Chelsea set for 20 major decisions that could see Graham Potter’s squad overhauled
Since taking over the club Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali have formed a new Blues hierarchy and started to shape the future direction of the club. That has included hiring the likes of Lawrence Stewart, Joe Shields, Paul Winstanley and Christopher Vivell, as well as investing £600million in playing staff.
What has been notable from that financial investment is Chelsea’s determination to tie players down to long-term deals. Benoit Badiashile, Mykhailo Mudryk, Noni Madueke and Enzo Fernandez all have contracts until 2030 or later while the only new signings to have deals that expire before 2028 are Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly.
That ambition has been targeted for current players too with Reece James, Trevoh Chalobah and Armando Broja all signing deals until 2028 since the new owners arrived. It has also proved a stumbling in negotiations with Mason Mount, whose deal is set to expire in 2024.
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Chelsea’s hierarchy is hoping to avoid such stand-offs moving forward, by not allowing players’ deals to reach their final two years. However, that philosophy leaves the west London side with a vast array of decisions to make in the summer – for the first team and beyond.
N’Golo Kante’s deal is set to expire in the coming months, though it appears the Frenchman will extend his stay at Stamford Bridge, while loan deals for Denis Zakaria and Joao Felix will also end. To implement their plan for the future, Chelsea will have to come together with players to decide whether the future lies at Stamford Bridge or elsewhere, or otherwise risk players leaving for free.
Contracts expiring in 2024
Mason Mount – The most documented Chelsea contract situation currently, with neither side being in a particular position of strength following poor seasons. The pressure will be on to resolve disputes ahead of the summer.
Cesar Azpilicueta – Having remained at Stamford Bridge this term to ease the transition of a tumultuous period, the Chelsea captain’s future will come under scrutiny once again, particularly with Chelsea having Malo Gusto to challenge James next term. The Blues could soon a natural end to a legendary Chelsea career.
Mateo Kovacic – There have been no negotiations between the player and club to extend his contract just yet, though his recent form alongside Fernandez could prove tempting to extend terms.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Given the limited role he has played under Potter, a decision on the former Arsenal striker seems to be already made should a suitor be found in the summer.
Thiago Silva – The Brazilian has continued to defy age to be one of Chelsea’s best players and probably exists outside of any plans to cement a squad of players committed for the long term.
Christian Pulisic – The US international remains a trusted member of the squad but has previously hoped to depart the club and planning almost seems to be in that direction following the arrivals of Noni Madueke and Mykhailo Mudryk in January.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – The midfielder has been content with his role at Chelsea and was one of few players to come out of the early stages of the season with some merit. The Blues will decide whether they are happy to continue with Loftus-Cheek on the terms he is currently on with midfield being a possible area of rejuvenation moving forwards.
Contracts expiring in 2025
Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy – Both goalkeepers will be hoping to establish themselves as Chelsea’s primary choice before the end of the season but could see their position challenged should the Blues go through with their plan to add a goalkeeper in the summer. If that is the case, you would expect at least one to be sold.
Ben Chilwell – Given the form Chilwell is once again finding it would appear an easy decision to extend his contract with two very good wingback options then at Potter’s disposal.
Hakim Ziyech – Having wanted a transfer in the summer transfer window and seen a loan to PSG fall apart in the final hours of January’s deadline day, finding a deal for Ziyech should be an early priority to help trim the Chelsea squad.
Conor Gallagher – The midfielder was happy to stay at the club in January with Potter unwilling to sanction a move. There may be a debate between club and player about whether his role has been enough to ensure that both parties are happy come the summer.
Kai Havertz – The German forward has been a consistent presence for Chelsea under Potter and beforehand. The Blues will not want to see the 23-year-old’s deal run close to its end.
Lewis Hall – The youngster worked his way into the first-team squad but has found playing time difficult to come by since the January transfer window and the return of a number of injured stars. Offering a new deal remains an easy decision however.
Players out on loan
A number of players out on loan will return to Cobham in the summer, some to train with Potter for the first time, however there are some significant names that will require decisions over their future, while others may be easy choices. Among the 2024 cohort are Ethan Ampadu, Bashir Humphreys, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ian Maatsen while Levi Colwill and Malang Sarr are set to see their contracts end in 2025. Colwill is an obvious choice to see his deal extended if the Blues can prove persuasive but others may find their futures elsewhere.
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