Chelsea have quickly made a statement of intent ahead of next season with an exciting period of activity in the transfer market, following the confirmed capture of Hakim Ziyech from Ajax with the news that a deal has been agreed to sign the highly-rated Timo Werner from RB Leipzig.
The west London side’s recruitment is unlikely to end there with a whole host of leading names now being linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz and Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell amongst the club’s most notable transfer targets.
Owner Roman Abramovich is prepared to back Frank Lampard after the club’s transfer-ban last summer, freeing up significant funds as Chelsea look to challenge for major honours next season.
Lampard’s summer spend is likely to see several stars depart to make room for the exciting new arrivals, and we’ve decided to profile some of the players who could be deemed surplus to requirements.
Here are five high-profile players that could leave Chelsea this summer:
Willian’s seven season stay at Chelsea looks set to come to an end this summer, the Brazilian having failed to agree terms on a contract extension and almost certain to leave on a free transfer.
The arrival of the aforementioned Ziyech, plus the desire to give more regular football to youngsters Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi, has left Willian expendable to Lampard’s first-team squad.
An initial extension was offered in a bid to keep the experienced 31-year-old, but his desire for a three-year deal swiftly ended negotiations with Chelsea largely operating on a policy of offering one-year deals for players over the age 30.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk player has won two league titles amongst his five major honours since arriving in English football and has scored seven goals in all competitions this season, but his time with Chelsea will end this summer to make way for an emerging generation.
Barcelona are long-term admirers of the player, but the winger’s desire to remain in the Premier League and happiness with life in London has led to Arsenal and Tottenham emerging as the favourites for his signature.
Another experienced star set to depart on a Bosman, Pedro’s advancing years and limited first-team football this season leaves the forward in search of a new challenge this summer.
The Spain international has been a fine player for Chelsea since moving to the Premier League from Barcelona, making over 200 appearances in all competitions and forming part of the side which won the title under Antonio Conte in 2017.
Like Willian, Pedro is a high-earner at Stamford Bridge and the departure of the experienced duo will free up significant space in the wage bill, with Chelsea reported to have offered a £200,000-a-week contract in their bid to secure Leipzig forward Werner.
The 32-year-old is unlikely to be short of potential suitors with the likes of Roma, Sevilla and Valencia being linked with a player who counts six league titles, three Champions Leagues and the World Cup amongst his career honours.
A popular figure in west London, he will depart with the club’s blessing at the expiry of his contract after making just eight Premier League starts so far this season.
Could N’Golo Kante be the most high-profile casualty of Lampard’s revolution at Stamford Bridge?
It’s been a strange period for a player regarded by many as the world’s finest defensive midfielder, the World Cup winner having largely been utilised in an unfamiliar box-to-box role under both Lampard and predecessor Maurizio Sarri.
The 29-year-old has missed much of the campaign with a series of niggling injuries and his role has also been questioned in Lampard’s preferred set-up, Jorginho often deployed as the deepest-lying player in the club’s midfield.
Lampard has publicly praised Kante and his ability but there are suggestions the midfielder could be allowed to leave to raise further funds, with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-German both known admirers of the player.
The sale of a genuine world class talent would represent a huge risk ahead of the new campaign, though Chelsea are well-stocked in midfield with Lampard likely to want to hand increased roles to emerging teenager Billy Gilmour and the fit again Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Ross Barkley’s decision to leave boyhood side Everton for Chelsea was supposed to take the midfielder’s game to the next level, but two years after heading to the capital he remains a player capable of delighting and frustrating in equal measure.
The England international enjoyed a fine pre-season and hopes were high ahead of the current campaign, but he has once again struggled to deliver consistently and command a regular first-team place.
There have been flashes of his undoubted ability – including a stunning FA Cup goal and performance against Liverpool in March – but those moments have been a rarity, whilst a series of off-field incidents have also tainted his reputation.
Barkley is amongst a host of players hopeful of solving England’s lack of midfield creativity but he will need to be playing regularly to remain in Gareth Southgate’s thinking ahead of next summer’s European Championships.
The midfielder is now 26-years-old and must begin to deliver on a career that has perhaps underwhelmed since its initial exciting promise, with West Ham – now under the guidance of ex-Everton boss David Moyes – being tipped to make a move.
It’s fair to say that Michy Batshuayi’s move to Chelsea just hasn’t worked out.
Signed in a £33m deal from Marseille four years ago, the Belgian has since failed to secure a regular first-team place with a succession of loan deals having failed to revive his hopes of making an impact at Stamford Bridge.
Those deals have, however, shown the forward to be a fine finisher when handed a chance to play reguarly, Batshuayi impressing during temporary stints at both Borussia Dortmund and Crystal Palace and likely to have a host of clubs chasing his signature this summer.
The 26-year-old has fallen behind both Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud in the pecking order, whilst the impending arrival of Timo Werner means the writing is on the wall for a player who has made just one Premier League start so far this season.
Batshuayi’s record of 16 goals in just 29 appearances for Belgium is an indicator of his ability, and it would not surprise to see another Premier League outfit gamble on his services in a bid to add firepower to their side this summer.