Mauricio Pochettino’s first three summer Chelsea transfer targets identified
Mauricio Pochettino is already drawing up his summer transfer plans ahead of his potential appointment at Chelsea with a number of targets said to be on his radar, according to reports. The former Tottenham boss looks poised to be unveiled at Stamford Bridge where he is due to replace Frank Lampard at the end of the season alongside his coaching staff including long-service assistant Jesus Perez.
It’s clear Pochettino will have his work cut out trying to revive Chelsea’s fortunes following a chaotic yet dismal season with the club set to miss out on European qualification for the 2023/24 campaign.
Nonetheless, it’s a squad with huge potential as Pochettino prepares to put his own stamp on the mess he will inherit from Lampard this summer when he will be faced with a series of challenging decisions as he looks to reshape the team with fresh ideas.
According to Foot Mercato in France, the 51-year-old is already discussing his transfer plans ahead of his arrival and there are a number of key targets of interest.
The first of which is Joao Felix, who is currently on loan at Chelsea and a player that the club would ideally like to keep.
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Felix’s loan does not include an option or obligation to buy meaning the Blues will have to negate with Atletico Madrid if they want to land the Portuguese attacker permanently.
Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo recently told El Larguero on the prospect of selling Felix to Chelsea: “We’ll have to wait and see. Chelsea is a big team that can count on him. If he comes [back], he will be welcome. In football you can never rule out anything, any surprise can happen.”
The report also claims that Emiliano Martinez is a name of huge interest with the World Cup winner’s future at Aston Villa in doubt.
While Martinez is enjoying life under Unai Emery, it’s believed he would be open to the prospect of a new challenge should the right opportunity arise.
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The chance to team up with compatriot Pochettino would provide the goalkeeper with plenty of food for thought particularly given Chelsea cannot offer European football next season – something that could be on the table in the Midlands.
Other clubs including Manchester United and Tottenham have also been linked with Martinez in recent days despite his long-term contract with Villa.
Finally, France international midfielder Youssouf Fofana of Monaco is also believed to be a target of interest for the Blues as they seek to add some extra quality to their ranks.
Although their squad is stacked with talent, there are several players that could be heading for the exit door this summer.
Those include Mateo Kovacic, who is being tracked by Manchester City, Manchester United and Bayern Munich and Mason Mount, who is yet to sign a new contract with the Blues.
The futures of Edouard Mendy, Marc Cucurella, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Romelu Lukaku, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Trevoh Chalobah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are also uncertain.
The Blues need to raise cash through player sales to continue spending at the current rate after being placed on UEFA’s Financial Fair Play watchlist.
Chelsea have splashed over £600million on new signings since Todd Boehly acquired the club from Roman Abramovich last summer and on the basis of this season, they do not have much to show for it.
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