With Todd Boehly’s multi-billion-pound takeover of Chelsea nearing its conclusion, Daily Star Sport examines how the Blues might shape up for the start of the new Premier League season
Following government approval of Todd Boehly’s £4.25billion takeover, Chelsea have seemingly ended their mammoth search for a new owner.
Due to sanctions placed on current holder Roman Abramovich, as part of a nationwide crackdown on Russian oligarchs, the Blues have been unable to operate as normal. Fans buying match tickets, the renewal of player contracts and bizarrely even purchases in the club shop have all been prohibited – but Boehly’s takeover brings renewed hope around Stamford Bridge.
The consortium led by the LA Dodgers’ co-owner, 48, has passed the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test and Boehly is reportedly ready to equip Thomas Tuchel with a £200m transfer war chest. With sanctions lifted and the club back in business, Daily Star Sportexamine how Chelsea could line up after the American’s first summer window…
OPTION ONE: 3-4-3 (Defensive reinforcements)
Chelsea have made no secret of the fact they are in need of defensive reinforcements in the summer. Antonio Rudiger’s contract saga has finally reached a conclusion – the German has penned a four-year deal at Real Madrid – including a £324m buyout clause – after admitting club sanctions made the renewal of his contract “complicated”.
Elsewhere, Andreas Christensen is tipped to switch to El Clasico rivals Barcelona on a free transfer, also at the end of his contract. The Dane has featured just once in the Blues’ last seven Premier League matches but his departure leaves Tuchel desperately short at the back.
To replace the outgoing duo, the Blues have been linked with moves for Sevilla ace Jules Kounde and RB Leipzig star Josko Gvardiol. The pair top an eight-man shortlist of defensive targets, according to The Telegraph. Left-footed Gvardiol and right-sided defender Kounde support Thiago Silva in the back three in a relatively unchanged XI.
OPTION TWO: 3-4-3 (All-out attack)
Only Liverpool and Manchester City recorded better defensive records than Chelsea last season, but to bridge the gap to the top two the Blues need more from the players at the top end of the pitch. One man who would certainly aid an unlikely title challenge is Raheem Sterling and the Telegraph report also states that a shock move is not out of the question.
Having fallen down the pecking order behind Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden, the England wizard is reportedly considering his future at the Etihad and could be available at a cut-price fee. Sterling has just one year remaining on his contract and it’s probable the arrival of Erling Haaland would see his game time reduced further still.
Long-standing target Ousmane Dembele is the obvious choice for the alternate flank. The Barca ace worked under Tuchel’s guidance at previous club Borussia Dortmund and, according to Football.London, talks with the La Liga giants have stalled – leaving a clear path to Stamford Bridge.
Netting three goals in his last three Premier League matches, Romelu Lukaku might now be ready to showcase the talent that earned him a £97.5 move from Inter Milan last summer, following an indifferent first season back in England.
OPTION THREE: 3-4-3 (Youthful approach)
Despite falling short of Champions Leaguequalification, Mikel Arteta has received mass plaudits for embedding a youthful philosophy at the Emirates Stadium and a similar approach may have even greater success in west London.
Utilising Kai Havertz in his now uncommon position of lone striker, Jorginho is the only player in the starting lineup on the wrong side of 30. Conor Gallagher showed his Premier League credentials at Crystal Palace last season, earning a first Three Lions call-up, and his return undoubtedly strengthens Tuchel’s midfield options.
Gvardiol’s ability to play left-back also means the Blues have adequate cover for Ben Chilwell should Marcos Alonso depart to raise funds. Aged just 23, Jules Kounde is the eldest player in the Chelsea backline
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