Chelsea could be forced to pay as much as £60m in contract payoffs this summer as Todd Boehly looks to overhaul the Blues squad in a big way.
According to the Sun, as many as six players could have to be bought off to leave Stamford Bridge amid early concerns that Chelsea will struggle to sell off some names due to their high wages, with Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kepa Arrizabalaga the biggest earners.
With Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic also set to leave, the six Chelsea players could end up costing the club close to £60m just to get rid of them, with clubs unlikely to match the wages the Blues currently pay for their unfavoured names.
Whilst Chelsea could get lucky with some players, there’s an overall feeling that the west London side will have to take another page out of Arsenal’s rebuilding process and offer out contract payoffs to get unwanted names off their books for the summer.
Mikel Arteta and Arsenal infamously allowed the likes of Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi and Willian to leave the club for free and way before their contracts were due to expire, a short-term financial blow that has clearly paid off in a big way given the Gunners’ position this season.
And for Chelsea, similar moves could be needed this summer if Boehly is to trim the Blues’ squad size, which is already one of the biggest in Europe and in desperate need of a huge firesale, yet the short-term financial losses could be worth their weight in gold.
Contract payoffs exactly what Chelsea need to do this summer
Chelsea’s upcoming summer window is already shaping up to be one of their most important in recent years, with players sales and departures, for once, much more crucial to who the west London side actually sign, and contract payoffs could be a smart move in the right direction.
Whilst the likes of Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi and Ziyech could recoup actual transfer fees, buying off the likes of Lukaku and Kepa will be worth it for Chelsea, who have to clear their squad of deadwood and put in a clear plan for Graham Potter to get the club back to their best.