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Malang Sarr on AC Milan shortlist but ‘temporarily shunning’ interest — reports

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Chelsea v Chesterfield: The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

AC Milan are on the lookout for a new center back this January following injury to Simon Kjaer, who’s been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ACL tear.

Sven Botman is their primary target, or at least was before Lille made it clear they’re not selling halfway through the season. Milan are therefore exploring alternative options, and have reportedly shortlisted three players for a potential loan deal this month. One of those three is Chelsea’s Malang Sarr. Unfortunately for them, Sarr is “temporarily shunning loan interest following a prolonged run in the first team”, according to Goal.

I’m not sure “prolonged” is really the right word but Sarr does have three starts in our last six games (including the last two) after making just four appearances in our first 27 games. Obviously that has a lot to do with the schedule (cup games vs. league) and also with injuries and unavailabilities, but those factors won’t be going away anytime soon, with a congested schedule and even a Club World Cup coming up. Thomas Tuchel recently praised the 22-year-old for stepping up precisely in such circumstances.

“He played a good match again (against Tottenham), very good. Very happy that he did so. When we needed him, relied on him, he was reliable and he was there. Very good. He knows his role very clear.

“He appreciates to be in the team and when is necessary he steps up and shows he can be a strong teammate and player.”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: Chelsea TV via SI

Sarr, whose agent had hinted at a January move a couple months ago, has also been linked with West Ham, Watford, RC Strasbourg, and several other Serie A teams, including AS Roma, Napoli, and Torino.