Who could Chelsea sign for free next summer? Four potential targets

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has made significant additions to his squad, spending over £200million on new players during the transfer window. The Blues strengthened at the back with the signings of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and defenders Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell. Their attack also received a bolster, with the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech all moving to Stamford Bridge.

One target Chelsea reportedly missed out on, though, was West Ham’s Declan Rice, which suggests Lampard is interested in recruiting a defensive midfielder.

The Blues may attempt to sign Rice again next summer, but there some free options will also be available.

Atlanta’s Marten de Roon will be out of contract next year and could be considered, although his previous spell in the Premier League didn’t go to plan.

He joined Middlesbrough in 2016 but the club were relegated to the Championship at the end of the season.

He re-signed for Atlanta shortly afterwards and has since become a key player under Gian Piero Gasperini.

The 29-year-old helped the Serie A side finish in a historic third place in the 2018/19 campaign and they went on to reach the Champions League quarter-finals last season.

A younger option Lampard could consider is Nice midfielder Danilo.

The 24-year-old Brazilian had spells with Braga, Valencia and Benfica before joining the Ligue 1 side in 2018 for £9m.

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He has played 44 times for Nice, scoring one goal, and can be scooped up for free next summer.

Another area Lampard could look to strengthen is at left-back.

Chilwell is first-choice in that role but Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri have both been linked with departures, meaning some cover may be needed.

Chelsea could turn to some established Premier League players, with Danny Rose and Ryan Bertrand both available for free at the end of the season.

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Rose, 30, does not appear to be in Jose Mourinho’s plans at Tottenham and was linked with a move away during the recent window.

Bertrand has already been a Chelsea player after coming through the club’s youth system.

After a long series of loan spells, he signed for Southampton permanently in 2015.

However, whether he would consider a return as Chilwell’s deputy is another question.

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