Football Digest: Pochettino ruthlessly exiles three players from Chelsea HQ
Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino could face an awkward reunion with his former player Leandro Paredes at Stamford Bridge after being left frustrated in his pursuit of Moises Caicedo. The Blues boss may be forced to look elsewhere as Brighton hold out for £100million for Caicedo, and the Argentinian is apparently keen to recruit out-of-favour PSG star Paredes to add to his squad, despite once receiving some hard-hitting criticism from the player’s wife.
The 29-year-old previously played under Pochettino for 18 months when they were both contracted to the Parisian club after Pochettino succeeded Thomas Tuchel in December 2020. He featured prominently under his compatriot, making 42 appearances and scoring twice at Parcs des Princes.
His days look numbered with the French champions, however, as he has entered the final year of his contract and is yet to discuss a renewal.
According to the Evening Standard, Chelsea are now considering a cut-price move after becoming increasingly frustrated during talks with Brighton over Caicedo.
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It could prove to be an awkward first meeting between the two men, however, after Paredes’ wife, Camila Galante, hit out at Pochettino on social media.
Back in October 2021, Galante retweeted a tweet from a fan account which accused Pochettino of being a ‘killer’ for leaving Paredes on the substitutes’ bench at PSG after he impressed for eventual winners Argentina in a World Cup qualifier. She later removed the tweet from her profile, but it was up long enough for fans to notice.
It read: “61.3 passes per game in the qualifiers for the World Cup with an accuracy of 91.0%. Do you realize how impressive that is because of his passing technique and how much he likes to make long passes sometimes?
“Pochettino was a killer to put this player on the bench.”
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Paredes has been married to Galante, 30, since 2017 after they dated for 10 years and the couple have two children together.
The midfielder had previously suggested he was keen to remain in Turin after his loan stint with Juventus, but London now looks to be his most likely destination.
“I am happy. I don’t know if I’m staying, but I’m hoping we’ll find the best solution for everyone,” he said in May.
“Personally, I’m happy in Turin, my family too, so we want to stay at Juventus.”
He has already rejected a move to Chelsea once before – when Maurizio Sarri was in charge four and a half years ago – in order to sign for PSG in a £35m transfer from Zenit St Petersburg.
But he has struggled to lock down a regular spot and spent last season on loan with Juventus with the aim to earn a permanent £20m switch. However, the Italian club declined the opportunity to take up the option and he returned to his parent club.
Galatasaray have already looked at a potential deal for the box-to-box midfielder, but a move to the Premier League could appeal as opposed to heading to Turkey like his former team-mate Mauro Icardi.
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