Stamford Bridge side look to clear the way for further additions.
Chelsea will have to sell off or loan players as club expects to sign two more, says Roberto Di Matteo
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has said he will have to reduce the size of the club’s squad following the arrival of a number of expensive summer signings and with two more players expected to be acquired.
Di Matteo did not confirm that Chelsea were hoping to make further additions but it’s understood that a right-winger/ striker – with Wigan Athletic’s Victor Moses the immediate target – and a right-back – with Marseille’s Cesar Azpilicueta under consideration – are on the club’s list.
Di Matteo admitted the challenge for him now was to try and “fit” all these new players, all similar attacking midfielders, in “to make sure we have the right balance as well in the team” which will include sending some out on loan – such as Thorgan Hazard and De Bruyne.
Also expected to be loaned out is Romelu Lukaku – to join fellow Belgian Thibault Courtois who has already signed a new loan agreement – while Chelsea would like to sell Gael Kakuta, Florent Malouda and there is a question mark over Michael Essien’s future also.
Chelsea’s squad is beginning to look unwieldy so any move to trim it, either with loan or permanent exits, would be a wise option to take. Roberto Di Matteo doesn’t want to be stuck with an entire 11 of bench warmers getting progressively angry as the season progresses.
A large number of the Blues Belgian contingent will struggle to garner regular first team football so expect Romelu Lukaku and Kevin du Bruyne to follow keeper Thibault Courtois out on season long loan deals.
In the case of Lukaku a move away for a season getting experience is crucial. Last term really didn’t go all that well and there is a danger of the talented forward stagnating at Stamford Bridge if he can be loaned to a Premier League side that may well work better for the West London club.
Florent Malouda became something of a bit part player last term and he has since been linked with a move to Brazil and the time is probably right for the French winger to leave the club as his first team hopes are going to grow even slimmer in 2012/13.
Michael Essien has struggled with injuries and then seen other players force themselves ahead of the Ghanaian in the pecking order.
Having already signed Marko Marin and Eden Hazard it seems that owner Roman Abramovich is very keen to land one or two further ‘marquee’ signings and in view of the FFP (Financial Fair Play) guidelines the Russian billionaire knows he needs to sell to balance the books.
Abramovich will be keen to see Chelsea’s squad improved so that they can claw back the 25 points that separated them from the Premier League summit.
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