Chelsea set for Enzo Fernandez collision course as 'talks planned' after summer plea

Chelsea will reportedly hold talks with Enzo Fernandez over his summer plans. (Image: Getty.)

Chelsea are reportedly at odds with Enzo Fernandez over the midfielder’s participation at the Paris Olympics. Fernandez is desperate to play for Argentina at the tournament, but clubs are under no obligation to release their players for what is effectively an Under-23 competition.

The £107million midfielder missed the final months of last season after undergoing surgery on an ongoing groin injury. He has since returned to training but has not played competitively since April 23.

Despite his lack of action, Fernandez has ruled himself in contention for the Argentina squad for the Olympics.

He said this week: “I’m feeling well from the injury and training normally. I spoke with [Lionel] Scaloni before the injury and I’m very happy for getting another call-up.

“I’m looking forward to being at the Olympic Games. I talked to [Javier] Mascherano (Argentina Under-23 head coach) and told him that I want to go. Let’s see with Chelsea if they let me go.”

However, Chelsea are reportedly less enthusiastic about the prospect of Fernandez missing the first pre-season of incoming head coach Enzo Maresca. According to Argentine publication TyC Sports, the Blues do not want the 23-year-old to play at the Olympics and are planning talks with the player this weekend.

Chelsea want Fernandez to enjoy a full pre-season under Maresca ahead of the 2024-25 Premier League campaign. The Blues will be desperate to begin the new season with a fully fit squad having seen their players struggle with injuries

Christopher Nkunku was a £60m signing last summer who subsequently broke down with a knee injury during Chelsea’s pre-season campaign. The Frenchman subsequently missed most of the season, playing in only 11 Premier League matches.

Enzo Fernandez is desperate to play for Argentina at the Olympics. (Image: Getty.)

Chelsea will be keen for Fernandez to acclimatise to Maresca’s style early in pre-season. The Italian coach needs all of his key players performing well to ensure a positive start to next term.

Maresca is widely reported to have agreed a five-year contract with Chelsea. The 44-year-old led Leicester to the Championship title last season and has admirers across football, particularly for his work as assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Chelsea parted ways with Mauricio Pochettino at the end of the Premier League season. Irreconcilable differences in how both parties wanted the club to be run were cited as the reason for the mutually-agreed departure.