Chelsea has been dealt a blow in their attempts to make a free transfer move this year. With Todd Boehly dipping into his pockets to fund major transfers left, right, and center since coming in there is a need for efficiency when possible, and picking up high-quality players on free transfers offers just that.
There are several outstanding players with less than six months to go on their deals in 2023 including Chelsea trio Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, and Thiago Silva. Karim Benzema is also in the same boat, as is Memphis Depay. All of these players are now available for negotiations over a pre-contract with clubs from abroad.
At a time of panic for clubs there is an opportunity to take advantage of uncertainty between clubs and players across the continent to secure bargains. Chelsea have themselves been linked with a few, perhaps none more so than Brighton’s Leandro Trossard.
The Belgian was looked at over the summer before Graham Potter was appointed and links have only increased since the manager’s move to Stamford Bridge. Trossard was brought to the south coast in Potter’s first season and has developed over time with his system and gradual improvement in England.
With seven goals and three assists in 16 games so far this season, he is set to overtake last year’s tally in half the number of games, demonstrating his growth as a player. With an initial contract taking him to 2023 he is one player that was on the list of free transfers Chelsea could have looked to.
That seems to have ended though, with talkSPORT writing that his one-year extension has been triggered by the club in an attempt to stave off any offers. It doesn’t particularly help their bargaining position moving throughout the year though with just 12 months left next summer. It does keep him there without the prospect of going for free though.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to Potter now at SW6 though, with him admitting earlier this year: “It’s not a year [left on Trossard’s contract], it’s more than that.”
With Enzo Fernandez, a major January target and boasting a £ 106 million release clause, the need for some lower-budget deals could rise for Boehly. Trossard, albeit in a different position, may well have been one of those men. The Belgian committing his immediate future to Brighton will now challenge Chelsea’s resolve.