Four former Mauricio Pochettino players Chelsea could sign in January transfer window

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Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino has made it clear to the club’s owners that he wants to have a bigger say in transfer dealings, and with more power, he may be tempted to recruit some familiar faces in January. The Argentinian has not had the easiest of starts at Stamford Bridge despite a huge £428million summer spend, with £300m raised in sales. But with more influence over dealings, the Blues could attempt to reunite Pochettino with some of his former stars. Express Sport looks at four players who could strengthen the west Londoners in the winter transfer window.

Marquinhos

Pochettino has repeatedly called for more experience to be added to his squad and Marquinhos, a player with 413 appearances for PSG, eight Ligue 1 titles and 80 Brazil caps, would certainly fit the bill.

The 29-year-old has been on Chelsea’s radar for some time, but when they have approached PSG, their attempts to sign the centre-back have been met with a firm refusal. As a solid, pacy and composed defender, there aren’t many quality players who can claim to be better than the Brazilian star.

But after spending 10 years in the French capital, change is in the air at the Parisian club and Marquinhos may also sense the time has come to follow his former mentor Thiago Silva to Stamford Bridge. At 39, Silva is not getting any younger and the former Roma man would be a sensible signing – if not the most urgently required – should Pochettino decide to bring him to west London.

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Mauricio Pochettino: The Chelsea boss wants more influence on transfers. (Image: Getty)

Neymar

Just two months after joining Al-Hilal in a £90million blockbuster deal, the superstar’s rumoured fallout with coach Jorge Jesus has dominated the headlines in Saudi Arabia. It has led to suggestions already that the 31-year-old could be sent back to Europe and Todd Boehly is a massive fan of Neymar’s.

It is fair to say that the Brazilian also enjoyed his finest season under Pochettino’s management, with 13 goals and six assists in his only full Ligue 1 season as the Argentinian clinched the first league title of his career. With Chelsea struggling for goals and creating chances, a player of Neymar’s talents should be welcomed with open arms.

Unless Al-Hilal are willing to part with Brazil’s all-time record goalscorer, it would prove to be a difficult deal as Neymar has been handed a mega contract only dwarfed by Cristiano Ronaldo’s £175m-a-year deal. Even a club with Chelsea’s financial power would struggle to afford such amounts, and a loan looks to be the only route to the Premier League anytime soon.

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Mauricio Pochettino: The Argentine worked well with Neymar at PSG. (Image: Getty)

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Achraf Hakimi

Let’s be clear, Chelsea do not need another right-back. They already have Reece James, Malo Gusto, Trevoh Chalobah and Axel Disasi all capable of playing as a full-back on the right side. But that hasn’t stopped them recruiting players in the past, especially ones with the creative talents that Hakimi boasts.

The Morocco international has already found the net three times for PSG this season to underline his goalscoring threat. Since his £60m switch from Inter Milan in June 2021, he has been involved in 24 goal contributions (12 goals, 12 assists) in all competitions – a tally that few defenders or even midfielders would be able to reach themselves.

The 24-year-old did, of course, snub Chelsea to join PSG after the French outfit. But with James struggling to shake off his persistent injury problems and Malo Gusto’s relative inexperience, Pochettino may turn to Hakimi to upgrade his options in that area.

Achraf Hakimi and Gianluigi Donnarumma: The PSG stars were both signed by Pochettino. (Image: Getty)

Gianluigi Donnarumma

Chelsea spent nearly £40m on two new goalkeepers this summer and managed to offload Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan, but it actually appears Pochettino’s goalkeeping options have gone down a level after a nervy start from Robert Sanchez to life as the Blues’ No 1.

Their £14m signing Djordje Petrovic is yet to make his debut and the fact the Serbian was overlooked for the Carabao Cup tie against Brighton is hardly encouraging. While Arrizabalaga is at Real Madrid, Chelsea lack a world-class goalkeeper of the same profile as former stoppers such as Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois.

But Donnarumma, still only 24 despite making 330 club appearances, is vastly experienced and easily one of the top 10 goalkeepers in the world. If Chelsea could convince PSG to sell, the Italian would unquestionably improve their options at the back.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1818296/Chelsea-transfer-news-Mauricio-Pochettino-Neymar-Marquinhos