Todd Boehly preparing major change from Roman Abramovich era in revamp of loan policy

Chelsea will disband their loan army as part of a revamped player development strategy at Stamford Bridge.

The move will bring an end to an approach under Roman Abramovich which saw the club accused of stockpiling young players and abusing the loan system.

At its peak in 2019, Chelsea had 41 players out on loan. Many players were sent on multiple loans with no real prospect of ever playing for the first team. But under the new strategy, led by sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, only players viewed as genuine first-team prospects will be sent out on overseas loans.

If Chelsea feel a player is not benefiting from the programme or is not in the plans of the manager, the club will look to sell them on.

The move is partly a response to new FIFA regulations which will limit clubs to sending out seven players on oversees loans from next season.

Chelsea want to fill their allocation every season with youngsters they feel can make the grade at Stamford Bridge.

If a player does not make it at Chelsea, it is hoped any loan will have increased their value, earning the club a profit from a sale and the player a better salary elsewhere.

Chelsea want to avoid the situation they have with Tiemoue Bakayoko, a £40million signing from Monaco in 2017 who has barely played in his two years on loan at AC Milan. It is likely Chelsea will be forced to pay off much of the remaining part of his contract, which still has a year left to run, after his transfer value plummeted.

Baba Rahman is another example of a loan strategy that Chelsea want to avoid. The 28-year-old has just finished his seventh loan at relegated Reading.

The new approach will take time to implement, with 31 first-team players listed on the Chelsea website and 21 out on loan this season. Chelsea want to offload as many as 15 players during what is set to be a hectic summer, as incoming head coach Mauricio Pochettino streamlines the squad.

Dujon Sterling is set to join Rangers, while Xavier Simons has been sold to Hull. Malang Sarr, Ethan Ampadu and Henry Lawrence are expected to leave. Pochettino will have his say on the futures of Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi once appointed.

The Chelsea academy is a key part of the plans of owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.

Players under the age of 21 and club-trained players will be exempt from the new FIFA limit on overseas loans.

Chelsea hope to emulate a multi-club model used by Manchester City to recruit and develop stars. Despite their disappointing season, there is a belief that young players like Noni Madueke, Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk are showing promise.

Andrey Santos, an 18-year-old Brazil midfielder signed for £16m in January, is set to join the squad in pre-season. Chelsea are also pleased with how ‘keeper Gabriel Slonina’s first six months of acclimatisation have gone in the academy.

Chelsea could install a senior figure from Boehly’s business empire as the club’s new chief executive, according to The Times.

Clearlake Capital executive Chris Jurasek could be in the frame to bolster the Blues’ off-field structure.

Owners Boehly and Behdad Eghbali have also frozen general admission season-ticket prices for next season in a bid to appease disgruntled supporters amid the turbulent and below-par campaign.

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