-40 million for the 29-year-old, who admitted earlier this week that a departure following five years at the club is looking likely.
While on international duty with Croatia, he said: “I have one year left on my contract with Chelsea. It’s been a really bad season. Everything indicates that after five years I’ll change the environment, but we’ll see what happens. Right now I’m only focused on Croatia and the Nations League.”
He added: “Manchester City is a top team and deserves to be in the Champions League final. That’s what I have to say. The summer is long, we’ll see what happens.
“Chelsea for me is phenomenal. I love the city and the fans, they love me, I have wonderful memories of Chelsea. We’ll see what happens.”