Boehly begins Chelsea fire sale with ‘fee agreed’ for starlet Simons

Chelsea boss Potter comments on defeat to Southampton

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Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has already begun plans to raise funds this summer by selling off unwanted members of the squad after agreeing a deal to sell Xavier Simons. The west London club spent a record £323million in the January transfer window and now look set to cash in one some of their highly-rated prospects to balance the books.

Simons joined Hull on loan in the summer transfer window on a deal until the end of the season and the 20-year-old has made four first-team appearances for Liam Rosenior’s side.

And it seems he has done enough in his short stint to convince the Championship outfit he has a future at the MKM Stadium. According to the Evening Standard, the two clubs have ‘agreed a fee’ for the versatile winger to join the East Yorkshire outfit permanently in the summer.

Simons made his Chelsea debut in the Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Brentford in December 2021 but struggled to work his way into Thomas Tuchel’s plans later in the campaign. And the youngster hinted that a permanent switch was likely when signing for Hull after conceding he no longer saw a future for himself at the club.

“You could say it’s a brave move,” Simons said, back in August to the Hull Daily Mail. “The situation with Chelsea, I don’t really see a pathway there for me now, and coming here is men’s football at an amazing club playing football the way I want to play, so my development, it’s going to be amazing.”

It is expected to be the start of a mass exodus from the club this summer as Boehly makes preparations to ship out fringe players. The American has spent over £600million on transfers since his £4.25bn takeover with Clearlake Capital was ratified in May 2022 and he has already hinted at selling the some of the club’s promising youngsters to raise funds.

The Blues opted to sell Jude Soonsup-Bell to Tottenham in January in a deal worth a reported £3m. The 19-year-old chose to leave the club after snubbing a new contract and turned down Manchester City to pen a long-term deal with the club’s London rivals.

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Soonsup-Bell and Simons are unlikely to be the last players to head for the exit with a host of development squad players facing uncertain futures.

While youngsters such as Lewis Hall, Bashir Humphreys and Omari Hutchinson have been given first-team opportunities by Graham Potter this season, there is a long list of emerging starlets who may fail to make the grade with the west London club.

Loanees such as Ethan Ampadu, Harvey Vale, Ian Maatsen, Baba Rahman, Dujon Sterling, Malang Sarr and Tino Anjorin could all be sold permanently, while development squad players Henry Lawrence, Mason Burstow and Dion Rankine have attracted interest from the lower leagues.

It is a similar tactic used by the previous regime when Marina Granovskaia was the club’s transfer chief, with the Chelsea director selling off eight academy graduates and using the proceeds to fund Romelu Lukaku’s switch.

That decision left Chelsea fans fuming, but the current bloated squad – with 33 players in Potter’s squad – means departures are necessary.

This time, it seems Boehly along with co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, could use the fire sale to add some money to the club’s coffers, helping them avoid any further Financial Fair Play scrutiny from UEFA.

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