10 players Chelsea can sell to avoid financial sanctions

  • Chelsea posted a pre-tax loss of £90.1m for 2022/23 season
  • Blues rivals believe they must sell close to £100m worth of players this summer
  • Several fringe players should help raise that sort of money
Lukaku & Gallagher could be on the move
Lukaku & Gallagher could be on the move / Giuseppe Bellini | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Oh look, if it isn't the consequences of Chelsea's actions coming back to haunt them.

The big-spending Blues just reported an annual loss of £90.1m and rivals believe Chelsea are on the cusp of heavy sanctions, potentially ranging from a fine to a points deduction. Given how rare wins are these days, Chelsea don't need to be giving out any head-starts in next season's Premier League.

Fortunately, Chelsea do actually have the assets needed to get themselves out of this hole. Here are ten players they could sell to easily raise the required funds.

Hakim Ziyech

Hakim Ziyech
Ziyech is on loan with Galatasaray / Ahmad Mora/GettyImages
  • Potential fee: £2.5m

Yes, Hakim Ziyech is still on the books at Chelsea.

The Morocco international is out on a weird loan with Galatasaray, the terms of which are a mystery. The Turkish side have claimed they haven't paid a penny for the loan and have the option to sign Ziyech for free this summer, whereas Chelsea reported an obligation which the English press believe could take Chelsea's earnings for the deal to over £5m.

Whatever happens this summer, Ziyech will be off the books. That's a big drop off the wage books and a little extra cash in the bank.

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku could be sold this summer / Ivan Romano/GettyImages
  • Potential fee: £37m

Romelu Lukaku's loan with Roma does not include an option for a permanent transfer, but there is an agreement with the Belgian's camp that bids of £37m will be accepted this summer without question.

The striker has impressed with Roma this season and is definitely worth that price tag at the very list, so Chelsea shouldn't struggle to find a buyer for the 30-year-old - assuming he doesn't upset any of his suitors in the process.

Expect renewed interest from Saudi Arabia, but staying in Serie A seems like a real possibility.

Ian Maatsen

Ian Maatsen
Maatsen joined Dortmund on loan / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
  • Potential fee: £35m

Ian Maatsen signed a new contract with Chelsea before joining Borussia Dortmund on loan in January. Again, that deal does not include a purchase clause, but his asking price was set by the insertion of a £35m release clause into his new deal.

The Dutch left-back is enjoying his time in Germany thus far and that sort of price definitely seems feasible for a 22-year-old impressing for a Champions League quarter-finalist.

Whether Chelsea should actually be selling him is a debate for another day, but the decision appears to have been made and the Blues are set to bag a decent fee for his services.

Lewis Hall

Lewis Hall
Hall's loan includes an obligatory purchase clause / Alex Grimm/GettyImages
  • Potential fee: £28m

The exact terms of Newcastle United's obligation to sign Lewis Hall next summer remain a mystery, but the belief is that the clause is going to be triggered soon.

Some have reported that Hall's future hinges on a certain number of appearances, while others claim it depends on Newcastle avoiding a comically low Premier League finish - one which, while not mathematically impossible, would represent an enormous collapse between now and the end of the season.

Like Maatsen, there's an argument to suggest Chelsea should be keeping Hall, but there's no denying that £28m would go a long way to solving some problems at Stamford Bridge.

Kepa Arrizabalaga

Kepa Arrizabalaga
Kepa has endured a tough season / Angel Martinez/GettyImages
  • Potential fee: £10m

Chelsea loaned goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to Real Madrid last summer in the hope that he would impress enough to convince Los Blancos, or anyone, to buy him before he has to return to Stamford Bridge.

Unfortunately, Kepa quickly lost his place in Madrid and is definitely not going to be sticking around permanently, and his limited appearances means there won't be many sides capable of forgetting the poor form he showcased in England just yet.

Chelsea were believed to be demanding £17m to part ways with Kepa, who has 18 months left on his contract, but they'll do well to get half that.

Malang Sarr

Malang Sarr
Sarr has been frozen out / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages
  • Potential fee: Free

Chelsea aren't getting any money to sell Malang Sarr, that much is certain.

The centre-back, who has been pocketing a reported £120,000-a-week to train with the reserves and teenage trialists this season, came close to joining Le Havre in January before a dispute over compensation saw things collapse.

That can't be allowed to happen this summer. Even if Chelsea don't make any money, they need to save on his wages.

Armando Broja

Armando Broja
Broja joined Fulham on loan / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages
  • Potential fee: £20m

Chelsea wanted £50m for Armando Broja in January, but were quietly willing to accept £35m. They rejected a loan offer from Wolves that included a £30m option to buy because they felt they could get more.

Broja would end up joining Fulham on a loan without any purchase clause, but he has struggled horribly for minutes - so much so that the Cottagers have had to pay a £4m penalty fee for failing to give him at least ten starts.

£50m isn't happening, and the £30m interest probably isn't there anymore, but Broja does still have enough credibility to command a fee of around £20m.

Trevoh Chalobah

Trevoh Chalobah
Chalobah has attracted plenty of interest / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages
  • Potential fee: £25m

Trevoh Chalobah is a victim of his own Chelsea roots. The academy graduate has been a reliable player for the Blues, operating as both a starter and a reserve, but could be sold because of that sweet, sweet 'pure profit' everyone loves to mention.

Now back from injury, Chalobah is reminding suitors that he is a genuine top-flight defender who should easily command at least the £25m Nottingham Forest were rumoured to be willing to pay.

This is another deal Chelsea shouldn't actually be doing, but in this sort of situation, needs must.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher
Gallagher's future remains unclear / Marc Atkins/GettyImages
  • Potential fee: £50m

For those not keeping count, we're at over £150m of sales before Chelsea even have to consider doing something silly like selling Conor Gallagher to a direct rival.

But let's be real, with his contract winding down and little progress towards an extension being made, a sale appears increasingly likely. As an England international with clear Premier League pedigree, Gallagher would command a hefty fee even if he is approaching the final 12 months of his contract.

Tottenham Hotspur are long-term admirers but don't be surprised to see more suitors join the race if he actually hits the market.

Marc Cucurella

Marc Cucurella
Cucurella has failed to impress / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages
  • Potential fee: £20m

One of the early signings of the BlueCo era, Marc Cucurella has failed to live up to his £63m price tag big time.

A new left-back is on the agenda at Chelsea, which means Cucurella is almost certainly heading for the exit door. Given the damage done to his reputation over the past few years, the Blues may have to set a pretty low asking price to find a suitor.

Clubs will still remember what he did with Brighton. There's clearly a high-level player in there somewhere, and that should convince somebody to take a gamble on him.