Sevilla manager Jorge Sampaoli claims he is not thinking about a potential swoop for Cesc Fabregas. The Spanish midfielder appears to be surplus to requirements at Chelsea and has started just one Premier League match – September's dismal defeat to Arsenal – since Antonio Conte took charge over the summer.
Two of Fabregas' six appearances so far this season have come in the EFL Cup and the 29-year-old, firmly behind summer signing N'Golo Kante and the much-improved Nemanja Matic in Conte's midfield pecking order, has also struggled with a thigh muscle problem. Such a lack of first-team football has led to suggestions that he could be offloaded when the transfer window re-opens in January.
A potential loan move to London rivals West Ham United has been mooted by The Mirror, who claim that Chelsea are even willing to subsidise his £160,000-a-week (€185,000) wages.
Reports cited by Spanish publication AS in September also suggested that Sevilla could emerge as one of his potential suitors amid possible rival interest from the likes of Atletico Madrid and Valencia as well as Serie A duo Juventus and AC Milan.
While a return to his native Spain may hold some appeal, Sampaoli claims that he is not currently considering the prospect of Fabregas moving to the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
"Cesc is an important player, but the truth is that we're not thinking about him at the moment," he was quoted as saying by Marca at a press conference held prior to tomorrow night's Antonio Puerta Trophy meeting with Argentine giants Boca Juniors in Andalusia.
"It's not in my head that he could be here. Obviously he's an intelligent footballer that any coach would want to have, but I'm not thinking about him right now."
Fabregas has not played at all since that heavy loss in north London, sitting out a remarkable run that has seen a Chelsea side rejuvenated by Conte's overdue switch to his favoured 3-4-3 formation score 16 goals without reply during five successive top-flight wins. He was unable to play any part in last weekend's 5-0 drubbing of Everton, although his manager expressed hope that he would be fit after the current international break.
Several Chinese Super League clubs are also said to be keen on Fabregas, although sources close to the player apparently told ESPN that he has rebuffed such interest and has no interest in joining the lucrative CSL at this stage of his career.