Premier League • England

Revealed: First two players in major Chelsea clear-out named

Harry De Cosemo
Romelu Lukaku and Todd Boehly, Chelsea

Romelu Lukaku will leave Chelsea again this summer

Chelsea are expected to embark on a summer clear-out at Stamford Bridge this summer, and the first two names on the list have been revealed.

The Blues have spent over £1bn on transfers since American businessman Todd Boehly’s consortium took over the club in the summer of 2021, but have underperformed on the pitch since.

Last season, they finished 12th in the Premier League under three managers – Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Frank Lampard – and are in danger of another season without European football under current boss Mauricio Pochettino.

With little obvious return on such hefty investment, Chelsea are now under pressure to comply with the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainably Rules, which means a number of players will need to be sold before the cut off point for club’s yearly accounts on June 30.

Last summer, players such as Edouard Mendy, N’Golo Kante and Kalidou Koulibaly left for the Saudi Arabian Pro League, while homegrown talent Mason Mount signed for Manchester United. Now, according to journalist Rudy Galetti, Romelu Lukaku and Trevoh Chalobah will be first out the door.

The report states that Saudi interest in Lukaku, 30, is ongoing, while Chelsea’s neighbours Fulham remain keen on Chalobah, 24.

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Lukaku was one of the last big money signings sanctioned by former owner Roman Abramovich, joining from Inter Milan for £97m in the summer of 2021, but he has not impressed during his second spell at Chelsea. After just eight goals in 26 matches, he returned to Inter on loan, before another temporary move to Roma this season.

The Belgium striker initially joined Chelsea as a precociously talented teenager from Anderlecht in 2011, but failed to score before more successful spells both on loan and permanently at West Brom, Everton, Manchester United and Inter.

Chalobah has found regular football tough to come by under Pochettino, having broken into the first team under Tuchel. Having made 20 Premier League appearances in the 2021-22 season and 25 last term, he has been restricted to just six this year, plus another in the EFL Cup. Now it appears his days may well be numbered in West London.

Chelsea will hope these sales will help satisfy PSR so they can continue to recruit players, with Napoli striker Victor Osimhen regularly linked with a move. It remains to be seen how attractive a proposition they are if they fail to reach Europe for the second successive campaign.

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