Football News

Emerson Palmieri: Chelsea left-back could spark ‘bidding war’ between two Serie A giants

By Chris Smith

Published: 14:30, 6 January 2020

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is open to selling Italian left-back Emerson Palmieri, according to reports.

The 25-year-old won his place in the Chelsea starting XI last season under Maurizio Sarri but, despite playing 12 Premier League games this term, he’s failed to convince Lampard of his value to the side and was recently hauled off after just 34 minutes of their 2-1 win over Arsenal.

Could Emerson leave Chelsea? Five things to know…

  • Emerson joined Chelsea from Roma in January 2018.
  • Since then, he’s struggled for consistent starts, making just 27 Premier League appearances.
  • The Italy international was substituted during the first half of Chelsea‘s recent 2-1 win over Arsenal.
  • Reports in Italy claim Juventus and Inter Milan are both interested in Emerson’s services.
  • It is thought the player is seeking regular football in order to make Roberto Mancini’s Euro 2020 squad.
  • Chelsea are 4/7* to secure a place in the Premier League‘s top four this season.

*Premier League top-four odds from William Hill. 18+ only. For more information, go to BeGambleAware.org.

Emerson has been battling with Spaniard Marcos Alonso for Chelsea‘s left-back spot, although neither has hit top form at Stamford Bridge this season – some reports even suggest the Blues would be open to allowing both players to leave in the coming transfer windows.

Reports in Italy also claim former boss Sarri is looking to bring Emerson to Juventus as he seeks to bolster his options at left-back – Alex Sandro is the Serie A champions’ only natural option in this position, with the likes of Mattia De Sciglio and Blaise Matuidi shoehorned there in the Brazilian’s absence.

Italian outlet Tuttosport reported as far back as early December that Emerson is of interest to Juventus and that claim is shared by Calciomercato, who state that Chelsea and the Old Lady are in “constant contact” over a potential deal.

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Although a reunion with Sarri would seem favourable for Emerson, the Independent claim that Inter Milan – managed by another ex-Chelsea boss, Antonio Conte – are lining up a £25m bid for the full-back, which could – in theory – spark a bidding war between Serie A’s current top two clubs.

Chelsea assistant Jody Morris recently insisted the club are open to losing players in this window, but only if they can find suitable replacements.

“We can’t just let people walk out the door if that means we’re going to be left short somewhere,” Morris said.

“We have to look at the individual as well but everyone is valuable for us. You never know what can happen in terms of injuries or form so until they walk out the door, everyone is important.”

Who could replace Emerson at Chelsea? 

  • Marcos Alonso is Chelsea‘s other natural left-back option.
  • But Cesar Azpilicueta has often been deployed there to great success.
  • Reece James could operate at right-back should Lampard switch Azpilicueta to the left.
  • Chelsea have also been linked with Ben Chilwell, David Alaba and Alex Telles recently.

Although a summer deal looks more likely, the lifting of Chelsea‘s transfer ban for this month’s window does give the Blues more leeway in the market, allowing them to bring in replacements should they wish to reshuffle their squad.

A place in Italy’s Euro 2020 squad could play a part in Emerson’s thought process – and any decision over his future – while Juventus themselves are looking to accelerate a deal as they juggle a Serie A title race with Inter Milan alongside their quest to win a first Champions League title since 1996 – the Old Lady know squad depth is a must if they’re to achieve their goals.