Thomas Tuchel has already made his mind up regarding the £30m option Chelsea possess in the contract of Saul Niguez, according to a report.
The Spaniard, 26, was a deadline day loan signing from Atletico Madrid. A loan fee of around £3.5m was paid, though the option to make the move permanent for £30m was included.
Breaking into Tuchel’s midfield was always going to be an uphill struggle. Midfield trio N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic have proven theselves tried and trusted performers.
However, his initial difficulties have been greater than many might have expected. Furthermore, the likes of Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have recently been selected instead.
And with Conor Gallagher earning rave reviews on loan at Crystal Palace and Billy Gilmour developing at Norwich, precisely where Saul fits into the club’s long-term plans remains unclear.
As such, Caught Offside (citing Spanish outlet Todofichajes) claim Tuchel and Chelsea have already decided against triggering Saul’s option.
Whether the outlet can be fully trusted, only time will tell. Todofichajes are known for being on the lighter side of journalistic integrity.
And with eight months of the season remaining, there is still plenty of time for Saul to adapt.
Perhaps the more pressing issue is whether Saul will be given enough chances to impress after his sluggish start relegated him down the pecking order.
Chelsea target would cost new transfer record
Meanwhile, RB Leipzig want Chelsea target Christopher Nkunku to rank as their record sale ahead of Liverpool’s Naby Keita.
The Bundesliga club have a reputation of selling their best talent. But they do so having turned those stars into some of Europe’s hottest prospects. Indeed, in the most recent transfer window, they let go of Dayot Upamecano, Ibrahima Konate and Marcel Sabitzer.
Konate moved to Liverpool and the Reds snapped his team-mate Keita up for – as Bild reports – a previous club-record fee of around €60million (£51million).
23-year-old Nkunku plays as an attacking midfielder or a wide forward and has netted nine goals in 10 games this season.
Chelsea, led by owner Roman Abramovich, have subsequently registered interest alongside Manchester City.