Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has insisted Trevoh Chalobah still has a future at Stamford Bridge and has warned those in charge at the club that he will not be told otherwise.
Blues officials were open to cashing in on Chalobah during the summer and had hoped to raise close to £50m through selling him to Bayern Munich, whose determination to strike a loan deal ultimately saw the negotiations collapse.
Nottingham Forest also lodged an offer which fell short of Chelsea‘s valuation and so Chalobah, who is currently injured, ended up remaining at Stamford Bridge beyond the transfer deadline.
In the weeks that have followed, reports have emerged suggesting Chalobah could be frozen out by Pochettino amid frustration over his failed exit, but the boss has now moved to set the record straight.
“Yes, of course [Chalobah is still in his plans],” Pochettino confirmed during Friday’s press conference.
“I am Chelsea. I am the coach. His future is going to be [here]. He is in our plans. No one is going to decide for me. He is going to be involved. Now we have finished the transfer window, he is going to be involved in the decisions. Chalobah and the other players in the squad are part of my plans. Some players don’t play, but that is my choice.”
Asked whether he had spoken to Chalobah, Pochettino added: “Yes I say ‘hello’ today like all of the players, but specifically about this, there is nothing to talk to him about this. He is a Chelsea player and he will have the same opportunities as the other.”
Chalobah is one of six centre-backs in Pochettino’s squad, although Wesley Fofana is a long-term absentee through injury and Benoit Badiashile has joined Chalobah in the treatment room in the early weeks of the season.
Finding minutes for all those players in a season which will not feature any European football could be problematic for Pochettino but the boss believes the friendlier schedule will actually play into Chelsea’s hands until they figure out a solution to their injury crisis.
“With the circumstances, of course, I think it is better for us because we have 11 or 12 players injured,” he said. “And I think it shows with the squad at the moment. I think we only have 14 or 15 players.
“I think it’s important that we can recover the players and be competitive. Of course with the history of Chelsea, we need to be involved in European competition but that is not in my hands now, that is the reality. In our hands now is to work and to try and be in there next season. For sure we are going to be in European competition next season.”