The end of the season is almost here, and Chelsea will be looking to say goodbye to much of their squad. It is clear that the Blues will need to add a few players to their roster—at the very least, a striker and a defensive midfielder—but before they can do that, they will need to get rid of some of the dead weight and ease up some funds to pay for another transfer.
Some players look set to leave, and some have much bigger question marks over their futures.
Frank Lampard is one player who looks set to leave when his contract expires at the end of this season.
The vice captain has already been linked with a number of other clubs, and it would seem that it is too late to negotiate a deal. Chelsea look decided on letting the veteran go. He is a player that Chelsea could still use next year, but the club has instead decided that the Blues might benefit more from the extra money.
Chelsea management is apparently looking to cut costs in a big way, and Florent Malouda (remember him?) will be one player who has already packed his bags.
However, if Chelsea are looking to cut costs, they might be well advised to look elsewhere. Michael Essien presents an interesting decision for management. The Ghanaian might just be the player that Chelsea need to create that greater defensive protection, but he has also been underwhelming in his time at Real Madrid, and the Blues might benefit from a sale that would free up money for the transfer of a better defensive midfielder.
And then there is the question over one Fernando Torres.
The striker still has three years left on his contract, but now is certainly the time to cut losses. He has shown sparks of brilliance this season, and although 20 goals is a good return for the year, Torres simply hasn't produced big performances when needed.
He is a valuable squad member, but Chelsea could add a similar player to their squad for much lower wages. Romelu Lukaku might even be the man to take that role.
Of all of the players that look likely to move this summer, none needs to be offloaded more than Fernando Torres. The club will obviously have to take a significant cut from the £50 million that they paid in 2011, but it is still a better option than paying the wages of a superstar to an average striker.
In fact, if most Chelsea fans had their way, they would get rid of Torres tomorrow if it meant that Frank Lampard could stay. Even if the Englishman has to leave, however, it is still time to show El Nino the door.