Chelsea have offered Callum Hudson-Odoi the club’s number 10 shirt as part of their latest bid to persuade the youngster to stay at Stamford Bridge in the summer.
The shirt is set to be vacated by the departing Eden Hazard, with the Belgian widely expected to complete a move to Real Madrid for around £100m at the end of the season, and Chelsea are seemingly planning for life without their talisman.
Southgate: “Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek would have definitely been in the squad [had they not been injured].”
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) May 16, 2019
With a transfer ban for the next two windows likely to be upheld, Chelsea must look to internal solutions to deal with Hazard’s departure, and it seems likely that Hudson-Odoi will be the player to step up. According to the Daily Mail, the Blues have offered the 18-year-old Hazard’s No 10 jersey.
Fresh talks over a new contract in west London are said to be scheduled between the club and Hudson-Odoi’s advisers this month, with European heavyweights Bayern Munich, Juventus and PSG all said to be circling the youngster.
With Hudson-Odoi having just one year remaining on his current contract at Stamford Bridge, it is suggested that interested parties may look to make cut-price moves in the summer, or even wait until January when the forward could be signed for a minimal compensation fee.
The starlet is currently sidelined with a ruptured Achilles which will force him to miss the Europa League final against Arsenal at the end of May, and could yet decide to extend his stay at Chelsea.
Hudson-Odoi is said to be seeking assurances of greater first team opportunities and that the club will build the team around him in the future, with financial demands not the reason behind his reluctance to commit to fresh terms as yet.
The youngster made just ten Premier League appearances under Maurizio Sarri this season, though Hazard’s seemingly imminent departure appears likely to pave a clearer path to the first team for Hudson-Odoi.
The offer of Chelsea’s esteemed No 10 shirt would be a further incentive and another suggestion of his increased importance at the club, with Bayern Munich having previously made the similar offer of giving Hudson-Odoi the same number following Arjen Robben’s departure.