Chelsea decide two signings for Pochettino as Boehly changes spending habits
Chelsea caretaker manager Frank Lampard reviews Forest draw
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is finally set to curb his wild spending when the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino is confirmed later this week. The Argentine is set to fly in from Barcelona to sign a three-year contract with the west London club to complete his return to the Premier League, four years after he was sacked by Tottenham, as he prepares to begin working at Stamford Bridge in time for pre-season.
Having already met with the Chelsea owners to discuss plans for the summer, Pochettino is aware he will not be given the same freedom as predecessor Graham Potter to assemble his squad.
The 51-year-old ‘will be able’ to bring in new players as Chelsea have ‘priority positions’ to fill this summer, with a goalkeeper and striker at the top of their shopping list.
However, Sky Sports suggest Boehly has altered his view on recruitment and there will be no repeat of his lavish spending from the past two transfer windows, where a total of £600million was spent on 14 permanent transfers and two loan deals.
Chelsea and Mauricio Pochettino ‘have discussed four signings’ internally[GOSSIP]
The Blues have been linked with Brentford stopper David Raya, who could be sold this summer as his contract is due to expire in 2024. Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana is a reported target for the west London club and any deal that allows Romelu Lukaku to join the Nerazzurri permanently could be conditioned on Onana moving in the opposite direction.
At the other end of the pitch, Chelsea have struggled all season for goals and signing a natural No 9 seems to be an important job for their co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart this summer.
Big-money targets include Victor Osimhen, Juventus star Dusan Vlahovic and Benfica starlet Goncalo Ramos, while Brentford’s Ivan Toney has emerged as a possible alternative.
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Express Sport understands that a midfielder is also high on Chelsea’s agenda, even despite reports that N’Golo Kante is set to renew his contract with the club. Declan Rice, Moises Caicedo, Romeo Lavia and Manu Kone from Borussia Monchengladbach have all been shortlisted as potential signings.
As it has been documented since Pochettino was lined up for the job, he will be tasked with overseeing a flurry of departures from the club to reduce their bloated squad size.
Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Edouard Mendy and Mateo Kovacic are only some of the names expected to leave this summer as Boehly aims to raise funds to help ease concerns over Financial Fair Play. Then there are players out on loan such as Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ethan Ampadu who face uncertain futures.
The ex-Spurs boss is keen to keep Mason Mount, who is seen as an indispensable player by the Argentine due to his work rate and appreciation from other top coaches.
But with relations between his representatives and the club reportedly at an ‘all-time low’, it remains to be seen whether he can be convinced to stay as contract talks continue without an agreement.
There are plenty of unknowns ahead for the former Southampton and Tottenham manager, but he has worked under such conditions before. Improving this Chelsea team should not be difficult, however, as they remain on course for their first season outside the top 10 in over 27 years – and the only way is up.
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