It is shaping up to be a busy summer of transfer activity at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel looks to lay the foundations for a successful first, full season in the managerial hot-seat.
After replacing Frank Lampard towards the very end of the January transfer window, there was little time for the German to add his own players to the squad he inherited, meaning this summer’s window, which only opened for business two days ago, is his first meaningful chance to put his own stamp of authority on proceedings.
Fresh from winning the UEFA Champions League final almost a fortnight ago, the Blues have wasted little time in trying to put plans in place ahead of the start of next season, with Tuchel making it clear to the club’s hierarchy that he wants to add three new faces to his squad in the form of a centre-back, a central-midfielder and a striker.
As well as making their interest known in signing Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland, who is said to be ‘interested’ in a move to Stamford Bridge, the Blues are also believed to have lodged a big-money bid for Inter Milan right wing-back Achraf Hakimi, tabling a £56.1million offer for the former Real Madrid ace.
But if Chelsea are looking to spend unimaginable amounts of money on new additions this summer it is only natural that they will have to cut their cloth, both to keep the finances in shape and the squad not too inflated.
It is no secret that Tuchel is keen to offload players that are deemed surplus to requirements, with a recent report claiming that up to 14 outcasts could be sold or sent out on loan this summer.
One deal has already been completed at Stamford Bridge this week in the form of youngster Pierre Ekwah Elimby sealing a move across London to West Ham United.
The 19-year-old, who was on the Blues’ books since 2018, made the switch to the London Stadium for a fee of around £1.5million.
Although several others are expected to follow the youngster out of Stamford Bridge this summer, the next player to follow suit could well be France international Olivier Giroud.
Despite being out-of-contract at the end of this month, the Blues confirmed last week that they had taken up an option to extend his deal by a further year back in April, meaning they cannot lose him for free in this summer’s window.
The former Arsenal man did appear set to leave the club this summer before the news of him extending his stay broke. However, despite agreeing to extend his stay by a further year, an exit still appears to be on the cards.
That is because, according to various reports in Italy, Giroud has agreed personal terms with AC Milan, who have been frequently linked with the striker’s signature in recent weeks.
It is claimed that Milan have agreed a two-year contract offer with the striker, who scored 11 goals this season, and are now looking to finalise a fee with Chelsea to strike a deal.
Giroud is unlikely to remain at Stamford Bridge this summer, despite committing his future to the club, with Tuchel determined to add a new striker to his ranks as a matter of urgency.
If Marina Granovskaia can successfully agree a deal with Milan for the sale of Giroud it will have shades of similarity of what happened when David Luiz signed a new deal with the Blues in 2019 before being sold to Arsenal a few months later.
It is currently unclear how much Chelsea would want for Giroud’s services.