ADRIAN KAJUMBA: Chelsea know the major surgery needed to shrink the bloated squad will be tricky this summer… Todd Boehly and Co are expecting lowball offers and the big-money stars could sink in
- The last two transfer windows have seen the Chelsea squad exceed 30 players
- Mauricio Pochettino prefers to work with a much smaller playgroup
- The Blues are already expecting lowball offers as they have to sell
It is one thing to want to carry out a drastic elimination of the squad and another to succeed in doing so.
That’s Chelsea’s plan this summer, but it may not be simple.
It’s a task that needs to be done with their senior squad which is over 30 players due to the number of arrivals in the last two windows.
New head coach Mauricio Pochettino prefers to work with a much smaller group of players and the tally of outings needed for that to happen for the Argentine is well into double digits.
Unlike Graham Potter, who did his best to get everyone involved, Pochettino shouldn’t be so accommodating once he decides who does and who doesn’t fit into his plans.
Mauricio Pochettino knows he needs to thin out Chelsea’s squad this summer
N’Golo Kante (right) is a player who could go free as his contract expires
Chelsea’s FFP situation is another reason why this summer’s outs are as important as the ins.
But, among the problems facing Chelsea will not just be finding takers, but minimizing the financial blow involved in offloading so many players.
Chelsea are already expecting to receive lowball offers from clubs looking to exploit their need to sell.
What they also hope to avoid is the need to dip into their own pockets to facilitate the exits of their unwanted players, via methods such as supplementing the salaries of players sold to their next club or having to make deals so that their stars are leaving early or even as free agents.
Chelsea, heading into the summer window, are said to be calm about the situation and confident they will get the team surgery required.
Although many well-placed sources have expressed doubts whether all of this will be possible without Chelsea having to dip into their pockets at some point.
The salaries of many of their stars are unlikely to be matched elsewhere in many cases.
Thereafter, these players are unlikely to be in a rush to leave, especially if it means taking a financial hit.
It will be up to Chelsea to find the solutions to unblock certain situations.
Todd Boehly’s purchases in the last two transfer windows have seen the squad swell by more than 30
Kalidou Koulibaly is a player who still has a lot of time on his contract
Of Chelsea’s permanent players with an uncertain future, only N’Golo Kante sees his contract expire this summer, which means a clean break for him and the Stamford Bridge club are not far away if no extension is agreed. .
Mateo Kovacic, Cesar Azpilicueta, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi are among those linked with the club until next year.
Kepa Arrizabalaga, Hakim Ziyech, Edouard Mendy and Conor Gallagher are under contract until 2025.
Kalidou Koulibaly, Romelu Lukaku and Trevoh Chalobah are even more parties on their agreements.
Some will be ready to go and have enough interest that will work in favor of Chelsea.
Others might not be so willing. And that could be as big an issue as the size of clearance required.