Chelsea have handed Ross Barkley, Malang Sarr and Lewis Baker squad numbers for the 2021/22 campaign despite the trio facing uncertain futures at Stamford Bridge.
Barkley, a £15million signing from Everton in January 2018, was free to leave the Blues during the summer transfer window if the right offer was received by Chelsea.
However, no club was able to strike a deal for the midfielder, who started back-to-back games for England just two years ago.
Earlier this summer, Barkley lost the No.8 shirt he claimed following his move from Everton to Mateo Kovacic and wasn’t handed a new squad number.
However, after Chelsea submitted their Champions League squad to UEFA, it’s been confirmed he will wear the No.18 shirt should he get onto the pitch.
Malang Sarr, meanwhile, has been assigned 31. The French defender was close to completing a deadline day loan move to Bundesliga side Greuther Furth, even going as far to fly to Germany for a medical. Yet it collapsed late on and he’s been training at Cobham this week.
The other Chelsea player handed a squad number is academy graduate Lewis Baker. Once tipped to play for England by Jose Mourinho, the elegant midfielder has been through a series of loans over the past six years, several unsuccessful.
He spent last term at Trabzonspor, for whom he made 36 appearances in all competitions. A return to Turkey could still take place for the 26-year-old given the country’s transfer window remains open.
There are no further surprises in the Champions League lists submitted by Chelsea. Although it is noteworthy that youngsters Lucas Bergstrom and Harvey Vale are included in the squad on the UEFA website despite being included on the club’s B list.
Chelsea begin their Champions League defence against Zenit on September 14 at Stamford Bridge. A trip to Turin to face Juventus follows two weeks later before a home clash with Malmo on October 20.
Tuchel’s side then travel to Sweden for the return match against Malmo before hosting Juventus. The Blues round off their group with a trip to northern Russia to face Zenit on December 8.