Emma Hayes has chosen not to speculate on the future of injured striker Sam Kerr, whose Chelsea contract will expire this summer.
Chelsea star Sam Kerr recently underwent surgery for an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury sustained during what Hayes described as an “innocuous” turning and shooting exercise in Morocco during the team’s warm-weather training.
The extensive recovery period almost ensures that the Australia captain will be sidelined for the remainder of both the Women’s Super League and Champions League campaigns. The latter represents Hayes’ final opportunity to clinch the elusive trophy before she departs from Chelsea to assume her new role as the head coach of the United States women’s national team.
Asked about Kerr’s contract and concerns the forward might have played her final game for Chelsea, Hayes said: “With the announcement (of Kerr’s injury) the focus for Sam right now is on rehab.
“I’m sure when the time is right to discuss her future that will come from Sam and the club, but Sam loves Chelsea and Chelsea loves Sam, so I think that’s the most important thing to say on that front.”
Hayes has to deal with injuries to Kerr and Kirby
Fran Kirby, the 30-year-old midfielder for England and Chelsea, is in a similar contractual situation, with her current deal set to conclude this summer. In a recent interview with the BBC, Kirby disclosed that there have been no discussions with the club regarding her future.
Despite facing various challenges, including a knee problem that prevented her from participating in last summer’s World Cup and a period of absence due to pericarditis, Kirby remains optimistic about the possibility of extending her career in top-flight football after the expiration of her current contract.
Hayes said: “I think when it comes to Fran, it’s not unusual for players to go into the last six months of their contract. Fran knows that our goal with her is to keep her on the pitch for 100 per cent of the season, not less than 50 per cent.
“She understands that and sometimes she is a bit impatient. She wants to do everything at once but we know what a talent she is, we know what we can expect from Fran, and I’m sure, again, when the club and the player and all of the people involved with that have something to announce on that front, they will.
“But I don’t think anybody should be too panicked just because of the timelines. We have worked over 11 years to put in place a structure to make sure we’re always planning and preparing, and I think Chelsea and its future are still in a very, very good place.”