auricio Pochettino won’t decide who becomes his first Chelsea captain until after pre-season as he calls for new signings “as soon as possible”.
The Blues continue to chase Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo as they prepare to play against Roberto De Zerbi’s side in Philadelphia in the United States.
Christopher Nkunku, Nicolas Jackson and Malo Gusto have already joined Chelsea but Pochettino’s squad remains in flux despite a dozen having already left.
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Speaking from the Lincoln Financial Field in pre-season, Pochettino says he wants his new players as soon as possible: “It is clear that any coach would want to close the squad as soon as possible.
“If it’s possible, yes bring the player here to the USA. If not, it’s not a problem. I’m happy with how we are working in this process to improve the squad.
“The sporting directors, the board are working so hard to bring the right people and right players and profile to the squad. I’m so happy in the way they are working.”
Pochettino is taking a less is more approach to building his squad in the transfer market and added: “We need 23-24 players — maximum 25, keepers included.
“Less than 25 is better. We need be right and need to be able to choose the player and profile.”
“The balance is important. Sometimes you get the balance with less. We need to be clear and to be strong in our decision and be right in the numbers of players if we think there can be injuries or suspended but not so big.”
Chelsea remain without a captain after Cesar Azpilicueta joined Atletico Madrid this summer.
Pochettino says he will use the whole of pre-season to decide and only name his new leader just before Chelsea’s opening Premier League match against Liverpool on August 13.
He explained: “I’m not going to name until before the Liverpool game. I need to see the reaction, how they behave, how they react.
“It’s a time to assess everyone and see what is going on and to see who will be in the squad. It is not really important. For some people yes. Now it is important to assess and be right in the decision.”
Reece James joined up with the squad on Friday but is unlikely to play on Saturday.