Chelsea have extremely tight deadline before January transfer option becomes unavailable

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Chelsea are facing an extremely tight deadline to act before a potential January transfer option becomes unavailable. Following a raft of injuries, the Blues are hoping to bring in much-needed reinforcements to aid Thomas Tuchel’s ailing Premier League title challenge.

Manchester City are 10 points ahead of Tuchel’s men with only 17 games remaining of the season, leaving the Blues needing a miracle to win their first title since 2017.

But they are still in the Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup, with the second leg of their semi-final of the latter competition coming on Wednesday.

As a result, the Blues will need to bring in reinforcements in this month’s transfer window to keep up their momentum.

That need is particularly acute at wing-back, with Ben Chilwell ruled out for the rest of the season and Reece James also sidelined for a significant period.

It leaves Marcos Alonso as the only recognised wing-back in Tuchel’s squad, though Cesar Azpilicueta and Callum Hudson-Odoi have experience of playing there.

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Those injuries mean that wing-back will be one of the priority positions that will be targeted by Tuchel and his recruitment team this month.

Of course, one option to solve their crisis in defence would be to recall at least one member of their loan army.

But that will present another problems for the Blues, with the construct of the agreements with their players’ loan clubs causing headaches.

According to Goal, their ‘main priority’ is to bring Emerson back from Ligue 1 giants Lyon, though the French side are unwilling to let him return.

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There is no recall clause in his contract and Lyon ‘ideally’ want to keep him at the Groupama Stadium, with Chelsea needing to pay compensation in order to break the contract.

Emerson is not the only player who Chelsea are facing problems with recalling from loan spells.

Dujon Sterling had been sent to Championship new boys Blackpool in the summer, with the Englishman making 13 appearances in all competitions.

Sterling could be the solution to Chelsea’s problem at right wing-back, with the 22-year-old one of the more experienced members of the loan army.

But if they do want to bring him back to Stamford Bridge, the Blues are facing an increasingly tight deadline to pull the trigger.

That is because, according to Goal, Chelsea only have until 14 January to activate the recall clause in his contract.

Despite that date rapidly approaching, the Blues are said to be ‘testing the market’ in the hope they can find another solution.

Time is running out for Tuchel to come to a decision about Sterling’s future, with Blackpool certain to be keen to keep him at Bloomfield Road.

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