Chelsea one step closer to completing first Enzo Maresca transfer as decision finally confirmed

New Chelsea manager Enzo Maresca
-Credit: (Image: Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

Fulham have confirmed that defender Tosin Adarabioyo will leave the club at the end of the month. The player is one of many to exit Craven Cottage once his contract expires, with Chelsea set to sign the 26-year-old.

The Blues swooped in ahead of Newcastle to agree a deal with Adarabioyo, and he could become the first summer signing for new manager Enzo Maresca. He will effectively take the place of Thiago Silva in the Chelsea squad once it is announced.

In a statement, Fulham confirmed the news that had long been known. They wrote: "Tosin joined the Club on deadline day at the start of the 2020/21 season, and quickly established himself as a key member of Scott Parker’s side.

"While that campaign ended in disappointment, the following year was far more prosperous, with Tosin named in the PFA & EFL Teams of the Season as Fulham won the league. He continued to be a regular presence in our backline as the team comfortably secured Premier League safety in each of the subsequent two campaigns.

"Tosin also chipped in with his share of goals, scoring five times in his 132 matches." Before joining Fulham Adarabioyo had spent time on loans at Blackburn and West Brom.

He started out at the Manchester City academy, though, where he will have come across current Chelsea figures Laurence Stewart and Joe Shields. There was a brief overlap as well with Maresca, who managed the development squad at City, although Adarabioyo left two months after the Italian joined and never played under him.

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Cole Palmer and Romeo Lavia were also in the City setup at the time but were in younger age groups. Chelsea had already been monitoring Adarabioyo before Maresca became favourite to replace Mauricio Pochettino as manager though, understands.

His impending arrival will also have no impact on Trevoh Chalobah's future. The Cobham graduate is one more up for sale regardless.