Chelsea secured a 3-1 win over Aston Villa in the FA Cup fourth round replay at Villa Park on Wednesday (February 7). Goals from Conor Gallagher, Nicolas Jackson and Enzo Fernandez helped Mauricio Pochettino’s team progress to the next round.
Meanwhile, the Blues have attempted a swap deal involving Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella and their on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku but without success. Elsewhere, veteran centre-back Thiago Silva is likely to leave this summer.
On that note, here’s a look at the key Chelsea transfer stories as on February 8, 2024.
Chelsea attempted swap deal for Nicolo Barella
The Italian midfielder continues to be the heartbeat of the Nerazzurri’s starting XI, so a move away looks unlikely. Barella has been outstanding this season as well, registering two goals and five assists in 30 outings across competitions.
The Blues are hoping that his quality can help turn things around at the club. They were even willing to offer Lukaku as part of the deal. The Belgian striker is on loan at AS Roma but isn’t part of future plans at Stamford Bridge.
However, their efforts were futile and aren’t expected to bear fruit any time soon. With the London giants are miles away from Champions League qualification, a move is unlikely to entice Barella right now. Even if he agrees a deal, it would have to be for a massive pay rise.
Thiago Silva likely to leave, says Fabrizio Romano
Thiago Silva is likely to leave Chelsea at the end of the season, according to acclaimed transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.
The Brazilian defender’s wife stirred up controversy following a cryptic tweet hinting at a departure from Stamford Bridge. Pochettino recently said that he had a chat with the veteran defender to clear the air regarding the episode.
Silva has been a first-team regular under the Argentinean manager, but his contract expires at the end of the season. The 39-year-old hasn’t been offered an extension yet and remains linked with a return to his former club Fluminense.
In his column for Caught Offside, Romano added that there’s a good chance that Silva could leave as a free agent this summer.
“Thiago Silva and Mauricio Pochettino have spoken about the tweet put out by the Chelsea defender’s wife Belle Silva. I can confirm that Silva and Pochettino had a discussion about this, and their relationship remains very good,” wrote Romano.
“However, the feeling in general, even before this incident, is that Silva is not expected to extend his contract at Chelsea, making him a free agent this summer. There is a very concrete chance for the Brazilian to leave as a free agent.”
Silva has appeared 28 times across competitions for the Blues this season, starting 25.
Mauricio Pochettino is on borrowed time, says Dimitar Berbatov
Mauricio Pochettino could be sacked by Chelsea in the coming weeks, according to former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov.
The Argentinean manager is under tremendous pressure after a poor season. The Blues are 11th in the Premier League after 23 games, 15 points adrift of Aston Villa in fourth.
Pochettino helped his cause following the win at the Villans in the FA Cup on Wednesday, but his future isn’t secure. The London giants invested heavily in the squad last year but are yet to reap benefits.
Speaking to Betfair, Berbatov said that Chelsea are unlikely to be patient with Pochettino.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Chelsea sacked Mauricio Pochettino. Chelsea have spent so much money on players – they have good players in the team – but obviously it’s not working out.
“The last game against Wolves, when Chelsea lost 4-2 at Stamford Bridge, was a prime example of the chaos that’s happening on the pitch,” said Berbatov.
“You can see Chelsea are lost, at times, and don’t know what to do. Of course, you can’t get rid of the whole team. The manager is always the first to go.
“Pochettino always tried to say that Chelsea was a long-term project, but in modern football, the owners of clubs don’t have that patience. If Chelsea lose the next game, I think Pochettino will get sacked.”
The Blues next face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Monday (February 12).