Josh McEachran, the once-dazzling starlet of Chelsea who once snubbed Real Madrid, remains without a club to call home, according to TalkSPORT. This former midfield maestro, once celebrated as the Blues' future backbone, now finds himself tackling unemployment after a harsh separation from MK Dons.
Just shy of his 31st birthday, McEachran was left off MK Dons' retention roster as a wave of cuts washed over the squad, prompted by the club's relegation to League Two.
Once seen as Frank Lampard's natural successor at Stamford Bridge, the player is now engaged in a new kind of game, one that involves hunting for a new home on the football pitch.
In 2010, McEachran burst onto the scene, ascending from Chelsea's academy and collecting praise from all quarters. However, a large part of his tenure was spent away from Stamford Bridge, loaned out to various clubs.
His journey took him from Swansea to Middlesbrough, onto Watford, Wigan and eventually Vitesse, weaving a tapestry of mixed fortunes that kept him on his toes. After clocking a mere 22 first-team appearances for Chelsea, McEachran packed his boots and moved to Brentford in a permanent transfer in 2015.
His old companion, Daniel Sturridge, once proclaimed on talkSPORT:
"Josh McEachran is the future of Chelsea."
Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea's manager at the time, also lavished praise on the then young player, envisioning McEachran as the natural replacement for Joe Cole.
However, the vicissitudes of football, as they often do, brought a different reality. The midfielder never hit the heights that were expected of him, with Real Madrid once hoping to sign him much earlier in his career.
Now, with no club shirt to wear and a reputation as a once-heralded talent, McEachran will look to make his next move and find a new club.
Chelsea right-back Reece James catches Real Madrid's attention
Blues' star Reece James is reportedly on Real Madrid's radar, according to MARCA. As the English outfit grapples with potential FFP tribulations, the upcoming summer could jettison some of the club's stalwarts, including the right-back.
Given James' radiant potential and the lofty standards he has set during his time at Stamford Bridge, the projected €50 million transfer fee seems like a surprisingly modest sum. Notably, it was only recently that he pledged his long-term future to the club, but Real Madrid could look to make their move in the summer.
Parting with James could potentially represent a worst-case scenario for the Blues, given his tremendous value to the team. However, the unpredictable world of football has been known to toss up stranger outcomes. Real Madrid could end up being James' next home.