A final decision on Malang Sarr’s availability to face parent club Chelsea in the Champions League this week has been made on Tuesday evening.
European football’s elite club competition is set to get back underway over the days ahead.
Amongst a host of high-profile ties, including a showdown between the champions of England and Spain, will of course be Chelsea’s meeting with Portuguese giants FC Porto.
The former advanced to the competition’s final-8 courtesy of a dominant downing of La Liga table-toppers Atletico Madrid last month.
Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel gestures during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on March 4, 2021. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP)
Sergio Conceição’s Porto, though, also thoroughly impressed en route to the quarters, via an away goals victory over Italian heavyweights Juventus.
As such, whilst Chelsea, for obvious reasons, will head into the two-legged affair as favourites, the Blues will no doubt be wary of a potential upset against a game Porto outfit.
Adding further spice to Wednesday’s opener between the sides, meanwhile, is of course the presence of one of the many young talents on Chelsea’s books at the Estádio do Dragão.
Malang Sarr, after making the move to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer last summer, was swiftly made available for loan.
Nice’s French defender Malang Sarr celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between OGC Nice (OGCN) and Toulouse FC (TFC) at the Allianz Riviera stadium, in Nice, southeastern France, on December 21, 2019. (Photo by YANN COATSALIOU / AFP) (Photo by YANN COATSALIOU/AFP via Getty Images)
Porto, in turn, swooped, with the central defender having since managed 19 senior appearances across all competitions, during his stint in Portugal.
Four of these outings came in the form of starts in the Champions League, as Conceição’s men allowed just three goals to advance from a group containing Manchester City, Marseille and Olympiacos.
Sarr’s availability for Porto’s upcoming meetings with his parent club, however, had long remained up in the air.
This came amid doubts over whether or not UEFA would permit the Frenchman to line out against the side he is contracted to on a permanent basis.
As confirmed a short time ago, however, European football’s governing body, in the end, have opted to open the door to such a possibility, with Sarr having been named in Porto’s 25-man travelling squad for Wednesday’s opener:
Marchesín, Cláudio Ramos and Francisco Meixedo (goalkeeper); Pepe, Diogo Leite, Loum, Luis Díaz, Matheus Uribe, Marega, Zaidu, Carraça, Marko Grujic, Tecatito Corona, Wilson Manafá, Mbemba, Romário Baró, João Mário, Otávio, Felipe Anderson, Toni Martínez, Evanilson, Nanu, Malang Sarr , Fábio Vieira and Francisco Conceição
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) April 6, 2021