The Blues have turned negative circumstances into a positive situation as they stockpile the cash ahead of being able to sign players again in 2020
Chelsea are set to raise a mammoth sum of £200 million ($241m) in the 12 months leading up to their return to transfer activity after having a productive summer window, despite FIFA’s ban.
Mateo Kovacic was the only incoming summer signing as the Blues accessed a loophole to make his loan move from Real Madrid permanent for just over £40m ($48m).
Christian Pulisic was signed in January from Borussia Dortmund for £58m ($70m) ahead of the transfer embargo, which was imposed by FIFA due to misconduct in the signing of 29 overseas minors.
Chelsea have appealed the ban to Court Arbitration of Sport (CAS), but they chose not to apply for provisional measures, which would have almost certainly frozen the ban this summer, with that decision potentially being a strategic one.
The summer has delivered a glut of departures, though, with the biggest sale seeing Belgian superstar Eden Hazard join Real Madrid for £88m ($106m), although the total cost could rise to £124m ($146m) with add-ons.
David Luiz has been the other first-team soccer professional to leave in a shock £8m ($10m) move to Arsenal.
The sustainability model set by Roman Abramovich after a revolutionary period of lavish spending in the mid-2000s has gone to new levels this summer, with further money raised by offloading loanees, youth and fringe players.
Ola Aina, Victorien Angban, Kenneth Omeruo, Daishawn Redan, Tomas Kalas, Jay Dasilva and Kasey Palmer have all been sold, and more players could be shipped out over the next three weeks, with transfer windows across Europe not yet closed.
Omeruo’s £4.6m transfer to Leganes has yet to go through, but the final details are thought to be a formality.
Tiemoue Bakayoko, Baba Rahman and Davide Zappacosta are expected to be joining the departures already on the Blues list.
Meanwhile, Alvaro Morata’s permanent move to Atletico Madrid for the summer of 2020 has already been agreed at the cost of £58m and that represents money in the bank for the Europa League holders.
Lewis Baker has a £9.2m ($11m) option-to-buy on his loan deal at Fortuna Dusseldorf, while Atalanta retain their redemption clause at £13.25m ($16m) to purchase Mario Pasalic after extending his loan.
The Blues have raised an estimated £131.8m ($159m) already, and that does not include add-ons for Hazard or loan fees. Chelsea currently have 17 loanees and many such deals will have led to incoming revenue to push them over the line.
The loan number has been being reduced amid further pressure from both FIFA and UEFA on clubs like Chelsea to reduce the size of their ‘loan armies.’ Last season the Blues had 42 players on loan at the peak size of their programme.
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Chelsea have reinvested some of their money in renewing deals for Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, while Callum Hudson-Odoi’s contract renewal has been merely pending a signing date.
Those will represent a high cost but Chelsea have got many players off their wage bill. The question now has been, will Roman Abramovich spend the remaining revenue when the Blues come back into the transfer market?
Players out: Eden Hazard (Real Madrid, £88m plus add-ons), Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid, £58m – deal to go through in 2020), Ola Aina (Torino, £8.9m), Tomas Kalas (Bristol City, £8m), Victorien Angban (£5.5m), Kasey Palmer (Bristol City, £4.5m), Kenneth Omeruo (£4.6m) Jay Dasilva (Bristol City, £2m), Daishawn Redan (Hertha Berlin, £2.5m), Gary Cahill (released), Fankaty Dabo (Coventry City, free), Rob Green (retired), Todd Kane (QPR, free), Nathan Baxter (Ross County, loan), Richard Nartey (Burton Albion, loan), Eduardo (released), Kyle Scott (released), Mario Pasalic (Atalanta, loan), Charly Musonda (Vitesse Arnhem, loan), Nathan (Atletico Mineiro, loan), Ethan Ampadu (RB Leipzig, loan), Jake Clarke-Salter (Birmingham, loan), Matt Miazga (Reading, loan), Lewis Baker (Fortuna Dusseldorf, loan), Conor Gallagher (Charlton, loan), Dujon Sterling (Wigan, loan), Josh Grant (Plymouth Argyle, loan), Trevoh Chalobah (Huddersfield, loan), Jacob Maddox (Tranmere, loan) Danny Drinkwater (Burnley, loan).