Enzo Maresca to block Chelsea move Mauricio Pochettino was ready to approve

Enzo Maresca will ‘push back’ against a move Mauricio Pochettino was ready to approve (Image: Getty)

Chelsea head coach Enzo Maresca is reportedly set to block Enzo Fernandez’s participation at the Olympic Games. Fernandez had been desperate to represent Argentina at the football event in Paris later in the summer.

The Olympics often provide a headache for football clubs. This year, the event will run from July 24 to August 10.

Players will therefore miss a large chunk of their pre-season campaigns and, should they reach the final, will still be playing at the tournament six days before the Premier League campaign is scheduled to begin. That issue has been exacerbated by the presence of Euro 2024 on the summer’s calendar.

According to the Mirror, former Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino had been open to allowing Fernandez to play at the Games. However, it is claimed that new manager Maresca will push back as he wants the midfielder to be part of his squad for pre-season.

The Italian coach will want Fernandez to acclimatise to his ideas and be able to fit into his tactical system in time for the Premier League season. Teams are under no obligation to release their players for the Olympic football event, which is effectively an U23 tournament.

Fernandez had been keen to play for Argentina but Chelsea were reluctant to let him go. Talks were scheduled for the weekend over whether or not the 23-year-old would be allowed to participate.

“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,” Fernandez said last week.

“I’m looking forward to being at the Olympic Games. I talked to [Javier] Mascherano (Argentina U23 head coach) and told him that I want to go. Let’s see with Chelsea if they let me go.”

Chelsea star Enzo Fernandez was desperate to play at the Olympic Games (Image: Getty)

Fernandez endured a season disrupted by injuries in 2023-24. He underwent surgery on an ongoing groin problem in April and missed the final six matches of the season.

Argentina are reportedly expected to include Fernandez in their squad for the Copa America, though. His participation in that tournament is unlikely to impact his role in Chelsea’s pre-season campaign, with the final scheduled to take place on July 15, the day after the Euro 2024 showdown.

Maresca has been appointed as Chelsea’s new head coach. He has signed a lengthy five-year contract with the Blues, despite BlueCo’s three permanent bosses having an average lifespan of just seven months.

The 44-year-old guided Leicester to the Premier League last season. Maresca’s Foxes won the Championship with a hefty 97 points.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1906810/Enzo-Maresca-Chelsea-Mauricio-Pochettino