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Fluminense president claims Chelsea defender will leave club this summer

:Headline: Fluminense president claims Chelsea defender will leave club this summer :
Fluminense president Mario Bittencourt claims that Thiago Silva will leave Chelsea to rejoin the Brazilian club in the summer.
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Chelsea defender Thiago Silva will leave the Premier League outfit this summer, according to Fluminense president Mario Bittencourt.

The 39-year-old is closing in on the end of his fourth season at Stamford Bridge, with his stint able to be regarded as an overwhelming success.

As well as winning the Champions League in 2021 and Club World Cup in 2022, Silva has prolonged his career in a physically-demanding league, making a total of 146 appearances in all competitions.

However, with the Brazil international very much in veteran status, it has been well documented that Chelsea could choose to part ways with the centre-back in the summer.

When Silva was regarded as first choice in the Blues backline, there had been some doubt over what the West Londoners may choose to do with the senior figure in the dressing room.

In recent weeks, though, the situation has changed with Silva not making an appearance since sustaining an injury against Crystal Palace on February 12.

While he has since returned to the squad, other players have been selected by Mauricio Pochettino, and it is generally accepted that a renewal will not materialise courtesy of Chelsea being required to significantly reduce their outgoings.

A return to Fluminense at some stage of his career has always been mooted, with Silva having made 97 appearances for the club at the beginning of his career.

Although a scenario could arise where he receives offers from elsewhere, it has been claimed by Fluminense chief Bittencourt that the wheels are already in motion for a second stint in his homeland.

Speaking to Globo Esporte, Bittencourt said: "I'm very good friends with Thiago, I talk to him about a lot of things and not just about coming to Fluminense. We don't have anything at the moment, but we're very keen for him to come home.

"From what we've heard, his contract with Chelsea runs out in the middle of the year and he won't renew it. I think that, in Brazil, he wants to play for Fluminense.

"As soon as he's cleared at Chelsea, we'll get back to him. And he'll help us in this important year."

The new Brazilian top-flight campaign gets under on April 13, while Fluminense will play fixtures in the Copa Libertadores group stage before commencing their bid to win the title.

In the short term, Silva will be expected to remain focused at Chelsea, with the possibility arising that he could start against Burnley on Saturday courtesy of injuries to Levi Colwill and Trevoh Chalobah, although Benoit Badiashile is expected to partner Axel Disasi.

Nevertheless, Chelsea do head into the contest with the Clarets with five fresh injury issues at a time when they are bidding to remain in the hunt for European qualification. body check tags ::

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