The owner of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, was recently sanctioned due to his connections with Vladimir Putin. These sanctions have heavy implications for the club.
Chelsea is currently prohibited from signing new players, resigning current players, and selling players. Because of this, Abramovich has put the club up for sale. Although the situation could change, there is a lot of uncertainty heading into the summer.
Matthew Bottomley’s article goes into detail about Roman Abramovich’s plan to sell the club.
Chelsea’s Current Center Back Situation
Chelsea currently have conceded fewer goals than every team, except Manchester City. Next season, three defensemen can leave Chelsea on a free transfer. The Blues could have their hands full this summer trying to replace Antonio Rüdiger, César Azpilicueta, and Andreas Christensen.
Real Madrid are the current favorites to sign Antonio Rüdiger, with Bayern Munich another team that makes sense for the German center back. With Niklas Süle moving to Borussia Dortmund this summer, Bayern will most certainly make an approach for Rüdiger.
Rüdiger is an ideal signing because of his elite speed, physicality, and defensive ability. His ability to move the ball up the field is also underrated. Very few center backs that are 1.9 meters tall have his pace.
Concerns for Real Madrid and Bayern Munich?
There are concerns that Madrid and Munich should have though. Rüdiger has only played at a very high level after Tuchel began to manage Chelsea. He hasn’t proved that he can play the same way in a back 4.
This is a problem because Los Blancos and Bayern play with a back 4. These clubs will have to decide if they keep a back 4, or if they change to a back 3 if either club does decide to sign Rüdiger.
Azpilicueta’s Barcelona bound
Azpilicueta has been a fan favorite for the past decade. He mostly used to play at right back, but he has played more minutes at center back in recent times. Outside of his defensive capabilities, Azpilicueta is a leader and a big locker room presence for the team.
Azpilicueta would bring Champions League-winning experience, strong leadership, and defensive versatility to a new team. Azpilicueta has experience in Tuchel’s 3-5-2 and Mourinho’s back 4.
There have been strong connections with Azpilicueta potentially returning to Spain and playing for Barcelona. Sports Illustrated has reported that Andreas Christensen has signed a 3-year deal to join Barcelona this summer.
The 25-year-old center back had a great EURO 2020 performance, leading Denmark to the semifinals. Denmark were defensively sound the entire tournament, before losing to England in extra time.