We are expected to embark on yet another chaotic summer transfer window, but for Chelsea's sake, let's hope there is an element of controlled chaos this time around.

In theory, that should be a little bit more of the case. Chelsea now have a new-look recruitment team, with the likes of Christopher Vivell, Paul Winstanley and Joe Shields having a big say on transfer-related business ahead of an important window.

With so much to do to get Mauricio Pochettino, who begins his new role as head coach on July 1, off to the best-possible start, the chaos needs to be controlled. Chelsea are expected to offload 10-plus players between now and the end of the transfer window in what is set to be a massive squad overhaul.

READ MORE: Chelsea can hand Mauricio Pochettino his dream three-man midfield despite Manuel Ugarte decision

And the midfield is an area that is expected to massively change over the next few months. Listed on the Chelsea website at the moment are eight central midfielders – with one of them being Lewis Hall, who has played predominantly as a left-back since breaking into the first-team squad. Out of those eight, five of them face uncertain futures this summer.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is expected to join AC Milan with positive talks over a permanent move in recent weeks. Denis Zakaria will return to Juventus after an unsuccessful loan spell. Mateo Kovacic is also set to leave Chelsea with Manchester City and Bayern Munich after the Croatian, while N'Golo Kante and Conor Gallagher could also move on from Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are prepared to allow so many of these players to leave because the club are planning on bringing at least two central midfielders in over the summer. The Blues came close to signing Manuel Ugarte at the weekend but Paris Saint-Germain have now won the race for the Sporting CP midfielder. understands that Chelsea will now turn their attention to Moises Caicedo of Brighton after missing out on the midfielder in the January transfer window. The Blues were expected to go for both Ugarte and Caicedo but will now push to sign the latter of the two after missing out on the former.

Another man who is also of keen interest to Chelsea is Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia. The 19-year-old played 34 times for the Saints in all competitions over the 2022/23 season and really impressed. Playing as a No.6 for Southampton, his maturity on and off the ball caught the eye of many – including Chelsea and Liverpool, who are both interested in the Belgian.

As reported at the end of March, Chelsea watched Lavia intensively over the course of the recently-concluded Premier League season. The club have done extensive homework on what the Belgian could bring to their midfield and are now more than considering making a move for him over the summer.

Southampton are set to demand around £50million for his services, despite the south coast club being relegated from the Premier League. Manchester City are understood to have a buyback clause on their former midfielder for £10million less than that, at £40million. Pep Guardiola, the City boss, is still a huge fan of what Lavia does on the pitch.

"I am really impressed with what Romeo has done and is doing," Guardiola said in April. "We had, and we have an incredible opinion about him. We thought to keep him, but maybe he would not [get] enough minutes like he has in Southampton."

When it comes to 'talent IQ', there are not too many smarter than Guardiola. Lavia is still clearly being watched by those at Man City on a regular basis, so if Chelsea can agree a deal with Southampton and beat Liverpool to the Belgian's signature, that could frustrate some people at the Etihad Stadium.


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2023-06-06T11:03:01Z dg43tfdfdgfd