Chelsea may have begun to play out of the back this season, but it’s the middle of the park where the Blues have a core they will not disband, including midfield duo N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, according to new reports from ESPN’s James Olley.
REPORT: Chelsea to Offload Players but Keep Hold of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho
Maintaining Midfield Core
According to Olley, the Blues’ plan to sell a large chunk of the first-team squad this summer to build up some cash for a team overhaul. That much seemed obvious. However, they are “expected to resist any offers for midfield duo N’Golo Kante and Jorginho.”
Recently, Jorginho’s representatives and Juventus reportedly began discussing a move to Turin, reuniting him with manager Maurizio Sarri again. After that, the Blues entertained the idea of a swap deal bringing Miralem Pjanic to Stamford Bridge in exchange for Jorginho.
Now, though, according to Olley, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard would like to put the kibosh on that. “There has been speculation over a swap deal involving Jorginho and Miralem Pjanic, but Lampard does not have a particular interest in the latter,” he wrote, before adding: “only the player agitating for a move would prompt Chelsea into considering selling.”
When it comes to Kante, rumours last month suggested Chelsea could sell the Frenchman. But only at the right price. Even if that right price does come in an offer, Kante is an important part of Lampard’s plans.
Left backs Marcos Alonso and Emerson both seem expendable. The Blues will probably end third choice striker Michy Batshuayi’s frustrating tenure with the club. And Davide Zappacosta, yes he’s still on Chelsea’s books while playing for Roma on loan this year, will likely move on after an anonymous three years with Chelsea.
Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga could also get kicked to the curb, although it will prove difficult for Chelsea to find a club willing to take on his wages and pay a substantial transfer fee, meaning the Blues will have to take a massive loss on the Spaniard.
With the money raised from these potential sales, Chelsea have a long list of possible replacements and upgrades.
Most recently, manager Frank Lampard directly contacted 33-year-old Belgian striker Dries Mertens at Napoli. The club have identified Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell their left-back of the future.
And multiple reports have linked the Blues with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Lyon’s Moussa Dembele, and Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho, currently with Bayern Munich on loan, and RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner.
Lampard has a whole host of young talent in the squad, a strong core of veterans in the middle, and a long list of potential upgrades.
Chelsea have not had a new player join in either of the last two transfer windows. The first came about because of their imposed transfer ban. The second was likely avoiding spending money for the sake of spending money. Hakim Ziyech, though, has already agreed to join from Ajax beginning next season.
With some pent up transfer energy and cash build through player sales, look for Chelsea make a huge splash in the next transfer window.