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Graham Potter makes Chelsea transfer admission on Romelu Lukaku, Mason Mount and Kovacic futures

Graham Potter makes Chelsea transfer admission on Romelu Lukaku, Mason Mount and Kovacic futures

According to Graham Potter, Chelsea may prefer not to sell to their rivals in an ideal scenario, but ultimately, the club will make the best decision for themselves. With several players expected to leave and decisions to be made on those entering the final year of their contracts, the west London side is set for an active transfer market this summer.

Currently, the Blues have a squad of 31 senior players, including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana, and Noni Madueke, who are ineligible for Chelsea’s Champions League squad. Even for Premier League matchday squads, a number of players will have to miss out.

Although Potter has enjoyed working with such a large group, he acknowledged on Friday that it is not the ideal squad size. The former Brighton manager noted that it is normal for players to leave, and some will have to depart.

He said: “That’s the challenge that we have. It is a big squad, a deep squad, a squad with a lot, a lot of players. It has been a challenge to manage them but it has not been a negative challenge from my perspective. They have been amazing, I would say, with the situation and how professional, how together they’ve been, how supportive they have been of each other. That’s something that I can only be positive about.

“Regardless of the ifs [of qualifying for Europe], the number of the squad is not optimal regardless of whatever competition we are in. I think everybody would suggest that’s correct. I think that’s a normal part of a football club’s business at the end of the season, different things happen, people move on. It might be because a player needs more gametime or something else but that’s not something I can report on now.”

Given the high status of Chelsea’s top players and the significant amount of money involved in their transfer, it is reasonable to say that there are only a few options available for their potential destinations. As a result, Chelsea might have to sell their players to their competitors, although they would prefer to explore other possibilities.

Potter added: “You think about an ideal world but it’s never an ideal world and you have to deal with what you have to deal with in the summer, make your decisions, do your business like everyone else does and accept that you’ve got to do what’s right for this football club and not worry about anyone else. Just do what you need to do.”

The possibility of selling Mason Mount to a rival team has caused apprehension, with Liverpool and Bayern Munich both showing interest in the Chelsea star, along with Mateo Kovacic. Both players’ contracts are set to expire in 2024, and while Kovacic has yet to begin discussions on a new deal, Mount’s negotiations appear to have reached a deadlock.

Although Potter expressed his admiration for Mount, he acknowledged that his views would not significantly influence any talks between the player and the club.

The 47-year-old said: “These things are really complicated because it’s not necessarily about my opinion, it’s also the player, the club, lots of things that I’m not in control of. All I can do is give my opinion of him as a footballer and as a person and I have nothing but positive things to say about Mason as a lad. He has been brilliant with us, really supportive, but it’s also between him and the club about how they can sort out the situation”

Potter seemed unperturbed by the news that Kovacic has not yet started contract talks with the club, and he emphasized how Kovacic has been performing well in recent weeks and has demonstrated strong leadership qualities. His evaluation of Kovacic was just as positive as his assessment of Mount.

He said: “Again, I think the club has conversation with players all of the time, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s public. These things happen behind the scenes and when we’ve got something to report, we can report it.

“Again, similar to Mason, someone who I’ve got huge respect for as a person. He’s been great with us, very supportive. He plays a role in the team and has been captain the last few games as well. From my perspective he’s important but again it’s also between Mateo and the club to talk and when they have something to announce I’m sure they’ll announce it.”

Romelu Lukaku is a player whose future remains uncertain, and he may not return to Stamford Bridge after his loan spell with Inter Milan, despite having a contract that runs until 2026. He seems to have become a forgotten figure at the club.

Potter expressed his admiration for Lukaku and mentioned that a decision on his future would be made in the summer.

He said: “At the moment, he’s not our player but he is our player. He’s on loan at another club and I think it’s important that he finishes that off and finishes the season well. Then we have a decision to make in the summer. He’s someone that I admire a lot, I like a lot but again it’s something we have to talk about in the summer.”

Graham Potter makes Chelsea transfer admission on Romelu Lukaku, Mason Mount and Kovacic futures

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