Chelsea: Reece James, N'golo Kante, Jorginho among players at risk of leaving due to Roman Abramovich sanctions

Chelsea Reece James
(Image credit: Getty)

Despite being world and European champions, Chelsea are in free fall.

The British government's sanctions against Roman Abramovich due to his ties to Vladimir Putin have caused huge upheaval, with the club barred from selling tickets and merchandise and their bank account being frozen.

While there will be no immediate impact on the squad and coaching staff, the sanctions have thrown the futures of many players up in the air, particularly those who were hoping to sign new contracts.

Rio Ferdinand and Peter Crouch have predicted an exodus of players this summer, and coach Thomas Tuchel is already being linked with the soon-to-be-vacant Manchester United job.

FourFourTwo went through the Chelsea squad to determine which players are most likely to leave the club in search of a more stable future.


(Image credit: Getty)

Reece James

The right-back has been in stunning form this season and looked set to spend the majority of his career with the club where he grew up but the sanctions have even thrown his future into chaos.

James is under contract until 2025 but was set to sign a bumper new deal to reflect his new standing in the team and recent form.

But the new contract is unlikely to be signed any time soon while the club assesses its financial situation.

With Real Madrid reportedly among the clubs circling the England defender, his loyalty could be about to be tested.

Jorginho chelsea

(Image credit: Getty)


The Italian midfielder has developed into one of the club's key players after a slow start and he was instrumental in last season's Champions League triumph. 

But any hope of a long-term future at Stamford Bridge has been rocked by the institutional chaos.

He has less than 18 months left on his contract but will be unable to use that as a negotiating tool now to get a bigger deal out of Chelsea.

With so few top class holding midfielders of Jorginho's ilk out there, he could well be tempted into a move.

N'Golo Kante

(Image credit: PA)

N'golo Kante

The midfielder has never been one to try and squeeze money out of a club and is renowned for his humble character.

But he too is out of contract with Chelsea next year and the club do not yet know whether they will have the financial capabilities to extend his deal.

Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso

(Image credit: PA)

Marcos Alonso

The Spaniard is another player whose contract runs out in 2023.

His long-term future was already in doubt after being displaced in the team by Ben Chilwell until the England left-back injured his knee in Decemeber.

He won't quite garner the same interest from other clubs as Kante or Jorginho due to his age (31) but he has proved a consistent option in either full-back position and a master at free-kicks and will have no shortage of takers.

And with his career at the highest level into its final years, he will also be looking for one last big contract, which he is unlikely to get until stability returns to Chelsea.

Antonio Rudiger

(Image credit: PA)

Antonio Rudiger

The German has been in incredible form in the last couple of seasons but never appeared totally committed to Chelsea and had long stalled on talks over a new contract, leaving him free to negotiate with other clubs from this January.

Thomas Tuchel had said last month that there was a possibility of Rudiger being convinced to stay but the sanctions look to have put an and to all likelihood of him remaining at Stamford Bridge.

Andreas Christensen

(Image credit: PA)

Andreas Christensen

The Dane is also set to end his stay at Chelsea this summer when his contract runs out although that was always going to be the case long before the government set their sights on Abramovich.

After a promising start to the season he lost his place in the team to Thiago Silva and according to reports has been negotiating a move to Barcelona, who have become specialists in signing players on free transfers ever since their financial meltdown.

Chelsea defender and captain Cesar Azpilicueta

(Image credit: PA)

Cesar Azpilicueta

Chelsea's captain has been an invaluable servant, winning every single trophy possible in a decade-long spell at the club.

His contract is also due to run out this summer and Barcelona have also reportedly shown their interest in signing the 32-year-old.

Azpilicueta has apparently shown willingness to remain at Chelsea but has demanded a two-year contract to extend his long stay.

In the current climate, that looks highly unlikely, meaning the skipper is also set to leave.

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku Chelsea

(Image credit: PA)

Who would have thought that the £97.5-million-man would be heading for the exit door less than a year after his sensational move back to Chelsea?

Lukaku's problems with the club pre-date the institutional turmoil and began with his controversial interview with Sky Sport Italia which led to him being dropped by Thomas Tuchel after appearing to question the coach's tactics.

His continued struggles for form haven't helped his cause and it did not take long after the sanctions were announced for him to be linked with a return to Inter Milan on loan.

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Richard Martin is an experienced football writer, editor and social media producer. Before returning to London, he spent 10 years in Spain as a football correspondent and has attended over 600 games across 16 countries, his favourite being Argentina. He has also worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Times and AS.