Chelsea have spent more than one billion pounds on players since Todd Bohely’s arrival last summer but Mauricio Pochettino’s side still find themselves struggling in mid-table with an imbalanced squad.
The Blues’ poor form led to Pochettino calling on the club to make more signings in the upcoming January transfer window but the significant outlay over the past 18 months ago means that Chelsea may struggle to bring players in without making sales.
In particular, the financial fair play constraints surrounding the club could lead to academy graduates being first out the door considering they count as pure profit towards balancing the books.
With Chelsea still hoping to bring players in next month, FootballTransfers takes a look at five players who could leave Stamford Bridge to make way for new arrivals.
Conor Gallagher faces an uncertain future at Chelsea despite becoming an integral part of Pochettino’s side, with the 23-year-old entering the final 18 months of his contract and no extension being offered as yet.
Chelsea aren’t against keeping Gallagher but they realise the implications that his transfer fee could have on their financial status and any offer close to their asking price will undoubtedly be considered, much to the frustration of fans who have enjoyed his development this season.
Another academy graduate who has been available for transfer since the summer is Trevoh Chalobah, although the market isn’t expected to be as fruitful for the 24-year-old in January.
Chalobah has not played this season due to injury and he was subject to interest from Bayern Munich among other teams in the summer, however Chelsea’s asking price has proven detrimental so far.
The Blues are hoping to raise at least £30m from Chalobah’s sale but his current injury status means that teams may only be willing to make loan offers for the defender until he proves his fitness.
Part of Chelsea’s transfer policy has been the desire for players to sign eight year contracts, something which is said to have put Ian Maatsen off from committing his future to the Blues, although the club are believed to have activated an option to extend his deal until 2025.
The Dutchman was expected to be a significant part of Pochettino’s team this season after a fruitful loan spell at Burnley last year but he has played just 132 minutes in the Premier League so far, with all ten of his appearances coming from the bench.
Chelsea accepted a bid of around £31.5m during the summer for Maatsen but he rejected a permanent move to Burnley, although with interest reportedly from teams such as Barcelona and Manchester City, a departure next year seems likely.
Recently reports suggested that Borussia Dortmund had agreed personal terms for Maatsen but there will likely be others to join the party.
Although not an academy graduate, Chelsea may consider cashing in on Noni Madueke just a year after he joined, with the 21-year-old frustrated at his limited opportunities so far.
Madueke has made just one Premier League start this season, having signed from PSV for £28.5m last January and he may try and force an exit already despite Chelsea reportedly being unwilling to sell him.
It should be noted that Chelsea are already at their cap for the amount of players they could loan out, meaning Madueke would have to be sold if he wanted to leave, although Andrey Santos is expected to be recalled from his spell at Nottingham Forest which could open a spot up.
Chelsea’s forgotten man Malang Sarr is all but certain to leave in next year, having not featured for the club since the 2021/22 season and only playing eight Premier League games since signing in 2020.
Sarr still has 18 months left on his contract but he has not been given a shirt number or included in Chelsea’s squad for the season, indicating where he stands with the club at the moment.
Chelsea would be happy to let Sarr leave for a nominal fee, or potentially for free, in order to get his wages off the books but considering the situation was the same in the summer, the lack of interest means the Blues may have to terminate his contract if they want to save money.