Chelsea’s six-man summer shortlist as Todd Boehly given chance to lead £450m splurge

Chelsea have been the Premier League’s biggest spenders by a considerable distance in the last two transfer windows.

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has wasted no time in demonstrating that he is prepared to spend a huge amount of money for the Blues to be successful under the guidance of manager Graham Potter. The former Brighton boss has been backed with hundreds of millions of pounds since replacing Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea having splashed a combined total of around £323million on new players in January alone.

They moved quickly to add the likes of Benoit Badiashile, Joao Felix and Mykhaylo Mudryk to their ranks early in the window before smashing the British transfer record to sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica in the final hours of deadline day. Chelsea agreed to pay a fee in the region of £107m in exchange for the Argentina midfielder, although only £40m will be paid upfront with the rest set to be delivered in instalments.

There is no suggestion that Chelsea will be looking to tone down their spending habits when the transfer window reopens in the summer, though, as they look to start challenging Manchester City and Arsenal at the very top of the Premier League table next season. They have already been linked with a host of high-profile names and it seems as though nothing will be out of reach for them if Boehly keeps pumping in the cash before the 2023/24 campaign gets underway.

Express Sport takes a look at six potential targets with a combined value of around £450m, according to Transfermarkt, who Chelsea could be tempted to spend more of their millions on in the summer…

Chelsea are likely to try and improve their options in defence between now and the start of next season, with out-of-contract veteran Thiago Silva not getting any younger in spite of his importance to the west London club’s plans. They have been heavily linked with a future move for RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol in recent months and the Croatia international could be the perfect replacement for Silva after proving himself as one of the planet’s finest centre-backs at the World Cup last year.

The Blues may also be inclined to add another quality option at right wing-back after suffering in the absence of Reece James over the course of this season and could do far worse than to land Kyle Walker-Peters from Southampton. The former Tottenham ace has been a rare shining light for the Saints at times in recent months and would be a solid back-up for James if the latter fails to shake off his injury struggles over the next few years.

A new deep-lying midfielder could be high on Chelsea’s agenda at the end of the season following the loss of Jorginho, who joined Arsenal on a permanent basis at the end of the January transfer window. Declan Rice is a player known well by those at Stamford Bridge from his time in the club’s academy setup and is likely to be sold by West Ham in the summer, which suggests that it would be a no-brainer for the Blues to use their lucrative financial backing to finance a move for his signature.

Jude Bellingham is also set to move away from Borussia Dortmund in the not-too-distant future and would be a real statement signing for Chelsea, although it will be tricky for them to beat the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City to his services regardless of the money on the table. He is believed to be keen on the idea of moving to the Bernabeu and it would seemingly be difficult for Chelsea to change his mind in spite of his ability to excel in the middle of the park for them on a long-term basis.

Chelsea could also benefit from landing at least one new central striker in order to improve their fortunes in front of goal after scoring just 22 goals in the Premier League since the beginning of the current season. Romelu Lukaku is set to return to Stamford Bridge from Inter Milan at the end of his loan spell in the summer but does not appear to have any interest in staying with the Blues, which could see them explore the idea of capturing a brand new talisman when the bidding opens.

Harry Kane would perhaps be the ideal signing for Chelsea but such a move may not be entirely realistic, given Tottenham’s likely desire to avoid selling the England skipper to a local rival and the player’s reported willingness to sign a new contract in north London. Victor Osimhen could be another big name on Chelsea’s radar, though, and would have every chance of firing the Blues to the next level after establishing himself as one of Serie A’s finest strikers during his time with Napoli.