The Blues will take their fight with the two-year transfer embargo to the Court of Arbitration for Sport
Maurizio Sarri admitted Chelsea cannot catch Premier League leaders Manchester City and Liverpool next season UNLESS their transfer ban is overturned.
Chelsea will take their fight against FIFA’s two-window transfer embargo to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), with head coach Sarri conceding the Blues will struggle to chase next term’s title without new recruits.
The Premier League club “categorically refutes” FIFA’s latest findings, after the game’s governing body rejected the Blues’ appeal against the transfer embargo for signing underage players.
Chelsea were fined £460,000 for 29 breaches of the international transfer rules on minors, and FIFA threw out the Blues’ appeal on Wednesday.
“It’s very difficult to cover the gap at the moment; we need to work, probably we need to do something from the market,” said Sarri, with third-placed Chelsea 24 points behind league leaders City and 23 behind Liverpool.
“So it’s not easy, because the level of the top two is very, very high. As we can see in Europe so it’s not easy.
“Of course, we have to work and we have to try. In my opinion we can reduce the gap.
“I don’t believe when you buy 10 players, I think that we have to buy only one, two players, otherwise it’s very difficult to improve immediately.
“I think we are a very good team, so we need only one, two players, no more.”
FIFA confirmed it has “partially upheld” Chelsea’s appeal, but only in allowing Chelsea to sign European players aged under 16.
The ban on signing over-16s and the fine remain in place, leaving Chelsea hugely frustrated.
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The Blues will now hope that CAS will force a suspension of the ban pending another appeal but FIFA will likely be in opposition.
Real Madrid continue to fight to prise Eden Hazard away from Chelsea this summer, and it is understood the Belgium captain could hand in a transfer request in order to force through a £100million move.
Defender David Luiz and Olivier Giroud are out of contract at the end of this season, and the Blues will most likely look to retain both men should they face that two-window transfer embargo.