As the summer transfer window gets ever closer to officially opening – 38 days to be exact – Chelsea are preparing for what is expected to be another hectic period for the club.
Over the last two transfer windows, that have both been led by Todd Boehly since he bought Chelsea almost 12 months ago, have seen over £600million worth of talent arrive at Stamford Bridge in what has been a complete rebuild for the club. Now, though, with Mauricio Pochettino expected to be appointed as the new first-team head coach in the near future, it’s the club’s ambition to offload some of their so-called ‘deadwood’ – the ones who are no longer viewed as having a future in west London.
Chelsea’s new ownership group, led by Boehly and Behdad Eghbali, recently assembled together a recruitment team to try and get the club in the best possible situation on the pitch. The likes of Christopher Vivell, Joe Shields, and more, will be tasked with finding new homes for those who they want sold this summer.
READ MORE: Chelsea contact made over mega money transfer to repeat Cristiano Ronaldo deal
The club are now determined to avoid what they see as past mistakes under the previous ownership where they have allowed players to leave on free transfers or way under their actual market value because of their contractual status. Take last summer, for instance, where Chelsea let two quality centre-backs in Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen leave free of charge.
The Blues need to be more decisive when players are either in the final year of their contract, about to enter the last 12 months, or with two years remaining. There are a number of players, as listed below who fall into this category:
N’Golo Kante (June 30, 2023), Joao Felix (Loan deal: June 30, 2023), Thiago Silva (June 30, 2024), Cesar Azpilicueta (June 30, 2024), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (June 30, 2024), Mason Mount (June 30, 2024), Mateo Kovacic (June 30, 2024), Christian Pulisic (June 30, 2024), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (June 30, 2024), Edouard Mendy (June 30, 2025), Kepa Arrizabalaga (June 30, 2025), Lewis Hall (June 30, 2025), Conor Gallagher (June 30, 2025), Kai Havertz (June 30, 2025), Hakim Ziyech (June 30, 2025).
What will happen to these players?
Chelsea remain confident Kante will extend his contract at the club beyond the end of the season. The France international is happy with the Blues but he and his entourage are still discussing an extension with the club. If no deal is signed before June 30, then Kante will be available on a free transfer – and the France international is not short of admirers.
football.london has been told Felix is happy at Chelsea and the feeling is very much mutual between the two parties. However, Atletico Madrid would only allow the Portugal international to leave the club on a permanent basis for an extortionate fee, so another loan deal is being considered.
Meanwhile, multiple unnamed Saudi Arabian clubs are interested in Chelsea defender Silva. The 38-year-old only signed a one-year extension a few months ago but there is speculation over his future at Stamford Bridge. He recently insisted he will see out the remaining stages of his contract in west London.
Azpilicueta has just over 12 months remaining on his contract at Chelsea and is once again set for a summer of speculation regarding his future at the club. The Blues captain has long been linked with a return to his homeland of Spain.
Another Chelsea player that could be on his way out when the summer transfer window opens is Loftus-Cheek. As reported earlier in the month, AC Milan recently opened talks with the Blues over a deal for the 27-year-old midfielder. It’s understood talks have progressed in recent days and the 10-time England international would be open to making a switch to Milan.
Where do we start with Mount? Nothing has changed in terms of getting closer to extending his contract at Chelsea. There are still a number of issues to resolve before an agreement can be close. Liverpool remain the front-runners for his signature as they have done the most groundwork thus far, despite keen interest from London rivals Arsenal in recent weeks.
Bayern Munich and Manchester City are both interested in Kovacic ahead of what is expected to be a significant summer for the Croatian midfielder. With just over a year to go on his Chelsea contract, it’s understood the club would consider offloading him to generate some sort of fee and with such interest from wealthy clubs, they believe a substantial amount of money could arrive their way.
Chelsea also have a big decision to make on Pulisic. The USA international has made just 22 appearances in the Premier League this season and only eight of them have been from the start. The 24-year-old is expected to move on in the summer with interest from abroad in his signature, including in Italy.
Another forward expected to leave this summer is Aubameyang. The Gabonese striker has barely featured this season and has been strongly linked with a return to Barcelona. There was interest in the 33-year-old from the MLS in January but he did not want to move to America.
Chelsea have two goalkeepers in Mendy and Kepa who both see their contracts at the club expire in just over two years’ time. The club are working behind the scenes to identify a new goalkeeper, with both Andre Onana and David Raya on the shortlist at the moment, so if any of those deals are possible over the next few months, then Chelsea could look to move on the two shot-stoppers. Neither player has done enough to convince the club they should be the No.1 for the foreseeable future.
Hall is another player who doesn’t necessarily face an uncertain future in terms of Chelsea are looking to move him on, but his contract will be in its final two years at the end of June. The 18-year-old has impressed when called upon this season and if he can continue to take his chances as well as he has done, then the club will surely offer him an extension on his deal.
Liverpool are interested in Chelsea’s Gallagher ahead of the summer transfer window. The England international has just over two years left to run on his deal. With Pochettino set to come in, the midfielder is likely to seek assurances from the Argentine over where he belongs in his plans before making any definitive decision.
Havertz is another one who falls into the category of having just over two years remaining on his contract. The German, despite what many people think of him, has been a crucial player for Chelsea this season. It will be interesting to see where he fits into Pochettino’s plans if the club can sign that traditional centre-forward they are after.
Last but not least is Ziyech. He is expected to leave the club over the summer transfer window. The Moroccan was desperate to leave in January and was so close to doing exactly that. However, a last minute hitch meant his deal with Paris Saint-Germain collapsed. Chelsea will look for a new permanent home for Ziyech in the upcoming transfer window.
Chelsea to announce retained and release lists as N’Golo Kante contract decision and exits loom
Frank Lampard has two Chelsea undroppables vs Man Utd and Newcastle amid £2m transfer dilemma
Mauricio Pochettino already has Mason Mount replacement at Chelsea amid Arsenal transfer pursuit
Frank Lampard only needed 90 minutes to make £91m Chelsea transfer call for Mauricio Pochettino
Chelsea news and transfers LIVE: All the latest updates from Stamford Bridge