Chelsea have a huge few weeks ahead of them. On the pitch, they still need to qualify for the Champions League, while an FA Cup meeting with Liverpool is just over one week away.
Off the pitch, the takeover saga is still raging on, with the sporting licence issued by the government expiring at the end of this month. However, there will also be concerns over the transfer strategy, with a number of changes set to happen with the playing squad.
One of those is set to come in the defensive department, with Thomas Tuchel confirming the other week that Antonio Rudiger will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season: “We gave everything - me and the club - but we could not fight anymore because of the actions. Without the sanctions, we would at least be able to carry on fighting, but our hands are tied. We don't take it personally. It is his decision.”
Should Andreas Christensen, who is also a free agent in the summer, leave then the German coach has a lack of options for next season. A number of players have been linked with a move, though the latest is that football.london understands Torino defender Gleison Bremer has been watched by Chelsea this season.
With the 25-year-old the latest that could make the move to Stamford Bridge, here’s a look at the top four options to replace Rudiger next season.
At just 21-years-old, Fofana has shown impressive maturity at the back since making his move to Leicester. A left-footed defender, the Frenchman would be the perfect fit for the left side of the back three for both the present and the future.
His form has led him to receive a senior international call-up for France, which is no mean feat, however, a long-term knee injury has only seen him make three Premier League appearances this season. His current deal at the club lasts until 2027 though, meaning he could be an expensive signing.
The 23-year-old has previously been linked with a move to Chelsea, having impressed for Sevilla over the past year. He has been a key player for the La Liga outfit as well as for France since coming into the fray.
While his pace makes him an ideal option, his right-footedness could make him a slight issue on the left as a passing option.
Gvardiol has impressed for RB Leipzig at just 20-years-old, playing on the left of a back three. The Croatia international has started nearly every league game this season and has seen his value shoot up.
The ability to play on the left as a left-footed player and at such a young age makes him an ideal target for the Blues.
As mentioned previously, football.london understands Torino defender Gleison Bremer has been watched by Chelsea this season. The 25-year-old has been a key player this season, causing the likes of Inter Milan to target him this summer.
His current deal expires in 2024, meaning he could be subject to leave the club soon, though his reliance on his right foot may be a problem for that left side.