Chelsea bizarrely extend already absurdly lengthy contracts to see £167m flops commit until 30s

Jason Soutar
Chelsea winger Mykhaylo Mudryk hugs Enzo Fernandez
Mykhaylo Mudryk hugs Enzo Fernandez

Chelsea have decided to trigger one-year extensions in the contracts of Enzo Fernandez and Mykhaylo Mudryk and we are not sure why.

Last January, the Blues signed Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk for an initial £60million before landing Fernandez from Benfica on deadline day for a British-record £107m fee.

Chelsea bizarrely extend Fernandez, Mudryk contracts

Fernandez has performed pretty well in the Premier League but hardly looks like a £100m-plus midfielder, while Mudryk has massively struggled to live up to his price tag.

As Todd Boehly looked to avoid financial implications for his huge spending spree as Chelsea co-owner, he signed these players on long-term contracts and when we say long-term, we mean long-term.

This makes news of a one-year extension for both players feel very bizarre, although there must be method to the madness.

READ MORE: Raheem Sterling plummets in ranking of Chelsea signings under Todd Boehly

As per a report from Standard Sport, Mudryk’s £97,000-a-week contract has been extended from 2030 to 2031, while Fernandez’s £180,000-a-week deal has been extended from 2031 to 2032.

This means both players are contracted to the Stamford Bridge club until their 30s, with Mudryk’s new deal expiring when he is 30 years old and Fernandez 31.

The report says the thought process behind the decision to extend said contracts is ‘unclear’, with the news coming to light courtesy of data released from the Football Association last week, as part of their annual agent payments report.

Chelsea wage bill second-highest in Premier League

Accounts published by Companies House confirmed that Chelsea’s – who finished 12th last season and are currently ninth – wage bill has risen to £400m, the second largest in the Premier League.

Only Treble winners Manchester City spend more on player wages per season (£422.9m).

Chelsea announced pre-tax losses of £90.1million in March, an improvement on the previous years’ loss of £121.4m, but Premier League rules state a club can have made a loss no greater than £105m over a three-year period.

While certain costs can be deducted, it means there are likely to be further player sales required in the coming months in order to remain within regulations, particularly with qualification for Europe via their league position looking unlikely this campaign.

The sale of Mason Mount to Manchester United in July last year for £55m, with a possible £5m in add-ons, will be in the 2023/24 accounts although so too will the signing of Moises Caicedo from Brighton for a fee that could rise to up to £115m.

On Friday, it was announced Chelsea spent £75.1m on agents’ and intermediaries’ fees in the 12 months up to February 1, having brought in players like Caicedo, Christopher Nkunku, Romeo Lavia, Nicolas Jackson and Cole Palmer over the period covered – which was almost £32m more than previously spent.

Despite the outlay Mauricio Pochettino’s expensively-assembled squad have endured an inconsistent Premier League campaign – and were branded “blue billion-pound bottle jobs” by Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville late on during their 1-0 extra-time defeat against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final.

A £76.5m property deal with BlueCo, a subsidiary of the club’s holding company, helped to reduce Chelsea’s losses, while their turnover increased to £512m, up from £481m over the previous year.

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