Chelsea are reportedly set to turn down the chance of signing Jeremie Boga, despite Frank Lampard admitting he is searching for reinforcements this summer. Instead of a return to Stamford Bridge, the former Blues midfielder could join one of several high-profile Serie A clubs after impressing for Sassuolo this season.
Boga has shone in Italy since leaving Chelsea in 2018 and is enjoying a brilliant campaign at the Mapei Stadium.
Eight goals and four assists in 24 Serie A outings have put him on the radar of several clubs, including top-flight heavyweights such as Juventus, Roma and Napoli.
Chelsea were also said to be interested in re-signing the Ivorian winger, who they sold for just £3.5million.
The Blues insisted on a £13.5m buy-back option as part of that deal, and it has been suggested that Lampard was looking at activating the clause.
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This would either see Boga return to Stamford Bridge as cover for the departing Willian and Pedro – who are both out-of-contract – or lead to the 23-year-old immediately being sold on for greater profit.
However, reports from Italy indicate that Chelsea are not considering signing their former player anymore.
Football Italia claim the Blues have no real intention of triggering their buy-back option, despite Lampard’s need for reinforcements.
The development is good news for Sassuolo, who are keen to keep hold of arguably the best dribbler in Serie A.
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Boga finished the 2018/19 campaign as the league’s top performer with 3.3 dribbles per game at a success ratio of 66 per cent.
He has backed that up with statistics of 4.4 dribbles per match at 64 per cent this season, leaving him top of the charts again.
“When he arrived here with us, few knew who Boga was, so our scouting department deserves credit for finding this talent and our coach Roberto De Zerbi for helping him to grow,” Sassuolo director Giovanni Carnevali told Rai Radio 1.
“He has many offers from Italy and abroad. Sassuolo made a real effort to sign him outright and now we will evaluate the situation.
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“The objective is to keep him with us, because we must have a project and focus on growth. Sacrificing the biggest names is sometimes necessary, but not always.
“Boga will continue to have clubs clamouring for him, and it’ll be good for us if he continues to get stronger. The aim is to keep him at Sassuolo.”
Lampard is expected to bolster his options this summer in anticipation of Willian, Pedro, Michy Batshuayi, Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso all leaving the club.
The Chelsea boss is believed to want at least four new signings – a striker, attacking midfielder or winger, left-back and central defender – but this number could increase depending on any additional departures.
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