I have to avoid that – Graham Potter will not talk about players from other clubs

Chelsea boss Graham Potter does not want to fuel transfer rumors by commenting on reported goals.

The Blues have been linked with several players in the January transfer window as they try to get their Premier League top-four hopes back on track after a poor first half of the season.

They are said to be in talks with Benfica over the transfer of World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez while Andrey Santos, Benoit Badiashile, Joao Felix and Mykhailo Mudryk have all been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.

Ivory Coast international David Datro Fofana is out the door after moving from Molde.

Enzo Fernandez

Enzo Fernandez has been linked with a move to Chelsea (Mike Egerton/PA)

Potter wouldn’t fall for any of that speculation ahead of Thursday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City.

“It’s a good question but the problem is if I answer it specifically, every player in that area will be linked to Chelsea,” he said.

“So I have to avoid it – and I hope you understand why I avoid it. I always answer this part of the question by saying that I am the head coach and I am responsible for the players who are here.

“We’ll try to improve every window, but January is complicated because it’s the middle of the season.

“In the meantime, we have to deal with all the noise about Chelsea being linked to everyone and I am not commenting on any player who is not a Chelsea player.

“As always and it’s a boring answer, but my job is to help the players who are here and support the club with the decisions they take to improve.”

Of Fofany’s move, Potter said: “We still have to wait for the permits and all the paperwork. He’s had a little break so we’ll give him some time to train, evaluate and then we’ll work out the best solution for taking the next step in his career.

Potter is sensibly focusing on his current players and how best to improve them after they happily left Nottingham Forest with a point on New Year’s Day, putting them out of the race for the top four.

Things won’t get any easier as Pep Guardiola’s side visit Stamford Bridge on Thursday, although the defending champions have proved fallible so far this season.

But Potter knows Chelsea will have to do their best to keep City.

“We have to play well ourselves, that’s the key,” he added. “Then you have to understand the quality they have and try to keep it. It sounds simple when you condense it, but the reality is not so simple.

“They are a top team but we can cause them a problem, we can be ourselves and try to play well and put pressure on them. We have to use Stamford Bridge and see what happens.

“They are a top team but we have to think about ourselves, how we can play better, how we can take a step forward in our game. That’s the approach we’ll take.”

Chelsea will still be without right-back Reece James and goalkeeper Eduoard Mendy for the match.

Potter said of the Senegalese national team: “I’m training a little more than before. He is not fully recovered at the moment, but I hope he will make progress next week.

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