Mancini keen for Emerson to leave Chelsea

Roberto Mancini has said he would like Emerson Palmieri to leave Chelsea and return to Italy.

Emerson, 25, has been unable to establish himself as a first-team regular since moving to Stamford Bridge from Roma in January 2018.

He has started just 23 Premier League matches and often been overlooked in favour of Marcos Alonso or Cesar Azpilicueta.

Several Italian clubs have been linked with him in recent months.

And Italy boss Mancini has made it clear he would like to see the left-back return to Serie A and play regular first-team football ahead of the European Championships.

The tournament, which was due to take place this summer, has been postponed until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“As for the full-backs, we knew Adam Masina, although he disappeared off the radar a bit after his move to Watford,” Mancini told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Luca Pellegrini already spent time with the senior squad and he can improve.

“It would be nice if Emerson Palmieri, who hasn’t played much for Chelsea, could come and play in Italy.”

Cole backs ‘brilliant’ Chelsea star

Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley

Meanwhile, Joe Cole has backed Ross Barkley to establish himself as a key player for Chelsea.

Barkley has faced stiff competition for a place in the side, particularly since the emergence of Mason Mount.

He also faces a battle for an England place, with youngsters such as Mount, Leicester’s James Maddison and Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish in contention for selection.

But former Chelsea star Cole, who is now part of the club’s coaching staff, says Barkley is capable of being a driving force for the Blues in the way manager Frank Lampard was.

Cole told the Daily Star: “Ross has improved. He is a top player. I’m a big fan of Ross Barkley – always have been.

“He’s been a bit less spoken about because of Jack Grealish and James Maddison and Mason Mount. But he’s done a terrific job at Chelsea.

“The last two games, against Liverpool and Everton, he was brilliant.

“I’ve always thought he was a top player and I think he’ll be at Chelsea for many, many years.

“Now the challenge for Ross is can he keep doing that, can he be that player who drives Chelsea on to win trophies, like his manager was? I think he can.”