Gianfranco Zola said that Chelsea do not want to sell Callum Hudson-Odoi to Bayern Munich in January, and urged the 18-year-old to sign a new contract and show patience with his development.
Bayern have reportedly made an offer in excess of £30 million for Hudson-Odoi, who has just 18 months left to run on his current deal at Stamford Bridge and has so far declined to commit to an extension without assurances over a bigger first-team role at Chelsea.
Hudson-Odoi has made just six appearances in all competitions under Maurizio Sarri this season and Zola understands that the youngster would like to be more involved, but he is adamant that Chelsea value him every bit as much as Bayern.
“I know Bayern is very interested in him, but we’re interested in him as well,” Zola said of Hudson-Odoi.
“We’ve proposed with him a contract for quite a while, so we’re waiting to see what the player thinks about that. We certainly value him as a player.
“I know he hasn’t played probably as much as he wanted, but this is down to the quality of the players in front of him. I’ve already told the player: ‘It’s not a waste of time. It’s a time in which you can really get better, because you are pushed to do more.’
“I hope Callum is using this time in a wise way. It will do a very good thing for his football. Hopefully he’ll sign a contract with us.
“For an 18-year-old, he’s got a lot of potential. [But] you have to understand the journey’s not finished.
He’s at an age where it’s very important to keep a good attitude. You need to use these years to keep improving. It’s not important [to be] playing straight away, playing 20 games, it’s important to develop.
“That’s what is very important for him. He has potential to become a top player. But he has to keep having an open mind to improve and get better day by day.
“I believe that we can help him, we can develop him. I believe he has a future in this club.”
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