Could Raheem Sterling be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer?

How Chelsea can save £68million in wages to rebuild with this summer

Chelsea are tasked with rebuilding their squad again this summer, but a potentially huge pot of cash is waiting to be used if they can sell correctly.

After spending over £1billion since Todd Boehly’s takeover in May 2022, Chelsea would’ve expected much better than two underwhelming mid-table finishes.

Their inconsistencies under Mauricio Pochettino has led many fans to call for a culling of the current squad, much like last summer when Pochettino oversaw the exits of 18 first-team players.

His and Boehly’s job is to restore Chelsea to the upper echelons of the Premier League, but do so while being pinched by PSR rules and a tighter budget.

However, they can free up around £69million in wages – using figures from Spotrac – to reinvest into the squad by getting rid of the following players, all deemed realistic departures.

Raheem Sterling

Sterling is Chelsea’s highest-paid player, taking home £325,000 per week and £16.9million per year, meaning his inconsistent contribution over the past two seasons hasn’t gone down well with the club’s supporters.

The 29-year-old has been outshone by Cole Palmer this year and was booed during the recent FA Cup victory over Leicester.

All of this, alongside losing his place in the England squad, means that Sterling is on the chopping block this summer.

Conor Gallagher

Arguably Chelsea’s best player this season, Gallagher is yet to pen a new deal with his boyhood club despite Pochettino repeatedly saying he wants to keep the midfielder.

The 23-year-old has been heavily linked to London rivals Tottenham in recent windows, and if the club aren’t willing to tie him down with a new contract just yet, he might just be jettisoned for sweet FFP profit.

Gallagher earns around £2.6million in wages each year, meaning his departure won’t affect the wage bill too much – although any incoming transfer fee would be gratefully received by Boehly.

Mason Mount is one of 13 Chelsea players from this match to have left the club.

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Romelu Lukaku

After enthusiastically burning his bridges with the club with that interview in January 2022, there’s almost no chance of Lukaku playing for Chelsea ever again.

The striker has spent the last two seasons in Italy, first with Inter Milan before his current stint at Roma, and Pochettino will desperate to find a buyer for a player earning £16.9million in wages from the club each year.

Kepa Arrizabalaga

Despite spending much of this season on Real Madrid’s bench, there is little prospect of Kepa remaining at Chelsea when he returns to England in June.

While the Blues are unlikely to receive anything like the £72million fee they paid for the goalkeeper in 2018, they’ll still be delighted to remove £7.8million from their wage bill in one swoop.

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Hakim Ziyech

Arriving at Chelsea with a lot of promise in 2020, it never really worked out for Ziyech in England.

The Morocco winger joined from Ajax with a stellar record of goals and assists but never provided that for the Blues, and he continually fell out of favour with several managers.

A loan move to Galatasaray has been refreshing for the 31-year-old and a permanent exit from Stamford Bridge may provide both sides with an amicable end to his Premier League stint this summer.

Many clubs, including those in Saudi Arabia, will be interested in Ziyech and able to afford his £5.2million wages.

Marc Cucurella

Having arrived at Stamford Bridge in a huge £62million deal from Brighton, many supporters would’ve expected more from Cucurella than his insipid contributions over the past two seasons.

His current injury has meant that a small rebound of good form in 2023-24 is likely to be forgotten by the Stamford Bridge faithful, and the club’s hierarchy views the left-back as an expendable option.

Cucurella will not be short of interest in the summer and Chelsea would save approximately £9.1million in wages per season if he departed.

Trevoh Chalobah

Two years ago, Chalobah looked destined to play for Chelsea for the rest of the 2020s after a superb debut season under Thomas Tuchel.

Now, a grim reality has kicked in, which sees the 24-year-old set to leave Stamford Bridge after being marginalised by a succession of managers.

Talks over a move to Bayern Munich last year broke down, but it feels inevitable that Chalobah will leave Chelsea this summer and save the club £2.6million in wages.

Chelsea sold this Belgian forward for over £100million in 2019.

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Ian Maatsen

Maatsen, who is currently on loan at Borussia Dortmund until the end of the season, is a player not short of suitors at the moment.

Some reports are linking him with a permanent move to Bayern Munich in the summer following his impressive start to life at Dortmund and Chelsea are thought to be open to cashing in on a player who earns £1million in wages annually.

Malang Sarr

Another of Chelsea’s forgotten centre-backs, Sarr might go down as one of the Premier League’s worst-ever signings.

After joining the Blues in 2020 on a five-year deal, Sarr has played just 65 games in all competitions since then – with only 21 of those actually for Chelsea.

He was denied a January move to Le Harve and is currently training with the club’s under-21 team. Sarr will be desperate to leave Chelsea this summer and the club will be desperate to remove his £6.24million wages from their books.