Kai Havertz and Marc Cucurella are reportedly among 12 Chelsea players up for sale this summer as the official announcement of Mauricio Pochettino as the club’s new manager ‘kickstarts the squad clear out’.
Pochettino has joined Chelsea on a two-year deal with the option of a further year, replacing interim boss Frank Lampard, who was the fourth manager in a car crash of a first season under the new American ownership.
Reports this week have shed light on the troubles at Chelsea, including Thomas Tuchel’s “screaming” over signings in the summer and players being late for the team bus due to post-training naps in Lampard’s short time at the helm.
Pochettino has quite the job on his hands to turn Chelsea round and Evening Standard claim Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be the first player to leave as the Argentinian starts the process of trimming the bulging squad, with a further 11 Blues stars thought to be up for grabs.
Aubameyang could return to Barcelona for what will be much less than the £12m Chelsea paid the Catalans to sign him last summer.
Edouard Mendy, Christian Pulisic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Hakim Ziyech are free to leave, while Mateo Kovacic, Marc Cucurella and Kai Havertz could also be sold.
Cesar Azpilicueta could also depart after more than a decade at Chelsea, while the standoff with Mason Mount over his contract extension could see him leave Stamford Bridge, though reports suggest Pochettino wants the England international to stay.
Assessing Chelsea’s appointment of Pochettino, Owen Hargreaves explained why the former Spurs boss is a good fit.
“It’s a great appointment, a brilliant appointment,” Hargreaves said.
“I respect Graham Potter for taking that job and testing himself at the top level, but it was a terrible fit for him and a terrible fit for Chelsea.
“I think Poch will be an amazing fit for them and I think they’ll be a top-four side again next season.
“They’ve got a lot of the pieces of the puzzle to sort out, a lot of sporting directors to help figure it out. They’ve got to sell a lot of players. But Poch will have a clear identity of how he wants to play and they’ve got some fabulous players.
“Sort the centre-forward position out, possibly sign a new goalkeeper – a new spine really – and I think Chelsea will be right there again next season.”