Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has been told to ignore the temptation of signing Mateo Kovacic, who has spent the season on loan at Stamford Bridge, and instead spend money on players that can make the difference.
Chelsea are currently banned from registering new players for the next two transfer windows – this summer and January 2020 – after breaching rules relating to the signings of teenage players.
The Blues have appealed the ban by FIFA and a decision on Chelsea’s appeal is expected soon.
Kovacic has made 47 appearances for Chelsea this season and Sarri revealed last month that he wants to keep the Croatian.
Sarri said last month: “He is only on loan, of course, but I’d like very much that Kovacic will stay with us. In my opinion, Kovacic could become a very good central midfielder.”
Former Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood believes Sarri should scrap plans of signing Kovacic permanently and instead sign players who can win games for Chelsea.
Kovacic has scored no goals this season and has contributed just two assists for the Blues.
Sherwood told Premier League Productions: “Who’s going to be there next year? Is Eden Hazard? (Gonzalo) Higuain’s not going to be there. Kovacic? There’s so many uncertainties with Chelsea. It’s exciting times.
“I think what they need to do, especially with the embargo – I know they’re going to appeal it but as it stands they get two blocks, they cannot buy players in the next two windows. They’re going to have to find a different way.
“They’ve got the best academy in the Premier League bar none. Them kids are ready to play.
“Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, the two boys on loan with Frank Lampard at Derby, they’re ready to dip their toe and come in.
“Do not block up the pathway with average players like Kovacic and people like that, don’t do that.
“Go and spend your money on the make-the-difference player, like a Van Dijk what Liverpool did.
“I think it will be very positive if they go that way. At least they’d have an identity going forward, it’s a complete contrast to what they’ve done over the last 10 to 15 years.”