Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri insists the club must find a replacement for Cesc Fabregas should the midfielder move on in the January window.
Fabregas is expected to make the move to Monaco to join up with former Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry, though the clubs are currently at odds over the fee. Chelsea reportedly want £10 million for Fabregas but Monaco are unwilling to match Chelsea’s asking price for Fabregas, whose contract is set to expire at the end of the season.
Chelsea have been linked with moves for Italy international Nicolo Barella and Zenit St. Petersburg star Leandro Paredes as replacements for Fabregas.
Sarri insists moves for either Barella or Paredes must be completed in January if Fabregas leaves Chelsea for Monaco this month.
“If Cesc will go, of course we need a replacement. Now, with the midfielders we are in trouble, I think,” Sarri said.
“Without Cesc we have only five, so we are in trouble. We need a replacement.”
Various reports have claimed Fabregas has agreed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Monaco after travelling to Monaco following Chelsea’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest.
When asked about the latest on Fabregas’ move to Monaco, Sarri said: “Cesc, no. I have no news about Cesc.
“I don’t know if he is able to play tomorrow because in the last ten minutes of the last match he had cramp in the calf so he was a little bit…he needs to rest a bit but I don’t know the situation we need to see today’s training and tomorrow’s training.”
Asked to confirm rumours that Fabregas had travelled to Monaco to complete his transfer, Sarri added: “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. He had a free day for the injury, I don’t know.”
Sarri also confirmed Fabregas has received offers to leave Chelsea with the Blues unwilling to offer him a long-term deal.
Asked if he hopes to keep Fabregas despite interest from Monaco, Sarri said: “I can say only my opinion. I don’t know the decision of the club of course. In my opinion he needs to go.
“You know there is a rule for the renewal of players over 30 is usually for one year he has an offer for 2 years and I don’t want a very important player as Cesc not happy but this is only my opinion it depends on the club.”
Asked about speculation linking Chelsea with a £45million move for Barella, who is rumoured to be a replacement for Fabregas, Sarri said: “I don’t want to talk about players from other teams.”