Chelsea are expected to lose some key first-team players this summer as a result of UK government sanctions against Roman Abramovich, which prevent the club from offering new contracts.
On Thursday (March 10) Abramovich was one of seven Russian oligarchs whose assets were frozen, raising the total number of individuals and businesses frozen to almost 200.
Only season ticket holders, as well as those with previously purchased tickets, will be permitted to attend upcoming games, with further restrictions on the sale of any products, player transfers, and new contracts.
One of the club’s main concerns is losing millions of playing talent, including three key first-team players, at the end of the season.
Chelsea’s playing squad under Thomas Tuchel could be reduced significantly next season. Because the team is no longer able to give new contracts, five players will be forced to leave in the summer when their contracts expire.
Saul Niguez will return to Atletico Madrid after a long season loan, alongside former youth sensation Charley Musonda, who hasn’t appeared for the club since 2017/18.
More concerning is the possibility that Cesar Azpilicueta, the club captain, will be forced to leave after a decade in west London.
The Spain international defender has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona after helping the club to recent success under Thomas Tuchel, winning a total of nine trophies including two Premier League crowns and the Champions League.
Andreas Christensen might possibly leave the club on a free transfer after talks over a new deal failed after a strong start to the season.
Antonio Rudiger, who has been one of the top defenders in the Premier League since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard, could be the most significant loss.
Should his time at Stamford Bridge come to an end, the Germany international will have plenty of alternatives, and his departure would be a significant loss for the club.