With the team winning on the pitch and the Premier League title in sight, as the season heads into the home straight, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Chelsea have nothing to worry about. Despite Antonio Conte’s side performing well on the pitch, off of it, Chelsea have plenty of concerns, and with the summer transfer window on the horizon, there’s a real possibility that the club could see some major changes in the summer.
Chelsea lead the Premier League by 10 points, with second place Tottenham the nearest team to them. Despite this, though, it hasn’t been plain sailing. In January, there were serious concerns that the team’s top scorer, Diego Costa, would leave in a move to China. Coinciding with rumours of a training ground bust-up with one of Conte’s fitness coaches, it seemed that despite the team’s impressive performances, Costa may want out.
With deadline day coming and going, it transpired that Costa wouldn’t be leaving, although the possibility is still there for him to move in the summer. Despite Chelsea being one of the wealthiest clubs in the world, they can’t compete with the contracts being offered in China and it would be unsurprising if Costa left in the summer.
Chelsea should also have concerns over the futures of Thibaut Courtois, who is reportedly being tempted by a move to Real Madrid, Cesc Fàbregas, who has found first team football hard to come by this season, and Conte himself, who is, if rumours are to be believed, weighing up the possibility of a move back to Italy to manage Inter Milan.
The most surprising, and almost unbelievable reports have been those surrounding Conte, who is living apart from his family back in Italy. With Inter supposedly tabling a big offer to the Italian, Chelsea fans could see their manager leave earlier than they may have anticipated.
One of the more expected departures in the summer, though, wouldn’t be a transfer, but would be the retirement of John Terry, whose contract with the club runs out at the end of the season. The 36-year-old centre-back has found himself out of the first team picture ever since Conte integrated the 3-4-3 system, in which Terry has featured very sparsely in.
Terry leaving isn’t a matter of if, but is simply when. His presence could be sorely missed in the dressing room, with many players in recent years telling of how important a role he played in them settling into their new environment. Having been at Chelsea since before the turn of the millennium, Terry’s departure would truly be a signal of a new era for Chelsea, who have also seen the likes of Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Petr Čech and Ashley Cole all depart in recent years.
With all of these rumours and suggestions still only being just that, Chelsea may not have to worry about anything. But the possibility of a major summer overhaul is present, regardless. Whilst the money is there to replace almost any player, it could be devastating for the club if more than one or two of the key members of the squad were to leave.