Chelsea have blocked any transfer away for young starlet Ian Maatsen this summer amid reports that Mauricio Pochettino is keen to take a closer look at the Dutch fullback in pre-season.
The Blues finished a pathetic 12th in the Premier League last season, and have begun the difficult process of overhauling their squad, with eight players already having been shown the exit door and at least another seven potentially set to follow.
Among those expected to depart was Maatsen, who spent last season on loan with Championship side Burnley and appeared 39 times to help Vincent Kompany’s side back into the Premier League.
It had been reported that the Clarets were keen to take him back to Turf Moor, either on loan again or on a permanent basis, with a fee of £15m having been touted.
However, the situation has now changed, with CaughtOffside reporting that new boss Mauricio Pochettino asked the club to turn down Burnley’s offer so that he can take a closer look at the 21-year-old in preseason.
The news comes as yet further suggestion that Marc Cucurella’s brief time at Stamford Bridge is already coming to an end, with the man signed from Brighton just 12 months ago having failed to live up to his £60m price tag and seemingly already firmly second choice behind Ben Chilwell.
Amid interest from Tottenham and Newcastle United, and a lack of European football leaving Cucurella facing the prospect of little gametime in west London, it is claimed that there ‘are genuine doubts’ over the Spaniard’s future at Chelsea.
Though they will, as with several other of their stars, take a big hit on the fee that they paid for the fullback, Maatsen’s return to the club could be the final nail in Cucurella’s coffin.