Chelsea BLOCK Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk from representing Argentina and Ukraine at next month's Olympic Games in a bid to avoid last season's injury nightmare

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  • Both will be featuring for their nations at international tournaments this summer 
  • Other clubs are keen to impose the same restrictions, such as Real with Mbappe 
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Chelsea have officially blocked Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk from representing Argentina and Ukraine respectively at the upcoming Olympic Games to prevent the pair from missing crucial pre-season preparations under their new head coach, Enzo Maresca.

The Premier League club want Maresca to go into the next season with a fully-fit squad to choose from, having seen how their last campaign was plagued by injuries from start to finish.

Both Fernandez and Mudryk are already set to compete in tournaments for their countries this summer, with Argentina in the Copa America and Ukraine at Euro 2024.

Chelsea are reluctant to take risks this summer and they are not alone in exercising their right to refuse the release of their players. Other clubs are expected to take a similar stance, including Manchester United with Alejandro Garnacho of Argentina. Real Madrid's latest Galactico Kylian Mbappe is also unlikely to compete at the Olympics in his hometown of Paris this summer, with Benoit Badiashile and Malo Gusto likewise in line to remain out of the France squad.

While Chelsea respect the Argentine Football Association, they are cautious of how Fernandez could potentially miss 17 days of pre-season due to his participation in the Copa America with the final of that tournament falling on July 15. Competing in the Olympics would force him to skip the entirety of pre-season, which is being seen as a pivotal bedding-in period under Maresca, whose appointment was announced on Monday.

Chelsea have blocked both Enzo Fernandez (right) and Mykhailo Mudryk (left) from competing with their respective nations in Paris

Chelsea have blocked both Enzo Fernandez (right) and Mykhailo Mudryk (left) from competing with their respective nations in Paris

Chelsea have blocked both Enzo Fernandez (right) and Mykhailo Mudryk (left) from competing with their respective nations in Paris

The Blues are keen to give incoming manager Enzo Maresca the strongest-possible pre-season

The Blues are keen to give incoming manager Enzo Maresca the strongest-possible pre-season

Chelsea's injury crisis was such that supporters barely saw new signings such as Romeo Lavia

Chelsea's injury crisis was such that supporters barely saw new signings such as Romeo Lavia

Fernandez is a proud Argentinian who was willing to play in both the Copa America and Olympics, but Chelsea feel their decision has been taken in his best interest. In April, the 23-year-old had surgery on his groin after a gruelling campaign in which he featured in 48 games for club and country, and he is expected to play a key role in Maresca’s midfield.

Mudryk is set to feature at Euro 2024 for Ukraine but he too will not feature in the Olympics ahead of a big season in which he will be needed as an option on Chelsea’s left wing.

Chelsea are facing a busy year of football, including competing in the Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, Europa Conference League and Club World Cup next summer.

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