Mauricio Pochettino to take bigger role in Chelsea’s transfer business

<span>Photograph: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Mauricio Pochettino is taking greater responsibility for Chelsea’s transfer business and has said he is already making plans to strengthen his side in January.

Chelsea have spent £1bn on signings under the ownership of Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, who have installed a new recruitment team since buying the club last year. Last summer’s transfer business was led by the club’s co-sporting directors, Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, with input from Joe Shields, the co-director of recruitment and talent.

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The focus was on signing young players but Chelsea are open to signing more experienced players for Pochettino, who took over as head coach in July. They want a striker in January and are interested in Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Brentford’s Ivan Toney, who is also a target for Arsenal.

“The good thing is the relationship and communication is very good with the sporting directors and owners,” Pochettino said. “When the transfer window was closed I said I need to be more involved now in all the decisions. I have started to work to identify what we need for January.”

Chelsea, who are 14th in the Premier League before visiting Fulham on Monday, have struggled for goals and their attack has suffered from Christopher Nkunku sustaining a serious knee injury during pre-season.

“Football is very dynamic and it is about the present always,” Pochettino said. “Things can change until January. We need to work to recover Nkunku and Armando Broja to try to provide the team with more goals and become solid. But, of course, we have already started to work [on transfers].”

Chelsea could be without 11 players against Fulham and Pochettino said he was concerned Ben Chilwell’s hamstring injury was serious. The left-back is awaiting the results of a scan after limping off during the win over Brighton in the Carabao Cup.

“The doctor told me it’s not a good thing, it looks a bad injury,” Pochettino said. “We need to assess in the next few days and we will see the period he will be absent. It doesn’t look good.”

Chilwell, who will be out of next month’s England squad, missed last year’s World Cup with a torn hamstring. Pochettino said his vice-captain’s latest injury was to the same leg.