Chelsea have five players out of contract next summer who could open talks over a pre-contract with teams abroad in January if they wish to leave Stamford Bridge.
Of those five out of contract in the summer, four are first-team players and all of them are defenders, meaning the Blues’ future transfer business could be shaped around who decided to stay and who decided to go.
Thomas Tuchel will undoubtedly want some of the players to sign contract extensions, although what happens may depend on what deals Marina Granovskaia can strike over the next few months.
football.london takes a look at the players who could leave Chelsea as a free transfer next summer.
Rudiger has been a stand-out performer under Tuchel, often earning plaudits for his performances as part of Chelsea’s solid back three. The 30-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge from AS Roma in 2017 for roughly £30m.
The Germany international has been linked with a move to Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, and although talks over a new deal are understood to have taken place, no agreement is close as it stands.
Rudiger is said to want to become one of the club’s highest earners, feeling that his performances since Tuchel took charge have warranted such terms.
Ahead of his international duties with Germany, Rudiger was called up for media duties and had to field questions about his future, saying that it is an “honour” to be linked with the German and Spanish giants.
“I feel good where I am now. So that fits,” he told a pre-match press conference.
“The interest honours me. That shows that I’ve done a few things right recently. But I don’t let myself be distracted. I have an obligation to my club to perform well.”
Christensen has been another of the back three that has made the Blues so hard to break down under Tuchel.
The 25-year-old had a standout summer with Denmark in the European Championships and has continued to impress this season.
The Chelsea hierarchy have been working to offer the Danish international a new deal, with journalist Fabrizio Romano claiming that there is an agreement in principle over an extension, with final agreement and clauses to be sorted in the coming weeks.
Affectionately known as “Dave” by the Chelsea faithful, Azpilicueta could leave for nothing next summer after ten years at Stamford Bridge.
The club captain joined from Marseille in 2012, making over 400 appearances and winning eight trophies in that time.
The 32-year-old has been a key leadership figure at the club, but his versatility has become useful for Tuchel too. He has mainly played as a right-wing-back in his time under the German coach, but can also play at centre-back if called upon.
It wasn’t all that long ago that Silva extended his stay with Chelsea, signing a one-year extension in the summer.
The 37-year-old moved to England with Tuchel, who he worked under at PSG. Both went through the heartache of losing in the Champions League final to Bayern Munich but a year later both won it with the Blues against Manchester City.
Despite his age, he could still play an important part both on the pitch and behind the scenes.
Coming through the youth ranks at Cobham, Baker has struggled to get himself established at first-team level for the Blues.
The 26-year-old spent last season on loan at Turkish side Trabzonspor, making 34 appearances. However, he didn’t manage to secure another move away from Stamford Bridge in the summer and has made one appearance in the Premier League 2 this season with the under-23s.
Source by Football London