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Announcement from Stamford Bridge as Thomas Tuchel makes Digne transfer instance clear

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Chelsea hijack Arsenal's £45m bid to sign prolific player

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has performed a U-turn and wants to recall Emerson Palmieri from his loan at Lyon. The Blues are pursuing a low-cost option to replace Ben Chilwell amid fears he will miss the remainder of the season through injury.

Chilwell has been absent since November after leaving Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Juventus in agony.

He has since undergone knee surgery and could be sidelined until next season, currently leaving Marcos Alonso as Tuchel’s only first-team left-back.

With fixtures flying left, right and centre in the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup, Tuchel will be desperate for reinforcements.

And it seems like he’s forged a plan involving a player currently within Chelsea’s extended ranks.

Chelsea have been linked with Lucas Digne.
Chelsea have been linked with Lucas Digne. (Image: GETTY)

According to Fabrizio Romano, Tuchel is trying to recall Emerson from his season-long loan at Lyon.

The Ligue 1 outfit unsurprisingly rejected Chelsea’s initial approach, but they are ‘pushing again’ and are prepared to offer compensation.

A deal for Digne is now ‘very unlikely’ because Everton want to offload him permanently, and nothing is advanced.

After Chelsea’s 5-1 FA Cup win against Chesterfield on Saturday, Tuchel addressed suggestions that he could cut Emerson’s loan short.

He told reporters: “I will not give you any details on that. But in general, I will not hide from the fact that we have a long-term injury with Ben Chilwell.

“Of course, we know, and we appreciate him [Emerson] as a player and as a person in general.

“He had such a huge influence, although he did not have a lot of minutes last season, because he’s a top guy – a top professional.

“He’s still a Chelsea player but it is not only what I wish for – we need to evaluate the situation but we are looking into it on this position and it is one of the options.”

Emerson Palmieri is on loan at Lyon.
Emerson Palmieri is on loan at Lyon. (Image: GETTY)

Emerson made just 14 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea last season, with only two coming in the Premier League.

He was Frank Lampard and Tuchel’s third-choice left-back behind Chilwell and Alonso but then started for Italy in their European Championship triumph against England in the summer.

Lyon paid up to £1million to sign Emerson on loan in the aftermath, with a buy option included in his contract, and he’s already made 18 appearances this term.

But the 28-year-old could make an early return to Stamford Bridge in what would be another blow in Lyon’s poor season so far.

Chelsea have also been linked with a move for Barcelona’s Sergino Dest as Tuchel looks to find cover at the back.

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