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Tuchel sets timeline on double Chelsea exit; third star can go in January

Thomas Tuchel has pushed back the potential exits of two Chelsea attackers, though a third star is free to leave next month, per a report.

Chelsea have laboured in the league of late, with injuries and Covid-19 cases combining to hit Tuchel’s squad hard. The resulting loss of form has seen Manchester City and Liverpool pull away, though the Blues will be determined to ensure it stays a three-horse race.

To give themselves the best chance of doing just that, the Evening Standard have provided an update on Chelsea’s transfer plans.

Exits had been speculated for forward pair Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. Neither have lived up to their reputations at Stamford Bridge, with returns to the continent gathering steam as the January window nears.

However, per the Standard, Tuchel will not allow either player to leave next month.

With the ongoing pandemic causing massive disruption, Tuchel wishes to have as many options at his disposal as possible.

As such, the article states the pair will be kept ‘until the summer at the earliest’. At that point, their futures will come under microscope once more.

Tuchel open to centre-back exit

However, one player who could depart in January is Malang Sarr.

The centre-back is Chelsea’s sixth-choice in the position. Though given Tuchel deploys a three-man back-line, Sarr has featured on occasion, racking up five starts across all competitions.

Nevertheless, the report reveals a loan exit is a distinct possibility in order to ensure his development is not stunted by such infrequent outings.

Ross Barkley is also namechecked as a potential loan candidate. However, the recent injury crisis in central midfield has given Tuchel cold feet. As such, Barkley looks set to remain in blue beyond the winter window.

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Element of major Chelsea deal already ‘accepted’

Meanwhile, Chelsea already have an agreement in place to sign long-time target Jules Kounde in 2022, according to one journalist.

Additions at centre-half could assume greater significance with four of Chelsea’s six senior centre-halves all out of contract next summer.

Now, transfer guru Duncan Castles thinks an agreement is already in place with the 23-year-old Kounde. He said on The Transfer Window podcast (via Express): “Chelsea are continuing to pursue him.

“They have continued to make it clear they want to bring him to the Premier League and that they’re interested in doing it in January.

“Obviously the financial terms remain fine, they were accepted in the summer.”

Castles thinks Kounde is waiting to see if Chelsea will meet Sevilla’s asking price. They were some way off the £68m Sevilla want during the summer.

READ MORE: Tuchel charm offensive in full effect as Chelsea target PSG star to replace Rudiger

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