Chelsea transfers: World Cup winner admits ‘concern’ over duo as Pochettino urged to re-think exit strategy
Frank Leboeuf has urged Chelsea to keep hold of either Ruben Loftus-Cheek or Conor Gallagher even if they manage to sign Moises Caicedo.
The Blues are never very far from the headlines when it comes to transfers at the moment. The arrival of Mauricio Pochettino as manager has seen the west Londoners linked with many players. But there is also a need to jettison some stars, with the Argentinian inheriting an oversized squad.
A few of the players seem vulnerable to a summer exit. Loftus-Cheek has been at Stamford Bridge his entire professional career.
The midfielder spent time on loan at both Fulham and Crystal Palace but has made 155 appearances for the Blues.
However, it seems as though his days at the Bridge may be numbered.
AC Milan have been heavily linked with the England international while Brentford are also thought to be keen.
Gallagher is another player who could be part of the Pochettino cull ahead of next season.
Despite having been on the books since 2019, he played his first full season for the club last term, making 35 top-flight appearances.
However, it might be a short but sweet spell for the midfielder.
There have been rumours that the Epsom-born ace could be used as a makeweight in a deal to sign Brighton’s Caicedo.
READ MORE: Pochettino warned of serious Chelsea transfer blunder with six set to leave and next signing identified
He has also been linked with Newcastle United and Tottenham.
Both payers are still at Chelsea at present but it seems only a matter of time before at least one heads through the exit door.
Leboeuf warns Chelsea over summer exodus
Chelsea endured a dreadful campaign by their standards in 2022-23.
A 12th-place finish and only 11 league wins was nothing short of disastrous after spending £600m on new players.
There will now be a reset with a new man in charge. Stars such as N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic have also been tipped to leave.
But Leboeuf issued a note of caution and feels Pochettino should think long and hard before wielding the axe.
“If we consider that maybe Caicedo is about to move in, then I think they need to find somebody else next to Enzo Fernandez,” he told ESPN.
“Seeing Chukwuemeka, Gallagher and maybe Loftus-Cheek leaving. I think it doesn’t give you too many options to fulfil that spot and to make sure you are going to be competitive and that’s, for me, a concern.
“Either Gallagher or Loftus-Cheek should stay to maybe substitute if Caicedo comes, either Caicedo or Enzo Fernandez. You can’t leave only two players in that situation.”
Leboeuf, a World Cup winner with France, made 144 Premier League appearances for Chelsea.
He played alongside some world class stars, winning two FA Cups, an EFL Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
He knows a thing or two about winning and where the team needs to be tough.
“Chelsea have to make sure, in the middle of the park, you are strong. We all know the battle is there,” he added.
READ MORE: Man Utd chances of signing outstanding Serie A star given major lift after Chelsea pull plug on £50m deal