Trio on the block as Tuchel wields axe to cut down 42-man Chelsea squad

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, 2021

Thomas Tuchel is reportedly ready to wield the axe at Chelsea as he looks to ruthlessly cut his squad down from 42 players.

The German, who won the Champions League in his first season as Blues boss, currently has 42 players in his first-team squad at Stamford Bridge – a massive number that needs to be cut to a 25-man list for the Premier League at the end of the month.

Chelsea are also working on adding to their squad, with Romelu Lukaku and Jules Kounde their top targets.

With that in mind, Tuchel must start clearing the decks to make room for any new additions.

Ross Barkley was not involved in a 21-man squad for the friendly draw with Tottenham in midweek.

Tuchel was also not able to call on seven senior first-teamers as they returned from pre-season later.

Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta, Mason Mount, Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Jorginho and Emerson were all deemed too early in their preparations to feature at Stamford Bridge.

A report in The Sun states that Barkley, Michy Batshuayi and Danny Drinkwater will all be offloaded.

The Blues boss admitted his selection problems, prior to the Spurs clash: “After the Arsenal game, we wrote all the names down on a sheet as on Monday the final group of players came back from England, Italy and Brazil.

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“We wrote the names down and had 42 players in the building, that’s just not possible.

“So from then on we had to take some decisions to provide quality and intelligent training for the three groups who belong to us. And at the same time to select players we want to know better.

“Ross had his chance to play one half against Arsenal, the same as Danny Drinkwater. We had the impression that Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] deserved to be on the pitch and we wanted to give Bakayoko the chance to play for the first time under us.

“Maybe it’s unfair to judge them because we don’t know them very well but at least everybody has had the chance to show up in a game.”

Players running down their contracts

The main issue for Chelsea is that some of the unwanted stars are approaching the final years of their contracts. To that end, buyers will need to be found to avoid losing them for nothing.

Tiemoue Bakayoko, Batshuayi, Drinkwater, David Zapacosta and Matt Miazga are all out of contract next summer.

Cesar Azpilicueta, Michy Batshuayi, Chelsea TEAMtalk

It’s so far proved difficult for the club to offload top talent. A £40million price tag has been set for Tammy Abraham, but no suitors are biting at that price.

Marcos Alonso is another they are looking to offload as part of the deal to bring Lukaku back from Inter.

Bidders for Barkley are also not emerging, largely because of the player’s disappointing spell at Aston Villa last season.

The Sun adds that at this stage another loan looks the likeliest. That would probably mean Chelsea having to cover half of his £100,000-a-week wages again.

Finally, the report adds that Ruben Loftus-Cheek is another player who Tuchel will decide on in the coming week. Kai Havertz and Mount remain ahead of the England man in the attacking midfielder stakes at The Bridge.

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