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Chelsea Plan £10m Quartet Exit: Money to Help Fund New Additions

Stamford Bridge ready for minor clearout.

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Sports - January 08, 2008

Chelsea are planning a summer clear-out to raise funds for new signings. Ricardo Carvalho, Deco, Juliano Belletti and Paulo Ferreira will all be allowed to leave as the club seek to reduce their wage bill and create space in the squad for new players and emerging talent from the youth team.

Ron Gourlay, the chief executive, said yesterday that in an ideal world future signings would be funded by player sales, and although that seems a remote prospect, the decision to trim the squad is a sign that the club are at least making some efforts to operate as a self-sustaining business.

Of the quartet who have been told they can leave Carvalho is the only player with any significant resale value and attracted strong interest from Inter Milan last summer before opting to stay at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea now accept that their determination to keep hold of Carvalho was mistaken, as his performances have dropped during a season ruined by injuries. Although there are no new offers José Mourinho may make another move for one of his trusted lieutenants, particularly if he leaves Inter to become the coach of Real Madrid, who have also bid for Carvalho in the past.

Chelsea value the defender at £10 million, but have little hope of gaining any fees for the other players they want to offload and will be happy simply to reduce their wage bill. Belletti is out of contract and can leave on a free transfer, and Deco has one year of his contract remaining, but will be allowed to leave for nothing if he wishes to return to Brazil. Ferreira has three years left on his contract, but with José Bosingwa and Branislav Ivanovic also at the club Chelsea will even consider paying him off to secure his departure.

Chelsea have also made it clear that Ashley Cole is not for sale after interest from Real. The England left back said yesterday that Chelsea’s Premier League title triumph had vindicated his decision to leave Arsenal four years ago, for which he was widely vilified.

“It has been a long time and this is my first title at Chelsea and now people will realise why I came here,” he said. “I came here to win the big ones, the Premier League or the Champions League. Hopefully we can get the Double and make history for this club. I am happy and hopefully there is more to come.” (The Times)

Whilst Roman Abramovich is clearly not a poor man he is also not going to bankroll needlessly if he can look to trim members from what has become a very swarthy Stamford Bridge squad. Those on this list, Ricardo Carvalho, can easily be allowed to leave without any significant knock on effect on the options Carlo Ancelotti has to pick from.

With the west London side looking good for a domestic double things are clearly going pretty well for the Italian in his first season at the club but the former AC Milan man appears to want to strengthen his back up options and I am sure he understands that in the current financial climate moves to sell before buying make a great deal of sense, especially if those being sold are not that essential.

Ricardo Carvalho is well worth the £10m quoted and even though this season has been decimated by injuries he is still more than capable of doing a good job and even though he is fast approaching 32 years of age he still has a few years in the tank but with Alex doing very well it seems likely that any decent offer for the Portuguese centre back will probably be accepted.

Do Chelsea fans think that any of these four should be kept at all costs?

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