Contract talks between Chelsea and Callum Hudson-Odoi have yet to resume but the young attacker is increasingly keen to stay at the club and is hoping to inherit Eden Hazard‘s No10 shirt if the Belgian winger leaves this summer as expected, according to Goal.
The 18-year-old was linked with a move away from England during the January transfer window, having found his path into the first team blocked by wingers Willian and Pedro as manager Maurizio Sarri was reluctant to turn to Hudson-Odoi.
But the club continued to value their academy product as a prized asset and rejected four offers from Bayern Munich despite no assurances that Hudson-Odoi would stay in west London, with his current contract set to expire next season.
Sarri also softened his stance and Hudson-Odoi made four Premier League starts late in the season before suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon in April.
He was named Chelsea’s young player of the year at the club’s end-of-season awards.
Bayern were willing to offer him the No10 shirt as well, with current holder Arjen Robben set to leave the club this summer, while Manchester United were also said to be interested in the London-born winger – though a move to a domestic rival would be unlikely.
Hazard, who has been at Chelsea for seven seasons, has been linked with a move to Real Madrid all season and is all but certain to leave Chelsea after next week’s Europa League final, though the two clubs have yet to agree a transfer fee.
Brazil legend Rivaldo has suggested that compatriot Gabriel Jesus should consider leaving Manchester City for the betterment of his career after a season in which the young striker saw his role reduced.
After his arrival in January 2017 it was thought Jesus could supplant Sergio Aguero as City’s lead striker. But though he’s made the same number of league appearances, 29, this season as he did in 2017/18, he’s made less than half as many starts – eight compared to 19 the season before.
Across competitions, his productivity has stayed roughly the same, from 17 goals in 42 appearances in 2017/18 to 19 in 46 this season, and he’s scored three times in five FA Cup games heading into this weekend’s final, when City face Watford bidding for a domestic treble having won the Premier League and League Cup already in 2018/19.
But manager Pep Guardiola’s preference for formations with just one striker have seen Jesus become marginalised, especially after Raheem Sterling’s development into City’s premier star alongside Aguero, who has continued to be on top form and adjusted to playing under the Spanish manager.
Rivaldo believes Jesus could stay and fight for his place, and continue to develop under Guardiola, but that a move away would be a better solution.
“Gabriel Jesus wasn’t as influential this season as he was in the last one and I think he has two valid options for next season,” the former Brazil and Barcelona star said (h/t Goal.com).
“As a young prospect he could continue and keep evolving with Guardiola, hoping that more chances come, or he could leave for another club of similar stature to try to become a regular starting 11 player.
“I see the second option as the best solution. He already gained experience and maturity at City and looks prepared for a new challenge in a team where he could be more important for the team.”
Tottenham and Bayern Munich target Nicolo Zaniolo looks set to sign a new deal at Roma, dashing hopes that he could be on the move this summer.
Zaniolo, 19, joined as part of the swap deal that sent Radja Nainggolan to Inter Milan last June and has impressed greatly across his 35 appearances in all competitions.
The twice-capped Italy international has bagged six goals in total, alerting some of Europe’s heavyweights, but the teenager looks likely to remain in the Eternal City for the foreseeable future after claiming he is happy at Stadio Olimpico
“I still have four years left on my contract and I’m happy here. I see my future at Roma,” Zaniolo told Sky Sport Italia.
“My agent will talk to the club at the end of the season.
“It’s always pleasing to have interest from great teams, but I’m focused on Roma and the last two league games.
“I’m positive about the [contract] renewal and I’m happy to stay.”
Zaniolo’s words will come as a relief to Roma after they announced Daniele De Rossi’s impending departure.
Roma will need Zaniolo to continue his eye-catching development next term as they seek to compensate for the loss of their iconic captain.