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Kenedy exploring Chelsea exit ahead of European transfer deadline

18:13 GMT+3 22/08/2019
Robert Kenedy Chelsea
The Brazilian could leave Stamford Bridge ahead of September 2 as he is down the pecking order under Frank Lampard

Chelsea winger Kenedy is exploring options to leave the Blues permanently ahead of the European transfer deadline after growing concerned at the opportunities he will be given under Frank Lampard this season.

Kenedy had been named on the bench for their Premier League season opener at Manchester United, but was dropped by Lampard from the matchday squad for Sunday's draw with Leicester City due to the return to fitness of Willian.

That was a stark reminder of where the Brazilian sits in the Stamford Bridge pecking order, and that does not factor in Callum Hudson-Odoi's return from injury in the coming weeks.

Though Kenedy played 282 minutes in a busy pre-season, he is also battling Christian Pulisic and Pedro for a starting spot in west London.

The 23-year-old’s contract expires next summer and he would prefer to avoid renewing his deal to secure a loan move before the close of the European transfer window on September 2.

However, Chelsea prefer this approach as shown when they loaned Davide Zappacosta to Roma on Wednesday without organising a buyout clause, as they renewed the full-back’s contract until 2022 to protect their investment.

So, this could be Chelsea’s last chance to bring in more than £10 million ($12m) for a player they signed from Fluminense for £6.3m ($7.7m) in 2015.

Chelsea manager Lampard last spoke about Kenedy's future a month ago and he admitted to taking a good look at a player who had a mixed spell on loan at Newcastle United for the last 18 months.

"In terms of Kenedy, my feeling coming into a big squad with a transfer ban was that I need to assess the players for as long as I can in pre-season,” he said.

“We need to make sure we pick a squad, with me having had good eyes on them in training and in games. If Kenedy continues to show the attitude and plays the way he played, then he's given a great case to stay here.

“I know he has been out on loan in recent seasons, and been part of the squad. Nobody is in or out of the squad. There's nobody who has had a line drawn under them or over them. Everyone is competing and the squad will be picked in due time."

Reading explored the option of signing Kenedy ahead of transfer deadline day earlier in August but instead opted to sign Liverpool's Ovie Ejaria on loan with an option to make the deal permanent.

The Blues are also looking to offload Tiemoue Bakayoko, who is wanted back by Monaco, although the discussions over a loan move have not progressed well.

Chelsea are unhappy with the terms proposed and have signalled that it might not be the best move for their player.

They have already turned down an approach from Galatasaray for similar reasons, but there is a sense that the relationship between Chelsea and Monaco is not good.

Monaco remain frontrunners for Bakayoko after Paris Saint-Germain explored the deal before signing Idrissa Gueye from Everton for around £30m.