One Chelsea player makes £100m ‘five-man package deal’ to Saudi Arabia ‘impossible’

Joe Williams
Chelsea duo Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Hakim Ziyech

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has ruined plans to send five players to Saudi Arabia in a ‘package deal’, according to reports.

The Blues spent around £600m over the last three transfer windows and will now look to offload a number of players this summer in order to balance the books.

Chelsea had a terrible first full season under Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali’s ownership with the club going through three managers and finishing 12th in the Premier League.

One of the biggest problems for Graham Potter and Frank Lampard was keeping players content and motivated with such a bloated squad, while finding their best team.

Mauricio Pochettino should provide fresh impetus at the club ahead of the new season with the former Tottenham boss taking over the reins after caretaker and club legend Lampard left the club.

And Chelsea now hope to solve some of their transfer issues by offloading as many as five players to Saudi Arabia with the Daily Telegraph claiming that ‘representatives of the Saudi Pro League are in London this week in a bid to clinch agreements for a host of Chelsea players’.

The Telegraph‘s Matt Law explains why there are some concerns over Boehly’s relationship with Saudi Arabia:

‘Boehly has long done business in Saudi Arabia and last year revealed that Cain International, one of the companies for which he sits on the board, had teamed up with the country’s Public Investment Fund over a $900 million (£700 million) investment in a luxury hotel group.

‘Chelsea have never commented on reports last year that PIF are also major investors in the club’s majority shareholder Clearlake Capital.

‘Boehly’s business interests in Saudi Arabia have already prompted questions about the sale of Chelsea’s unwanted players to the country’s Pro League at a time when the club need to drastically reduce the size of their squad.’

But refusal from Lukaku – who spent last season on loan at Inter Milan – to agree a move to the Middle East ‘has made any five-man package deal impossible’.

Chelsea and the Saudi Pro League have also been in negotiations over potential deals for Hakim Ziyech, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the ‘one set fee that would probably have amounted to more than £100 million’.

Kai Havertz could be another player to leave Chelsea this summer with Arsenal hopeful of beating Bayern Munich to a £60m deal.

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