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Pochettino happy with Chelsea squad, has ‘nothing to say’ on Gallagher exit talk

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Mauricio Pochettino is happy with the make-up of Chelsea’s squad, insisting his focus is on improving the players available to him as the Blues weigh up potential January transfer moves.

Chelsea have been free-spending since a consortium led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital acquired the club in May 2022, shelling out over £1billion on players across three transfer windows.

Despite that enormous outlay, Chelsea sit 10th in the Premier League table after 20 games under Pochettino, six points adrift of West Ham in sixth and facing a battle to achieve European qualification.

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Last month, Pochettino suggested Chelsea needed further reinforcements after a 2-0 defeat to Everton, claiming the Blues were “missing something”.

However, on the eve of Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie against Preston North End, Pochettino adopted a more measured tone when asked about the club’s plans for January.

“It’s not like we need to sit in an official meeting. Every day, we’re talking and assessing the squad,” Pochettino said.

“Now the market is open, there are some players we own, like Andrey Santos, who has come back from his loan at Nottingham Forest, where we need to take some decisions.

“I think I am happy with the squad I have. I am focused on trying to recover the players we have as soon as possible.

“We are assessing things, and if we see some possibilities maybe we can do something, or not. At the moment we haven’t take any decision.”

One Chelsea player who has been linked with an exit is Conor Gallagher, who has stood in as captain on numerous occasions this season but is into the final 18 months of his contract at Stamford Bridge.

With no agreement on fresh terms reached at this point, the England international has been strongly linked with London rivals Tottenham, but Pochettino believes the midfielder remains happy at Chelsea.

“We need to talk about many things, but it is clear Conor still has a year-and-a-half on his contract with us,” Pochettino said.

“Like all players at different clubs, when you arrive at this point it’s about talking and making decisions for the future. It’s always between the club and the player.

“At the moment there’s nothing to announce, nothing to say. The club is happy with him, he is happy here, and at the moment there’s nothing to say.”

Chelsea have been hampered by a lengthy injury list this season, but they could receive a double boost next week with Ben Chilwell and Carney Chukwuemeka potentially returning for Tuesday’s EFL Cup semi-final first leg against Middlesbrough, though Romeo Lavia is no closer to full fitness.

“Chilwell and Carney are not available for tomorrow, but we’ll see for the next games, the Middlesbrough semi-final and Fulham [in the Premier League],” Pochettino revealed.

“They are doing well, they’ve been training with the group in the last few days and we’re so happy with their evolution.

“Lavia is still recovering from his injury and we don’t know when he’ll be available again.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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