Chelsea stars Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba face axe in Roman Abramovich’s summer sale
Roman Abramovich will clear out some of Chelsea’s biggest names this summer and is determined to see through the ‘project’ started by Andre Villas-Boas to create what one source described as a “hungry new team”.
Unless there is a dramatic change of heart by the owner, a number of Chelsea’s most experienced players, headed by Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda, are in danger of being forced out of the club.
Others such as Salomon Kalou — who, like Drogba, has a deal that runs out in June — will go. Even captain John Terry is not 100 per cent secure, it is believed.
It remains to be seen whether Abramovich is able to carry out the changes he wants because it has proved difficult in the past to move on high-earning players. It might also depend on who he hires to succeed Villas-Boas.
Pep Guardiola is the Russian billionaire’s first choice, ahead of a return by Jose Mourinho, although an approach will not be made yet with Chelsea having to ascertain whether the Spaniard wants to remain at Barcelona or is prepared to move.
Chelsea will also see which other coaches are available — it is believed Fabio Capello and Rafael Benítez have been ruled out – and there is even the remote possibility that if Roberto Di Matteo is successful as interim manager he could remain beyond this season.