Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has opened up on his talks with Marc Cucurella after was linked with a move to Manchester United.
Cucurella had been linked with a loan move to Old Trafford on transfer deadline day, only for the Spaniard to stay put at Stamford Bridge.
The 25-year-old saw a deal collapse after Chelsea, with the Red Devils instead signing Sergio Reguilon from Tottenham on loan.
Cucurella is expected to make his first Premier League start on Monday against Fulham, following injuries to Reece James and now Ben Chilwell.
Having impressed when handed a start in the 1-0 Carabao Cup victory over Brighton last weekend, he is expected to be given more opportunities.
When asked if Cucurella was surplus to requirements, Pochettino told reporters: “I don’t know because I wasn’t involved in this situation, that was more the sporting director, the [player’s] agent and the club.”
Cucurella endured a difficult first campaign in south west London following his £62million move from Brighton in August 2022.
“After, when the transfer window closed, we were talking in my office,” Pochettino added.
“We were really clear about how I see and assess him and I listened to his feelings. Of course, it was a difficult time for him after he arrived from Brighton. It was tough, not only for him, but many, many players.
“That’s why we need to give confidence and trust in him. He is our player and I think he was really good against Brighton on Wednesday playing on the right-hand side.
“I think he was doing well and I am so happy about his performance and commitment. That’s what we expect from our players.
“Now, it is about working, waiting for the opportunity and working really hard. It is a really clear situation, he is in our plan. If he deserves to play, he will play.”
Chelsea, after picking up five points from their first six games, are seeking to put an end to three league matches without a win.
They take on their south west London rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage on Monday night – a match you can listen to exclusively live on talkSPORT.
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