The remaining European transfer windows will be closing at the end of the week, and while the Premier League window has long shut, speculation surrounding potential departures at Chelsea remains.
One of these potential outgoing candidates is Davide Zappacosta who had been rumoured to be of interest to Italian giants Inter Milan. The right back who has yet to play a single minute this season has recently confirmed that interest and has hinted at a future move if this minutes-less situation continues.
“Could I return to Italy? Yes, Inter had been after me. My agent Alessandro Lucci had told me about their interest, although I’ve always remained focused on Chelsea.”
“Could I return in January? I have three more years on my contract here and I only want to think about doing well with Chelsea. There’s a lot of competition here, but I want to win a place in the team. After that, it’s clear that if I didn’t find much room, I don’t think any player would like that.”
-Davide Zappacosta; source: Corriere dello Sport via Football Italia
Of course, the Italian window has also closed by now, and Inter ultimately acquired the services of World Cup finalist Sime Vrsaljko, who will presumably be their starting right back for the foreseeable future. Consequently, if Zappacosta were to return to his home country, then he’d need to find a different destination in Serie A.
Zappacosta enjoyed a reasonably successful preseason, putting in some decent crosses and performances, but he’s yet to get the call from Sarri on the bench. Whether the head coach sees him as anything more than a backup to current Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta is highly questionable and this situation will presumably not change anytime soon. While the Europa League and Cup games are coming up and all players who have been on the fringes will most certainly be given a chance to prove themselves, Zappacosta may not see this as sufficient enough game time to make him stay at Stamford Bridge for the long-term.
It’s certainly good to hear that the 26-year-old defender aims to fight for a place in Chelsea’s starting eleven but that may change in January. I doubt that Chelsea would hinder him from leaving if he does ultimately decide to push for a move, though it would not be obvious who would become Azpilicueta’s backup in that case (new signing? Moses? a youth player?).