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Transfers

The 4 players that could leave Chelsea on a free transfer this summer

Predicted Chelsea XI to face Nottingham Forest: One enforced change as Mount, Havertz & Pulisic retain starting roles

Watching Chelsea’s transfer dealings under Todd Boehly has been fascinating. But while all the attention is on their many shiny new signings, what about players leaving the club?

Chelsea have four players that are now into the final six months of their contracts at Stamford Bridge. They’re now free to negotiate and sign pre-contract agreements with overseas clubs and could depart on free transfers in the summer.

We’ve taken a closer look at the four players running down their deals at Chelsea and assessed the likelihood of them extending their stay into next season. Note: this list only includes players contracted to Chelsea and not their loanees Joao Felix and Denis Zakaria.

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N’Golo Kante

Undoubtedly one of the finest defensive midfielders in the world on his day, unfortunately injury issues have denied us seeing Kante zipping around the pitch this season.

A hamstring injury has kept Kante sidelined since August, while Graham Potter has confirmed that he still faces a “lengthy lay-off”. It’s the worst possible timing for the World Cup winner, who at the age of 31 is approaching the last big contract of his career.

Watch this space for what happens next. It doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility that Kante has played his last match for Chelsea, which would be a real shame given his status as a true Blues legend.

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It wasn’t that long ago that the Italy international was named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, having starred for the Azzurri as they won Euro 2020 at Wembley.

The year before he’d been just as impressive for Chelsea as they lifted the Champions League, but you increasingly get the sense that the 31-year-old is drifting towards the exit door at Stamford Bridge.

“Of course I do, I love Chelsea,” responded Jorginho when asked by talkSPORT whether he wants to remain at the club beyond the summer.

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“But this is a thing I’m not going to think about now. I need to think about winning games. Otherwise, it’s a problem. I’ll focus game by game and then we’ll see what’s going to happen. But my mind is on Chelsea now and trying to win as many games as possible.”

Thiago Silva

The Brazilian demonstrated that there was life in the old dog yet after being released by PSG in 2020. He played a vital role in their Champions League triumph of 2021-22 and still – at the age of 38 – is one of their standout individuals.

He last signed a contract extension in January 2022 and it remains to be seen whether he’ll be offered another.

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“Of course, I need to know whether I will have a new contract with Chelsea, also for my family arrangements,” Silva told The Athletic back in October.

“It is not easy if I don’t have a new contract — I will have to decide what to do. I must involve my family. This is an important decision and so we will see what will happen.”

Marcus Bettinelli

We’d forgive you not knowing that Bettinelli is on Chelsea’s books, given he’s their third-choice goalkeeper and his only appearance for the club was in a forgettable FA Cup victory over Chesterfield. The 30-year-old former Fulham ‘keeper arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2021 on a two-year-deal.

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It’ll be interesting to see whether he goes back to actually playing for another club next season or is happy enough to continue playing deputy. Perhaps this arrangement suits all parties and he’ll extend his stay.

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