Chelsea are ‘ready to cash in’ on a player signed earlier this season, with a summer clear-out to potentially reach as high as 15 exits, per a report.
The Blues were world football’s biggest spenders over the previous two windows. Well in excess of £550m was spent, though as yet, results on the pitch haven’t matched their ambition in the market.
Indeed, Chelsea are languishing down in 11th position with European qualification nothing more than a pipedream.
Their tame quarter-final exit from the Champions League at the hands of holders Real Madrid removed their last chance at participating in next year’s competition.
The loss of UCL revenue, combined with a pre-existing need to balance the books has prompted talk of a fire sale this summer.
That’ll certainly be met with applause from certain sections of Chelsea’s p[laying personnel. Indeed, veteran centre-back Thiago Silva recently highlighted the bloated squad as an “issue” that’s negatively affected their campaign.
Silva said (via Sky Sports): “A positive is that we’ve got great players in the squad. On the flipside, someone is always going to be annoyed or feel down because not everyone can play.
“The coach can only pick 11 players yet there are 30-odd here. That’s an issue, isn’t it?”
All manner of names have been tipped to be included in the exodus. However, the common theme among most of those linked were they were signed or developed under the previous regime.
But according to the Evening Standard, £33m summer recruit Kalidou Koulibaly could very well be among the departures. The outlet state Chelsea are ‘ready to cash in’ on the Senegalese, though doing so will be difficult.
Koulibaly, 31, has not lived up to expectations and his high salary and the fact he doesn’t actually wish to leave will make forging an exit difficult.
Nevertheless, Chelsea will at least try to sever ties with a player who may be a one and done at Stamford Bridge.
14 more named in planned Chelsea exodus
Elsewhere, two further Boehly recruits could make way, though their names will not come as a surprise.
Loanee Denis Zakaria is one with the option to buy from Juventus unlikely to be taken up. The other is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who has barely got a sniff this season.
Beyond that trio, the Evening Standard list 12 more who could wave goodbye to west London this summer.
Those who are axed won’t have long to wait, with the report noting the bulk of exits must be sanctioned before June 30 to help the club conform with Financial Fair Play regulations.
The other 12 named by the Standard are: Edouard Mendy, Cesar Azpilicueta, Trevoh Chalobah, Levi Colwill, Conor Gallagher, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Romelu Lukaku.