It seems that Chelsea always include an option to extend a player’s contract by at least one year, and it means they can wheel and deal to get some kind of fee in return rather than losing someone for free.
We saw it with Olivier Giroud this summer as his contract was extended just to collect a fee from Milan, and it appears that something similar will happen with Emerson Palmieri and a loan move to Lyon:
Emerson Palmieri is set to join Lyon on loan and there's an option to extend his current contract by another year in his deal so his Chelsea contract will now run until 2023. There's talk of an option to buy at around €15m. #CFC
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) August 18, 2021
If the contract extension doesn’t happen then he could sign a pre-contract agreement in January to leave for nothing, so this ensures they can collect a fee and around €15m would be a good piece of business if it’s triggered eventually.
Emerson is a good player with the versatility to be useful in most squads, but Chelsea simply have so many options at wing-back on both sides so he was never going to get into the side.
Lyon need to add a new left-back so presumably, he’ll slot straight in there, and it will be a case of waiting to see what happens with him again next summer.