Chelsea have substantial plans in the summer transfer window as owner Roman Abramovich looks to support new manager Thomas Tuchel with new signings to further strengthen the squad.
The Blues spent in excess of £200million last summer when Frank Lampard was at the helm to recruit Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Edouard Mendy, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr.
But Chelsea still desire further signings as they look to catch up to Manchester City at the summit of the Premier League.
Tuchel’s unbeaten run since taking over at the end of January has at least put Chelsea in a strong position to qualify for Champions League football next season.
However they still find themselves 20 points behind champions elect City, albeit having played one match less, and Abramovich will back the German this summer to help bridge that gap.
Top of Chelsea’s wishlist is Borussia Dortmund marksman Erling Braut Haaland, who could cost over £100million if he heads to Stamford Bridge.
It has also emerged that Chelsea have drawn up a four-man list of centre-halves given their complex situation at the back.
Tuchel has regularly fielded three central defenders but all of Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta and Marc Guehi are out of contract in 2022.
Thiago Silva’s deal runs out this coming summer but the veteran Brazilian is expected to pen a one-year extension to stay on at Chelsea.
Bayern Munich duo David Alaba and Niklas Sule, Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez and RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate are all on Chelsea’s watchlist.
Gimenez would cost a huge fee due to his £103m release clause while Alaba would prefer to join Real Madrid or Barcelona, making Sule or Konate the most feasible additions.
But while Abramovich has huge finances to help fund such moves, Chelsea will be keen to recoup some money by offloading out-of-favour players to balance the books and free up squad space.
Kenedy, Michy Batshuayi and Tiemoue Bakayoko are three other players out on loan – at Granada, Crystal Palace and Napoli respectively – who could be moved on.
With an abundance of attackers at Stamford Bridge, there is unlikely to be any role for Kenedy or Batshuayi next season or onwards while Bakayoko has long been surplus to requirements.
Per Transfermarkt, Chelsea could hope to pull in as much as £36m if they ushered the trio out of the exit door.
Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are two players theoretically more likely to revive their Chelsea careers.
But after a strong start at Aston Villa, Barkley has grown inconsistent in the Midlands and if a club can be found willing to pay £18m for him, he should be sold.
Loftus-Cheek has enjoyed a solid enough season out on loan at relegation-battling Fulham but has mainly deployed as an attack-minded midfielder and may not suit Chelsea’s two-man central midfield under Tuchel.
Similarly to Barkley, if any club – perhaps Fulham if they survive the drop to the Championship – stump up £18m for the Chelsea academy graduate, there are other midfield options worth giving a chance such as teenager Lewis Bate and also Conor Gallagher on loan at West Brom.
The most controversial inclusion of players who could be moved on is defender Kurt Zouma, who showed he still has plenty of quality when stepping in for the 2-0 win over Everton this month.
The Frenchman started 15 of the first 17 league games under Lampard, scoring four goals, and at 26 is still young.
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Yet Zouma has only made two appearances under Tuchel and is bound to be dissatisfied with his lack of minutes.
And with Chelsea plotting the acquisition of another centre-back, with Silva set to stay on and Rudiger expected to be offered a new deal, the Blues may not have sufficient minutes to appease the Frenchman next term.
With the France international valued at £28.8m, selling Zouma now – before he enters the final two years of his contract – could be wise if contentious business if the money is reinvested into a player of Konate’s quality, or even to sign Gimenez.
Selling the eight for the market values estimated by Transfermarkt would raise just shy of £140m, going a long way to the purchases of Haaland and a new defender and also shed some money off of the wage bill. Arrizabalaga and Emerson Palmieri alone are thought to earn nearly £12m a year in wages combined.
It’s set to be a busy summer for Marina Granosvkaia and the Chelsea board but the Londoners can help make sure of some big-money incomings with a raft of player sales.