A new report from Alex Young of the Evening Standard has shed some light on what the new Chelsea ownership group is aiming to do in this transfer window. Specifically, club officials are aware of the massive wage bill and wage disparity within the squad and want to even this out.
Specific players named in the report include Mason Mount, Reece James, Edouard Mendy, Timo Werner, Conor Gallagher, Kepa Arrizabalaga, N’Golo Kante, Marcos Alonso, Jorginho, Michy Batshuayi, and Ross Barkley as people of interest with the club aiming to keep some and offload others.
New Chelsea Ownership Aim to Reduce Wage Bill
Chelsea's new ownership group have acknowledged issues around the wage bill could hold the club back. Certain stars need new deals urgently, while others need to be cut like Lukaku. It's on the priority list after new signings: https://t.co/sjp6mcajcD #CFC
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) July 19, 2022
Academy graduates Mount and James were mentioned in the reports as two players that the new owners are hoping to lock down. Both players came through the club’s youth system and are reportedly on the lower end of earners in the squad, despite both being key members of the squad. Mendy was another name singled out for praise with the club aiming to rectify the wage gap between him, the club’s first-choice keeper, and Arrizabalaga who is his higher-paid back-up.
Another academy graduate singled out for a boosted contract is English midfielder Conor Gallagher. Gallagher is being provided the chance to stay and fight for a spot in the squad and this could see him being locked down with an improved contract.
Who Is Expendable?
The specific quote from the report is rather harsh but the new Chelsea ownership group is aiming to get rid of overpaid and underperforming signings of the previous regime. Werner and Arrizabalaga are two names on the immediate chopping block as they are high earners that haven’t played well enough to deserve such pay.
Barcelona and Chelsea are in direct contact with new round of talks now scheduled to discuss about César Azpilicueta. Barça want to speed up the negotiation. 🚨🔵🔴 #FCB
Azpi, waiting for club’s agreement as Barça contract proposal is into his hands since March: deal until 2024. pic.twitter.com/okDgo5ANHV
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 19, 2022
Looking ahead to 2023 it appears that higher-ups may be willing to part ways with the likes of Kante, Barkley, and potentially Alonso. Despite offering Thomas Tuchel a significant budget and new signings the club’s owners are keeping a keen eye on the future of the club’s finances and may be willing to make the hard decisions the previous regime couldn’t.