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Chelsea ‘struggling’ to offload Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Malang Sarr — report

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Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Carabao Cup Semi Final Second Leg Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Chelsea have done a surprisingly excellent job in offloading players this summer to help facilitate our massive squad revamp, transferring out no fewer than eleven first-teamers, eight on paid deals (totaling over £200m) and three for free. We’ve also let go of several long-time loanees, such as Ethan Ampadu and Baba Rahman ... and even Tiémoué Bakayoko!

While you might argue that we did not get maximum value on some of these deals — £40m total for Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek seems less than ideal! — given the corner into which we had painted ourselves, we’ve done about as well as we might have expected.

And yet, the work is not done. Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Malang Sarr continue to weigh down the payroll: to the tune of (probably) well over £500k per week combined. And largely because of that, we’re “struggling” to find takers, to use the phrasing from the Evening Standard.

No one’s stepped forward for Sarr yet (after his inconsequential season on loan at AS Monaco), while only Juventus remain in for Lukaku after Al Hilal signed Aleksandar Mitrović from Fulham. And speaking of our neighbors, they have apparently “stepped back” from Hudson-Odoi now, despite our miserly asking price.

As the report also reminds us, we have limited overseas loan slots as per FIFA’s new rules, and have taken up five of them already (DD Fofana, Slonina, Arrizabalaga, Ziyech, Ângelo). Deivid Washington, when he does sign, is expected to join Ângelo at Strasbourg as well, which would leave just one spot. So even if we concede defeat on Lukaku and allow another loan to Italy, we might end up with others “stranded” at the club (Pochettino has maintained a strict separation between the first-team and the unwanteds).

So, as we scrounge around for that one more attacking signing, we have work to do still on the outgoing front as well in the final week and change of the transfer window.

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