Given Chelsea’s squad appeared so settled at the start of the season, the prospect of a January window abuzz with rumours was not on the cards
However, some injuries to key players in important positions – most notably Ben Chilwell at left-back – and a furiously-paced title challenge means the Blues are expected to do some business in the mid-season window.
Speculation is rife about possible departures too, with a number of players on the fringes of the first team linked with transfers elsewhere in the hope of earning more consistent minutes.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has talked up the transfer business being done by Aston Villa this month whilst bemoaning his side’s lack of cutting edge in terms of recruitment amid Aston Villa’s imminent landing of Blues target Lucas Digne.
It’s been suggested Chelsea were only willing to sign the Everton man on loan, potentially paving the way for him to move to Villa Park on a permanent deal.
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Steven Gerrard has also completed a deal to land Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona until the end of the season and Tuchel said he was impressed by the work being done by the Midlands club, per Birmingham Live.
“I don’t know if I have a good answer to this one,” he said when asked about the January window.
“I don’t know honestly. I have the feeling that Villa is very busy and finding good opportunities to strengthen their squad. Other teams are actually maybe pretty happy with what they have. We, in general, are very happy.”
According to Fabrizio Romano, speculation linking Ryan Bertrand with a shock return to Chelsea is looking unlikely Blues board seemingly uninterested in having the leftback return to Stamford Bridge.
The left-back moved to Leicester City from Southampton in the summer, although he’s struggled for regular minutes and been short of his best when handed chances.
A possible move back to Chelsea – where Bertrand played in the academy – has been suggested, as the Blues only have one senior left-back available in the form of Marcos Alonso.
But Romano said there are “no talks or contacts as he’s still expected to stay at Leicester.” It’s added there is “no update” on the Blues’ attempt to bring Emerson back from his loan spell with Lyon.
Tuchel is understandably left frustrated with the West Londoner’s inability to add more personnel to the left-back position thus far. “We know it’s a difficult situation we’ll have to deal with. Everyone in the club understands this, of course the season is very much open, still a whole lot to play for. This is of course the major focus for us here” Tuchel said in response to Chelsea’s delayed winter transfers.
Meanwhile, AC Milan are interested in landing Malang Sarr this January.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Sport Witness), Chelsea centre-back Malang Sarr is a priority target for AC Milan in January.
The San Siro outfit are short of defensive options, with Simon Kjaer to miss the rest of the season through injury.
As a result, they are expected to target a centre-back in the current window and with Lille’s Sven Botman unlikely to move on, Sarr is said to be an alternative that’s high up on the list of technical director Paolo Maldini.
Sarr has featured primarily in cup competitions for the Blues this season and has made just one start in the Premier League.