Last Minute Plan Revealed: Chelsea’s final transfer moves as Mauricio Pochettino is desperate to sign these players and want some to leave

Mauricio Pochettino is still waiting for his first Chelsea win following a 3-1 loss at West Ham on Sunday. The hosts battled to victory even though Chelsea controlled the majority of the game. Enzo Fernandez’ missed penalty proved costly.

Chelsea also didn’t take advantage of the extra man for almost half-an-hour after Nayef Aguerd was foolishly sent off. But all credit to West Ham. James Ward-Prowse got a couple of assists and Michail Antonio’s finish for West Ham’s second goal was superb.

It sadly wasn’t an ideal debut for Moises Caicedo. He looked rusty and gave away a careless late penalty that allowed Lucas Paqueta to finish off the game.

However, there were positives as well. Carney Chukwuemeka got his first goal for the club, showing neat footwork followed by a confident finish. It’s a real shame he went off injured. Pochettino confirmed after the game that we’ll know more about the severity in the next few days.

I also thought Raheem Sterling was brilliant, especially in the first half. He looks fit, hungry and is going to be important for Chelsea if they are to qualify for the Champions League.

Chelsea now just need to forget about the loss and focus on beating Luton – a game they must win to avoid an indifferent start.

By the time that match comes around we’ll only have a few days of the transfer window left. Chelsea are still working on a No.2 keeper, having placed a bid for New England Revolution’s Djordje Petrovic.

And another forward isn’t ruled out either if the right name presents itself. Chelsea sources still indicate they are not actively pursuing Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic, but they have discussed Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun, who scored 21 Ligue 1 goals for Reims last season. I am not aware of a bid to date, but obviously at this stage of the window everything can move fast.

It’s a fine balance because there is confidence in Armando Broja, but he’s going to need a bit more time as he recovers from his ACL injury.

Chelsea are also desperate to sell Romelu Lukaku. If a deal isn’t reached with Juventus, or any other European club, Chelsea will insist Lukaku accepts an offer from a Saudi club. Chelsea want around €45m, but could come down slightly on price should the right opportunity present itself. Al-Hilal were the side pushing for Lukaku but they have now just added Aleksandar Mitrovic from Fulham.

As ever with these Saudi deals, especially the PIF-led ones, the club is often allocated last. The Saudi top-flight window shuts on September 7, so if Lukaku hasn’t gone when the European window closes he’ll have a week to find a new club outside of Europe. That’s when the Saudi offer may prove too good to turn down.

Chelsea believe the Lukaku issue is as much on the player as them. He hasn’t engaged significantly with Mauricio Pochettino this summer. It’s not just Chelsea who want to sell (and make no mistake they really do). Lukaku also doesn’t view the club as an option. In fairness, had he shown more of a willingness to return, Chelsea probably would have still wanted to offload him, but you just never know given Pochettino is new (everyone has a clean slate) and Christopher Nkunku is injured. But Lukaku has been mentally checked out of Chelsea for quite some time. That’s why Pochettino speaks as if he can’t really influence the situation. The Chelsea boss feels Lukaku’s mind was made up before he arrived.

Chelsea have managed to finally offload Hakim Ziyech who has joined Galatasaray on a season-long loan with an obligation to buy. Galatasaray’s statement was a bit misleading because it implied the obligation is for a free transfer next summer. But if certain conditions are met this season, I understand Chelsea will actually receive a fee.

Trevoh Chalobah and Callum Hudson-Odoi are two another potential outgoings this week, and Conor Gallagher could yet go, but only for the right price. He is content fighting for his place and only a bid for £50m or more is likely to result in an exit.

I just wanted to write a final word on the Women’s World Cup Final. It wasn’t the result England wanted, and a big congratulations to Spain who were the better side. However, Chelsea’s contingent did themselves proud.

Millie Bright became the first footballer to captain an England senior side at a World Cup Final since Bobby Moore in 1966. Lauren James scored three goals, set the tournament alight against China, and was also tremendous when she came off the bench in the final. And Jess Carter started against Spain and made an excellent late block to stop the eventual winners scoring again. Niamh Charles and new Chelsea signing Hannah Hampton were also part of the squad as well.

All five could be back in four years when hopefully England can go one step further. But Chelsea’s Lionesses were a credit during the tournament and can return with their heads held high and now start preparing for the new WSL season.


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