Antonio Rudiger, Declan Rice – Chelsea’s best and worst case January transfer window scenarios

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It won’t be too long before the January transfer window rolls back around into our lives for a month at the turn of 2022 and we will see who Chelsea will be linked with making moves for.

This current window will probably follow the same pattern as most others. Not much happening before teams begin to panic on the final day of the window and try to make signings at vastly-inflated prices as clubs don’t want to sell their assets midway through the season.

All eyes will no doubt be on Newcastle United and what their plans are for the final six months of the season as they battle against relegation under new manager Eddie Howe with the backdrop of their new ownership from Saudi Arabia. No doubt they will be linked with anyone and everyone.

For Chelsea, it isn’t expected to be too busy in January. The Blues have a relatively settled squad now, with plenty of competition for places in it and a side that is going very well at the top of the table.

Of course, if a player is available that Thomas Tuchel is interested in and at a good price then the Blues may well express an interest.

The name of Jules Kounde will no doubt be bandied around a lot throughout the window. Chelsea were interested in him last summer but were put off when Sevilla moved the goalposts and hiked up the price of the centre half.

Chelsea are thought to still be interested in a move for Kounde but with the emergence of Trevoh Chalobah, the need is perhaps not as great as it once was. That said, with contract issues still surrounding Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, you never know.

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Declan Rice’s name will continue to be linked as well after his sensational season so far with West Ham, who are flying high in third in the table. Rice has been impressive for two and a bit seasons now for the Hammers and was linked with a return to west London when Frank Lampard was in charge. Getting Rice out of east London will be immeasurably difficult, with the Hammers valuing around at least £100million.

Manchester United are also reportedly in the market for Rice, who was released by Chelsea as a 14-year-old, and also Kounde with the Reds season already unravelling before our eyes following dire defeats to Liverpool and Man City.

But, back to west London, what are the best and worst case scenarios for the winter window, hypothetically speaking of course?

Best case

Well, the best case could be that Chelsea secure a pre-contract move for Kounde if that’s what they decide to do, a la Hakim Ziyech when he made his move from Ajax which was agreed five months before it was completed.

Chelsea don’t really need to strengthen in too many areas this winter so it is hard to work out what a best case scenario would be.

Away from transfers though, the club can agree a new deal with Antonio Rudiger in January as he will be free to talk to other European clubs with six months of his current contract remaining.

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The German will no doubt test the market to see what he can get for what will probably be his last big payday.

Tuchel could look to move on some fringe players in January too, with Burnley reportedly keen on Ross Barkley though his wages will be a stumbling block for the Clarets to get any move done.

If we’re honest, we aren’t really expecting Chelsea to make any big splashes this winter unless something they can really turn down comes up.

Worst case

Rudiger agreeing a contract away from the club at the end of the season will be a blow for the Blues, who may well be forced back into the market that summer unless they are willing to gamble on Chalobah or perhaps even Levi Colwill, who is enjoying a good loan spell at Huddersfield Town.

Christensen too is out of contract and Chelsea will be desperate not to lose the Dane, who has been very impresisve since the arrival of Tuchel.

That would also point to a move for Jules Kounde as well later this year, or getting something sorted in January, but the Blues will want to act quickly if they are to lose Rudiger.

Other than that, there isn’t really too much else that can go wrong in January unless a club comes in with a sensational offer for a key player of Tuchel’s. Even if that did happen, it’s unlikely any major players at Stamford Bridge will be moving on at the turn of the year.

Source by Football London

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