12 Mar Who could leave Chelsea for free this summer as club faces mass exodus?
It certainly looks bleak at the moment if you are a Chelsea fan. Nine months ago, you were on top of the world — European champions. Now though, with owner Roman Abramovic’s assets frozen as part of the Russian’s alleged sanctioning, the club are unable to sign new players, or orchestrate new deals for their current ones. It’s a state of affairs that leaves Chelsea’s standings in the title race up in the air for years to come, and you’d quickly expect their status as favourites on the Betdaq exchange to follow suit.
If Chelsea are unable to give their players new contracts, then a host of faces will be departing Stamford Bridge this summer. Read on, as we look at some of the players available on a free this summer for the current Champions League holders.
If you thought Antonio Rüdiger leaving Chelsea was likely in January, the recent Abramovic news essentially put the final nail in the coffin. It’s no secret the German was unhappy with his current wages but any hopes of renegotiating a deal with improved pay now look dead in the water. The likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are all interested in the 29-year-old, who is reportedly demanding a £400,000 a week salary.
It’s been almost a decade since César Azpilicueta, once affectionately known as ‘Dave’, walked through the doors of Cobham as an inexperienced left back, little did he know that he would day be a European Cup-winning captain. Now utilised as part of a back three, the versatile 32-year-old is approaching the autumn of his career, having won everything there is to win at club level with Chelsea. Barcelona are reportedly interested in the Spaniard’s signature, with Azpilicueta unlikely to want to trade allegiances in England having spent so long at Stamford Bridge.
This would be a big blow for Tuchel and co. Once dubbed the future of Chelsea’s defence alongside Nathan Aké, Danish defender Andreas Christensen has found gametime hard to come by this season, but with his deal up in the summer, the 25-year-old will hardly be short of suitors. Having already been linked with Bayern Munich after they lost Niklas Süle to Borussia Dortmund, it’s hard to see Christensen’s future lying in west London.
Although his appearances at Stamford Bridge have been sporadic this season, Saúl Ñíguez has impressed in the brief moments he’s had to play during his loan spell from current La Liga holders Atlético Madrid. It is unlikely the Spaniard would have made the deal permanent anyway, but due to Chelsea’s current circumstances he’ll be unable to sign regardless and will most likely spend next season back at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
One player who certainly failed to live up to expectations in the blue of Chelsea is Danny Drinkwater. Arriving from Leicester City five years ago now, the 32-year-old cost more than N’Golo Kanté at around £35 million but failed to rekindle the kind of chemistry the duo had at the King Power Stadium the year they won the league. Having spent the last three seasons on loan at a variety of clubs, its likely Drinkwater will become a free agent before flying his trade in the second-tier next term.