The Chelsea clear-out, it seems, is about to begin in earnest. So far this summer, the Blues have only sold David Luiz, while the contracts of Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard have been allowed to come to a natural end. Now we may start seeing the departures of others deemed surplus to requirements.
According to newspaper reports, five players are heading for the exit doors – and none of them will come as a great surprise. First off is Fernando Torres, just as soon as a new home can be found for him. It’s rumoured that Inter Milan and his old club Atletico Madrid may be interested, for some £15 million.
Next could be Romelu Lukaku, who it seems will never manage to sufficiently impress Jose Mourinho. Chelsea are reportedly asking for £32 million from the Belgian, with would-be suitors including Juventus, Real Madrid, Everton and Spurs. At that sort of money, however, it would seem likely that the only the former two are serious bidders.
Then there’s goalkeeper Petr Cech, who appears to be being forced out by the arrival of Thibaut Courtois. An asking price of £10 million seems on the low side, especially when two of the clubs in the running for him are French moneybags Paris St Germain and Monaco.
John Obi Mikel will almost certainly be another casualty having slipped way down the midfield pecking order. For £10.5 million he could be on his way to Juventus or Galatasaray very shortly.
And finally Champions league hero Ryan Bertrand may be ending his association with the club. A number of Premier League clubs like the look of him, including Everton, Spurs and the club he spent half last year on loan at, Aston Villa. A price tag of £6.5 million appears to have been placed round his shoulders.
If all these players are sold at all those prices, Chelsea could raise some £74 million to pursue their own transfer targets, without really damaging the squad at all. Only Torres and Cech are first-choice starters – Cech’s replacement already belongs to the Blues, while the loss of Torres is unlikely to hurt Chelsea a great deal.
In addition to the five players mentioned in the newspaper reports today, it is also safe to add the names of Demba Ba, Marko Marin and Oriel Romeu as players unlikely to feature in Chelsea’s plans for 2014/15. That could swell the transfer coffers to closer to £90 million, and lead to an influx of even more fresh talent.
Whatever happens, it seems the revolving doors at the Cobham training ground are going to be quite busy once the World Cup is over.