Five players who could leave Chelsea in January with Everton and Barcelona keen

Thomas Tuchel has a host of Chelsea players out of contract in the summer and that could prove problematic when the transfer window opens in January.

Those yet to sign a new deal will be able to hold talks with foreign clubs next month and any suitable offers received from interested parties will need to be considered.

Tuchel has a side capable of challenging for the Premier League title though and will be keen not to leave his squad short of options given injuries and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Players lacking game time will most likely be looking for loan moves and Metro.co.uk takes a look at the players who could be on their way out of Stamford Bridge over the coming weeks.

Cesar Azpilicueta

It would seem unlikely Chelsea’s captain would leave halfway through the season but he is out of contract in the summer and is struggling for game time following Reece James’ impressive form.

Reports in Spain suggest an ‘agreement in principle’ is already in place for the defender to join Barca on a free transfer in the summer.

However, with Barca currently seventh in La Liga there are suggestions the Catalan club could act sooner and make an offer this month in a bid to fix their defensive woes.

Ross Barkley

Everton are keeping tabs on Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley as a January loan target, according to The Telegraph.

The 28-year-old has started just one Premier League match this season and with Everton enduring an injury crisis they are exploring the idea of a potential reunion.

Tuchel will have the final say on any loan move for Barkley but he appears surplus to requirements, with the likes of Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek above him in the pecking order.

Antonio Rudiger

Rudiger’s contract situation has been well documented and the German is still refusing to sign an extension on his current deal that expires at the end of the season.

The likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have been linked with the 28-year-old and if they open talks next month, either one of them could make an offer in January to secure his signature.

Tuchel would be against letting his star defender leave in the middle of the season but if he looks unlikely to sign a new deal, Chelsea could bank a small fee in January instead of losing a player of his calibre on a free in the summer.

Manchester United have also been touted as a potential destination for Rudiger and Chelsea will want to avoid him joining a Premier League rival at all costs at the end of the campaign.

Hakim Ziyech

Chelsea are reportedly considering letting midfielder Hakim Ziyech leave on loan in January and he is not short of offers.

Barcelona and AC Milan are the frontrunners with the Serie A side previously linked with trying to sign him in the summer.

Reports in Italy suggest Chelsea are open to offloading the £36million signing on loan with an obligation to buy.

However, Tuchel is said to be against his exit, insisting to the board he doesn’t want to be left with a smaller squad for the second half of the season with Champions League and Premier League titles on the line.

Malang Sarr

Sarr has become Chelsea’s forgotten man this season, making just one Premier League appearance and five overall.

The defender joined the Blues in the summer of 2020 and has since been on two loan spells with Porto.

Sarr faces a wait for regular playing time in the heart of Chelsea’s defence and a loan move could be on the cards once again in January.

‘This is what we wanted in the summer (a loan move) and we had a deal practically done with Eintracht Frankfurt, but they could not move a player, so Malang stayed,’ his agent Federico Pastorello said in October.

‘Let’s see in January what will happen. Maybe he can go on loan then because maybe he needs one or two seasons playing regularly before coming back, like many players in Chelsea have done.’

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