Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri claims it will “not be easy” to challenge Premier League leaders Manchester City and champions League finalists Liverpool for the league title next season.
The 60-year-old Italian made the remarks following an unsuccessful appeal against Fifa’s transfer ban for the Blues.
Following a three-year investigation into their recruitment of U-18 foreign players, Chelsea are officially forbidden from signing any players during the next two transfer windows until the end of January 2020.
“It’s very difficult to cover the gap at the moment; we need to work, probably we need to do something from the market,” Maurizio Sarri said.
“So it’s not easy, because the level of the top two is very, very high. I think that we have to buy only one, two players, otherwise, it’s very difficult to improve immediately,” the Italian further noted in the aftermath of the ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Sarri says the Blues need to make at least two major signings in the summer.
“I think we are a very good team, so we need only one, two players, no more.”
The ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport however now allowed the London side to sign under-16 players from the UK during the suspension period.
“The Fifa appeal committee has decided to partially uphold the appeal lodged by Chelsea,” Fifa, which says it found breaches in 29 cases out of the 92 investigated noted.
“This ban applied to the club as a whole – with the exception of the women’s and futsal teams – and did not prevent the release of players.”
“Chelsea categorically refutes the findings of the Fifa Appeal Committee,” the club said in a statement.
The court nonetheless retained that Chelsea’s fine of £460,000 as per FIFA’s original ruling still stands, with the Football Association (FA) also fined £390,000 by the World’s football governing body and further caution to “address the situation” regarding the international transfer and registration of minors.