Chelsea face second transfer blow with Marina Granovskaia forced to alter plans again

Tuchel on Chelsea's title chances

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Chelsea transfer chief Marina Granovskaia has been forced to alter her transfer plans for a second time after failing in her attempts to bring Emerson Palmieri back to Stamford Bridge. Granovskaia had already missed out on signing Everton left-back Lucas Digne, who joined Aston Villa this week.

The Blues were dealt a huge blow at left wing-back in the autumn after Ben Chilwell suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage during his side’s 4-0 Champions League win over Juventus.

The England international initially avoided an operation in an attempt to allow the injury to heal itself.

But it didn’t get better and Chilwell now looks set to miss the rest of the season after going under the knife.

And Spain international Marcos Alonso is now Chelsea’s only natural left sided defender.

Chelsea had been linked with Digne prior to his move to Villa Park after the France international had suffered a public falling out with Everton boss Rafa Benitez.

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The Frenchman had been dropped from the Toffees side as he angled for a move away from Goodison Park.

But it was the Villains who ended up securing his services after shelling out £25million for the 28-year-old.

The west Londoners then approached Lyon to try and cut Palmieri’s loan deal short.

But the Ligue 1 club have rebuffed Chelsea’s approaches so far with head coach Peter Bosz confirming Emerson will be staying in France.

He said: “Yes, we will keep Emerson.”

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The Blues had already tried with a bid of £3.3m to test Lyon’s resolve, but Chelsea will now have to look elsewhere.

Earlier this week, Chelsea recalled left-sided attacker Kenedy from a loan spell with Brazilian side Flamengo.

And boss Thomas Tuchel admits the player now has the perfect opportunity to take his big chance if called upon.

“Kenedy is back – I’m very happy about it,” Tuchel said. “It’s a huge opportunity for him to make his mark at this club and in this team.

“We will try now from today on to push and support him as good as we can. You cannot say that Kenedy is the solution – he can be a solution.

“But the situation has not changed. We have long-term injuries with wing-backs, we’ve suffered a lot in midfield with Covid and injuries.

“Now our midfielders are more or less coming back we suffer a lot with our central defenders.

“Nothing has changed but it needs to make sense, it needs to be possible, it needs to make sense on a high level and also in quality, personality.

“We have a look at the market and nothing has changed – we have all options, also the option to say no.”

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