Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has ruled out Callum Hudson-Odoi leaving the club in the January transfer window, claiming that it’s also possible that he won’t be allowed to quit in the summer either.
The 18-year-old has emerged as a top target for Bayern Munich in the winter window, with the Bundesliga club having publicly expressed their desire to sign the winger.
The young winger handed in a transfer request on Saturday to force a move to the Allians Arena Stadium but was rebuffed by Chelsea and was selected in the match against Wednesday in the 4th round of the FA cup on Sunday.
Ruling out a transfer to Bayern, Sarri told reporters: “I am not frustrated [with Hudson-Odoi]. On the pitch, he’s doing very well: very well in training, very well in matches. So I’m really very happy with him.
“I’m not happy with the situation, of course, but I know very well that every big team here in England has the same problem. It’s not easy to keep these young players. He is, of course, one of the best 18-year-olds in Europe, so it’s very difficult.
“But, as I said before, the club told me he is off the market, for sure. And, probably, he will be off the market in July, too. I don’t know [if he’ll be happy with that], but I can say what I see on the pitch. On the pitch at the moment, he’s fantastic.”
Hudson-Odoi has been used sparingly by Sarri thus far this season, with the England youth international struggling to earn a place in the starting XI ahead of the likes of Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian.
He has made just three substitute appearances in the Premier League in the 2018-19 campaign, with his six starts for the club having come in the domestic cup competitions and the Europa League.
Indeed, Hudson-Odoi was named as a starter in Sunday’s 3-0 FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday and he was on the scoresheet too, neatly cutting inside onto his left foot before finding the net past Keiren Westwood.
The latest comments from Sarri may well have put paid to that, however, with it appearing that Chelsea will block any attempt by the Bundesliga side to lure the 18-year-old to Germany.
Hudson-Odoi’s current contract runs out in the summer of 2020 and he has thus far rejected all offers by Chelsea to renew it, despite promises of improved playing time and wages of at least £70,000 per week.
The player himself has remained publicly quiet over his future, meanwhile, telling reporters after the win over Sheffield Wednesday when asked about his future: “I don’t know I can’t say.
“I just keep working hard and you never know what happens. I can’t say [if I spoke to Bayern].”