Chelsea dismissed Thomas Tuchel on Wednesday following their 1-0 Champions League loss to Dinamo Zagreb.

New Blues owner Todd Boehly wielded the axe after a slow start to the 2022-23 season for the London club.

Several names have been linked with the vacant post already, including Mauricio Pochettino and Graham Potter.

TOP STORY – VERBAL AGREEMENT IN PLACE FOR CHELSEA AND POTTER

Chelsea will formally offer their vacant manager role to Brighton and Hove Albion's Graham Potter, according to several UK reports.

Brighton had granted Chelsea permission to speak to Potter, with the two parties locked in talks on Wednesday evening following Thomas Tuchel's dismissal.

Ben Jacobs from CBS Sports claims that a verbal agreement is agreed between Chelsea and Potter, with Sky Sports' Rob Dorsett stating he could be unveiled as their new boss on Thursday.

ROUND-UP

– The Sun claims that Manchester United are ready to open discussions with Marcus Rashford on a new deal. Rashford, who has three goals this season, is contracted until mid-2023.

– The Sun also reports Wilfried Zaha is set to be offered a new deal by Crystal Palace. Zaha, who has been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea, is into the final year of his contract at Selhurst Park.

Juventus are preparing for a straight swap deal in January with Aston Villa, which would see Moise Kean and Douglas Luiz trade places, according to JuveLive. Douglas Luiz's contract at Villa Park expires at the end of this season.

–  Everton and Arsenal both remain interested in Mykhaylo Mudryk but Shakhtar Donetsk want more than £30m (€34.5m) for the 21-year-old Ukrainian winger, claims Gianluca di Marzio.

Brighton and Hove Albion's Alexis Mac Allister believes Graham Potter sits among the world's elite, saying he would rather not think about his manager's potential move to Chelsea.

Potter has emerged as a frontrunner to succeed Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge following the German's shock dismissal.

He is reportedly set to meet Chelsea owner Todd Boehly on Wednesday.

Since taking charge at Brighton, Potter has overseen a steady period of growth, culminating in last year's best-ever Premier League finish (ninth).

The start of the new campaign has seen Brighton win four of their opening six league matches, taking 13 points in total.

But Mac Allister hopes Potter will stay put, while hailing him as one of finest managerial minds in the sport.

"For sure [he is among the elite coaches in world football], he will be an amazing coach," Mac Allister told Sky Sports.

"Hopefully he will stay here all his life but, at the same time, we know that will maybe be difficult, but he is really important for us as a club.

"I prefer not to think about [life without him] to be honest. Graham is really important for us, and we don't think about the future.

"We think about the present and he is here now, and we know we've got an important game at the weekend. We want the coaching staff to help us win that game."

Asked whether Potter had mentioned Chelsea during a team photograph session earlier on Wednesday, Mac Allister added: "I don't know anything.

"We didn’t speak about any situation. The boss is really important for us, we want him to be here for a long time."

Thomas Tuchel has been dismissed by Chelsea following Tuesday's Champions League loss to Dinamo Zagreb, ending a near-20-month stay at Stamford Bridge.

The German arrived midway through the 2021-22 season as Frank Lampard's successor, and steered the Blues to an improbable Champions League triumph just weeks later.

But despite success for the former Paris Saint-Germain boss in Europe, domestic glory has been harder to come by.

This week's defeat to Zagreb was the final straw for new owner Todd Boehly, after a slow start to the new Premier League season that has seen Chelsea win just three of their first six games.

In the wake of his departure, Stats Perform takes a look at the highs and lows of the Tuchel era at Stamford Bridge...

HIGH: European glory from the ashes

Having stepped in to replace Lampard with Chelsea ninth in the Premier League and slipping away from European qualification, Tuchel did more than steer them back on track – he pulled off a shock silverware smash-and-grab.

Not only did he drag them to an eventual fourth-place finish, he oversaw two-legged wins over Porto and Real Madrid to reach the Champions League final – and there, shocked favourites Manchester City to claim the Blues' second title in Europe's biggest club competition.

LOW: Ignominy on the continent

For that high-water mark, however, Chelsea have also had issues at continental level, perhaps best exemplified by two disparate results – this week's loss to Zagreb and last season's Champions League quarter-final exit to Madrid.

Defeat to the Croatian side came with a toothless attack that failed to gel for the German, but the crash against Madrid – when they allowed Karim Benzema to find an extra-time winner – showcased their struggle to close out games.

HIGH: Final delights...

In the time Tuchel has been in charge at Stamford Bridge, he reached all three domestic cup finals available to him, with FA Cup showpiece appearances in 2021 and 2022, and an EFL Cup trip to Wembley, too.

That saw him stand alone in the history of the club and cemented his reputation as something of a cup specialist.

LOW: ...and failures

But on each occasion, he failed to guide the Blues over the line, losing last season to underdogs Leicester City before suffering a pair of defeats against a quadruple-chasing Liverpool side this year.

While he has enjoyed greater success abroad, the struggles at Wembley have haunted his reputation – and may well have played a part in his ultimate dismissal.

HIGH: Champions of the world

Chelsea's Champions League triumph qualified them for a shot at two more major prizes last season – and credit is due for Tuchel guiding them to both, allowing them to stake a claim as the greatest club team in world football.

A nervy Super Cup win over Villarreal was aided by Kepa Arrizabalaga's penalty shootout heroics, while Kai Havertz' extra-time penalty helped the Blues sink Palmeiras to be crowned Club World Cup winners.

LOW: Lukaku lethargy

If there is to be a player that marks Tuchel's legacy at Chelsea outside of his Champions League triumph though, it will almost certainly be Romelu Lukaku – one of the worst transfer flops in recent memory.

Returning to Chelsea after a Serie A title win with Inter, hopes were high for the Belgian's homecoming, but his poor form and difficulties within the German's system saw him frozen out over the latter half of the season.

Lukaku returned to Inter on a year-long loan over the off-season, with just eight Premier League goals in 26 games, and it remains to be seen whether he ever steps foot back in Stamford Bridge again or, if like Tuchel, his time at the club is now over.

Thomas Tuchel has sensationally been sacked by Chelsea following Tuesday's 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League, the Blues have confirmed.

The German was appointed as the successor to club legend Frank Lampard in January 2021 and led Chelsea to Champions League glory with a 1-0 over Manchester City in May of the same year.

More success followed in the form of trophies in the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup, but Tuchel also lost two FA Cup finals and an EFL Cup final – beaten in both domestic cup showpieces on penalties to Liverpool last term.

The UK government's sanctioning of former owner Roman Abramovich amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine eventually led to a change in ownership with a consortium led by LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly completing a £4.25billion deal.

Chelsea were active in the transfer market, bringing in the likes of Raheem Sterling, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Wesley Fofana, Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella.

The Blues have made an indifferent start to the season, though, winning three, losing two and drawing one of their opening six Premier League games to sit sixth in the table.

Tuesday's shock defeat to Dinamo persuaded the club's new owners the time is right to make a change.

A club statement read: "On behalf of everyone at Chelsea FC, the club would like to place on record its gratitude to Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time with the club.

"Thomas will rightly have a place in Chelsea's history after winning the Champions League, the Super Cup and Club World Cup in his time here.

"As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since taking over the club, and as it continues its hard work to take the club forward, the new owners believe it is the right time to make this transition.

"Chelsea's coaching staff will take charge of the team for training and the preparation of our upcoming matches as the club moves swiftly to appoint a new head coach."

Gavi is one of the hottest young talents around Europe having become a regular at Barcelona in 2021-22.

The youngster has been capped 10 times for Spain already, despite only turning 18 in August.

However, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been frustrated that he is yet to re-commit to the club.

TOP STORY – BAYERN MUNICH ENTER GAVI PURSUIT

German champions Bayern Munich have joined the race for Barcelona's teenage midfielder Gavi, reports Bild.

Gavi is out of contract at the end of this season and already being pursued by Liverpool and Manchester United.

Bayern are monitoring Gavi's contract status to see if he does renew his deal with the Blaugrana, with reports he is restless.

ROUND-UP

– The Standard reports that Chelsea's main target in January is a new central midfielder, with Ajax's Mexico international Edson Alvarez top of the list.

– Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has offered a hint that Mason Mount is set for a new contract, liking a tweet from Fabrizio Romano that claimed talks are under way with a final proposal soon.

Miralem Pjanic may end his time with Barcelona on Tuesday, according to Fabrizio Romano, who claims he is set to fly to UAE to discuss a deal with Sharjah FC .

Wolves' proposed move for ex-Spain international Diego Costa could collapse due to his work permit application being denied due to a lack of recent international appearances, reports The Sun. The ex-Chelsea forward is a free agent.

Former Liverpool forward Bobby Duncan has hit out at his former agent for working to "jeopardise" his career, three years on from a controversial move to Fiorentina.

Duncan, then considered a rising star at Liverpool, made headlines in 2019 when then-agent Saif Rubie accused the club of causing the youngster "deep mental health issues" before negotiating a move to the Serie A team. The Reds always denied such claims.

However, the attacker – who is also a cousin of Reds legend Steven Gerrard – has struggled since the transfer and now plays for Spanish third-tier team Real Balompedica Linense after a failed spell at Derby County.

On Monday, Rubie made an explosive radio appearance, telling talkSPORT: "I actually advised him [Duncan] to stay at Liverpool and you have to understand one thing, which is what I was trying to tell you guys, my job is to do the best for whoever is telling me to help them. 

"In that particular case, you can choose to believe me or not, I thought him staying was the best outcome. It wasn't meant to be, and in the end it got a bit ugly with Liverpool, which is unfortunate."

But Duncan, who dropped Rubie as his agent shortly after joining the Viola, has refuted those claims in a series of fiery tweets, asserting: "You and I both know the truth. 

"I didn't have a decision nor say as you took it upon yourself to jeopardise my career and to turn a local lad away from his boyhood club and leave me and my family to pick up all the pieces.

"Not once have I spoken upon this topic in four years as it's been my main priority to get my career back on track. Yet you think you have the right to mention my name on a live radio show.

"The truth will be told by myself when the time is right. I should never have trusted my career in your hands. I have learnt my harsh lesson there. And I just pray you have learnt yours as it could ruin another young boy's career. 

"And lastly, just to clarify, there was no advising given as you point blank made your mind up, publicly, and by then the damage had been done."

Rubie also worked as an intermediary on Antonio Rudiger's move from Chelsea to Real Madrid earlier this year and used his radio appearance to claim Los Blancos' offer was the smallest the German received. 

"Antonio Rudiger has been one of the best, if not the best, defender in the world and Premier League," he said.

"It made Carlo Ancelotti want to bring him to Real Madrid. What is the value of a top-flight, top-level centre-half in the game?

"What if I told you Chelsea, and the old regime, basically made next to no effort to keep the player.

"At the time he was very happy to stay and potentially be the captain of the club. He was offered a contract that was half the amount Romelu Lukaku was earning.

"Let me confirm this, live on air, the Real Madrid deal was the smallest deal on offer. There was a club in England offering almost double the amount and a club in Europe doubling the amount.

"I'm not going to discuss the specifics. Everyone knows there were teams interested in this player. He was one of the best in the world."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in the squad for Chelsea's Champions League opener against Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday.

The Gabon international was one of the final major signings of a busy transfer window for Thomas Tuchel's Blues, as they seek to offset the loss of Romelu Lukaku.

The former Barcelona forward arrived at Stamford Bridge with a broken jaw however, throwing into doubt when he would be able to participate.

But with confirmation of Chelsea's 23-man party for their European opener in Croatia comes the news he could be in line for his debut, alongside fellow new recruit Denis Zakaria.

N'Golo Kante and Thiago Silva are the two men who drop out for the Blues, as the Premier League side look to take the momentum from their victory over West Ham at the weekend into an opening continental win.

Bayern Munich have reportedly told Harry Kane to avoid signing a new contract with Tottenham as they plot a move for the England captain.

Kane, 29, has five goals from six Premier League games this season, and needs 12 more this campaign to reach 200 career Premier League goals.

With 73 international caps and 50 goals in his country's shirt, his legacy in England is secured, but with a distinct lack of silverware up until this point, it is a fair question to wonder how much longer he will remain content at Tottenham.

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN MUNICH PLAN BLOCKBUSTER HARRY KANE MOVE

German publication Bild claims reports about Bayern's interest in Kane following the departure of Robert Lewandowski had plenty of substance, and that their desire to land the striker has only intensified.

With Kane's contract tying him to Tottenham until 2024, the report states the Bavarian giants will plan another move at the end of the season when he enters the last year of his deal, putting Spurs in a position where they need to sell or risk losing him on a free transfer.

Bayern are yet to lose a game this season, and no Bundesliga team has scored more than their 17 goals, but after an explosive start they now sit third after 1-1 draws against Borussia Monchengladbach and Union Berlin.

ROUND-UP

– The Daily Mail is reporting the Glazer family have placed a £3.75billion price tag on Manchester United.

Crystal Palace will bid £20million for Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher after being impressed during his loan stint last season, also according to the Daily Mail.

– Leicestershire Live is reporting Leicester City centre-back Caglar Soyuncu – who was left out of the side for their 5-2 loss against Brighton and Hove Albion – is a target of Turkish side Galatasaray, with their transfer window not closing until September 8.

– According to The Athletic, Diego Costa will be returning to the Premier League as long as his medical with Wolves, planned for Tuesday, goes according to plan.

– PSV forward Cody Gakpo, who Manchester United showed interest in before they landed Antony, is now said to be a primary target for Leeds United in January.

Former Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley has joined the Premier League exodus to Ligue 1 side Nice.

England international Barkley was released from his contract at Stamford Bridge on Monday, having made just six Premier League appearances last term.

The midfielder was signed from Everton in January 2018, but he never managed to solidify his place as a regular starter under Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri, Frank Lampard or Thomas Tuchel.

He spent the 2020-21 season on loan at Aston Villa, where he appeared to be striking up a promising partnership with Jack Grealish, but his form tailed off and the move was not made permanent.

Barkley had been linked with a move back to Everton, but he has opted to move abroad and will play alongside fellow British players Aaron Ramsey and Joe Bryan at Nice.

The 28-year-old's signing was announced shortly before Nice's Ligue 1 home clash against Monaco on Sunday.

As well as Bryan, who is on loan from Fulham, Nice have recently signed goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel on permanent terms from Leicester City and winger Nicolas Pepe from Arsenal, on a loan basis.

Former Southampton, Everton and Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin is also in the Nice ranks.

Chelsea were one of the big spenders during the transfer window with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headlining their deadline-day business.

The Blues also signed Wesley Fofana and Denis Zakaria over the past week after losing several key players.

Chelsea have started the new Premier League season with mixed results, with Saturday's 2-1 win over West Ham improving their record to 10 points from six games.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA LODGED AUDACIOUS DEADLINE DAY LAVIA BID

Chelsea tried to sign Belgium youth international Romeo Lavia from Southampton on deadline day less than two months after he joined the Saints from Manchester City, reports the Daily Echo.

The Blues were one of the big spenders late in the transfer window, and submitted a £50million proposal for the 18-year-old midfielder.

Southampton rejected the proposal having signed Lavia from City for £12m in July. City retain a buy-back clause for Lavia who has played five times for Southampton this season.

ROUND-UP

– El Nacional reports Arsenal attempted to sign Barcelona's Ferran Torres with an audacious €30m bid before the close of the transfer window on Thursday. The Spaniard joined Barca from Manchester City in January but has not been a regular starter and the Gunners tried to convince the Catalans to let him go.

Tottenham tried to sign Ukrainian midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi from Atalanta but the Serie A club refused to sell him, claims Fabrizio Romano. Spurs may re-open the situation in January.

Besiktas are in discussions with Sassuolo's Turkey international centre-back Kaan Ayhan about a move to Turkey according to Ajansspor. The Turkish transfer window is open until September 8.

– L'Equipe claims that former Everton and Lille full-back Djibril Sidibe will join Greek club AEK Athens , having left Monaco when his contract expired at the end of last season.

 

The Cristiano Ronaldo transfer saga may not be finished, with new reports he has agreed to terms on a move to Turkish side Fenerbahce.

Ronaldo, 37, has come off the bench in each of Manchester United's last three wins on the trot, with his only start of the season coming in the 4-0 loss at Brentford.

With the transfer window shut in England, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and most of Europe's top leagues, it seemed like Ronaldo was destined to remain with United until at least January – but the Turkish window remains open until September 8.

 

TOP STORY – RONALDO STILL WANTS OUT OF OLD TRAFFORD, AGREES TO FENERBAHCE MOVE

Turkish Super Lig outfit Fenerbahce could be set for a massive influx of star power after Ajansspor reported Ronaldo has been convinced by the club's Portuguese manager Jorge Jesus to make the jump.

No team in the Super Lig has scored more than Fenerbahce's 13 goals in four games this season, and more firepower could be on the way as club president Ali Koc is reportedly on board with the move, with just last details required to finalise things.

Koc has experience with high-profile signings, having convinced Ronaldo's former Real Madrid team-mate Mesut Ozil to sign last season, collecting eight goals and two assists in 22 league matches before opting to remain in the Super Lig for another campaign, moving to Istanbul Basaksehir.

 

ROUND-UP

– Marca is reporting Paris Saint-Germain offered Manchester City the chance to sign Neymar as the deadline approached, but they declined.

– According to The Athletic, Tottenham had serious interest in Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, but could not thrash out a deal.

– The Manchester Evening News claims the United board vetoed a move for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech.

– Ajansspor is reporting Fenerbahce are working on a transfer for Leicester City's Turkish centre-back Caglar Soyuncu.

Leicester City still have interest in adding another centre-back, with 27-year-old free agent and Belgian international Jason Denayer their main focus, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Barcelona have landed defender Marcos Alonso from Chelsea as part of the latter's deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with the left-back joining on a one-year deal and a release clause set at €30million.

The 31-year-old, who arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2016, was a Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League winner with the Blues during his six-year tenure in London.

Having previously played in the English top-flight for Bolton Wanderers, and then Sunderland during a loan spell from Fiorentina, the 31-year-old returns to LaLiga for the first time in over a decade.

A product of the Castilla academy system at Real Madrid, Alonso only played one competitive game for the club before he left for England in 2010.

His arrival comes following the termination of his contract with Chelsea, which came following the Blues' capture of Aubameyang - bringing an end to his short spell in Catalonia.

He is the second defensive arrival at the end of the transfer window, with Hector Bellerin having arrived from Arsenal on Thursday after similarly seeing his contract cut-short.

Alonso has been handed the number 17 shirt at the club, with Bellerin given number two, and neither player was signed in time to feature in this weekend's LaLiga clash with Sevilla.

Chelsea have farewelled Spanish left-back Marcos Alonso, announcing on Thursday that it was "mutual consent" leading to his departure.

It has been widely reported that Alonso was included along with a €14million fee in exchange for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona, although the Spanish giants are yet to announce Alonso's arrival.

He totalled 29 goals and 23 assists over his six seasons, winning the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, Europa League, Super Cup and Club World Cup in the process.

In the statement from Chelsea – which calls Alonso "a thoughtful and extremely likeable man off the pitch" – they highlight how he followed his father's and grandfather's footsteps in representing Spain on the international level.

"Deployed at left wing-back for 60 per cent of his 212 appearances, and at left-back for the rest, Alonso was confident in possession, strong in the air and an excellent set-piece taker," it reads.

"His performances for Chelsea earned him a call-up to the Spain squad for the first time in March 2018, following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps. The youngest Marcos Alonso leaves having represented his country on nine occasions.

"Everyone at Chelsea Football Club would like to thank Marcos for his service to the Blues and wish him all the very best for the rest of his career."

The transfer window has been gently eased shut, and there were plenty of last-minute deals to keep fans across Europe captivated.

Southampton were busy, adding Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Duje Caleta-Car to their ranks, among others, while Barcelona allowed Martin Braithwaite to join Espanyol on a free transfer and sold Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Chelsea.

As the seconds ticked down, clubs dotted their i's, crossed their t's and blew the dust off their fax machines, and here is just some of what took place in the closing hours.

Busy Saints bring in four, lose one

As far as the Premier League goes, it was Southampton who got up to the most activity in the final moments, signing Maitland-Niles on loan from Arsenal and Caleta-Car permanently from Marseille on a four-year deal, as well as adding two Manchester City youngsters in Juan Larios and Sam Edozie. They let defender Yan Valery to Ligue 1 side Angers.

Brighton and Hove Albion completed the signing of Billy Gilmour from Chelsea and released Romanian striker Florin Andone, while Chelsea let Ethan Ampadu join Serie A side Spezia on loan and finally allowed Kenedy to depart Stamford Bridge after seven years to join Real Valladolid in LaLiga.

Carlos Vinicius returned to the Premier League after a loan spell with Tottenham in 2020-21, having joined Fulham from Benfica on a permanent deal. The Cottagers also completed a loan deal for Leeds United winger Daniel James.

The Whites were frustrated in their attempts to sign Bamba Dieng from Marseille, but instead clinched a deal for Italian youngster Wilfried Gnonto from FC Zurich for an undisclosed fee.

Nottingham Forest added signings number 20 and 21 of the window in Josh Bowler from Blackpool and Loic Bade from Rennes, with free agent Serge Aurier potentially making it 22, though a reported late move for Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi failed to materialise.

Jan Bednarek had been linked with a move to West Ham earlier in the day but ended up leaving Southampton on loan to another team in claret and blue as Aston Villa brought in the Polish defender.

Brooks was here, now he's in Lisbon

On the continent, Benfica completed the signing of American defender John Brooks from Wolfsburg, while Maxi Gomez left Valencia for Turkish side Trabzonspor.

Los Che brought in a replacement for Gomez in Justin Kluivert on loan from Roma after his move to Fulham fell through due to work permit issues.

In France, highly rated forward Amine Gouiri swapped Nice for Rennes in a reported club-record fee apparently worth €28million, while Lille secured a loan deal for Everton midfielder Andre Gomes.

As well as signing Aubameyang and Hector Bellerin and losing Braithwaite, Barcelona also said goodbye on a temporary basis to Ez Abde, who joined Osasuna on loan.

Chelsea have completed the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona, seeing the forward reunite with his former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel's side have been in the market for attacking reinforcements since allowing Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner to return to their respective former clubs, Inter and RB Leipzig, after disappointing spells in west London.

Aubameyang enjoyed a successful half-season in LaLiga after leaving Arsenal in January, scoring 11 goals in 17 league appearances for Barca last term – a tally only bettered by Memphis Depay (12 goals in 28 games).

That form has persuaded Chelsea to agree a deal worth £10.3million (€12m) for the striker, who has signed a two-year contract with the Blues.

It is expected that Marcos Alonso will head in the other direction, though seemingly as a separate deal.

After the signing was announced, Aubameyang told the club's website: "I'm really happy. It's an honour to be part of this team and I can't wait to start. I have some unfinished business with the Premier League so it's good to be back and really exciting."

Aubameyang will hope a reunion with Tuchel allows him to rediscover the goalscoring form that convinced Arsenal to part with a then-club record fee for his services back in 2018.

The Gabon international has scored more league goals (56) and recorded more goal contributions (63) under Tuchel than any other coach in his career to date.

Aubameyang racked up those figures in just 63 games under Tuchel at Dortmund, averaging a goal every 94 minutes in league action during the German's spell as Dortmund boss – also a career-high figure.

Earlier this month, Tuchel insisted he had no concerns about Aubameyang's attitude despite his difficulties at Arsenal.

"We had a very close relationship. Always when we played him here with Arsenal, there was always straight away this close bond," Tuchel said. "They stay your players, in a way, and Auba is one of these guys."

The 33-year-old could make his Chelsea debut against Leicester City on Saturday, with the Blues eyeing a response after suffering a chastening 3-0 loss at Leeds United last time out.

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