Chelsea are about to embark on a new chapter of their 117-year-long existence. Todd Boehly is set to back Thomas Tuchel in the summer transfer window as the German head coach looks to try and close the gap to the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.
To do that, there needs to be major surgery within the Chelsea squad over the next few months. The likes of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger have left the club on free transfers, meaning the Blues will need to look elsewhere to replace the two first-team defenders.
The squad we see next term could be completely different to the one we saw stumble across the line to a third-placed finish in the 2021/22 season. With this being said, football.london takes a look at how Tuchel’s options could look next season.
Edouard Mendy is likely to remain as the first-choice goalkeeper. The Senegal international perhaps showed some vulnerability in the second half of the season, but he is undoubtedly the Blues’ best option in that position.
Kepa Arrizabalaga, meanwhile, could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge. The Spaniard is no longer considered the first-choice shot-stopper and has been strongly linked with a move away from the club. Marcus Bettinelli could stay and remain the third-choice.
A very interesting position for Chelsea and one that needs to be addressed over the coming weeks. As mentioned, Rudiger and Christensen have left, so they need to be replaced in one way or another.
Jules Kounde remains a target for Chelsea and with the club announcing its new-look board earlier in the week, the Blues now have the licence to push forward with their pursuit of the Sevilla and France defender. Chelsea are also keen to bring another defender as well as Kounde to Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel has a shortlist of defenders he likes, including Matthijs de Ligt, Josko Gvardiol, Gleison Bremer, Jose Gimenez, Presnel Kimpembe and Pau Torres. The Blues may also be tempted to hand a chance to Levi Colwill should he be recalled from his loan deal at Huddersfield Town.
Borna Sosa, a left-back for VfB Stuttgart, is very much liked by Chelsea. football.london understands Marc Cucurella, another target for the Blues, prefers a move to Manchester City.
Another interesting one for Chelsea. N’Golo Kante and Jorginho both have just over 12 months remaining on their current deals at Stamford Bridge, with both of their futures uncertain as things stand. It looks as if Kante’s contract is the one Chelsea are more interested in sorting out right now, but that could all change of course.
Ross Barkley looks set to leave the club as he also enters the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge. After playing so little over the 2021/22 campaign, the Blues would not stand in the way of the midfielder should he wish to depart.
Conor Gallagher and Billy Gilmour could well be recalled from their loan spells at Crystal Palace and Norwich City, respectively, to give Chelsea more depth in midfield. Gallagher, especially, looks set to be given a chance to prove himself under Tuchel next season.
Declan Rice remains of interest to Chelsea. However, West Ham want around £150million for the England international.
Another position with so much uncertainty. Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech have all been linked with exits from the club this summer. Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku is set to officially depart on loan from Stamford Bridge next week.
The only ones that you can 100 per cent say will stay at Chelsea next season are Kai Havertz and Mason Mount. There perhaps isn’t much sense in offloading all of the aforementioned forward players, but there could be an exodus of some of Tuchel’s current options.
Armando Broja enjoyed a fine 2021/22 season on loan at Southampton and could return to Chelsea this summer. Whether or not the Albanian is sold or not remains to be seen, with several clubs interested in signing the talented centre-forward.
Chelsea’s main attacking targets are Raheem Sterling, Richarlison and Ousmane Dembele at the time of writing. Sterling is someone Tuchel really likes and the club believe they can sign the Manchester City attacker for £45m, with one year remaining on his deal at the Etihad Stadium.
Richarlison has a price-tag of close to £75m on his head, with Everton wanting to get every penny possible for their star attacker. However, there’s an understanding at Goodison Park that the Brazil international could leave this summer.
Dembele, meanwhile, is still considering his future. Chelsea are waiting on the Frenchman’s decision.
According to a report from the Telegraph, Chelsea are open to selling the likes of Marcos Alonso, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Ross Barkley and Kenedy if the right offers arrive their way. Via CIES Football Observatory, these players’ total values add up to £206m.
Chelsea could look to tie up Kante to fresh terms in the coming weeks, with the Frenchman still an integral part of Tuchel’s plans at Stamford Bridge. Mount and Reece James are also expected to be offered new contracts.
Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcus Bettinelli
Defenders: Reece James, Cesar Azpilicueta, Jules Kounde, Matthijs de Ligt, Levi Colwill, Malang Sarr, Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah, Ben Chilwell, Borna Sosa.