Everything is changing at Chelsea this summer under their new owner, and several players will be looking over their shoulder nervously until the market closes.
Thomas Tuchel is expected to be strongly backed by Todd Boehly, exemplified by Romelu Lukaku – a frowning arrival for around £100million last summer – being shown the way out. He won’t be the only one to leave either with the ongoing exodus.
Indeed, next season, the Blues will surely have a panoply of new names from the front to the back of their team. It emerged on Monday that Chelsea are considering a move for Cristiano Ronaldo amid his uncertain future at Manchester United.
Last week, they also blocked Arsenal’s bid to sign Raphinha from Leeds with a £60million offer, but the Brazilian is still holding out for Barcelona.
The Blues also want Raheem Sterling, with talks with Manchester City over a £55m transfer continuing. This new-look strike force has the potential to be deadly, but for that to happen, some current stars need to be sold.
Among those at risk are Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic, so here, sports mail looks at players whose future in the capital is uncertain…
Thomas Tuchel is set to be heavily supported at Chelsea this summer, with several stars to leave
Blues continue talks over £55m move for Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling
It just didn’t work out for Timo Werner at Chelsea, and there were active attempts this summer to bring him forward. As sports mail revealed in recent weeks, the Blues have been touting a potential swap deal for Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt.
This specific transaction seems unlikely as it stands, but the efforts to move it speak volumes. Last season he impressed in fits and starts but clearly didn’t do enough to convince Tuchel and Boehly he deserves a second chance.
He made 37 appearances last campaign, including 24 starts. A grand total of 2,317 minutes played resulted in 11 goals and eight assists. These counts are far from a nightmare, but they are below the levels his club will demand.
Currently, there doesn’t seem to be a long queue of potential suitors for Werner, so it may well be a transfer to Turin or a bust for the missed ace.
Timo Werner has failed to impress since joining the club and is now on the chopping block
Chelsea are in talks with AC Milan over playmaker Hakim Ziyech, with the former Morocco international set to be the next to make room for new signings.
Milan, it is understood, have a long-term interest in Ziyech, and Tuchel is open to the sale if the clubs can agree on a fee. The star may also have to take a pay cut.
Reports in Italy claimed that the player even filed a transfer request.
He moved to Stamford Bridge in 2020 under now Everton manager Frank Lampard, but just two years into his five-year deal Ziyech grew unhappy with his lack of minutes and has now thrown his devolved elsewhere.
The Blues invested heavily to sign Ziyech from Ajax, handing him a long-term contract and presenting him as an exciting addition that would help their exciting project. But if he has not totally disappointed, a parting of ways is inevitable.
He has scored 14 goals in 83 games but his below par numbers may be a result of his limited playing time. He left the league bench 13 times last year.
Hakim Ziyech looks set to leave for AC Milan in the window due to playing time frustration
Last season was incredibly frustrating for Callum Hudson-Odoi. He didn’t feature for Chelsea on March 2, when the team overtook Luton Town in an FA Cup tie, and even then played just 62 minutes. His career needs to be turned upside down.
In pre-season, it looks like he’s doing everything he can to make that happen. He is being tested in ‘brutal’ training sessions, according to reports, as he tries to get back to full fitness before the Blues’ schedule gets into full swing.
However, it’s unclear whether he will still be at the club at the start of the season.
His role has diminished under Tuchel, especially in his favored position, and Hudson-Odoi could very well decide that now is the perfect time for a new challenge.
Recall that just two years ago he saw a transfer to Bayern Munich blocked, then signed a new contract to stay at Chelsea. This level of interest doesn’t just fade away, so expect there to be several clubs hovering.
Callum Hudson-Odoi has endured an injury-ravaged season and is another who could be offloaded
As sports mail revealed, talks between Chelsea and Juventus have resumed over a potential swap deal involving Christian Pulisic plus cash for Matthijs De Ligt.
In recent days, it has emerged that the Old Lady will prioritize a deal for the winger ahead of Blues team-mate Werner, although it is also being discussed.
AC Milan are also monitoring the situation of the striker, who has grown frustrated with his lack of starts under Tuchel. The Italian teams were initially waiting to see if Chelsea would be open to a sale, and that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Pulisic arrived at Stamford Bridge for £58million in 2019, but neither Juventus nor AC Milan could match the fee and would seek a cut-price deal instead.
While on international duty with the United States, he was able to talk about his future while speaking to reporters and admitted he wished he “had more playing time”.
“I want to be on the pitch as much as possible and be as sharp as possible and fit as well,” he added, hinting at his ambitions to play a bigger role next season.
Last season, his father, Mark, took aim at his son’s lack of minutes and called his situation “sad”. So it may be interesting for all parties that Pulisic moves on.
Chelsea are in talks with Juventus over a deal for Matthijs de Ligt, including Christian Pulisic
A decision may also have to be made on Jorginho’s future this summer. He has been heavily linked with a move to Italy and has just 12 months left on his contract. Having let it go, could the midfielder be tempted to move on?
Various reports have claimed that Juventus sporting director Federico Cherubini has already traveled to London to start talks with Chelsea over the signing of the Euro 2020 winner, with a ‘positive relationship’ with the player and his trained team.
Suddenly, there is a lot of talk about a possible exit, and the Blues could well see in this window the ideal moment to allow him to return to his native country. It would also allow them to bring in starlets, whether local or foreign.
What is clear is that the former Ballon d’Or nominee is no longer considered untouchable. He is still a class performer, but Tuchel and Boehly, in their attempts to breathe new life into their ranks at the club, are apparently happy to offload him.
Former Ballon d’Or nominee Jorginho would like to return to Italy this summer