Chelsea have entered a state of uncertainty after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government and the future of several players in the squad is now up in the air.
In a statement released on Thursday, the Government described Abramovich as a ‘pro-Kremlin oligarch’ and claims Chelsea’s owner has ‘had a close relationship for decades’ with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.
Abramovich’s assets in the UK have now been seized, while Chelsea have been issued with a ‘general licence’ which allows the club to operate under restrictions.
Among the restrictions, which are in place until May 31 2022 and could potentially be extended, Chelsea are currently prevented from negotiating new contracts for their players.
Three first-team regulars – captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Antinio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen – all see their current contracts with Chelsea expire at the end of the season.
In total, Chelsea have nine players whose contracts expire at the end of June and could leave Stamford Bridge on a free transfer.
CHELSEA PLAYERS WHOSE CONTRACTS EXPIRE IN JUNE 2022
Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Emerson Palmieri, Danny Drinkwater, Baba Rahman, Matt Miazga, Jake Clarke-Salter and Charly Musonda
Azpilicueta and Christensen have both been heavily linked with moves to Barcelona, while several clubs across Europe have registered their interest in Rudiger, including Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Chelsea could also see Emerson Palmieri, who was signed for £17.6 million in 2018, leave the club as his contract also runs out at the end of June. Chelsea unsuccessfully attempted to recall the Italy international from his loan spell with Lyon in the January transfer window.
Another big-money signing who is on course to leave for nothing is Danny Drinkwater. The midfielder, signed for £35m in 2017, is currently on loan at Championship club Reading.
CHELSEA PLAYERS WHOSE CONTRACTS EXPIRE IN JUNE 2023
N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Billy Gilmour, Thiago Silva, Marcos Alonso, Ross Barkley, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Michy Batshuayi, Nathan Baxter, Ethan Ampadu, Marcus Bettinelli
Baba Rahman, Matt Miazga, Jake Clarke-Salter and Charly Musonda also see their contracts expire this summer.
Chelsea also face a difficult situation as they are also unable to complete contract negotiations with any player who will have only a year remaining on their deal at the end of the season.
N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Marcos Alonso and Billy Gilmour are among the Chelsea players whose deals expire in the summer of 2023.