Premier League • England

Seven-man Chelsea exodus to begin with £28m sale; record signing and Brighton flop also leaving

Chelsea stars Lewis Hall, Romelu Lukaku, Marc Cucurella and Conor Gallagher

Chelsea could shift as many as seven first-team stars this summer

The truth behind an impending Chelsea exodus has been revealed amid claims the Blues need to generate £100m through player sales before June 30.

Chelsea have forked out in excess of £1bn on new recruits in the Todd Boehly era. The Blues have recouped over £400m through player sales, though there have been suggestions from rival clubs that Chelsea must quickly generate around £100m before June 30 or fall foul of the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules.

According to the Telegraph, Chelsea believe those suggestions are nothing more than mischief-making by their rivals.

However, the report did confirm that as many as seven high profile permanent exits could be sanctioned nonetheless. The first of those regards Lewis Hall and is all but certain to go through.

The 19-year-old full-back is currently loaned to Newcastle United. Hall’s deal contains an obligation to buy worth an initial £28m (rising to £35m through add-ons).

The Telegraph state Hall’s permanent switch is ‘on course’ for completion, while Newcastle manager Eddie Howe recently confirmed the deal is “getting closer.”

Maatsen, Lukaku among Chelsea leavers

Elsewhere, exits are anticipated for defenders Ian Maatsen and Trevoh Chalobah, as well as striker duo Armando Broja and Romelu Lukaku.

Marc Cucurella and Conor Gallagher could also reportedly depart, though Chelsea will do all they can to convince Gallagher to sign a contract extension.

Maatsen is currently loaned to Borussia Dortmund where by all accounts, he’s impressing. Maatsen signed a new deal with Chelsea that inserted a £35m release clause into his contract prior to leaving on loan.

The expectation is a club – be it Dortmund or someone else – will be tempted to trigger the clause.

Lukaku, meanwhile, is free to leave Stamford Bridge if bids of £37m are received.

Lukaku became Chelsea’s club-record signing at the time of his return in 2021 when costing £97.5m to pluck from Inter. That figure has since been surpassed by both Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo.

Lukaku floundered during his second stint in west London, though has thrived back in Italy while loaned to Roma this season (16 goals in 33 appearances)

The report cast doubt on whether Roma will be able to pay the £37m required to unlock Lukaku’s permanent signing. Nonetheless, interest from Saudi Arabia could bail Chelsea out.

Chalobah and Broja are both free to leave outright, while TEAMtalk learned on February 12 that Chelsea are open to severing ties with ex-Brighton left-back Cucurella.

The Spaniard – who cost an initial £55m to sign – is firmly behind Ben Chilwell and Levi Colwill in the pecking order at left-back.

Gallagher future reaching a crossroads as Tottenham lurk

Gallagher is the one player of the seven named who Chelsea would dearly love to keep. It’s explained sales of other players will embolden Chelsea to do all they can to retain Gallagher by way of a lucrative contract extension.

Gallagher’s current deal expires at the end of the 2024/25 season. As such, the onus is on Chelsea to reach a decision on Gallagher one way or another this summer to avert the possibility of losing the midfielder for nothing a year later.

The Telegraph concluded Chelsea will put fresh terms to Gallagher later in 2024, though for the time being a new agreement is not close.

Tottenham are huge admirers of Gallagher and will bid for the all-action star if he doesn’t sign a new deal with Chelsea.

But while significant change is once again expected in the playing personnel, manager Mauricio Pochettino may not be around to reap the rewards…

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