The decisions keep on coming at Stamford Bridge after confirmation of Mauricio Pochettino’s head coach appointment.
The 51-year-old, who has signed an initial two-year contract at Chelsea, is beginning to make calls over his bloated squad ahead of his official start on July 1.
One of Chelsea‘s priorities this summer is to reduce the 30-plus man squad which caused problems during the 2022/23 season.
Many departures are on the cards this summer. Pochettino is set to hold talks with several players, including Callum Hudson-Odoi and Romelu Lukaku, while recommendations over who the club should sign have already been made.
Sporting CP midfielder Manuel Ugarte is on the club’s radar, talks are ongoing over a €65 million switch to England, while Pochettino also wants to keep hold of Mason Mount who is out of contract next summer.
As many as 15 players could be sold this summer as part of the squad overhaul, with the first already being confirmed. Joao Felix, who joined on loan from Atletico Madrid in January, will return to the Spanish club, their president Enrique Cerezo confirmed on Tuesday.
“Yesterday (Monday) we had the news that the new Chelsea manager does not (want) Felix. We’ve known for less than 24 hours. He’ll come back here and we’ll see. We don’t have anything planned.”
Another loan player, Denis Zakaria, who joined on deadline day last summer on a season-long loan, was limited to just 11 appearances in all competitions.
The 26-year-old’s move included an option to buy the Swiss international on a permanent basis, and as reported by Fabrizio Romano a decision has now been made on his future.
Zakaria will return to Juventus due to not being part of Pochettino’s plans. He will head back to Italy to assess his options.
The overhaul has begun in west London ahead of the summer window opening on June 14. Two down, many left to go.