Chelsea prepared for transfer enquiries for nine players as Marina Granovskaia deals with exits

Thomas Tuchel is going through his first tough spell as Chelsea boss with his team struggling to keep pace with high-flying Manchester City.

The Blues lost further ground in the title race after a disappointing 1-1 draw against Brighton at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, with Danny Welbeck’s late goal seeing them drop eight points behind City.

With the January transfer window fast approaching, there could be enquiries for as many as nine players from clubs around Europe.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Malang Sarr and Ross Barkley are all expected to be the subject of interest as they have been struggling to nail down a regular role in Tuchel’s team.

Loftus-Cheek has seen more minutes on the pitch due to injuries to Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante, but with both returning to full fitness, a move away could be the only option for regular game time, with Roma said to be interested in a loan move to the Englishman.

Kepa Arrizabalaga, the most expensive goalkeeper in the world, has struggled to win back his place in the team after a series of errors led to the arrival of Edouard Mendy, who has since nailed down the number 1 spot

Kepa has been linked with a loan move to Lazio to reunite with former Blues boss, Maurizio Sarri, who signed Kepa when he was at Stamford Bridge.

Hakim Ziyech is another who could be the subject of interest. The Moroccan international hasn’t been able to impress Tuchel and has fallen behind the likes of Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic in the pecking order. Ziyech has reportedly been linked with a loan move away, with Borussia Dortmund said to be keeping a close eye on the winger.

Chelsea also have four senior centre backs who are into their final few months of their contract. Captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are all free to speak to foreign clubs on January 1.

Chelsea will be keen to tie down contracts for the defenders otherwise they will lose them for free at the end of the season.


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