Joe Cole sends Chelsea warning over sales & long contracts

Joe Cole has warned Chelsea that they may have to accept losses on a number of fringe players as they seek to trim their wage bill after an expensive season of spending.

The Blues have spent close to £600m under the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership and now boast a squad that is too big to meet Premier League and Champions League regulations, meaning some players will have to leave in the summer.

With other clubs well aware of Chelsea’s need to offload players, Cole warned his former employers that they may struggle to sell players for their full worth.

“That’s simple business, supply and demand,” Cole told 90min in an exclusive interview. “Chelsea need to cut the wage budget, that’s business. Teams will wait and wait, and then you’re playing a game of chicken.

“This was all taken care of by people behind the scenes at Chelsea, like Marina [Granovskaia] who was there under the last regime, Petr Cech was involved in that. But these people are out the door now, they dealt with all this stuff and there was a structure to it.

“Now, for exiting players, the structure will be changed. Who do the players talk to in regards to that? Chelsea will be putting all these things in place, but like any good system in a football club, it takes time. There’s no-one with a magic wand – maybe Carlo Ancelotti! – someone who can come in and sort it.

“Chelsea will have to take a haircut on a few players, for sure. If a player is worth £30m, Chelsea may have to let them go for £10m or £15m.”

In an exclusive interview with 90min, Joe Cole talks to Scott Saunders & Harry Symeou regarding all things Chelsea. They talk about Graham Potter’s future, Mason Mount, the Blues’ transfer policy and more.

If you can’t see the embed, click here to watch the video!

In terms of incomings, Chelsea have offered players significantly longer contracts than had been on the table under the previous ownership.

Mykhailo Mudryk and Enzo Fernandez are both tied down until 2031, with seven or eight-year contracts a regular offer at Stamford Bridge these days.

While Cole acknowledges the risk that comes with such a long contract, he backed Chelsea’s gamble to pay off.

“It’s a strategy that gives the player security,” the former midfielder explained. “Have they done their due diligence on a player’s character? You can give security to a player who you know is not motivated by money, then it works well. For seven or eight years, you know that player is going to turn up for work every day feeling motivated.

“That strategy can work for a certain type of character, it might not work with another type of character. Another type of character might think: ‘I’ve rung the bell here, I’ve cracked it, party time, slippers on, I’ll play football every now and then’. It can happen.

“Fans have the illusion that there are lots of these players, but to get to the top of professional football, there’s something inside them. Most players have an innate desire to compete, because it’s the most competitive sport in the world to get into. There are so many pitfalls, so many things can go wrong. Players who get there generally have a warrior spirit.

“It’s easy to look at certain players and think they’ve downed tools, but there’s probably something else going on.

“From Chelsea’s perspective, they’re going to have to rely heavily on the quality of the character of who’s coming in if you’re going to give them seven or eight years. [Wesley] Fofana, Enzo Fernandez, Mudryk, they will have done their due diligence on their character, and they’re the right players to give long-term contracts.”