Chelsea next face Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semifinals on Sunday. The Blues are coming off a midweek UEFA Champions League quarterfinal exit despite winning 3-2 in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
On that note, here's a look at the key Chelsea transfer stories as on 15th April 2022:
Juventus interested in Kepa Arrizabalaga
Juventus are interested in Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to The Hard Tackle via Fichajes.
The Serie A giants are planning a major squad overhaul this summer after a disappointing 2021-22 season so far. Among the players tipped to leave is Wojciech Szczesny, who has endured an indifferent season so far. The Pole has blown hot and cold since arriving in Turin, so manager Massimiliano Allegri wants to replace him this summer.
Kepa has caught the eye of the Juventus manager. The Spaniard has dropped down the pecking order at Chelsea since the arrival of Edouard Mendy in the summer of 2020.
Kepa has delivered whenever called upon but is yet to convince Blues manager Thomas Tuchel. The 27-year-old is frustrated by the situation and is willing to leave in search of regular football, having played only 1200 minutes this season.
The Spaniard is not short of suitors but could be tempted by a move to Turin to resurrect his career. The Bianconeri are preparing to get back to their best next season, and Kepa represents a decent option for Allegri. The Blues could be ready to let Kepa leave but are likely to demand a hefty transfer fee for the 27-year-old.
Barcelona planning negotiations with Chelsea for Cesar Azpilicueta
Barcelona are planning to begin talks with Chelsea regarding a possible move for Cesar Azpilicueta, according to Marca. The Blaugrana are interested in the Spaniard and were previously planning on securing his services on a Bosman move. However, Arrizabalaga’s stay at Stamford Bridge has been automatically extended by a year due to a clause in his contract.
Nevertheless, the Blaugrana are not ready to throw in the towel just yet. Barcelona are confident they will have no problem agreeing personal terms with the Spaniard. However, they hope to convince the Blues not to execute the clause and allow their captain to leave for free.
Thomas Tuchel opens up on UEFA Champions League exit
Thomas Tuchel has revealed that Chelsea are in two ways after their midweek exit from the UEFA Champions League. The London giants won the game against Real Madrid 3-2 but lost 5-4 on aggregate.
Speaking ahead of the FA Cup semifinal against Crystal Palce, the German manager revelled in the positives of the midweek win. However, he also admitted that the Blues are disappointed to exit the UEFA Champions League.
“We are all a bit in between. Confidence wise, I think it's a huge boost, but it's a disappointment to go out of the Champions League at the quarterfinal. Not in a big drama, but it's still a disappointment because we feel we could've been one of the four teams in the semifinal,” said Tuchel.
“It was a fantastic performance at the Bernabeu, and it stays like this. But it feels a bit bitter. Too many mistakes got punished by individual quality. We've got some training time now before our Sunday match, and we will use it to sweat it out and be ready for Sunday."
Tuchel also revealed that he apologised to Conor Gallagher for Chelsea’s decision to not let him play in the FA Cup semis, saying:
“I had the chance to speak to Conor, and I could see his frustration. We met some weeks ago, after the international break; we ran into each other by coincidence, and we had a chat, and I apologise because I know how competitive he is. It's the way it is. We play to win the game, and the rules were clear when we made the loan. I can understand the disappointment of Conor,” said Tuchel.
Gallagher is currently on loan at Palace but is not allowed to play against his parent club, as per a contract in his loan deal. Palace had made a request to the Blues to allow them to play Gallagher, but Chelsea did not relent.