Premier League • England

Boehly ecstatic as Chelsea find buyer for fan favourite; second exit in same position expected

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly

A European giant are primed to move for a Chelsea defender who’s quickly established himself as a fan favourite, and a second exit in the same position is set to free Todd Boehly up for another mammoth summer spend, according to reports.

The Blues have forked out in excess of £1bn on transfers since Todd Boehly and his Clearlake partners took charge at Stamford Bridge. On-field results are yet to match the club’s off-field ambitions. Nonetheless, Chelsea are adamant their policy of signing up-and-coming stars to lengthy contracts will pay dividends in the end.

Aiding Chelsea’s ability to splash the cash are the sales of homegrown stars who represent pure profit on the balance sheet.

Indeed, the likes of Tino Livramento, Fikayo Tomori, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abaraham have all been ousted in recent years.

There’s been rampant speculation Conor Gallagher could be added to that list amid strong interest from Tottenham.

However, Gallagher is a personal favourite of manager Mauricio Pochettino and his two-goal display against Crystal Palace on Monday night suggests Chelsea should be wary of losing the midfielder.

But one academy star who is a very real candidate to leave at season’s end is left-back Ian Maatsen.

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Maatsen driving Dortmund fans and officials wild

The Dutchman, 21, is currently loaned to Borussia Dortmund having switched clubs in January.

Maatsen signed a new contract with the Blues before leaving that added a release clause into his deal. The clause is worth £35m.

Dortmund’s six-month loan spell does not contain an option to buy. However, amid a fantastic beginning to his Dortmund stint that has already seen Maatsen become a fan favourite, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano claimed the Bundesliga side are ready to act in the summer.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Romano said: “Let me start by mentioning a player who could really leave Chelsea in the summer transfer window – he already left on loan in January and is doing very well – Ian Maatsen.

“At Borussia Dortmund, [in] his first five games [he’s made] a fantastic impact, doing very, very well.

“The fans are super happy, the manager [Edin] Terzic is very happy and also people into the club. He provided two assists already, but the quality of the performances are very, very good.

“What they want to do at Borussia Dortmund is to wait until the end of the season and then decide what to do.

“It’s a loan deal [with] no buy option included, but when Ian Maatsen signed a new contract at Chelsea, before joining Borussia Dortmund, there was a release clause [added] and it’s going to be valid this summer.”

Romano went on to state Dortmund will look to sign Maatsen outright in the summer.

They may attempt to agree a fee below the release clause, though if Chelsea stand firm Dortmund will have no choice but to pay full price.

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Second left-back to leave

That will be music to the ears of Boehly who per Goal, is plotting another gigantic summer spend.

A lethal centre-forward is top of the agenda, while a new left-back is also wanted. Two targets from wildly contrasting clubs have already been named.

Maatsen’s exit won’t be keenly felt given he rarely featured for Pochettino prior to his loan exit anyway.

However, TEAMtalk exclusively revealed on Monday that Chelsea will seek to sever ties with Marc Cucurella too.

That would leave just Ben Chilwell and Levi Colwill to battle for the left-back role. However, Colwill is a centre-back by trade and the anticipated exit of Thiago Silva as a free agent will mean Colwill is required centrally.

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