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How Chelsea tried to sign their own player Emerson Palmieri for £4m - and failed!

13:26 IST 20/01/2022
Emerson Chelsea 2020-21
The Blues have been keen to bring in a wing-back amid problems with both injury and Covid in their squad

Chelsea's primary focus in the January transfer window has been to replace Ben Chilwell, who has had to have surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament and is out for the season.

Thomas Tuchel quickly decided that recalling Emerson Palmieri from his loan spell at Lyon was his best solution to fixing the problem.

However, due to Lyon's agreement having no recall clause, Chelsea have had to negotiate to effectively re-sign him - and have been knocked back following protracted talks.

Why did Chelsea want Emerson back?

Emerson is an Italy international who understands the demands of playing in Tuchel's team. He is also fully able to play as a left wing-back, while his attitude was seen as first class behind the scenes last season despite his fringe role in the squad.

Tuchel even went public on his desire to see the Brazil-born defender return.

"We are looking into it because we now have a new situation with Ben Chilwell so of course, we look into whether we can do something and what we can do," he said on December 31.

"One of the possibilities and players we know and that we love as a person is Emerson, but we need to check. We are not into details. We are discussing and reflecting and this will go on for the coming days, maybe weeks."

The 27-year-old would have been happy to return, but is also appreciative that his loan has given him the chance to play regularly at a high level.

How much did Chelsea offer Lyon for Emerson's return?

Chelsea offered more than £4 million ($5m) in compensation for breaking the agreement with the Ligue 1 club.

However, manager Peter Bosz went public and said: "We will keep Emerson."

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has backed his coach by refusing approaches from Chelsea, knowing it will be hard for them to find a replacement of the same level.

Will Chelsea try to sign a new left-back?

Chelsea were interested in Lucas Digne but stopped short of making any offers after it became clear that Aston Villa were willing to pay £25m ($34M) for the former Everton defender.

They have also been offered PSG's Layvin Kurzawa, but Tuchel isn't too excited about the option to bring him in.

Sergino Dest is possibly the best option due to Barcelona's willingness to negotiate and reduce their wage commitments.

He can also play on both sides with Reece James currently injured, although the England international has stepped up his recovery this week.

With so much uncertainty around transfer targets, the Blues have opted to recall Kenedy who can play left wing-back, although he prefers to play in forward areas.

He is effectively an insurance policy for the club after his underwhelming loan spell at Brazilian giants Flamengo.

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