Report: Pochettino to put 5 players up for sale in January

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Chelsea appear to have lined up their first deal ahead the upcoming transfer window, with Mauricio Pochettino eager to further bolster his midfield. football.london understands that the Blues are not looking to sell many players in January, however there is a possibility that one or two youngsters are sent out on loan.

After offloading 23 players in the summer on either a permanent or temporary basis, the Chelsea boss seems content with his first-team squad and the options at his disposal. However, with Romeo Lavia still yet to return from injury while Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo are rarely given a rest, a new midfielder would be a much-welcomed addition.

According to the Evening Standard, Andrey Santo is expected to be recalled by the west Londoners from his loan spell at Nottingham Forest in January. The 19-year-old was a staple in the Chelsea starting lineup during pre-season but, despite impressing, he was shipped out on loan following the signing of Lesley Ugochukwu from Stade Rennais.

Santos has played just seven minutes in the Premier League since moving to Forest, with a single start coming in the Carabao Cup. The report states that the Blues can cancel the loan deal should the Brazil international fail to reach a certain number of appearances by January.

The Evening Standard add that even if Santos does exceed the threshold of required appearances, Chelsea and Forest would ‘work for a mutually beneficial solution’. Should the teenager return to Stamford Bridge, he would face tough competition for places in the middle of the park from Conor Gallagher, Caicedo, Fernandez, Lavia and Ugochukwu.

However, as proven in October and earlier this month, the South American duo have returned from international duty late and often tired from the long haul flights. Santos would be an excellent addition to the Blues side, as he proved in the summer.

As mentioned, Chelsea could very well find him a new loan until the end of the season – but there’s a problem. New FIFA regulations state clubs can only have seven players out on overseas loans at once, and the west Londoners have already reached their limit.

So unless one of Chelsea’s current overseas loans are cancelled – which potentially comes with a financial penalty – then Santos will only be able to join an English team on loan. Pochettino will now be ruing the club’s decision to not permanently offload Romelu Lukaku, Hakim Ziyech, and Kepa Arrizabalaga in the summer.

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