Potential exit of veteran Chelsea trio sees Blues continue squad revamp

Three members of the 2021 Champions League-winning squad at Chelsea are nearing the exit door as the Blues continue to completely revamp their squad.

With Graham Potter still in his first season as manager, and Todd Boehly in his first year of ownership, Chelsea are undergoing a bit of a changing of the guard. As a result, a number of veteran stars could be shown the exit door on Deadline Day and in the summer.

Firstly, midfielder Jorginho has finalised a £12m move to Arsenal, per Fabrizio Romano. The Gunners have been looking for reinforcements in midfield to help with their title charge. And, after two failed bids for Brighton’s Moises Caicedo, the Gunners turned their attention to Jorginho.

For Chelsea, any money in return for the Italian is a plus. He had an expiring contract in the summer, with no sign of an extension forthcoming.

Jorginho could lead Chelsea clear-out during squad revamp

Elsewhere, Hakim Ziyech is on the cusp of a loan move to Paris Saint-Germain. French outlet Foot Mercato reported that the deal between Chelsea and the Ligue 1 giants could include an option to buy Ziyech. The Moroccan also reportedly turned down moves to Newcastle and Everton to go to the Parc des Princes.

Finally, N’Golo Kante could be on his way out of Chelsea – but not in this window. Numerous clubs have been linked to the 2018 World Cup winner, although none seem close to a deal at this point. Most recently, speculation has put Liverpool as one of Kante’s top suitors.

The Reds may try and lure Kante to Anfield when his current contract expires this summer, per El Nacional.

Speaking of contracts, further squad revamp could come at Chelsea when other players’ deals expire. Loan moves for Joao Felix and Denis Zakaria end this summer, plus Thiago Silva’s contract runs out in June.

Additionally, the likes of Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic could walk for free next year.

It is just as well that the Blues have already made a splash in last summer and January’s transfer windows.  

Who Chelsea have brought in already

The 2022 summer window saw a number of high-profile arrivals to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea shelled out large sums for Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Wesley Fofana, and Marc Cucarella among others.

However, the squad has not meshed under Graham Potter’s guidance – sitting tenth in the league. So, further reinforcements have arrived in January.

Benoit Badiashile, David Fofana, Noni Madueke, Andrey Santos, and Malo Gusto have all joined on long-term deals. With these youthful signings, the Blues are clearly building for the future.

In addition, Chelsea swiped Mykhailo Mudryk from under Arsenal’s noses in a deal worth £88 million.

But that’s not all. The London side are also closing in on a British transfer record move for Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez. The 22-year-old commands a fee in excess of £100m after a fantastic World Cup with Argentina.

How are Chelsea staying within Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations with all this spending, though?

Working around FFP

Many people are certainly raising eyebrows at the seemingly limitless spending from Todd Boehly. However, there is a method to the madness.

Most of these new signings have agreed to long-term contracts, much longer than we are typically accustomed to in football. For instance, Mudryk signed an eight-year deal with the Blues. Similarly, Badiashile agreed on a seven-year contract.

What these long contracts do is give the club more time to pay off the transfer fee. Chelsea are not paying Mudryk’s £80 million+ fee in one lump sum; instead, it is spread across the entirety of his contract via “amortisation”.

Therefore, within each financial year, each big fee only counts as a smaller part of the Blues’ spending. This extension of fee payment does come with a risk, though. It limits Chelsea’s spending power in the future, as that player’s value reduces at a slower pace than if they paid a transfer fee off in three years.

Chelsea also have profits to fall back on, though. When they have sold academy graduates such as Tammy Abraham, this goes down as direct profit. This is because they did not buy the player in the first place. Said revenue can then be used as transfer funds under FFP rules.

As it stands, these extended-structure deals and selling of academy grads are keeping Chelsea within FFP. However, UEFA could bring an end to this. Per BBC Sport, the European governing body will impose a five-year limit over which to pay a transfer fee.

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