Denis Zakaria could return to Juventus at the end of the season, with Chelsea reluctant to exercise the buy option in his loan contract at Stamford Bridge, according to Florian Plettenberg.
Zakaria has impressed for the Blues when he has been on the pitch, but recurring injury problems have limited his game time.
Zakaria joined Chelsea in a transfer deadline-day move last summer, with the Blues looking to plug the gap in midfield after failing to finalise moves for any of their top targets.
However, the Switzerland international has been restricted to just ten appearances in all competitions due to injury.
Despite scoring on his Champions League debut against Dinamo Zagreb, the 26-year-old could return to the Italian giants next summer, with Chelsea keen to explore other options.
Having splurged heavily last summer and in the January transfer window, midfield remains an unresolved part of Chelsea’s squad rebuild.
Enzo Fernandez completed a mega-money move to London on deadline day during the winter market, but that only solved half of Chelsea’s midfield problems.
The Argentine sensation is more accustomed to playing in a pivot but is also versatile enough to slot in as a lone defensive midfielder when needed.
However, Chelsea are in the market for a new number six to provide cover for the 21-year-old, especially with N’Golo Kante struggling with injuries as he approaches the twilight of his career.
Having failed in their pursuit of Brighton & Hove Albion’s Moises Caicedo in January, the Blues have prioritised a midfield signing for the summer market.
Caicedo has since pledged his long-term future to the Seagulls with a significant pay rise that reflects his importance to Roberto De Zerbi’s squad, but that is unlikely to deter Chelsea.
However, in addition to splashing the cash, they will need to fend off interest from Manchester United and Liverpool for the impressive Ecuadorian.
Meanwhile, the Blues also hold a long-term interest in West Ham United’s Declan Rice.
However, reports suggest the Englishman, who will command a fee in excess of £100 million, is leaning towards a move to league leaders Arsenal.
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