Chelsea will need to trim down their wage bill before making a move for Ivan Toney.

Chelsea are reportedly chasing Ivan Toney’s signature ahead of the January transfer window as they look to bolster their options up front. New signing Nicolas Jackson has got off to a difficult start to life at Stamford Bridge and the Blues are looking to bring in some direct competition for him.

Toney is currently serving a betting ban which means he will not be able to play until the middle of January. Yet a string of top clubs including Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea are all keen to snap him up this winter.

The Englishman was among the league’s top scorers last season and won’t come cheap. According to Fabrizio Romano, Brentford want no less than £65million for their star striker meaning Chelsea will have to move on a couple of players if they hope to keep their books in the green. Here, Express Sport looks at three players that Chelsea could sell to fund the transfer.

Romelu Lukaku

If Chelsea can get even half of the £97.5million they paid for Romelu Lukaku in 2021 then it would go a long way in funding their move for Toney. After a disappointing first campaign back at Stamford Bridge, Lukaku has spent the last two seasons out on loan in Italy, eating away at the Blues’ wage budget.

He was unimpressive for Inter Milan last year but has hit the ground running for Roma in 2023 which Todd Boehly and Co will be hoping can help strike up some interest in the Belgian international. He was almost sold back to Inter in the summer but the Serie A side pulled out after hearing that the player had held initial talks with Juventus over a potential transfer.

Ian Maatsen
Chelsea may be forced to sell Ian Maatsen in January as they risk losing him on a free transfer next summer. The Blues accepted a £31.5 million bid from Burnley for the Dutchman on deadline day but Maatsen chose to stay put. However, attempts to sign Maatsen onto a long-term deal with the west Londoners have been fruitless.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Chelsea made two contract offers to Maatsen before accepting Burnley’s bid but the player turned down both offers while negotiations haven’t been re-ignited since. Maatsen’s contract expires in June and so time is of the essence for Chelsea to cash in on the left-back.

Marc Cucurella
Marc Cucurella rakes in an astonishing £9.1m yearly wage despite being viewed as a fringe player for the Blues. It hasn’t worked out for the Spaniard since moving to Chelsea from Brighton in 2022 for £62m and it is likely he will be shown the door in January, although his fee will surely be boosted by some decent displays this season.

Cucurella was given the green light to move to Manchester United on loan last summer but the deal fell through on deadline day and the Red Devils signed Sergio Reguilon instead.

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