Chelsea transfer plans revealed as points deduction and FFP concerns create Pochettino nightmare


Chelsea look set to be active again in the next transfer window despite spending over £300million ($374m) on new players over the summer, taking their total outlay under the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital administration over £1billion ($1.2bn). The Blues looked to have turned a page on the field and now have a big chance to press on towards the top four.

Although similar hopes had been expressed after back-to-back league wins over Burnley and Fulham last month before returning from the international break to draw against Arsenal - a game that for 75 minutes was entirely positive - the way Mauricio Pochettino's side navigated a tough week before the most recent break was mightily impressive.

With four goals in consecutive games against the sides that started the week first and second respectively Chelsea showed a new side to their game both in terms of attitude and ability, especially when competing against the best around. Underlying issues still exist though, as is natural with a young team and a largely new squad under a different manager.

This has seen them remain in the conversation for any big deals that may take place in just over six weeks time. After all, it was the January surprise in 2023 that really kick started an unprecedented mid-season spend for the Blues with Andrey Santos, Noni Madueke, Benoit Badiashile, Joao Felix, Mykhailo Mudryk, David Datro Fofana, Malo Gusto and Enzo Fernandez all joining the club.

Nothing close to that level is expected to take place this time round, especially not with the level of injuries still causing issues in the group and players getting their feet under the table, but some key acquisitions are deemed possible. understands that an offer for Ivan Toney will be considered again as he prepares to return from his ban from football.

The 27-year-old can play again on January 24 and is one of the most in-demand players out there with Arsenal also in the mix and the striker market remaining one of the most competitive. He has been a player on their radar for some time and may well have been the centre of even more attention earlier this year had he not been out of action.

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That is hardly the end of the list for Chelsea either but the window comes at a time whereby there is a muddy backdrop to things at Stamford Bridge. Last week was filled with reports and allegations of wrongdoing at the club under Roman Abramovich as more suggestions of undisclosed payments were revealed.

It was then followed by the Premier League's historic decision to dock Everton 10 points for breaching profit and sustainability regulations. This created a footballing landscape full of even more doubt and uncertainty than usual with ramifications suspected but not at all confirmed for Manchester City and the looming 115 charges being investigated themselves.

Add into this Chelsea's transfer spend, UEFA contract loophole exploitation, mass player trading and general unease over just how the club are going to make this all comply with increasingly stringent regulations, especially in Europe, over the coming years, and there is cause for concern.

This has been made worse by the narrative that the club are facing immediate punishment for events that are still allegations with no set timeframe for possible decisions or conclusions. These worries, no matter how real or not, are not said to be about to impact anything that the club are planning on in January.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano states that the club are acting like it's business as usual and that the only change will be for smarter and less confusing deals. This perhaps indicates less of a cluster of additions and more focused signings.

Toney is expected to be one that is targeted, as mentioned, with Victor Osimhen another striker possibility but he is more for the summer market. Romano also reports that the club are looking for a new centre-back.

Although options in defence are currently plentiful despite injuries to Levi Colwill, Ben Chilwell, Trevoh Chalobah and Wesley Fofana the numbers could be very different come next summer. Chalobah is expected to leave whilst Fofana has a long history of fitness issues and will be carefully managed. Thiago Silva will also have a big decision to make over whether he extends his one-year deal into a fifth season at Stamford Bridge.

This could leave Pochettino short at the back even with Bashir Humphreys performing well on loan at Swansea. What is clear, though, is that there is some clarity in the minds of the new owners at a time where pretty much everything else around the club has been clouded.

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