Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho could axe as many as four players before the summer transfer window closes on September 1. Petr Cech, John Obi Mikel, Andre Schurrle and Fernando Torres are all at risk of being sold.
This is according to the Express, who report that Mourinho is unlikely to sell all four players, but may decide to sell at least one of them over the forthcoming weeks.
One of the first out of Stamford Bridge could be goalkeeper Cech, who is on the radar of Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.
Mourinho is expected to consider selling the veteran Czech Republic international, who was named in the Premier League’s PFA Team of the Year last season, now that Thibaut Courtois has returned from his third loan spell with La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.
Although Courtois has not been issued with a squad number, the Belgium international is expected to make his competitive debut for Chelsea against Burnley on Monday night.
John Obi Mikel
Despite selling David Luiz to PSG, Mourinho is happy with his midfield options, particularly after acquiring the services of Spain international Cesc Fabregas, who has impressed in pre-season.
Fabregas will form a midfield two with January signing Nemanja Matic and it’s difficult to envisage Mikel getting too many first-team opportunities this season.
It was reported several months ago that Mikel was looking to leave Stamford Bridge this summer - and Mourinho now appears to be willing to grant the inconsistent Nigeria international his wish.
Interest in Schurrle is high following this impressive displays at the recent World Cup finals in Brazil.
The Germany international is wanted by both PSG and Atletico Madrid, but the 23-year-old is keen to stay at Stamford Bridge and fight for silverware alongside “perfect signings” Fabregas, Diego Costa and Filipe Luis.
Schurrle had a fairly unspectacular debut season in England, but Mourinho appreciates that this is a player with a huge amount of ability.
Watch: Andre Schurrle in action
And finally, Atletico are also believed to be keen to take Torres back to the Vicente Calderon this summer.
The 30-year-old remains a fan favourite in the eyes of the Atletico supporters and a return, given how disastrous his Chelsea career has panned out, might prove more than a little tempting for the Spanish striker.
However, Mourinho will not want to begin the season with Costa and Didier Drogba - who reportedly has a serious injury - as his only two first-team strikers.
Subsequently, Torres may remain a Chelsea player - at least until Mourinho recruits a replacement.
Chelsea fans: which - if any - of the four players should Mourinho axe? Have your say in the comments section below.