In pictures: Chelsea v Tottenham
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Chelsea have remained silent in January. Still, there could be a summer of change at Stamford Bridge with players out of contract and Thomas Tuchel needing fresh backing. Express Sport look at how Chelsea could line up if transfer chief Marina Granovskaia works her magic ahead of next season.
Edouard Mendy should continue as Tuchel’s first-choice goalkeeper with Kepa Arrizabalaga as his backup.
Since his debut in October 2020, only Ederson (31) has kept more clean sheets than Mendy (24) of his fellow Premier League keepers.
The 29-year-old shot-stopper will resume his regular role between the sticks once he’s returned from representing Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations.
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Defence: Kounde, Thiago Silva, Sule
Most of the changes to Tuchel’s side could come in defence, with three current regular starters potentially leaving on free transfers.
Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and club captain Cesar Azpilicueta are all out of contract in June and will need replacing.
Reports claim Granovskaia is already looking to close a £50million deal for Jules Kounde, who the Blues failed to sign last summer.
Chelsea are also linked with Niklas Sule, who has reportedly rejected a contract extension at Bayern Munich and is available for talks over a pre-contract agreement this month.
The duo could line up alongside Thiago Silva in the heart of a back three, with the Brazilian expected to remain at Stamford Bridge for another season.
Midfield: James, Kante, Kovacic, Chilwell
There could be no change in the midfield because, well, there doesn’t need to be given Tuchel’s current wealth of options.
He will hope Ben Chilwell has recovered from injury to regain his place at left-wing-back, with English compatriot Reece James on the right.
N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho can continue to rotate in central midfield, but it’s unlikely Saul Niguez’s loan will be made permanent.
Attack: Dembele, Mount, Lukaku
With Barcelona’s relationship with Ousmane Dembele crumbling in the latter stages of his contract, the club have told him to find a new club this month rather than leaving for free in the summer.
But there seems to have been little movement ahead of the deadline, and he could be a free agent in a few months time.
Chelsea have plenty of attacking options, but Dembele’s availability poses as an open goal for a player once worth £135.5m.
Tuchel could be tempting to recruit him for more attacking competition, lining up alongside Mason Mount and Romelu Lukaku.
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