Chelsea’s desperate attempt to recall Emerson Palmery from his loan spell with Lyon has reportedly been blocked by the French club.
The Blues are in dire need of defensive cover after full-back Ben Chilwell’s ACL injury ruled him out for the rest of the season.
To make matters worse for Thomas Tuchel’s side, Chilwell’s fellow wing-back Reece James was injured during the Blues’ 1–1 draw with Brighton.
The England star was seen walking into the tunnel on crutches with the Blues unsure how long he would need to recover.
Tuchel touched on his side’s defensive plight after the Brighton match, saying: “We don’t have any wingbacks anymore. Everyone’s injured.”
With his main full-back sidelined for the foreseeable future, Tuchel was hoping to cut Emerson’s season-long loan spell with Lyon Short to bridge the gap in his defence.
However, the Ligue 1 side is unwilling to let Emerson, who has played 19 games for them this season, leave before his loan transfer ends, according to Gate France Football News.
Although the Italian is still a Chelsea player, the West Londoners do not have a formal recall clause in the loan deal with Lyon, claims GFFN.
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GFFN said the Champions League winners will now turn their attention to Everton defender Lucas Digne with the hope of recruiting him in the January transfer window.
The Blues’ pursuit of Digne could be successful as French ace boss Rafa Benitez was not in favor at Goodison Park.
However, Chelsea will have to avoid competition from Premier League rivals Newcastle, who are also eyeing the 28-year-old.
But if Digne chooses to join Eddie Howe’s Toon Revolution – backed by the club’s mega-rich Saudi owners, Tuchel has drawn up a short list of options to fill his defensive void.
Barcelona youngster Sergio Dest is said to be a substitute along with Ajax veteran Nicolas Tagliafico.
The Blues are also considering recalling Ian Matson from his loan deal with Coventry as a last resort.