ZOLA TALKS ABOUT TWO PLAYERS THAT MIGHT LEAVE CHELSEA THIS JANUARY

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The future of a number of Chelsea players are in doubts having lost their place in the team since Maurizio Sarri’s appointment as Chelsea manager.

Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill has been out of the Chelsea team and doesn’t seem to be part of Sarri’s plans this season.

The 33-year-old is being linked with an exit from the club this January, and Arsenal have been rumoured to be interested in the Chelsea skipper who has just six months left on his contract. However, Cahill seems to be on his way to fellow Londoners Fulham.

Cahill is the longest serving member of the current squad, and besides David Luiz who left and rejoined the club, Cahill is the only surviving player from our 2012 Champions League triumph.

Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola has huge respect for the skipper, and admits that he could leave this January.

“Gary has been outstanding,” he said.

“I never worked with him before, but I knew from the outside everybody rated him very highly as a professional and as a person. There is this possibility [of him leaving], and there is no doubt it would be a big loss for us.

“It could be a good move for him. His contract expires in six months and he has to look after himself. From what I have come to know about him, I really wish he is going to do extremely well.”

Another player who could be on his way out of the club this January transfer window is Cesc Fabregas. Rumours claim Fabregas might play his last game for Chelsea against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, with Monaco keen on signing the Spaniard who has just six months left on his contract.

Sarri sees Fabregas as an important member of the squad and a direct replacement for Jorginho, but Fabregas is said to be keen on moving to Monaco this January to help former teammate Thierry Henry rebuild a struggling Monaco side, having been unable to break into Sarri’s team.

Photo: Getty Images

Zola spoke about speculations concerning Fabregas’ future and failed to confirm if the midfielder will stay at Chelsea beyond January.

Zola said: “Cesc has always been a wonderful professional ever since I have been here. I don’t know to be honest. You are asking me a question I wish could answer.

“His contract runs out in six months and I don’t know how it is going to go but despite that, I know if he plays tomorrow he will as usual deliver a good performance.”

Fabregas who joined in 2014 seemed to have waved the fans goodbye after the goalless draw with Southampton on Wednesday.

Callum Hudson-Odoi is another player that’s being linked with a move away from Chelsea, with German champions Bayern Munich keen on signing him as his contract will end in the summer of 2020.

Bayern have had two bids rejected for the highly-rated teenager, and Zola has urged the 18-year-old to keep his mind focused on Chelsea, warning that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Zola said: “This coach likes to work with young players and improves them day by day. Callum can improve here and we are going to spend time to make him better, and if he stays here I am sure he will play games. If he keeps improving the way he is improving, he will play, and he will play a lot.

“We have two players, very good players but they are both over 30: Pedro and Willian. We value them a lot but we know there will be a moment in which probably Callum is going to come and overtake them. It’s important to think about this.”

“He has to think long-term,” Zola continued. “I know it’s very difficult when you are young and you think about what is going to happen tomorrow, but you have to be thinking after that.

“You have already started a process in which you have to probably wait a little bit, but I wouldn’t say too long. Or the alternative is to go somewhere else, and it will be the same. You will have to start again. You think you are going to go to a big team and go straight into the team, but it doesn’t work that way.”

About the Author

VICTOR N
Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.