Premier League • England

The four Chelsea players that could leave the club on a free transfer at the end of the season: Kante…

After replacing Thomas Tuchel in the Chelsea dugout, Graham Potter will have a lot of big decisions to make in the coming months.

Potter will look to improve the squad in the transfer market and will also try to keep some of their current stars at Stamford Bridge.

Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both left on free transfers last summer after failing to agree on contract extensions and the Blues could lose more players for nothing in 2023.

We’ve taken a look at four Chelsea players who currently have less than a year left on their current contract.


Since joining Chelsea from Napoli in a £50m deal in the summer of 2018, Jorginho has been a central figure in the side under three different managers. 

The midfielder, who is vice-captain at Stamford Bridge, has made just under 200 appearances for the club in all competitions and was an integral part of Chelsea’s Champions League success in 2020/21.

He also finished third in the Ballon d’Or voting in 2021 but now less than a year left to run on his current Chelsea contract and could leave on a free transfer.

According to the Daily Mirror, Barcelona are looking at potential replacements for Sergio Busquets and are considering a move for the 30-year-old at the end of the current campaign.

He has also been linked with Juventus and can reach a pre-contract agreement with clubs outside of England once the January transfer window opens.

But the Italy international’s priority is to discuss a new contract with Chelsea, and he seems happy and settled at Stamford Bridge.

“Of course, I love Chelsea. I feel very well here and of course, I’d like to stay,” Jorginho said earlier this year. “But you know, there is a lot going on and we don’t know. I am here now and I have contract and I love to be here, I feel very well here. So I don’t think about moving anywhere.”

He added: “For many years now [there’s speculation]. Every single year. I don’t think like this. I just think about where I am and focus 100 per cent. I’m at Chelsea and I think about Chelsea 100 per cent.”


N’Golo Kante

Kante has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the world during his time at Chelsea, helping them win the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

But the France international has become increasingly injury prone in recent seasons, and he managed just 21 Premier League starts in 2021/22.

“No, you cannot (disregard Kante’s injury record),” former Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said in August. “You have to consider everything that is on the table, and on the table is his potential, on the table is his influence and his quality.

“But on the table of course is his age, his salary and his injury rate. From there you build a whole picture and try to find a solution.”

According to The Athletic, Chelsea recently offered the 31-year-old a two-year deal – which also includes the option for a third year. But he rejected the club’s proposal and is holding out for three years guaranteed and the option of a fourth year.

The two sides remain at an impasse and new manager Graham Potter will be tasked with deciding whether Kante deserves a three-year deal.

According to reports, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus are both looking to take advantage of the situation and sign him on a free transfer. 

Thiago Silva

Silva arrived at Chelsea in 2020 as a 35-year-old free agent and some people thought he was too old to play in the Premier League.

The centre-back has aged like a fine wine and silenced those doubters, producing some sensational performances at the heart of Chelsea’s defence.

He made 48 appearances in all competitions last season and has been an ever-present in 2022/23, playing every minute in the Premier League so far this season.

The Brazil international, who recently celebrated his 38th birthday, is out of contract at the end of the campaign but isn’t planning to stop anytime soon and wants to follow in the footsteps of a former team-mate.

“It’s very important for me that I can play on this level at this age but it’s not easy, especially in the Premier League,” he said recently. “When I finish training, I come back home and think about how I can repair myself for tomorrow.

“The intensity is high from the first minute to the last one so you have to be ready all the time. I might be 38 years old but I think I can help this team as much as possible.”

He added: “I talk often with Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) and recently more often because Chelsea will play against AC Milan in the Champions league. My aim is to play until I’m 40 years old but I don’t know if it will be this level or this competition.”

Marcus Bettinelli

After being released by Fulham at the end of the 2020/21 season, Bettinelli remained in London and joined Chelsea on a free transfer.

The 30-year-old replaced Willy Caballero as their third-choice goalkeeper and provides back-up to Edouard Mandy and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

“If any other club had offered me a spot as a back-up keeper, I would have said no,” Bettinelli told The Athletic. “Before Chelsea approached, my mind was set on finding a club where I would play regularly, yet there wasn’t too much out there. For example, due to the impact of COVID-19, there wasn’t a lot of opportunity or movement with goalkeepers in the Championship.”

He didn’t play in the Premier League in 2021/22 and has made just one first-team appearance for the Blues, starting in a 5-1 win over Chesterfield in the FA Cup third round.

The goalkeeper will fall further down the pecking order in January as Gabriel Slonina is set to arrive at Stamford Bridge.

Slonina, who is regarded as one of the most talented young goalkeepers in the world, joined Chelsea from Chicago Fire in the summer but was loaned back to the MLS side for the remainder of the 2022 campaign.

READ MORE: Five players Graham Potter could try and sign for Chelsea in the January transfer window: Caicedo, Nkunku…