The Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern are concerned by their side’s position in the Premier League this season and how their failure to qualify for the Champions League could result in a number of high-profile departures.
Antonio Conte’s side remain in the hunt for a place in the top-four this season with just 4 fixtures left to play, but considering they are 6 points adrift of Tottenham Hotspur in 4th place, it’s fair to say their chances of qualifying for the Champions League are hanging by a thread. Chelsea’s failure to qualify for Europe’s elite knockout competition will certainly cause questions to be asked when the season reaches its conclusion, and the likelihood is that Conte’s departure will be a natural byproduct of the Blues’ disappointing season.
However, Conte will certainly not be the only key figure to leave Stamford Bridge this summer, as the likes of Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard are unlikely to be content with Europa League football. The former has previously been linked with Real Madrid and will enter the final year of his contract this summer, so interest for his signature will certainly intensify during the transfer window.
If Chelsea are unable to convince Courtois to sign a contract extension this summer, they will presumably be inclined to sell him during the transfer window rather than sell him for nothing at the end of the season and, if that proves to be the case, the club should sign Jack Butland to replace him.
Butland (valued at £16.2 million by Transfermarkt) looks set to be relegated with Stoke City this season, and he will undoubtedly be looking for an immediate transfer back to the top-flight in the event of his side’s relegation.
The England international is hoping to convince Gareth Southgate that he should be England’s first-choice goalkeeper this summer, and if he is successful in working his way into the starting line-up then Chelsea must keep a close eye on his ability to stay composed on the international stage.
There are still some lingering doubts about Butland’s consistency and his decision making, but he has plenty of time to improve considering he is just 25-years-of-age, so Chelsea should strongly consider making a bid for his services this summer if Courtois eventually decides to leave Stamford Bridge in search of a new challenge.
Chelsea fans – thoughts? Let us know below!
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