Nine Chelsea stars up for sale this summer as Thomas Tuchel reshapes squad
FOOTBALL By Mirror | April 7th 2021
Thomas Tuchel's revolution at Stamford Bridge has begun, but the Chelsea boss still has plenty of work to do to turn his side into title contenders.
After putting in an impressive display to knock Atletico Madrid out of the Champions League, any suggestions Chelsea were back were swiftly put to bed by their humiliating 5-2 defeat to West Brom on Saturday.
Roman Abramovich already shelled out more than £200million for new players last summer, but Tuchel is expecting to be backed in his first transfer market as manager, with new arrivals certain.
However, Tuchel also needs to trim down his squad by offloading some of his fringe men and wantaway stars to help boost his own transfer kitty.
Here are nine players he is prepared to sell this summer.
Tuchel's arrival has been bad news for Abraham, who has barely had a look in under his new manager.
The 23-year-old signed off Frank Lampard's reign with a hat-trick against Luton in the FA Cup but has featured on just five occasions since, completing 90minutes only once.
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Abraham has hardly set the world alight in that time in fairness, but it's clear that Tuchel simply doesn't fancy him.
That much is evident given Olivier Giroud has been seeing more action despite his contract being due to expire in the summer.
Giroud's departure may cause Tuchel to think twice about losing another target man, but with interest in Abraham expected to be high, offloading him for a sizeable fee seems the more likely outcome.
Much like Abraham's situation, one thing which might keep Kepa at Stamford Bridge beyond the summer is the fact that Chelsea's other back-up stopper Willy Caballero is leaving when his contract expires.
However, this is a case where a transfer would be best for all parties.
Kepa is a shadow of the player he was in Spain and his status as the Premier League's worst-ever signing has pretty much been cemented.
He will only serve as No.2 to Edouard Mendy if he stays and no doubt has ambitions of his own to try and get back to his former level.
The issue is whether Chelsea can sell him. They certainly won't get anywhere near the £71m they paid for him, or even half that.
A loan move with an option or obligation to buy seems the most possible scenario, but Chelsea could still struggle to get any club to pay his £150,000-per-week wage.
They could supplement his salary but would still need to sign a new No.2 of their own.
With the Spaniard tied to the club until 2025, they might just need to accept a cut-price bid and write this one off for good.
The left-back has somehow stuck around through the last few transfer windows despite not being first choice.
Tuchel's appointment perhaps offered some promise of a revival for Emerson at Chelsea, and his goal off the bench in the win over Atletico Madrid did his chances no harm.
But it's become pretty obvious he is considered behind both Marcos Alonso and Ben Chilwell in the Blues' pecking order.
With his contract due up in 2022, now is the time for Chelsea to offload the Italian rather than lose him for a free, and there should be enough interest from Serie A to do so, with Inter Milan and Napoli both linked, though they may need to reduce their £17m asking price.
Like Emerson, Rudiger's contract expires at the end of next season, meaning it's decision time for Chelsea as to whether to retain the defender's services.
The German has been an integral part of Tuchel's plans since Lampard's sacking and has largely performed well.
Rudiger did irk his new boss this week when he was sent home from training though, which will not have gone down well with disciplinarian Tuchel.
And whether he will stay a regular member of the starting XI remains to be seen, with Chelsea almost certain to sign a new centre-back this summer.
A new arrival would see Rudiger demoted to reserve status, and as he continues to stall over a new deal, Chelsea would be wise to cash-in while they can.
Regardless of whether Chelsea do sign a new defender or not, Rudiger and co. could have added competition anyway if Tuchel opts to keep hold of Tomori when he returns from his loan spell.
The 23-year-old is being hailed in Italy for his performance for AC Milan, who are very keen on signing him permanently.
Milan have an option to do so written in Tomori's loan agreement, providing they are prepared to pay £25m.
A final decision is yet to be made, but Milan sporting director Paolo Maldini is a big fan, and Tomori's exit looks virtually a given.
A strange one this for Chelsea, as while Jorginho has often been a maligned figure at the Bridge he has proven his worth under Tuchel, who is a big admirer of the Italian.
It seems that the 29-year-old is not overly happy to still be at Chelsea though, as he continues to pine for a move back to his native Italy.
Napoli would be the ideal choice, and while Tuchel isn't desperate to sell, a big enough bid would convince him and the club to part company with a player who is not untouchable and one they would need to consider offloading next year anyway.
Ross Barkley / Ruben Loftus-Cheek / Michy Batshuayi
It goes without saying really that those players not currently at Chelsea are surplus to requirements, but Tuchel was happy to wipe the slate clean when he started in the role.
It is likely he will do the same for any returning loan stars, but it is just as likely they will be the first out of the door if a suitable offer comes in.
None of the trio mentioned above have really made a huge impact at their respective loan clubs, with Barkley's form erratic at Villa and the jury still out on Loftus-Cheek's potential.
Batshuayi's contract expires next year so moving him on is a matter of urgency, and Chelsea could recoup a decent amount from the sale of all three while slashing their wage bill.
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