It may be Christmas Day but Chelsea’s real chance of presents comes in seven days time.
We are a week away from the January transfer window opening and while in recent years it has not been a period Chelsea look to sign many players, they have made big acquisitions in the past in Fernando Torres, Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic, Nicolas Anelka and David Luiz.
The Blues saw no incomings of note in 2020/21 but saw the departures of the likes of Charlie Brown, Lucas Piazon as well as loan deals for Jaun Castillo, Danny Drinkwater and Fikayo Tomori.
The previous year was as uneventful with the departures of Michael Hector to Fulham, Clinton Mola to Stuttgart and Tariq Lamptey to Brighton.
Could this year be different? We take a look at what the best and worse case scenarios entail below:
Best case scenario
If Marina Granovskaia can convince three out of the four to stay, it would be good business and allow the club to plan accordingly for the future without a messy transition.
In this scenario Chelsea would find the funds to lure in Matthijs de Ligt or Jules Kounde in January to allow them to become familiar with the squad in the final six months of the season before taking a crucial role next term.
With the choice between Declan Rice and Aurelian Tchouameni a difficult one, the Blues could opt for the latter to complete the transfer in January. West Ham have been unafraid to set a commanding fee for Rice, and Monaco may prove more willing to negotiate during the season, even if it is just establishing the terms ahead of the summer.
Worst case scenario
In the converse to the above scenario it would see Chelsea’s defenders not extend their deals and make use of their new-found ability to speak to other clubs to create a pre-contract agreement.
Real Madrid are said to be offering a salary and signing on fee combination to Rudiger that would approach somewhere around £400,000 per week. That may be too good to turn down.
Christensen’s negotiations have been close for a lengthy period, but eventually the club might have to take a stance and the Dane has drawn interest from Barcelona and Juventus already.
Azpilicueta and Silva would offer real hammer-blows to the heart. The parties have been relaxed over agreeing extensions but with Barcelona lurking the 31-year-old could have his head turned, while clubs in the Middle East may come calling for Silva.
It would be a brutal month in which Chelsea are left scrambling to form a defence in time for next season.
The real damage would be done early in the window as Lazio make a big play to land Kepa Arrizabalaga with a fee big enough to tempt the Blues. The £71.6 million the Blues paid to sign the stopper will see them make a loss if the Spaniard departs, but if an offer good enough to limit the damage comes through it could prove convincing.
Maurizio Sarri’s current keepers Pepe Reina and Thomas Strakosha are out of contract in 2022, meaning there is some urgency for the club to land a new stopper.