Monday, May 20News That Matters

Mauricio Pochettino identifies two positions Chelsea must strengthen

Mauricio Pochettino has identified two areas of the Chelsea squad he would like to improve ahead of his looming appointment, according to reports.

The Argentine coach is now the standout candidate to take over at Stamford Bridge after a number of talks with the club’s hierarchy, beating off competition from Luis Enrique and Ruben Amorim.

Barring a last-minute breakdown in negotiations, Pochettino’s appointment is expected to be officially announced soon.

As part of his talks with the club, the former Tottenham boss is believed to have asked for a greater say in Chelsea’s transfer strategy – even though the new ownership have spent a lot of money to improve their recruitment team.

Chelsea have paid around £600m on transfers in the past year, but, according to Fabrizio Romano, Pochettino believes more investment is needed this summer.

The 51-year-old, who impressed Chelsea’s owners with his vision and plans for the team, feels a new striker must be brought in.

Kai Havertz leads the west London club’s scoring charts with a low nine goals in all competitions, while the team as a whole have only managed to net 30 goals in 31 Premier League matches – only four teams have been less prolific.

Although Chelsea have agreed a deal for RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku, a more orthodox striker will be sought.

Romelu Lukaku’s future remains uncertain and he will likely hold talks with Pochettino and the club in the summer to discuss a possible role in the team; he could be presented with a lifeline back at the club, though his preference is thought to be a return to Inter Milan.

The other position Pochettino and Chelsea will look to bolster in is the number six role.

N’Golo Kante, a free agent in the summer, has yet to sign a new deal while Mateo Kovacic – whose own deal expires in 2024 – has been used sporadically due to injury.

With Jorginho having left and Mason Mount also running down his contract, central midfield is an area that is starting to look light and Chelsea may revisit moves for players like Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister – both of whom they were interested in during the January window.

There could be more signings beyond those two positions, but Pochettino will assess his team in pre-season before deciding what else is needed.

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