Chelsea Transfer News Roundup: Blues advised to offload Romelu Lukaku; Barcelona monitoring Kepa Arrizabalaga, and more - 15 March 2022

Thomas Tuchel is preparing to face Lille.
Thomas Tuchel is preparing to face Lille.
Deepungsu Pandit

Chelsea face Lille in the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16 tie on Wednesday. The holders have a 2-0 lead from the first leg and are the favourites to progress to the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Noel Whelan has advised the Blues to offload striker Romelu Lukaku. Elsewhere, Barcelona are keeping a close eye on Kepa Arrizabalaga. On that note, here's a look at the key Chelsea transfer stories as on 15th March 2022:

Noel Whelan advises Chelsea to offload Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku's future hangs in the balance.
Romelu Lukaku's future hangs in the balance.

Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has advised Chelsea to offload Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer with a lot of hype but has failed to live up to the billing. The 28-year-old has blown hot and cold and also raised eyebrows with a controversial interview last year.

Manager Thomas Tuchel has deployed Kai Havertz to good effect in the number nine role in recent games. The German looks to have pushed Lukaku down the pecking order, and Whelan believes Havertz is better suited to the role.

Speaking to Football Insider, the Englishman pointed out that there have been too many controversies with Lukaku.

"With the way Havertz is playing – it becomes a very easy decision for Chelsea. I think he has proven that he can be the number nine for them. He’s been brilliant and has shown real quality. We all know that he’s a different style of player to Lukaku, but I think there’s been too much controversy with Lukaku," said Whelan.

He continued:

“The interview was just disrespectful, but if that’s what he wants – then get him out of the football club and off the wage bill. They can then go out there, start again, and get someone who can give you the right attitude to fight and succeed in England and in Europe."

Whelan added that Lukaku is lucky he is still applauded by the Stamford Bridge faithful.

“The whispers don’t lie. He’s very lucky to still get the applause he does at Stamford Bridge because he hasn’t shown anywhere near enough in a Chelsea shirt."

Lukaku has scored only 11 times in 32 games across competitions for the Blues this season.

Barcelona monitoring Kepa Arrizabalaga

Kepa Arrizabalaga has struggled for game time this season.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has struggled for game time this season.

Barcelona are interested in Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to The Hard Tackle via Fichajes. The Spanish goalkeeper has dropped down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge since the arrival of Edouard Mendy in the summer of 2020. Kepa has struggled for game time and is looking to resurrect his career elsewhere.

The Blaugrana are ready to offer him respite from his Stamford Bridge nightmare. The La Liga giants are searching for a successor to Marc Andre Ter Stegen, who has been on a downward slide this season.

They want to replace the German this summer and have their eyes on Kepa. The 27-year-old has three years left on his Blues contract, so prising him away could be a costly affair. Newcastle are also interested in Kepa.

Luke Chadwick wants Thomas Tuchel at Manchester United

Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has urged the Red Devils to appoint Thomas Tuchel as their next manager. The German's future has been thrown under a cloud of doubt after the UK government's sanctions on Chelsea's owner Roman Abramovich.

Manchester United’s hunt for a new manager is at an advanced stage, with Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag well established as favourites for the job, but it appears Tuchel could now be added to the shortlist. [@ChrisWheelerDM] #MUFC

Speaking to Caught Offside, Chadwick said Tuchel has all the ingredients to become the next manager at Old Trafford.

"Tuchel’s a world-class manager. He’s had an incredible impact at Chelsea, winning the Champions League. There’s also the relationship he’s got with Rangnick, who looks like he’ll be involved in the decision-making process with who to bring in next,” said Chadwick.

He added:

“I wouldn’t be against Tuchel coming in; he’s done so well at Chelsea, and he’s got real passion and enthusiasm; you can see the Chelsea players enjoy working for him. It’s important United get the right man and give them time to build a dynasty, and I think Tuchel’s got all the pedigree to be the manager of Manchester United."

Edited by Bhargav


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