Two Chelsea stars blamed for Boehly giving eight-year deals to almost everyone

Mauricio Pochettino was left a Chelsea gift by Thomas Tuchel and a £150m headache

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly decided to turn to handing out mega-long contracts after losing two players on free transfers. Just months after BlueCo completed their takeover of the Premier League club, the Blues lost two key players as free agents and it seems the American billionaire has learned from his predecessor’s mistakes over contracts.

Boehly has since insisted on contracts of up to eight years for most of Chelsea’s new signings. A huge £1billion spending spree across 18 months has seen elite young talent tied down to the club for their best years.

Mykhaylo Mudryk, Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo and Nicolas Jackson were all given deals until 2031 upon their arrivals for a combined £350m. The futures of Cole Palmer, Noni Madueke, Romeo Lavia, Malo Gusto and Lesley Ugochukwu have also been secured until 2030.

It is claimed that the plan goes back to the first few months after Boehly and fellow co-owner Behdad Eghbali took control of the west London outfit. Just months after completing their May 2022 takeover from Roman Abramovich, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen left for free following the expiry of their contracts. 

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According to the Daily Telegraph, Boehly and Eghbali were ‘dismayed’ at losing the duo, who joined Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively. They felt that the club deserved compensation having bought both players, paid them big wages, and – in Christensen’s case – developed them from a young age. 

Boehly has since harboured major fears about players drifting into free agency. That fear has been evidenced in the huge contracts handed to new signings over the last 18 months, although UEFA has since responded by confirming that transfer fees can now only be spread over a maximum of five years after concerns over Chelsea’s amortisation methods.

Only three players in Chelsea’s bloated first-team squad have deals that expire in 2024. Veteran defender Thiago Silva, 38, could depart at the end of the season, while Ian Maatsen is yet to pen an extension although the club are planning to offer him a new deal.

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Young goalkeeper Lucas Bergstrom’s contract will also expire come the end of the campaign. Boehly is keen to tie Maatsen and Bergstrom to long-term deals to protect their respective values.

Boehly has faced criticism for his scattergun approach to transfers in the 18 months since his consortium acquired the club from Russian oligarch Abramovich. Over £1bn has been spent on new signings since, the most of any club over that period.

However, Chelsea have little to show for their major outlay. They finished 12th in the Premier League last season and new boss Mauricio Pochettino has just four points from as many games in the new campaign.

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