Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink has insisted that the club will still be successful in the summer transfer window despite not offering Champions League football.
After a poor start to the campaign that ultimately led to Jose Mourinho being sacked in December, the reigning Premier League champions have been put at a significant disadvantage for the second half of the season.
Although they have undoubtedly improved both in terms of performances and results since Hiddink’s arrival, they remain 14 points adrift of the fourth and final Champions League qualification spot.
While it looks unlikely that Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal and Leicester City will drop that many points over the course of the remaining 13 games of the season, it looks as though Chelsea will have to settle for fighting for a top-half finish this year.
Nevertheless, even though he will no longer be in charge by the time the summer transfer market opens, Hiddink isn’t worried about the club’s ability to sign top players ahead of next season.
“The club must also offer the ambition, even when you don’t play in the Champions League next year,” Hiddink said, as reported by Sky Sports. “It’s difficult but if a club with a big status can offer ambition for the future, then you can still be attractive to players.”
With the likes of Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas all having their futures at Stamford Bridge questioned earlier in the season, perhaps the first port of call for the London giants will be to assess which players will be staying for next season before they move to strengthen their squad.