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Aston Villa to raid Chelsea of two star players amid FFP worry as Enzo Maresca faces big decision

Incoming Chelsea manager, Enzo Maresca
-Credit: (Image: 2024 CameraSport)


Enzo Maresca is expected to be confirmed as the new Chelsea boss after agreeing a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge, replacing Mauricio Pochettino at the helm.

No sooner after getting to grips with his surroundings, Maresca will be tasked with some big calls over the futures of individuals in his first-team squad. With finances tight, it has been widely reported that the Blues could sell Academy graduates to boost the summer transfer budget, as these sales would represent 'pure profit' on the balance sheet.

Capital may well need to be raised from player exits, with The Mirror claiming the Blues are looking to strengthen their squad this summer by bringing in a new No.9 and centre-half. It is suggested they also wish to strengthen other parts of the backline and potentially the goalkeeper position.

Conor Gallagher is one name who continues to be linked with a move away from the club, with Tottenham Hotspur understood to be keen on the midfielder. The Mirror report also claims Aston Villa are eyeing the England international, as well as Reece James, as they look to continue improving under Unai Emery.

Chelsea's need to comply with the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability rules could impact what comes next, with sales of homegrown players counting as pure profit. Maresca, who previously worked at Manchester City ’s academy, has a history of working with young players and the report claims this was one thing that attracted Chelsea to the Italian.

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If true that could hint at senior players departing, although even then there are no guarantees either Gallagher or James will leave. Maresca may also be hesitant to strengthen a rival he will be wanting to catch, with Villa finishing fourth, in the final Champions League qualification spot, last season.

Of the view Maresca will have his work cut out for him due to Chelsea's lack of a clear strategy, Jose Mourinho summed up his feelings of the Blues' current state by telling TNT Sports: "I have no idea. I have no idea. Tottenham, I have an idea. This is Tottenham: always fighting to be fourth, which would be amazing between the fourth, fifth and sixth. Next season Europa League. Of course, they can win it.

"They look [to have] stability, they are investing more, amazing club, amazing facilities, such a beautiful stadium, you can feel it," added Mourinho on Spurs. "Chelsea, I really don’t know."