Chelsea could go against the grain and sanction a £30m transfer that would’ve been unthinkable just a few short months ago, per a report.
Thomas Tuchel already has plenty to choose from in his engine room. The Blues have Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in reserve, with two from Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic most often selected.
Furthermore, Tuchel will be bolstered by the returns of Billy Gilmour and Conor Gallagher next season. Gallagher in particular could make an immediate impact if his remarkable loan spell at Crystal Palace is anything to go by.
That leaves Saul Niguez as the odd man out, with the Spaniard not yet making the impression he would’ve liked.
The 27-year-old was signed from Atletico Madrid on loan last summer. Saul struggled early and saw his opportunities limited as a result. However, his more recent displays have improved, most notably in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg versus Tottenham.
As such, the Daily Star carry quotes from Saul who explained why he took time to adapt to Premier League football.
What’s more, the outlet state Chelsea have been prompted into a ‘rethink’ regarding triggering his £30m buy option. Just a few months ago, activating that clause would’ve been out of the question.
Language barrier especially punishing in midfield
“In my first match, I was a bit disorientated because I was used to doing things differently and it was a bit strange for me,” said Saul – who is in line to start in the FA Cup versus Plymouth Argyle this weekend.
“The truth is it hasn’t been easy but I’m very grateful to my team-mates and the club for making it easier for me to adapt. After training, the Spanish ones can translate for me.
“But that can also be difficult in the moment if I don’t understand the phrases such as ‘man on’ or ‘time’ myself, or if I don’t know if I’m supposed to turn or not.
“My English is improving and everything is becoming a bit easier. I feel good and every day I’m feeling better and prepared for when the head coach needs me.
“It was quite difficult for me because I couldn’t quite do what the head coach wanted me to do but I’m very lucky that Thomas speaks very clear English with an accent I can understand!
“I’ve also been learning English so I can understand better what the head coach wants and adapt myself.”
Saul thanks Chelsea for their patience
Saul continued: “I would like to have played more but I also understand that this team won the Champions League last season so it is difficult to get into the team.
“But I want to say thank you to the Chelsea staff, who have always transmitted a sense of calm during this period of adaptation.
“I really want to show the player I am and repay their confidence in me. I can do a lot to help Chelsea.
“I’ll never give up and when I have the opportunity next and deliver, then I can ask a bit more of the head coach.”
Huge triple Chelsea raid in the works
Meanwhile, Chelsea are plotting a huge summer spree on three major names, and Blues chief Marina Granovskaia already has the club ahead of their transfer rivals, per a report.
Chelsea kept their transfer powder dry last month. The Blues did replenish their ranks at Under-23s level with the signings of left-back Dylan Williams from Derby County and striker Mason Burstow from Charlton Athletic. But from a first-team perspective, Thomas Tuchel was made to continue with what he already had.
Whether that hints at a massive splurge in the summer, only time will tell. But according to Caught Offside, that’s exactly what Chelsea are plotting to do.
Citing Sky Sports Italia journalist Angelo Mangiante, it’s revealed Chelsea are plotting a triple summer swoop for Jules Kounde, Declan Rice and Ousmane Dembele. In Mangiante’s words, the trio are Chelsea’s ‘three main summer goals’.
Kounde would solve their looming defensive crisis with Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta all out of contract in the summer.
Prising Rice away from West Ham would be no mean feat, while Dembele is available for free in the summer.
Regardless, Caught Offside and Mangiante reckon Stamford Bridge is Dembele’s next destination, with the journalist writing the Blues are ‘ahead of everyone in the race’ for all three stars.