Antonio Conte spoke of the need to be “very cold” in our analysis and transfer business this summer, and we’re likely just getting started.
On Monday, young Bertrand Traore was shipped off to Lyon, while similar moves almost certainly await Nathan Ake, Nemanja Matic, and Diego Costa as well. With three squad’s worth of players in the first-team and the loan army combined last season, there will be plenty of further opportunities to trim the fat, book some profits, and get the team set up for sustained success.
There’s no guarantee that Chelsea will be successful in these aims, or even that the plans underway — i.e. Bakayoko, Alex Sandro, Lukaku — are the best way to go about things, but the club certainly don’t appear to be standing still. There are several dominoes ready to fall, with Matic’s move predicated on Bakayoko’s arrival and Ake’s potential departure possibly depending on the arrival of big-money defensive signings like Alex Sandro and perhaps Virgil van Dijk. Matt Law of the Telegraph has a nice run-down of where we stand currently in Chelsea’s transfer activities, while also throwing a bit of shade at Mourinho and Manchester United regarding their pursuit of £40m-man Nemanja Matic — likely a response to the latest nonsense from the pen of Duncan Castles, who continues to beat the sad, lonely drum of Conte’s supposed threats of walking away should his demands not be met.
In any case, that’s a long-winded way to arrive at the main point, which is that Chelsea will be insisting on a buy-back clause for Nathan Ake’s proposed £20m transfer to Bournemouth, according to Law and also Matt Barlow at the Mail, while the latter also insists that there are not only massive bonuses built into Traore’s transfer to Lyon, but that Chelsea have a buy-back option there as well.
Lyon confirmed the Traore transfer at €10m, but Barlow’s reporting a potential maximum of £16m (which would translate to over €8m in bonuses), in addition to the 15 per cent sell-on clause and this mystery buy-back, which technically is not allowed in France, but could be worked in as a potential and unofficial side-deal. If true, that makes the transfer of the 21-year-old a bit more palatable.
As the clock ticks closer to July 1st, we’re potentially setting up for a very busy few days and weeks ahead. Fingers crossed!