Chelsea have eight stars who could ignore Todd Boehly ultimatum and leave in summer
Chelsea could be set for a summer clear-out under Todd Boehly’s hardline approach.
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has reportedly warned squad members that they risk being sold if they do not commit to at least three years at Stamford Bridge, according to a report from the Telegraph. The American is set to demand players with less than three years on their contract to commit to extensions and, if they do not comply, they will be offloaded.
While there are a large number of players that have already been signed to long-term contracts, including new arrivals Enzo Fernandez and Mykhaylo Mudryk and right-back Reece James, there is a long list of players whose deals are running down.
Chelsea know that some summer departures are inevitable, with Graham Potter currently trying to fit 33 stars into a 20-man matchday squad. But Boehly’s ultimatum could force some key squad members to consider their long-term future and whether it lies at Stamford Bridge or elsewhere.
In light of Boehly’s hardline approach, Express Sport assesses which of the current squad could choose to depart this summer.
READ MORE: Three Chelsea players may save Potter from sack after narrow Leeds win
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea FC – Premier League
Mason Mount: The Chelsea star could leave this summer (Image: Getty)
Mount has reached a crossroads in his career where many English stars have been before. Steven Gerrard turned down Chelsea and earned iconic status at Liverpool, John Terry snubbed Manchester City in favour of staying with the Blues and now, it’s his turn to decide whether a move to Anfield or elsewhere would benefit him more than staying with his boyhood club.
So what does Mount do? It is clear he has a part to play in Potter’s long-term plan, but the 24-year-old doesn’t have a set role and his form on the pitch this season has been surprisingly disappointing. His protracted contract talks have inevitably affected his mindset, but there is a general feeling it could be time for him to try something new.
Chelsea will do everything they can to stop the playmaker from leaving, but they have already made it abundantly clear he will be sold if further contract talks do not reach a positive conclusion – and he could be the first to spark the exodus of high-profile departures.
Kai Havertz: The German has two years left on his contract (Image: Getty)
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Nearly two years on from that career-making winning goal in the Champions League final, it is difficult to see where Havertz has progressed since. The Germany international was the club’s top goalscorer in all competitions last season, but some would argue 14 goals is not enough for a player who occupies the central striker role.
He has two years left to run on his current deal and it may be that after a disappointing series of performances this season, Chelsea could consider the highest offer for the forward who cost £72m from Bayer Leverkusen back in 2020.
If Bayern Munich come knocking, the 23-year-old may be tempted to return home after a frustrating 18 months at Stamford Bridge, particularly with Christopher Nkunku set to arrive in the summer.
The utility man has proved to be a useful member of the squad under Potter but he is never likely to be a regular player while his fitness issues continue to plague his career. The 27-year-old should be in his peak years but muscle problems and Achilles injuries have taken their toll and he has no genuine reason to stay.
It speaks volumes that the versatile midfielder is regarded as more effective in a right wing-back role than in his preferred centre midfield position these days. AC Milan and Leicester are thought to be keen on signing the England international and, with his contract winding down, Chelsea will be hoping to spark a bidding war to get the highest amount possible.
Chelsea can raise £160m for Potter with five players that can be sold
The Moroccan has been out of favour for some time and the very fact he remains part of the squad beyond January is only down to some administrative blunders on Chelsea’s side.
Paris Saint-Germain were all set to bring in the 30-year-old in on loan until the end of the season, with Ziyech waiting in Paris to bring an end to his three-year spell in London, only for the paperwork not to come through in time before the transfer deadline.
His attempted exit may have failed to materialise, but there won’t be any attempts to stand in his way come the summer, with the likes of Newcastle and Ajax keen on the crafty winger.
Mateo Kovacic: The Croatian could seek a new challenge (Image: Getty)
Kovacic is in his fourth season at the club and his influence has grown steadily over time. But the Croatian has been susceptible to injury this season and there are doubts over whether he can play every three days. Of course, that might not be required for Chelsea given their riches in midfield, but Kovacic may be looking for a new challenge for the final years of his career.
With Manchester City sniffing around the 29-year-old and eyeing a cut-price move, the midfielder could be tempted to join Pep Guardiola’s side who play the football more suited to Kovacic’s free-flowing profile. The outcome of any contract talks planned could be crucial in deciding his future, but he could be one of several midfielders to head for the exit this summer.
Only Graham Potter can answer where Pulisic lies in his current pecking order, but it seems the American could be Chelsea’s best chance of raising funds to balance the books. The winger has been injured since early January and has gone under the radar while the club welcomed the influx of new signings in the winter transfer window.
But that has only helped avoid the awkward situation of Pulisic missing out on first-team action if he was fit. The 24-year-old’s injury record and general unhappiness with life in west London could see him take on a new challenge, with several clubs across Europe likely to be interested in his services.
The Gabonese probably realised he had made a mistake in leaving Barcelona when Thomas Tuchel was sacked a week after he was signed to solve Chelsea’s attacking problems.
The 33-year-old has been left on the periphery by Potter ever since and his return of three goals simply isn’t enough to justify his £200,000-a-week wages. The problem for Chelsea will be flogging a player who has a deal until the summer of 2024 and they may have to agree a mutual termination to get his salary off the books.
Even if the Senegalese was not currently sidelined by injury. Mendy would not be Chelsea’s preferred goalkeeper under Potter as Kepa Arrizabalaga has snatched back the No 1 jersey. The 30-year-old has seen his stock plummet over the past 18 months and his decision to reject terms on a new contract means he is likely to leave this summer.
There will be plenty of clubs queuing up to sign the former Rennes stopper after his past exploits for Chelsea both in the Premier League and Champions League. But his once promising Chelsea career has stagnated – and a move is the best outcome for all concerned.
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