Come 17:00 on Thursday, 9 August, English clubs will not be able to bring in any new signings this transfer window as the new FA regulations take effect.
Clubs have been begging for years to have the transfer window close before the start of the season rather than 31 August so they can have their full squads ready and primed for the season ahead.
However, the rest of Europe has not moved in line with England, meaning we will have the situation this summer where English clubs can’t make any signings, but European clubs can sign players from English clubs after our window has closed.
The ramifications could prove interesting, particularly if a club comes in with a mammoth bid or players try to force a move after their club can find an adequate replacement. It seems at the moment that Chelsea could be the team most affected by the new rules, with a number of their players wanted be European super clubs.
We’ve taken a look to see the various scenarios of how the new transfer window could play out for Chelsea this summer.
Hazard has been the lynchpin behind Chelsea’s success over the past few years and is the beating heart of the team. His wizardry and ability to create something from nothing has rescued the Blues on countless occasions, but he has always seemed destined to end up at Real Madrid one day.
After selling Cristiano Ronaldo, Madrid have money and need a new star. There are few players in the world who could take on the mantle of Ronaldo but Hazard is certainly one of them.
Reports have been linking the Belgium star to Los Merengues all summer and according to The Bleacher Report, Hazard could be forced to take matters into his own hands if Chelsea try to prevent a move. This is worrying news for Chelsea, as this could happen after the English transfer window closes and they’re left unable to buy a quick replacement.
Alternatively, Real Madrid could submit a relatively low bid before Chelsea’s transfer window finishes, and if Hazard makes it clear he wants to move, the Blues may be forced to accept there and then so they have time to find an adequate successor.
It puts Chelsea in a very weak position in the negotiations and they will have to decide very soon whether they’re going to stick or twist, and gamble their best player and quite possibly any chance of success this season.
If Hazard is sold after Chelsea can make any signings, they’ll have to make do with their current squad.
One player who could benefit from Hazard’s departure would be youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi who is seen as one of the brightest prospects around in English football. The 17-year-old was part of England’s winning U17 World Cup team and made two Premier League appearances under Antonio Conte last season.
In Chelsea’s first game of pre-season, the young talent impressed, assisting Pedro for the only goal of the game with a brilliant piece of skill. His quick feet and creativity make him the ideal replacement for Hazard, although fans will have to be patient with the youngster as he finds his feet at senior level.
Chelsea don’t have the best track record of integrating their talented youth players with most being shipped off on loan until they can be sold, so it would be heartening to see the club putting their faith in Hudson-Odoi this season.
One area which could prove much more problematic for Chelsea next season could be their goalkeeping situation.
Thibaut Courtois is also being widely-touted with a move to Real Madrid this summer and they will be more than a little stuck if he departs after the English transfer window shuts.
The only other goalkeeper on their books is Willy Caballero, the 36-year-old Argentinian who had a World Cup to forget. He is not the man Maurizio Sarri will want between the sticks in his first season in English football so he would be wise to recruit before his hands are tied.
Current options would be Jack Butland, Kasper Schmeichel and Keylor Navas but Chelsea don’t want to be in the situation where they try and keep Courtois only for him to force a move, and they’re left with no option but Caballero.
Chelsea have already rejected a number of bids for their star Brazilian winger this summer, and it’s possible Barcelona could return for the 29-year-old.
Willian won’t be as big a loss as Eden Hazard for Chelsea, but his input will still be sorely missed, having had a hand in 13 Premier League goals last season.
Sarri will surely dip into the transfer window over the next few weeks to add to Jorginho but Chelsea could be caught short if they end the transfer window assuming they will keep all their stars.
It could mean that Pedro will have a more prominent role in the team if they fail to replace Willian in time, but their squad will lack its current depth in attacking midfield.
It might be best for Chelsea to prepare for the worst this summer and get their business sorted early before their stars begin force their dream moves to La Liga.