November 28, 2023

As it stands: Three players who might leave Chelsea permanently this summer

As it stands: Three players who might leave Chelsea permanently this summer

As they attempt to trim a bloated roster, it appears that Chelsea will have a very active summer of departures.

Currently, the Blues have 32 first-team players on their roster (transfermarkt), and a number of them will need to be sold in the upcoming transfer window so that potential new manager Mauricio Pochettino can reshape the squad as he sees appropriate.

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Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are likely to be sold, and Mason Mount, Conor Gallagher, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have also been linked to transfers away from the club.

Due to the fact that a significant portion of the team only joined under Todd Boehly’s ownership, the majority of players are still bound by long-term contracts.

As such, only three players are verified to be leaving Chelsea permanently this summer.

Denis Zakaria, a midfielder, is the first on the list and, without a doubt, the player least likely to remain in August. Last summer, Zakaria joined the club on a season-long loan from Juventus, with an option to purchase.

However, Zakaria has struggled to overcome the injury concerns that surrounded his transfer to Stamford Bridge, limiting him to just 11 appearances across all competitions.

Additionally, he has only played under Frank Lampard once, which strongly suggests that his future lies elsewhere.

Joao Felix is another loanee who is currently scheduled to return to his parent club. In January, Felix moved from Atletico Madrid in a transaction that does not include an option to make the transfer permanent.

The Portugal international has shown flashes of brilliance at Stamford Bridge, but he has not started any of Chelsea’s last five games, casting doubt on his future beyond this season.

This summer, Atletico Madrid could demand as much as £87 million for Felix, but for a player who has yet to secure a position, that price is excessively high.

Another loan deal could be an option for Chelsea if they wish for him to return, but with Christopher Nkunku already scheduled to join the club, a significant decision must be made.

N’Golo Kante, Chelsea’s only first-team player with a contract expiring this summer, is last on the list, but certainly not least.

This season, Kante has been hampered by injuries, but he has started six of the last eight matches in all competitions and remains an integral member of the team.

Kante appeared destined to depart Chelsea on a free transfer this summer earlier in the season, but according to Fabrizio Romano, he remains a part of the team’s plans and contract negotiations are underway.

On the other hand, no agreement has yet been signed, and less than two months remain for all parties to reach an accord.

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As it stands: Three players who might leave Chelsea permanently this summer

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