Chelsea may have enjoyed one of the more impressive transfer windows in recent years, bringing in Romelu Lukaku and Saul Niguez to further strengthen the squad. But there is still plenty of work to be done for transfer chief Marina Granovskaia.
Roman Abramovich’s right-hand woman has overseen transfer operations at Stamford Bridge for much of the past decade.
And the 46-year-old again had a big hand in securing the signing of Lukaku from Inter Milan this summer.
But Granovskaia will be sweating on the future of four key Chelsea players, who are all now in the final year of their contracts at the club.
The four players, all defenders, could walk away from west London for free in the summer of 2022.
And Granovskaia’s main task for the next few months will be to determine the futures of Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva.
Chelsea’s transfer activity suggests that Granovskaia is well aware of the potential need to strengthen the club’s defensive ranks.
But the Blues’ attempts to sign France international Jules Kounde was unsuccessful, with the Premier League club expected to return with a bid for the Sevilla player in future transfer windows.
“The only formal offer from Chelsea came last Wednesday,” Sevilla director of football Monchi said earlier this week.
“We weren’t satisfied with the offer, and it was linked to Chelsea selling a player. It was a decent fee but it didn’t meet our criteria. We haven’t spoken with Chelsea since Friday night.”
However, Granovskaia will be relatively confident of getting her man the second time around, after it was revealed that Kounde’s preferred move was to Stamford Bridge.
“There’s been a lot of talk about moves made for Jules, the majority of which were rejected by the player,” Monchi said.
“If there was one club he liked the look of, it was Chelsea.”
All four of the soon-to-be out-of-contract defensive quartet featured in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool last weekend.