Chelsea transfer news: Zouma not ready, Salah first video interview, ex flop in Arsenal snub


All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge including a former Chelsea flop not ruling out a move to Arsenal and a look ahead to Manchester City.

Chelsea have completed a number of transfers in the January window having sent Nathaniel Chalobah, Ryan Bertrand and Josh McEachran all on loan deals to Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Wigan Athletic, respectively.

As far for cash deals, the Blues sold Kevin de Bruyne to Wolfsburg for an undisclosed fee believed to be £18m while ratifying the £37.1m departure of Juan Mata to Manchester United. Michael Essien also left to join AC Milan.

What the Blues received in terms of remuneration from player sales they spent on recruits to Stamford Bridge as, in the middle of the month, they re-signed Nemanja Matic from Benfica while also adding Mohamed Salah from FC Basel for £11m.

Despite all that activity there was still one more deal to be made on deadline day - the purchase of Kurt Zouma from Saint Etienne, a teenager who is one for the future, rather than one for now, as Sky Sports pundits and former professionals Jamie Carragher and Jamie Redknapp both cannot see Zouma getting a game ahead of a strong and experienced quartet of Gary Cahill, John Terry, David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic.

Carragher told Sky Sports: 'Chelsea wanted the player [Zouma] but they don't really need him now because they've got Cahill, Terry, Luiz and Ivanovic but who knows what will happen in the summer, if one of those players leaves the club that is when Zouma comes in when he's had more game time.

'There's no point of him coming in now and playing in the reserves. Chelsea may as well continue his education and experience playing games and then start him fresh in pre-season when there's not so much pressure about with competitive games. I would expect a player from Chelsea to leave in the summer from that position to allow him to come in and fill that space.'

Redknapp added: 'Zouma will get a lot of experience when he's loaned back and he's a very good signing. He's very quick, a good athlete and he'll be one that will certainly bolster them.'

However, he was swift to conclude that he is not ready for regular football at the highest echelon of the sport: 'I don't expect him to be in the Chelsea team any time soon.'

Salah, meanwhile, is training with Chelsea's senior squad but, because Basel benefit from a winter break, his fitness is not on the same level as those who have been competing throughout December and January - like Chelsea.

Mourinho is unsure whether he'll give Salah a baptism of fire against Manchester City on Monday evening but the player himself has spoken out about his ambitions - and he's set them high, as he is after a Premier League and Champions League double.

As for the City encounter, goal machine Sergio Aguero is a certainty to miss the marquee match-up due to a medium-term injury, however, the Beast; Alvaro Negredo, is likely to be fit for Manuel Pellegrini.

Gary Cahill said of the fixture, to be competed at the Etihad Stadium: 'We need to try to get a positive result on Monday, knowing how difficult it's going to be. They just put another five in [versus Tottenham Hotspur].

'They are banging goals in left, right and centre at the minute,' he added on Sky Sports. 'Ultimately, big teams will find a gap and score. Of course, we will try to keep it tight because they are banging goals in. It's important to try to keep it tight. We shown we can go to the big clubs and get results but the way they are playing at the minute it will be a real test for us, so I'm sure it will be an exciting game.'

Elsewhere, a former Chelsea flop Salomon Kalou has effectively snubbed Arsenal, as he was linked throughout the day with having been subject to an official approach from the Gunners and Arsene Wenger, but said, as reported by Four Four Two: 'I don't pay attention to the papers, you can't rule anything out [but] a return to England? I have no reason to leave France now, because I love what we are doing here and I'm happy.'

And finally, the Daily Mail claim Gael Kakuta is to join Lazio after a stint at Vitesse.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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