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Trevoh Chalobah Chelsea exit 'confirmed' as shock agreement reached with final step taken

Chelsea defender Trevoh Chalobah
-Credit: (Image: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)


Chelsea are just over two weeks away from the summer transfer window opening and they are yet to hire a new manager. Although the first-team head coach vacancy is soon to be filled, there is plenty of work to be done before things are in shape for the new season.

The Blues will be preparing their squad for the tour of America in a little over one month's time without the advice of a manager as Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley (co-sporting directors) continue on their mission to deliver the best young players in the world. The brief for the incoming boss will be not to advise on these targets but simply to use the ones given to them.

It is a system that saw Mauricio Pochettino frustrated with a lack of senior options being pursued. How the next manager deals with it may well be central to whether they go on to last longer than the third permanent Chelsea head coach of the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership.

Here, football.london brings a take on the latest on the news around Chelsea.

Chalobah impact

Chelsea have made late contact with Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo over a possible summer move, Sky Sports suggests. The player is set to leave Craven Cottage at the end of his contract next month.

He has been attracting interest from Newcastle, Tottenham, and Manchester United but Chelsea are said to have offered the 26-year-old a deal themselves. It comes with his past in the Manchester City academy overlapping with that of Cole Palmer, Romeo Lavia, and also incoming head coach Enzo Maresca.

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Recruitment chief Joe Shields was also involved in the set-up at the same time as Adarabioyo. Chelsea, on the other hand, have already seen Thiago Silva exit their ranks.

football.london says: One free transfer centre-back goes and another arrives. No pressure son, but Adarabioyo has Silva as the gold standard for this type of deal to live up to.

He really is quite a good option though on this type of deal. Adarabioyo is a reliable English defender with experience in the top flight. He has been trained by the City academy which is a good sign and comes in at over 6ft4 tall.

The issue is that Chelsea have a player already superior to Adarabioyo in Trevoh Chalobah. He is a senior international, two years younger, more versatile, already owned by the club, and on a long contract.

In the accounts he's pure profit though and selling Chalobah for £30million or more and replacing him with Adarabioyo is the sort of business the owners are after. It's hard to see the pair co-existing. If Chelsea do bring in new central defender then it will surely confirm an exit for Chalobah, even if it is senseless.

Maresca deal agreed

Leicester City boss Maresca is closing in on becoming the new Chelsea manager. He has been granted permission to speak to the Blues over a possible deal and an agreement has reportedly been made.

The Italian will sign a five year deal, it is said, and bring with him former Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero. All that is left to be finalised is the compensation that Leicester will receive in the deal, and it is expected to be around £9million.

After Kieran McKenna dropped out of the race - he is said to be on the verge of committing himself to Ipswich Town in the long run - it was down to Thomas Frank or Maresca, with some suggestions that Roberto De Zerbi was never truly in the race.

football.london says: Okay, hands up if seven days ago you had Maresca to replace Pochettino. Even when the Leicester boss was mentioned in the initial shortlist it never seemed likely.

As the week has gone on though, the 44-year-old's name never went away. Increasingly the reasons behind just why Chelsea would want him became clear.

Maresca knows people. He knows Pep Guardiola, he's worked with Shields before, he managed Palmer and Lavia. He knows possession football. He is a coach above all else, with tactical ideas that are easy to clip up and put on social media. He is even doing his best to look like Guardiola, for crying out loud.

Whether these are good enough reasons to warrant his appointment is another matter entirely. Frankly, there's probably good reason his name was immediately dismissed by many.

The red flags of a circuit, build-up heavy Italian coach with pretty much no top level management history are obvious. Chelsea are willing to risk overcoming these though with the knowledge that a failure here would be catastrophic evidence of the project's failure so far.

It's a lot of trust to put on a manager that has not yet done anything exceptional (winning the Championship with the best team in the Championship just doesn't count, especially not with the mid-season combustion). So Chelsea have made their bed, now they must lie in it.