A new dawn at Stamford Bridge fast approaches as the old season stumbles to its finale.
Where once high hopes arose admidst the memory of former glories, reality raised its head and looked directly at the demanding owner of the west London club and decided that this year fate would twist the knife of mediocrity and sanction a season of change.
It would have been odds on that Chelsea would finish the season within the top three somewhere. Maybe not as champions again, but certainly not where they are now – 9th and aiming no higher. The early season dramas that culminated with the ‘Special One’ being elbowed out of the club that he had a lot of affection for, did nothing for the team, except to see millionaire players get their own way and sound alarm bells for managers up and down the leagues.
Hiddink has stabilised the club and taken them up the league, but his tenure comes to an end in just a few weeks’ time, at which time the Italian ferocity of Antonio Conte will start a Tsunami of change that will cement Chelsea as one of the top clubs again next season.
By all accounts, you don’t want to mess with Italian national coach and those that have worked with the man seem to fear his tirades, but applaud his methods.
And so it will come to pass that as soon as Conte walks through the door in the Fulham Road, that others will be using the same door on their way out.
We know or at least can suppose that some of the rumoured players linked with Conte, will be arriving at some point over the summer, but which of the current Chelsea players, will never don the blue shirt of The Pensioners ever again?
Here are FIVE set for the axe…
The man with mad eyes will be leaving Stamford Bridge and taking with him a season of run-ins with players and officials. His former paymasters, Atletico Madrid are keen to take him back and it is widely accepted that Costa hankers for a move back to Spain.
Played his last game last weekend at Sunderland and will miss the final game of the season due to suspension. Many consider it startling that the talismanic club captain hasn’t even been offered a new one year contract. There will be Premier League clubs taking a look at the 35 year old, but for Terry, playing for another Premier League may not be an option and the US or China is calling.
Another player looking to escape the Chelsea shackles, there will be suitors for the playmaker. Having fallen out of favour under former manager Jose Mourinho, Oscar has also struggled to hold down a regular place under Hiddink and is one of the players Chelsea could listen to offers for this summer. Chelsea snubbed interest in Oscar from China during the January transfer window, while Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with moves for the player.
The Serbian defender has had a torrid season and decided months ago that a change was needed. The 27 year old is keen to leave Stamford Bridge after this frustrating season and has long-standing interest from Juventus.
Though interested in a move to Turin, he is keen to stay in England if the chance arises and is waiting to see if Manchester United finalise negotiations with Jose Mourinho in the next month. Should United push for the Portuguese then Matic would be interested in following him to Old Trafford, but it may take a big fee to persuade Chelsea to sell to their Premier League rivals and former manager.
A wasted talent who warms the bench more than anything else. The former Newcastle United and Queens Park Rangers striker has been given little first-team action at Stamford Bridge since his move in 2014.
There a exceptionally few rumours about Remy at the moment although the forward nearly left the club in January. However, Falcao will be moved on and Chelsea couldn’t lose another striker. This year has been painful for Remy, who also sees his EURO 2016 chances slipping away as well.