Leandro Paredes, Nicolo Barella and the midfielders who could replace Cesc Fabregas at Chelsea – Football.London
Cesc Fabregas has left Chelsea.
His move to Monaco has finally been confirmed, with head coach Maurizio Sarri having suggested that the midfielder would not leave Stamford Bridge until a replacement was lined up.
It now appears that a successor is on their way to fill the void left in his squad as a back up to Jorginho.
Signed from Barcelona in 2014, Fabregas had to make do with a bit-part role at Stamford Bridge this term following the arrival of the Napoli midfielder.
After deciding to run down his deal down in west London, the Spaniard was able to agree a deal to join Monaco rather than leave on a free transfer in the summer.
He will be reunited with his former Arsenal teammate Thierry Henry in Ligue 1, who is now manager in Monte Carlo, amid talk that he could make a switch to AC Milan.
“If Cesc goes of course we will need a replacement,” said Sarri ahead of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final clash against Tottenham Hotspur.
“Now with the midfielders we are in trouble I think because I don’t know the situation of Loftus, if it is serious or not.
“Without Cesc we are only 5 so we are in trouble. We need a replacement of course.”
Italian publication Corriere dello Sport, as translated by Sport Witness, report that the Blues are looking to sign one of Cagliari’s Nicolo Barella or Zenit’s Leandro Paredes.
While the Blues still have plenty of time to bring in a new player, the report claims that they want to get a deal over the line in the next week.
Here we look at potential players that could arrive in SW6 now that the ex-Barcelona man has moved on.
Cagliari midfielder Barella is also be another option for Chelsea after making a huge impression in Serie A.
Linked with the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United recently, it appears that the 21-year-old will be on the move in the not too distant future going on his recent form.
Now an Italy international after making his debut against Ukraine back in October, Barella has previously said that he would be open to a move to the Premier League.
However, as much as the midfielder would like to come to England, Chelsea may have a tough time trying to convince his side to part ways with him in January.
A box-to-box midfielder with an eye for a pass and great vision, the ex-Como loanee is valued at €50million, although that fee could continue to rise if he keeps up his recent performances.
It’s been a season to forget for Julian Weigl so far despite Borussia Dortmund topping the Bundesliga.
Disrupted by injuries ahead of this campaign, the German midfielder has only made eight appearances for his side this season with Lucien Favre sticking with Axel Witsel and Thomas Delaney in the middle of the park.
Previously linked with a move to Man City, the 23-year-old’s name may just be in the headlines a lot more over the coming weeks with the transfer window set to open.
Valued at £68million by his club, Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal and Roma have also been linked with a move for the midfielder recently.
Very good on the ball like Fabregas, Weigl would certainly fit into Sarri’s side at Chelsea if they tried their luck to sign him.
Although the clubs do have a good relationship following Michy Batshuayi’s loan move to the Westfalenstadion 12 months ago, the club’s valuation of Weigl may see Chelsea looks elsewhere.
Amadou Diawara may be another player on Sarri’s radar if Fabregas does end up leaving Chelsea in January.
The Chelsea boss knows all about the Guinean footballer after luring him to the Stadio San Paolo from Bologna back in 2016.
In and out of the team under Sarri in Naples, the 21-year-old, who has made 10 appearances under Carlo Ancelotti this season, has recently been linked with a move to Spurs and Wolves.
However, it seems that anyone interested in Diawara will struggle to sign him unless they offer Napoli a huge deal.
“Napoli consider him a top player,” said his agent Daniele Piraino, as reported by HITC .
“Naples will not accept proposals of less than €50 million (£44.24m), a figure for great players.
“Moreover, if Diawara were to leave, then he would do so only for a club of equal or better renown, with similar objectives, and not to take a step back.”
Frenkie de Jong
Frenkie de Jong’s next move looks set to dominate the headlines come the summer.
Looking guaranteed to depart Ajax in a big-money transfer at the end of the season, the likes of Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Man City have all been linked with the midfielder in recent months.
Barca appear to be at the front of the queue at present, although the likes of PSG and City could potentially try and blow them out of the water by submitting huge bids.
De Jong would be an excellent option to replace Fabregas having made quite a name for himself in the heart of Ajax’s midfield.
Comfortable on the ball and with a great range of passing, De Jong looks set to be a big name in the game over the next few years.
Houssem Aouar is another player that has made quite a name for himself over the past 12 months.
Watched very closely by Liverpool in the past, Man City are also believed to be keen on the Lyon ace after impressing against them in the Champions League.
Speaking after the 2-2 draw between the sides, Pep Guardiola said: “Houssem Aouar is a very good player, he is incredible.
“We talk a lot about Ndombele but Aouar is also excellent. He’s always very calm with the ball at his feet, with an excellent technical quality.”
Similar in terms of Fabregas as he is excellent on the ball with an eye for a pass, coming to terms with Lyon for the 20-year-old may prove to be incredibly tricky with Jean-Michel Aulas known to be a very tough negotiator.
However, he may well favour a move to the Etihad Stadium from his boyhood club after waxing lyrical about City’s style of play under Guardiola
Another player in Ligue 1 who may interest Sarri is Marseille star Morgan Sanson.
Linked with Arsenal and Spurs last summer, the player’s agent, Michael Manuello, revealed that Chelsea were also interested in the 24-year-old.
“Tottenham really follow Morgan, Arsenal follow him too,” he said. “Now I do not know what Unai Emery will want.
“Chelsea will not advance more than that [their interest]. They will go on to other things.”
Signed for an initial €9m from Montpellier in 2017, Sanson would move on for a lot more going on his performances for the French giants.
Chipping in with nine goals in Ligue 1 last season for Marseille, the midfielder, who looks destined to win his first international cap for France sooner rather than later, has found the net three times for his side this campaign.
PSV midfielder Jorrit Hendrix could be another option Chelsea to look at if Fabregas moves on in January.
Impressing in the Eredivisie for his side, the 23-year-old would be a cheaper option to fellow countryman De Jong as his contract runs out at the end of next season.
Hendrix has impressed in his home country and has been linked with Spurs and West Ham previously.
While Chelsea’s Marco van Ginkel could help the Blues out after playing alongside the midfielder at PSV, he may tell Hendrix to looks elsewhere going on his own experience at Stamford Bridge.
Wolves pulled off a major coup in 2017 after luring Ruben Neves to the club from Porto.
Playing a major role in their return to the top flight for the first time since 2012, the Portuguese player scored a number of fine goals for the club last season, including his stunning effort against Derby County at Molineux.
Neves has done fairly well in the Premier League this term, although he was dropped against Fulham on Boxing Day, and has been linked with a move to both Man City and Manchester United.
A talented player who would fit in very well at Chelsea under Sarri, Wolves would want big money if they were to cash in on their star player.
Barcelona ace Denis Suarez could be possibly arrive at the club next month to take the place of Fabregas.
The 24-year-old’s future at the Nou Camp looks all but over and a transfer either next month or in the summer looks very likely to happen.
Making only six appearances for Barca so far this campaign, with only two of those coming in La Liga, Suarez revealed earlier in the month that he would look at his situation if his time on the pitch does not improve.
Comfortable on the ball and able to chip in with a few goals now and then, Sarri knows all about the player after trying to lure him to Italy on more than one occasion during his time as Napoli boss.
Reportedly offered to Arsenal for £14million, the talented midfielder wouldn’t cost the Blues a lot if Sarri did try and bring him to west London in January.
Reports suggest that Paredes is now on Sarri’s radar after impressing at Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Starting his career back in his home country with Boca Juniors, the Chelsea boss knows all about the 24-year-old following his time in Italy with Chievo and Roma.
Good on the ball and with an eye for a pass, Paredes would certainly be a good acquisition for the club but he would cost a fair bit with many valuing him around €50m.
However, it seems he has his eyes on a move elsewhere if he does end up leaving Russia.
“The defeat in the final of Copa Libertadores, against River Plate, made me want to return to Boca Juniors,” he told Radio La Red (via Calciomercato).
“I have already talked to Burdisso about it and I would return immediately, but it doesn’t only depend on me.
“Truth be told, there are few possibilities as Zenit don’t want to sell me.”
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