Transfers: Arsenal suffer blow as Rice gives Chelsea boost
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Chelsea are thriving in the present, following a successful 2020 summer transfer window by lifting the Champions League last season. However, club director Marina Granovskaia faces a major headache over more than a dozen first-team players’ futures over the next 12 months.
Thomas Tuchel hopes for backing in his first summer window at the helm, but Chelsea have several unsolved futures among his current squad.
As it stands, only 14 first-team players’ contracts currently run beyond 2023, with 21 stars now inside the final two years of their deals.
Among those are numerous players who have been critical in Tuchel’s early success as manager.
However, Granovskaia needs to make big decisions this summer as the risk of losing players for a cut-price or even for free looms larger.
Express Sport run down the 21 first-team players whose futures currently hang in the balance at Stamford Bridge.
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Charly Musonda (24), Lewis Baker (26) and Matt Miazga (26) are three players who will be allowed to negotiate with clubs over a free transfer from January.
Also on the fringes of Tuchel’s plans, Davide Zappacosta (29) is also in the final year of his contract.
Chelsea could face significant losses on a few players they signed for hefty fees. Tiemoue Bakayoko (26) and Danny Drinkwater (31) are all surely in the shop window this summer.
Two of Tuchel’s three first-team left-backs – Emerson Palmieri (26) and Baba Rahman (27) – are also free to negotiate an exit in January.
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Essential centre-back trio Andreas Christensen (25), Antonio Rudiger (28) and Thiago Silva (35), too, face uncertain futures.
That’s despite Chelsea sanctioning the sales of two of their most promising centre-halves – Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi.
Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta (31) is also nearing the end of his current contract, whilst Chelsea are actively looking to offload Tammy Abraham (23).
With the Blues valuing Abraham north of £30million this summer, they will be desperate not to lose him for free, especially to reported suitors Arsenal.
The list of players whose contracts expire in 2023 is less high-profile, but Ballon d’Or candidate N’Golo Kante (30) is the headliner.
Another left-back, Marcos Alonso (30) is also nearing the end of his contract along with centre-back Kurt Zouma (26).
Champions League and Euro 2020-winning midfielder Jorginho (29) is also on the list, as well as Billy Gilmour (20) and Ross Barkley (27).
Goalkeeper Nathan Baxter (22) and versatile centre-half Ethan Ampadu (20) make up the list of 2023 expiries.
Tuchel can only do so much with his players on the pitch, but director Granovskaia has plenty of work to do off it.
It’s an abnormal situation that could end in financial tragedy for Chelsea. However, it’s easily fixable if the players approached over new deals want to stay.
With just over a month of the summer transfer window left, expect activity in the form of players going in and out at Chelsea.
And Granovskaia must look to fix those deals expiring in 2023 before their transfer value plummets next year.
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