Lyon block Chelsea’s attempt to recall Emerson Palmieri


Lyon have rejected Chelsea’s request to take back Italian left-back Emerson Palmieri to the club in January.

Chelsea are hoping to find protection for the injured Ben Chilwell, who faces nine months on the sidelines following the decision to send him for surgery on a partially torn ACL.

As it stands, Marcos Alonso is the only natural left-back in Thomas Tuchel’s squad, and attempts to use Reece James in the position in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Brighton ended badly after he was forced out with a hamstring injury.

The Blues have considered recalling Emerson from Lyon, but according to L’Equipe and Nizaar Kinsella, the French side have blocked such a move.

Lyon have the option to buy Emerson permanently at the end of the season and would have had to agree to cancel their loan and give up that option. Whether they stopped recruiting him permanently is unclear, but Emerson has been an almost permanent starter in Ligue 1 this season and Lyon had no desire to release him.

Dutch teenager Ian Maatsen is another candidate for a recall. The 19-year-old has impressed with Coventry City in the Championship, and it is believed that Chelsea would rather let him continue to develop there than take him back in January.

A new addition may be on the cards where sources have confirmed for 90 minutes that Chelsea are looking at Everton’s Lucas Digne, who has fallen out of favor with Toffees boss Rafa Benitez.

Everton have already agreed to sign Dynamo Kiev’s Vitaliy Mykolenko in January, paving the way for Digne to leave, but Chelsea do not want to spend too much money on the Frenchman and prefer a loan deal.

Elsewhere, reports have linked Chelsea to AC Milan’s Theo Hernandez and Barcelona’s Sergino Dest, who is a right-back but is comfortable on the left as well.

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