Chelsea boss Frank Lampard could reportedly be lining up a number of exits as he looks to raise money to fund his own spending spree this summer.
The Blues have already wrapped up a deal to sign Hakim Ziyech this summer, but it remains to be seen how the coronavirus pandemic impacts their plans in general moving forward.
Many clubs have been tipped to rein in their spending giving the financial fallout caused by the crisis in recent months, but there are undoubtedly other ways that will allow them to strengthen their respective squads where possible.
As reported by Calciomercato, via Fichajes.net, Chelsea are planning to sell a quartet of first-team stars to raise funds for their own transfer targets, with Kurt Zouma, Ross Barkley, Michy Batshuayi and Emerson Palmieri being tipped to be axed.
Given the key roles that Zouma and Barkley have played so far this season under Lampard, it would arguably be a surprise to see either of those two sacrificed, although in contrast, both Emerson and Batshuayi have played bit-part roles this year and are likely to be offloaded if the interest is there.
Barkley, 26, has made 20 appearances so far this season, scoring three goals and providing four assists in those outings. As for Zouma, 25, he’s featured 33 times across all competitions, and so it seems unlikely that Lampard would be willing to ship them out with other players in the squad who have played a significantly lesser role under his stewardship thus far.
Time will tell how the situation plays out, but with the likes of Olivier Giroud, Pedro and Willian all set to become free agents this summer too, Chelsea can either see it as an opportunity to trim their wage bill and gain financial flexibility, or look to keep as much of the current squad together for another year until the situation recovers and they’re ready to splash out again.