Enzo Maresca conflict mooted as Chelsea star he ‘really likes’ is made ‘available for transfer’

Lewis Oldham
Chelsea Maresca
New Chelsea head coach Enzo Maresca.

New head coach Enzo Maresca is reportedly in disagreement with Chelsea over a player he “really likes” as the board have made him “available for transfer”.

On Monday afternoon, Chelsea announced the appointment of Maresca after the inexperienced former Manchester City coach guided Leicester City to the Championship title in his first season as a head coach.

Todd Boehly and the rest of Chelsea’s board have boldly opted to give Maresca a five-year contract. Given how much Stamford Bridge has descended into a circus in recent years, it would be surprising if he lasts a season at the Premier League giants.

Maresca has been appointed after Chelsea needlessly decided to sack Mauricio Pochettino. He departed despite guiding the club to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League and the Carabao Cup final.

Pochettino’s replacement will do well to match his predecessor’s achievements next season, but it is noted by Caught Offside that he is ‘immediately at odds’ with Chelsea’s hierachy regarding goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.

Chelsea invested around £25m to sign Sanchez from Premier League rivals Brighton last summer and he endured a difficult debut season at Stamford Bridge.

Despite this, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano claims Maresca has told Chelsea that he “really likes” Sanchez. He said: “Understand Chelsea new coach Maresca told the board that he really likes Robert Sánchez.

“Maresca, looking forward to working with Spanish GK next season as he believes Robert is ready for next phase of his career.

“Chelsea expect Sánchez to stay at the club this summer.”

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However, GiveMeSport journalist Dean Jones is of the understanding that Sanchez ‘will be available for transfer this summer’ and he has mentioned several potential replacements.

‘The goalkeeper position is another area Pochettino had concerns with, but while Aaron Ramsdale or Jordan Pickford would have been in his mind as great options, it is felt Chelsea’s profiling around this might be changing,’ Jones reported.

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‘Robert Sanchez will be available for transfer this summer while Djordje Petrovic remains a player that is admired but can not be guaranteed the No.1 shirt. It is felt Maresca is very comfortable with the strengths Petrovic displays yet the process to identifying other stoppers is ongoing.

‘It could be that they decide to sign a direct young competitor but if they go for proven keepers there are a few that have been explored. Emi Martinez of Aston Villa is the most top-end keeper Chelsea could target if they do shop in England but if they are looking for value then options in Europe and South America are in view.

‘Brazilian stopper Bento of Athletico Paranaense is a player that has been extensively scouted while Chelsea also like Unai Simon, who just signed an extended contract with Athletic Bilbao, and Porto’s £65million-valued Diogo Costa. In England, Burnley’s James Trafford is rated at £20million but since relegation to the Championship, he is also being offered to various clubs at the moment.’

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