Wales defender linked with Serie A return
Wales star Ethan Ampadu could be set for a return to Italy after reports that Chelsea have received an approach from Spezia to sign the combative defender on loan
According to the Italian press, the Serie A club have sweetened a prospective deal with a £12 million option to secure the services of the 21-year-old on a permanent basis.
Spezia are hoping to see off competition from clubs in England, Spain and Germany to take Ampadu back to Italy where he excelled at Venezia last season.
Last week, Wales manager Robert Page warned Ampadu that he cannot afford to sit on the Chelsea bench ahead of the World Cup after he played a huge part in securing qualification for November’s tournament in Qatar.
The former Exeter youngster returned to Chelsea from Italy this summer and forced his way into the Blues’ Premier League matchday squad after impressing during pre-season.
But Chelsea are determined to sign Wesley Fofana from Leicester, and the defender’s potential arrival would appear to limit Ampadu’s first-team opportunities at Stamford Bridge even further.
The deal for Fofana is for around £70m but it could beat the world record £80m paid for a defender if bonuses are met.
Ampadu has been capped 36 times by Wales but has made just 12 Chelsea appearances since joining them as a 16-year-old in 2017.
“I can’t fault any of the players. When they’ve turned up in the past without playing for their club they’ve still given a good account of themselves and helped qualification, Page said.
“There’s no qualms there. But eventually it will catch up with you and you can’t continue to do that.
“On camp I speak to the players and I get their frustration.
“I think it’s common sense everybody understands the importance of going out and playing games and forcing the issue a little bit with team selection.”
Wales start their World Cup campaign against the United States on November 21, with England and Iran completing Group B.
“If they’re not playing they’ve got no qualms if I don’t select them,” Robert Page added.
“That’s an easy option, but it does give me a headache.
“They all want to be part of that squad and that team for that first game.
“To do that they have to realise they have to be playing football.”
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