This transfer window will be more about signings than sales, with most of the departures set to be loan deals. Here are the five Chelsea players most likely to be displaced by new faces.
Despite playing a key role in two title-winning Chelsea teams in three seasons and scoring that FA Cup goal against Tottenham, Matic’s lumbering, and occasionally ponderous style have never sat easily with supporters, and there is a sense within the club that he is one of the easier starters to upgrade.
Monaco powerhouse Tiemoue Bakayoko is at the top of the Premier League champions’ wish list to pair with N’Golo Kante in central midfield, and his arrival would not be good news for Matic or Cesc Fabregas.
The difference with the Serb is that he has just two years left on his current contract, meaning that Chelsea may be tempted to sell for maximum value this summer if he can’t be persuaded to extend. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen and isn’t short of a transfer budget.
Signed for £33 million from Marseille last summer, Batshuayi quickly endeared himself to Chelsea fans with his raw potential and quirky social media persona — but he never managed to earn the trust of Conte.
Just one Premier League start all season underlined that lack of faith, even if Batshuayi came off the substitutes’ bench to score the goal that clinched the title away at West Brom. The feeling at Stamford Bridge is that he needs to go on loan, preferably elsewhere in the top flight, to establish himself in England.
Chelsea is looking to bolster their attacking options this summer regardless of whether Diego Costa stays or goes and if they succeed, expect to see Batshuayi continuing his development at another Premier League club next season.
Central defense is another area in which Conte is looking for significant upgrades and Virgil van Dijk, Jerome Boateng and Leonardo Bonucci are all on the list of potential targets. Andreas Christensen will also be given a chance to impress in the preseason after an excellent two-year loan spell at Borussia Monchengladbach.
All of which means opportunities will be even more limited for Zouma, who has completed 90 minutes just four times since making his first-team return from a serious knee injury in January.
Chelsea remains invested in Zouma’s long-term progression, but there is now an acceptance that he will not get the chances he needs at Stamford Bridge. Read more