The end of the season is fast approaching and change is expected at Chelsea during the summer. However, the Blues are heading into the period severely unprepared.
It has been claimed that the uncertainty surrounding Antonio Conte’s future is going to cause a number of headaches for the Blues as they try to bring in new recruits for the next campaign, in which they will likely be competing in the Europa League.
The Italian’s failure to replicate last season’s success in the Premier League and subsequent failure to secure Champions League football appears to be the final nail in his coffin as far as owner Roman Abramovich is concerned – although the issues between the two have been growing for some time.
Conte has been critical of the way in which the Stamford Bridge chiefs conduct their transfer business, stating that he has not received the players he wanted, whilst others believe some of the signings that have been made have come from those above. Danny Drinkwater, who has rarely featured for Chelsea since his arrival, or the surprising re-signing of David Luiz, all appear to be players that Conte has not really wanted.
Despite growing speculation that the former Juventus and Italy manager could be given his marching orders as soon as the season comes to an end, Chelsea are continuously linked with a different manager each day and it does not appear that they are close to finding anyone to replace him.
Realistically, it could be difficult for Abramovich to hire someone to take over the reigns at the Stamford Bridge outfit and ultimately give him another Champions League trophy to show off, especially with his no-nonsense approach to managers. Since he arrived at the club in 2003, he has had ten permanent men in the role – which does not include temporary stays of execution. Those figures would make anyone consider an approach from the men of the King’s Road twice.
This year will also see a change in the transfer window, whereby it will open a lot earlier than usual. The window this year will open before the FA Cup final is played – a game that Blues will be wanting to be involved in – whilst it will end before the season starts in August.
The World Cup does not help things, either. Plenty of eyes will be focused on the tournament in Russia, with a number of players wanting to impress as they look to move on to bigger and better things. That being said, no one will be considering a deal during the tournament. The change of dates will mean Chelsea could end up rushing around at the end of the competition to try and get who they want.
No news is bad news
Normally, at this time of the season, sources will start to suggest which players clubs will chase in the summer to make their additions, but the Chelsea news has largely focused on the manager, rather than the players, which could signal bad news. The lack of personnel being linked with a switch to the Blues could almost be contributed to the fact that the managerial situation is a major problem for many.
It will be interesting to see what Chelsea do in the coming weeks, as they are no longer in a position to spend months on the situation.