Christian Pulisic set to ‘lead’ $82m triple Chelsea transfer swap Todd Boehly would love
Christian Pulisic could lead the mass exodus of Chelsea stars this summer as Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital plan a large scale clearout before they turn to bringing in this summer. It is a fact brought about not just due to the bloated squad, potential financial ramifications and new manager sales, but also out of necessity.
The Blues have been carrying the weight of underperforming and overpaid players for several seasons and, if nothing else, the recent year of turmoil has only proven how badly the squad was in need of a total reset. It doesn’t make for good reason for most of the players currently on the books.
Finding new destinations for those that have no future at Stamford Bridge past this season is a task that will prove trickier in reality, though. Due to high wages, mammoth costs and lack of monetary firepower across Europe it has been hard to flog stars that haven’t made it in the Premier League.
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As has been shown by the willingness to allow Marcos Alonso, Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Jorginho all to leave before now, it isn’t impossible and one that Pulisic may well end up paving the way for. The American is amongst the more sellable assets at Chelsea due to his age, 24, and marketability as a USMNT star.
He has proven himself as a top-tier European talent as well with impressive showings in the Champions League. Milan have previous interest in him and earlier this month former teammate Olivier Giroud opened dialogue for a move once more.
“I think everyone would like it. He’s a big name in Europe, so that would help us,” he told CBS Sports Great Goal. “He is that kind of player with great skills, with great talent. He is a cheerful boy, always smiling.
“We laughed a lot with him. Our understanding on the pitch was also excellent, a bit like with Eden Hazard, even though I played less with Christian. We knew how to find each other.”
Manchester United, Juventus and Newcastle are the other known interested parties in Pulisic.
Chelsea have forged a positive relationship with AC Milan in recent years, selling the Serie A giants Giroud and Fikayo Tomori in 2021 with both Champions League winners going on to be pillars of the Scudetto win the following season. This was an early example of Chelsea generating much needed funds from player sales, a revenue source they have become increasingly reliant upon.
Even those two, both of whom continued to do a brilliant job for Stefano Pioli, were sold for less than their talents may well have warranted but the need to sell and lack of bargaining position meant that little option was held for Chelsea. Heading into the summer window the same may well be true once again.
Pulisic, Ruben Loftus Cheek and Hakim Ziyech are amongst the players that face an exit for SW6. All three of them have been looked at before by Milan and will once again be on the shortlist for cut-price new signings in two months time. Pulisic was offered as a potential loanee at San Siro last summer whilst Ziyech was in the same boat.
A sale would be preferred for Chelsea, though, and that is where Loftus-Cheek comes in. The midfielder has fallen out of favour with Frank Lampard not turning to him as frequently, even as a squad player, as Graham Potter or Thomas Tuchel did. Now, football.london understands that initial contact over a transfer has been made.
It is once again the 27-year-old’s wages that could cause an issue but he is now about to enter his final year at Stamford Bridge and hasn’t been offered a new deal yet.
Ziyech, who was himself close to a move away in January after a loan move to Paris Saint-Germain broke down in the late hours of deadline day, is one of the most likely to be on the way out this summer after failing to establish himself once more under another manager at Chelsea.
The combined value of that trio according to Transfermarkt is £65million ($82.2million), a sizeable chunk of money to not only get players off the books but also put towards other deals. It is AC Milan one again that provide an answer to that.
Rafael Leao has been pursued by Chelsea for over 18 months now and is also attracting the attention of Arsenal and Real Madrid amongst other European sides. His form in Italy makes him one of the most exciting and promising attackers out there and fits the profile for dynamic, quick and prolific dribblers on the wings that Chelsea have added to their ranks recently.
Like Pulisic, Ziyech and Loftus-Cheek, Leao’s contract is up in 2024 and despite months of ongoing negotiations, he is yet to finalise an agreement. He has already opened up on making a move, too.
“Experience in a new league? Yes, in the future… but now I’m 100% focused on AC Milan,” he said when asked about a move to the Premier League. “It’s a top club and I’m under contract there. I like the city too.”
Should Chelsea be able to work a way to sell their trifecta of players with Milan benefiting then pouncing on the pre-existing relationship with the Serie A side and using it to push for Leao once more is a deal that is too good to turn down.
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