Potter excited to work with Joao Felix after Chelsea loan move
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Chelsea are set to begin plans to shift unwanted players out of the club ahead of the summer transfer window as part of Todd Boehly’s major overhaul of the squad. The Blues have sent shockwaves through the transfer market by recruiting six players in January alone as part of a massive recruitment drive from the west London outfit.
Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella, Raheem Sterling, Carney Chukwuemeka, Gabriel Slonina and Cesare Casadei were all signed in the summer with an outlay of around £220million. But the Blues have now continued their extraordinary spending to sign Noni Madueke, David Datro Fofana, Mykhaylo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile and Andrey Santos for around £150m, with potentially Malo Gusto and Enzo Fernandez still to come.
The size of the squad is bloated and it means that, as well as balancing the books, Chelsea will need to trigger an exodus of departures in January and the summer to bring down their wage bill, with The Telegraph reporting as many as six players could leave.
Express Sport looks at eight players who could be offloaded to bring in some income for Chelsea after spending nearly £500m on players since May 2022.
Interest in the Moroccan is high after a stellar World Cup display and a vast improvement in his club form since returning. The 30-year-old looks set to leave after three years with the Blues, with Newcastle, Everton and AC Milan all keen.
Chelsea may be willing to sanction his departure on an initial loan deal if there is an option or even mandatory clause to make the deal permanent included. But given the player’s age, it is unlikely they will raise more than £15m.
Just six months after signing from Barcelona in a £12m transfer, Aubameyang is on the periphery at Stamford Bridge after seeing his mentor Thomas Tuchel sacked just seven days after his arrival.
His £200,000-a-week earnings mean that the Gabonese cannot simply sit on the bench for the rest of his contract and it may be the best scenario for all concerned that he finds another club. Their hopes may pin on a club from the Middle East offering to take the 33-year-old’s huge salary off the wage bill in the summer.
Signed for £58m from Borussia Dortmund four years ago, it just hasn’t quite worked for Pulisic at Stamford Bridge. If the American has been fit, his form has been inconsistent and he has been left frustrated by a lack of starts. Now that Chelsea have been hit by injuries, the 23-year-old has joined the unavailable players in the physio room.
There would be plenty of interest in the USA international after showing his ability at the World Cup, although a knee injury has ruled him out any chance of a mid-season exit. With his contract expiring in 18 months’ time and a renewal nowhere close to being signed, the Blues are likely to cash in on Pulisic while they can in the summer.
Chelsea did their best to block Azpilicueta’s free transfer to Barcelona last summer with an automatic one-year contract extension, but after reaching the 500-appearance milestone, the Spaniard looks set to depart.
Azpilicueta is only a bit-part squad player under Potter and the capture of Lyon full-back Gusto would almost certainly bring the curtain down on his stellar Chelsea career. He will be a free agent in June and return to La Liga after more than a decade away would be a fitting next move.
His form has picked up slightly under Potter with five league goals this season and Chelsea know that any sale would likely see them lose money on their £72m investment from three years ago.
Reported interest from Bayern Munich has clouded his future, although it is understood the 23-year-old is settled in England. The Champions League winner will face competition for his place from next season, however, when Christopher Nkunku arrives from RB Leipzig.
The 31-year-old remains a regular first-team member, but the Italy international is facing an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge. His contract set to expire this summer and discussions between the club and his agent Joao Santos are yet to yield an agreement.
If Chelsea extend N’Golo Kante’s deal and sign one of Fernandez or Moises Caicedo in the current window, Jorginho could be allowed to leave after five years in west London.
The fact Mendy has been sidelined by injury has done little to quell speculation that the goalkeeper could be on his way out of the club this summer. The 30-year-old was instrumental in the club’s Champions League success in 2021, but his form has nosedived over the past 12 months – to the extent that Kepa Arrizabalaga won back his spot as No 1 goalkeeper before his injury.
At present, there is a stand-off over his contract demands, with Mendy asking to be given parity with Arrizabalaga. Instead, Chelsea may decide to sell the stopper to fund signing a new first-choice goalkeeper this summer, with David Raya one of the names mentioned.
Chelsea hit the panic button when they paid £34m for the Napoli centre-back, despite him turning 32 on his next birthday. And the Senegalese has found the transition to a faster league difficult after spending the majority of his career in Italy.
The centre-back could be pushed out of the team following Badiashile’s arrival this month and a return to Serie A cannot be ruled out after a disappointing spell in the Premier League thus far.
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