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Sarri: Hudson-Odoi should stay at Chelsea

Chelsea v PAOK - UEFA Europa League - Group L

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Callum Hudson-Odoi of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal during the UEFA Europa League Group L match between Chelsea and PAOK at Stamford Bridge on November 29, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

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Callum Hudson-Odoi has been the subject of three bids from Bayern Munich during the January transfer window, the latest over $38 million, but Chelsea remain reluctant to let their 19-year-old leave for the Bundesliga.

Maurizio Sarri reinforced that notion Monday as he spoke to the media ahead of Chelsea’s League Cup semifinal against Tottenham.

Asked if a move to Bayern Munich would be better for Hudson-Odoi’s development, considering he has just 18 months left on his current Chelsea contract, the Italian coach revealed he wants the young English winger to remain at Stamford Bridge.

“I don’t think so, because he is an English player. He is very young, he has the future. He has a very great future here in England, with the national team and Chelsea. To stay here is better for him,” Sarri said.

Hudson-Odoi assisted both of Chelsea’s goals in their 2-0 FA Cup third round win over Nottingham Forest at the weekend but is said to be generally frustrated by a lack of first team action.

When you see what has happened to the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Dominic Solanke and Tammy Abraham in recent years at Chelsea, you can understand where he is coming from.

Although Sarri revealed he hasn’t spoken directly to Hudson-Odoi because whether or not he stays is down to the club and not himself, he did hint that the teenager will play a more prominent role in the months to come after his impressive cameos on the wing.

“I know only that for me he is a very important player. He is very young but now he is improving especially in the defensive phase. He played really very well in the last match. I am really very happy with him. I don’t know the situation with the club. He is ready,” Sarri said. “Of course we have very important players in the same position. You want Willian on the bench? Pedro? I can play with only two wingers. I think now I can start to consider him on the same level.”

With Christian Pulisic signed in January for $73 million and arriving in the summer from Borussia Dortmund, it is likely that Hudson-Odoi faces a long-term battle to become a regular after graduating through Chelsea’s academy.

Both Willian and Pedro could move on in the summer, so a spot may open up for Hudson-Odoi, but given the likes of Reiss Nelson and Jadon Sancho excelling in the Bundesliga at Hoffenheim (on loan from Arsenal) and Borussia Dortmund respectively, heading to Germany is an enticing prospect.

Especially to Bayern, as the German giants look to the future with Franck Ribery in the twilight of his carrer and Arjen Robben moving on in the summer. Not an easy decision for Hudson-Odoi should Chelsea receive an offer they can’t refuse in the next few weeks.

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