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Chelsea to offload Zappacosta for James promotion

Chelsea could allow Davide Zappacosta to leave with plans to promote homespun fullback Reece James.

Zappacosta has made little impact at Stamford Bridge since joining from Torino for an initial £23m in 2017, starting just 34 matches of which only 13 have come in the Premier League.

The London Evening Standard says it is understood that the club had initially earmarked Ola Aina, now of Torino, to be the club's second-choice right-back – behind Azpiliceuta – for next season with James more likely to be allowed to leave on loan to continue his development.

Lazio were keen on Zappacosta's signature in January and have held talks with Chelsea about buying him outright.

James is also another of Chelsea's youngsters that the club want to give a new contract too, even though he has three years remaining on his current deal.

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Paul Vegas

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