Chelsea’s bombshell transfer tells us everything about their plans to sell Chalobah, Gallagher and others

The news from Brazil, and from Fabrizio Romano reporting it over here, is that Chelsea are closing in fast on Estevao Willian.

The deal could be done in “days,” the insider said last night, and added that personal terms were agreed. All of the chatter around the deal has the price at somewhere around €60m total, with probably half of that needed to be paid up front.

This move seems so mad, and so the opposite of what we need to do given we’ve signed exclusively youth for two years and have a major lack of experienced players .This is a signing for next year or the year after, when the first team desperately needs work.

That tells us some interesting things about Chelsea’s overall strategy. There’s certainly no easing off. Wonderkids are flowing in even before some the first ones signed have stepped on the pitch. We are doubling down on youth, and doubling down on the cost to the first team.

Estevao Willian celebrates a medal with Palmeiras.

What we learn from another bombshell

What it really tells us about our summer plans is that players will have to be sold, and plenty of them. The sentiment that players like Conor Gallagher and Chalobah are definitely leaving this summer has faded through the season because they’ve done so well when playing. But a deal for Willian means those sales will be totally necessary if we want to make other additions.

That could include Gallagher, Chalobah Marc Cucurella or anyone else who a good offer comes in for. It certainly means Ian Maatsen and all of the others who are already closer to leaving. Unless there’s a new accounting trick coming around the corner we’ve not considered yet, there’s no way we can spend an initial €30m or so on Willian and also sign other players (even if we were to aim for bargains) without serious money coming in.

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