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Boehly-Clearlake’s vital six-week checklist amid pending Nagelsmann & Pochettino talks after Enrique decision



It’s been an opening season to forget for the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership and they have seven games left before they are put out of their misery.

A spend in excess of £600 million on new players – eight of whom were acquired in January – two manager sackings, four coaches leading the side, knocked out of the Carabao Cup and FA Cup in the third round, 11th in the Premier League and, most recently, crashing out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage has compounded Chelsea’s woes this term.

It’s been a campaign of chaos and it will end with Frank Lampard overseeing the side as caretaker when they host Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on the final day of the league season on May 28.

Chelsea have had their critics this season, with Boehlt receiving the most flack, and defender Thiago Silva was the latest to place the owners under the spotlight on Tuesday following their disappointing Champions League exit.

He said: “I think the first step has been made, an incorrect step, but it has been made. We can’t be blaming the managers if we don’t take responsibility. It’s a hard period for the club, with a lot of indecision.

“Change of ownership, new players arriving – we had to increase the size of the changing room because it didn’t fit the size of the squad.

A positive point is that there are amazing players in the squad but on the other hand there are always players that are going to be unhappy. There is always going to be someone upset because not everyone can play. The manager can only pick 11 from a squad of 30-something – that’s tough.

“Some can’t make the squad, we signed eight in January, we need to stop and put a strategy in place otherwise next season we could make the same mistakes.”

Chelsea have seven games left to play in the Premier League and Lampard has warned his side not to lower their standards despite the season being effectively over.

“You’re playing for Chelsea,” the 44-year-old told BT Sport. “I won’t let anyone off the hook for (now) seeing the season out. That standard (from tonight versus Real Madrid from the first 60 minutes) cannot drop.”

With Lampard managing the team on a temporary basis, it is allowing Chelsea to thoroughly go through the candidates for the permanent head coach post. Luis Enrique is reportedly no longer among the leading candidates after meeting the club for in-person talks, while further talks are planned with Julian Nagelsmann and Mauricio Pochettino.

Chelsea have other issues on the agenda which include resolving contract situations, planning squad overhaul and shortlisting transfer targets.

But what should the hierarchy do in the meantime to get themselves prepared for the 2023/24 season prior to the off season? Absolute Chelsea takes a look at the ideal route.

1) Agree a permanent head coach appointment

Chelsea are stepping up and advancing the process for a new manager. If they are able to do it before the end of the season, it will give everyone connected with the club clarity before parting ways to go on their respective break.

Also, if the new manager can be appointed prior to the season ending, it could allow them to begin evaluating the squad and liaising with Lampard over who he does and doesn’t see in his plans next season, which would then allow Lampard to potentially start phasing them out for the final weeks.

2) Resolving contracts

Chelsea have several stars whose futures need deciding due to their contract situation. The likes of N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount and others. With nothing to play for, other than finishing the league campaign strongly, it may be wise for the Blues to begin thrashing out futures one way or another before the season ends. This will give both the club and player clarity before heading back for pre-season.

As a result of there being clarity, it will allow there to be no speculation over an individual’s future. It’ll enable the club to put their focus into other areas of the club which need attention, including the transfer window as a whole.

3) Start planning for next season with transfer targets

Chelsea are set to have four new players in the squad this summer already. Malo Gusto will return to the team after completing the season with Lyon following his January transfer. Levi Colwill will come back to the club at the end of his Brighton & Hove Albion loan spell, while Christopher Nkunku is expected to join from RB Leipzig. It is hoped Andrey Santos will be able to obtain his work permit to play for the Blues.

Although plans have begun, the overhaul planning needs to continue and it will help should there be a manager and contract decisions in place. Chelsea can then begin to figure out, liasing with the new manager, who is in their plans for next season and isn’t. It’ll give time for them to find buyers and trim the squad before addressing incomings and who they want to strengthen.

Once this is done, Chelsea will hopefully have a reduced squad number after a 2022/23 season which will end with the club having over 30 first-team players.

After a disastrous season on the pitch, the owners need to begin the work now if they haven’t already to ensure the 2022/23 campaign doesn’t repeat itself in 2023-24.