Chelsea decide first victim signed by Boehly as plans to sell up already emerge
Chelsea caretaker manager Frank Lampard previews the Newcastle game
Chelsea star Kalidou Koulibaly is reportedly already in the firing line amid a likely cull of the Blues’ first-team squad this summer. The experienced defender could be set for an early departure having only arrived at Stamford Bridge a year ago.
The Blues secured a long-term target when Koulibaly arrived ahead of the 2022-23 season. However, the Senegal international has endured a torrid campaign in West London and now seems headed for the exit.
Koulibaly has struggled for form since signing from Napoli and the 31-year-old has seen his game time limited in recent months. He remained an unused substitute for Chelsea’s 4-1 thrashing by Manchester United on Thursday, while a hamstring injury has kept him out for most of April and May.
Chelsea apparently face two obstacles in attempting to sell Koulibaly in the summer. The first is that foreign clubs are likely to be unwilling to take on the defender’s supposed £300,000 per-week wage.
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According to the Evening Standard, Koulibaly also wants to stay at Chelsea for another season to prove his worth. The former Genk star does not want to be remembered at Stamford Bridge for a solitary dismal campaign.
Koulibaly was signed for a huge £33million deal and was handed a lengthy four-year contract. However, his time at the club appears set to end this summer – which would make him the first Todd Boehly signing to end up leaving the club.
Chelsea are apparently keen to streamline their first-team squad ahead of the impending arrival of Mauricio Pochettino. There are now well over 30 players in the squad after an incredible £600m spending spree across both transfer windows this season, with Boehly set to curb the outlay this year.
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Graham Potter and Frank Lampard have both aired grievances about the size of the squad and how it has affected preparations for matches. Pochettino is reported to want young players to represent the core of his squad, just like it did during his hugely successful spell as Tottenham manager.
The Argentine is set to be confirmed as Chelsea’s new head coach imminently. He will inherit a team rooted in the bottom half of the Premier League and low on confidence.
United eased to a 4-1 thumping of Chelsea on Thursday, leaving Lampard with a record of eight defeats in 10 matches – and only one victory. Chelsea face Newcastle on the final day of the season.
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