Chelsea would need to sell Eden Hazard, Willian or Pedro to satisfy Callum Hudson-Odoi, says Maurizio Sarri

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Maurizio Sarri says Chelsea would have to sell one of their established wingers in order to satisfy Callum Hudson-Odoi‘s desire for immediate first-team action.

Teenage prospect Hudson-Odoi has grown restless at Stamford Bridge and handed in a January transfer request amid offers from German champions Bayern Munich.

The 18-year-old, who has yet to start a Premier League match, seized a rare opportunity by scoring the Blues’ final goal in Thursday’s 3-0 Europa League victory over Swedish club Malmo, wrapping up a 5-1 aggregate success.

But manager Sarri called for patience, explaining that he would need to allow Pedro, Willian or Eden Hazard to depart to accommodate Hudson-Odoi now.

“You need to understand that, in the same position, we have Pedro, Willian and Hazard,” said Sarri.

“I want to remind you that Callum, with this one (against Malmo), played 14 matches.

“There isn’t in England another 18-year-old player with 14 matches in the first team. So I think that we are using him in the right way at the moment.

“Of course, the 20 matches this season will be 30 matches in the next, and 40 in two years.

“If I am at the club and I want Callum to play consistently, I have to sell another winger. Otherwise the manager is in trouble.”

Chelsea were unimpressive during a dour opening period against Malmo, before second-half strikes from Olivier Giroud, Ross Barkley and Huson-Odoi prevented further pressure being heaped on Sarri.

The Italian has come under increased scrutiny in west London having dropped to sixth in the league and with some Blues fans joining in with chants for him to be sacked during Monday’s FA Cup loss to Manchester United.

He has little time to enjoy progression to the last 16 in Europe as his team are set to contest Sunday’s Carabao Cup final with Manchester City attempting to avenge a 6-0 humiliation at the Etihad Stadium a fortnight ago.

Asked what will happen if his players repeat the opening half an hour of the Malmo performance against Pep Guardiola’s champions, Sarri replied: “A disaster, of course.

“We are in a difficult moment. We had problems with the fans in the last match at home, so it’s normal for the team to enter on to the pitch without confidence.

“Of course, to play our football we need confidence if we want to be in control of the match.”

There were also some jeers when Sarri introduced midfielder Jorginho as a second-half substitute on Thursday.

The Italy international, signed in the summer from Sarri’s former club Napoli, is regarded by many as embodying his manager’s ‘Sarri-ball’ philosophy, a game-plan which has recently failed to produce results and critics feel is one-dimensional.

“I think in the first 30 minutes (against Malmo) we understood why Jorginho is very important for our team. We were in trouble to exit from our half, on pressing,” he said.

“I hope that our fans will be able to understand that Jorginho, for us, is really a very important player.”

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Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo eyed by Real Madrid as Marcelo replacement

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Real Betis left-back Junior.

Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo is being targeted by Real Madrid as a replacement for Marcelo, according to AS, with the Madrid incumbent reportedly attempting to force a move to Juventus.

Marcelo’s form has dipped in recent months and there has been plenty of speculation regarding for his preference to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo again, with the duo having been close friends, and enjoyed a productive on-field relationship, while they were team-mates for Los Blancos.

Junior has caught the eye this season for Betis, starring under manager Quique Setien as the Seville club have been in the thick of the race for European places – with Betis still retaining a shot of qualifying for the Champions League, as they’re just four points behind fierce rivals Sevilla in fourth. They’re also locked in a tight battle to reach the Europa League round of 16, having gotten a 3-3 draw in the away leg of their round of 32 tie against French club Rennes ahead of Thursday’s home leg.

The 22-year-old has created 21 chances in 21 appearances across all competitions this season, with three goals and two assists.

His contract contains a €50million release clause, which should not be too much of an obstacle for Madrid, though they will face competition for Junior’s signature. Arsenal and Manchester City are both rumoured to be interested in the Spaniard.

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Barcelona target Marco Verratti set to sign new deal to keep him at PSG until 2024

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Marco Verratti is set to sign a new PSG deal.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti is on the verge of agreeing a new contract with the club, ParisTeam claims.

The Italian joined PSG in 2012 and has since blossomed into one of the best players at his position, while being part of the Paris club’s most successful era.

Verratti has won the Ligue 1 title five times in six seasons with PSG, with a sixth likely coming up this season. The club are still looking for their first Champions League triumph, with several disappointing exits from European competition during Verratti’s time at the club.

The 26-year-old has been linked with a move away from the club in the past, with Barcelona having been interested in the midfielder’s services and a return to his native Italy said to have been on the cards. Several Premier League clubs have also registered their interest in Verratti, but the player is set to end the speculation by signing a new deal at PSG.

It would be the fourth contract he has signed at the French club, with this latest deal set to keep him in Paris until 2024.

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