expiring contracts and transfers are just the start for Roman Abramovich’s successor

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A sense of normalcy will finally be restored to Chelsea after Todd Boehly took control of the club on Monday.

The consortium led by the American billionaire and Clearlake Capital has officially bought the Blues from Roman Abramovich for 4.25 billion pounds sterling.

The American received the keys to Chelsea
AFP

It ends three months of limbo for the Premier League giants, whose operations were limited by government sanctions imposed on Russian oligarch Abramovich after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The British government has been assured that the funds will go to support victims of war in Ukraine, while around £1.5bn of debt has been forgiven by Abramovich.

The completion of the complex transaction marks the end of a 19-year era for Chelsea, which won 21 trophies after Abramovich bought the club in 2003.

While the previous owner was prepared to bankroll the club’s losses and fund major transfers, the Blues are more likely to operate as a mainstream business in the future, perhaps drawing inspiration from Liverpool’s American model for a successful property.

Boehly will share control of the club with Clearlake Capital, but he is chairman of the holding company, making him the face of Chelsea’s new era.

The co-owner has promised to invest – but before he thinks about signing new players, the 48-year-old has a number of other issues that require his immediate attention…

Todd Boehly has FIVE problems at Chelsea that need immediate attention: expiring contracts and transfers are just the start for Roman Abramovich's successor
Abramovich revolutionized Chelsea but now the club will have to operate differently
Getty

Renew expiring contracts

Chelsea have been unable to negotiate new contracts for the past three months, and the futures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have been stripped from them.

Both defenders are out of contract this summer and Rudiger has joined Real Madrid on a free transfer, while Christensen is expected to sign for Barcelona.

Manager Thomas Tuchel’s defense already looks light and the club now have decisions to make on aging full-backs Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso.

The two Spaniards have deals that expire in 2023 and have been linked with summer moves away from Stamford Bridge.

The club must accept new terms or risk losing them for nothing next summer – and the same goes for midfielders Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, who are also out of contract in 2023.

Longer term, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi all have two years remaining on their contracts.

Todd Boehly has FIVE problems at Chelsea that need immediate attention: expiring contracts and transfers are just the start for Roman Abramovich's successor
Chelsea captain Azpilicueta might have played his last game for the club
Getty

Sign new players

A new centre-back is an obvious priority, while full-back and midfield recruitment may become necessary depending on the future of Azpilicueta, Alonso, Jorginho and Kante.

Sevilla defender Jules Kounde has been heavily linked with a summer move to the Blues after the club’s pursuit failed last year.

Meanwhile, Tuchel is also said to be keen on Prinsel Kimpembe, who has linked up with Thiago Silva in the German defense at Paris Saint-Germain.

In midfield, Chelsea are said to be interested in the highly sought-after Monegasque Aurélien Tchouameni and Ibrahim Sangare from PSV.

Tuchel is well supplied up front but questions remain over club-record signing Romelu Lukaku, who has been linked with a return to Iner Milan.

Todd Boehly has FIVE problems at Chelsea that need immediate attention: expiring contracts and transfers are just the start for Roman Abramovich's successor
The Blues would have a verbal agreement with the French defender Koundé
Getty

Keep the board to the side

Off the pitch, much of Chelsea’s recent success is due to director Marina Granovskaia.

She was named the best club manager in European football earlier this season – but her future at the club is currently in doubt following the takeover.

Keeping Granovskaia, along with chairman Bruce Buck and technical director Petr Cech, could be a masterstroke for Boehly to avoid a lengthy transition process.

Todd Boehly has FIVE problems at Chelsea that need immediate attention: expiring contracts and transfers are just the start for Roman Abramovich's successor
Granovskaia plays a huge role in player negotiations at Chelsea
Features of Rex

Redevelop Stamford Bridge

Abramovich made it clear that the new owners must be committed to improving Stamford Bridge, which is arguably the toughest task Boehly faces.

The Russian was forced to put plans for the redevelopment of Chelsea’s famous stadium on hold in 2018, while the owners of the Chelsea Pitch, who have full ownership, are adding difficulties to the process.

Nonetheless, the Blues are too big for their current home, which is the ninth biggest in the Premier League and significantly smaller than their ‘Big Six’ rivals.

Boehly’s consortium wouldn’t have beaten more than 250 other bids to buy the club if the American didn’t have a compelling plan for the west London property.

Todd Boehly has FIVE problems at Chelsea that need immediate attention: expiring contracts and transfers are just the start for Roman Abramovich's successor
Stamford Bridge is two-thirds the size of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Getty

Maintain the success of the women’s team and the academy

Another condition from Abramovich was that the new owner promise equal commitment to the women’s team and the academy.

The Russian leaves an undeniable legacy of success at all levels at Chelsea, not just for the men’s team.

He was among the first owners to invest properly in women’s football and Emma Hayes’ side reaped the rewards by dominating the domestic scene and making strides in Europe.

Todd Boehly has FIVE problems at Chelsea that need immediate attention: expiring contracts and transfers are just the start for Roman Abramovich's successor
Hayes now has four FA Cups, five WSL, two League Cups and a Community Shield as Chelsea boss
Getty

Meanwhile, the path from the academy to the senior team was fixed during Abramovich’s time at the club.

John Terry was the only successful academy graduate for over a decade, before Mason Mount, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek made their appearances.

They are proof that Chelsea’s future remains bright, despite brief fears for the very existence of the club.

Nonetheless, the last three months have left a bin the size of Cobham, and Boehly needs to get to work immediately.

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