Chelsea can afford to sign Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba or Barcelona star Lionel Messi after recent financial boosts have opened some breathing space from the Financial Fair Play rules, reports the Telegraph.
The Blues have been cautious in the transfer window since Jose Mourinho's return due to the new FFP rules punishing teams for not boasting healthy finances, but with three recent financial boosts, the Premier League giants could be set for an expensive summer.
Since returning to Stamford Bridge, Mourinho has been working on a one-in, one-out basis regarding transfers, but with some big money coming in from sales, a new sponsorship deal and a longer contract given to a star player, The Blues are in a strong financial position.
The last few signings Chelsea have made (Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Juan Cuadrado and Filipe Luis) have been made by the club selling stars for big money (Andre Schurrle, Kevin De Bruyne, David Luiz and Romelu Lukaku).
However, this Summer could see Chelsea sign more than they sell due to three recent financial boosts.
The first boost comes from the sale of Fernando Torres. Despite the Spaniard leaving on a free, having him off the wage books is a massive boost for the West London outfit leaving them with more finances free to spend elsewhere.
The second boost is their new sponsorship deal with Yokohama Rubber. The recently signed sponsorship deal will see Chelsea earn approximately £40million-a-year, meaning more funds to spend on signing players.
The final boost is the news that Eden Hazard has signed a new long-term deal.
Although the third seems like it's more money outgoing from Chelsea, Jake Cohen of LawInSport has explained why in fact it's good news for Chelsea.
“It is not widely known outside football accounting that clubs can actually save themselves money in terms of FFP costs by giving their players new contracts, even if they are earning more,” said Cohen.
“Although Hazard’s wages have increased from approximately £9.62m a year to £10.4m annually, his FFP ‘book’ value has gone down. That’s because his £32m fee was amortised at £6.4m a year over an initial five-year contract.
"That deal had two-and-a-half years left to run, so the remaining £16m in ‘book’ value was spread out over the new five-and-a-half-year contract Hazard signed in February, decreasing his annual FFP cost from £6.4m to £2.91m.
"So even with the increase in wages, Hazard will cost Chelsea £2.71m less a year in FFP money from this summer.”
So with their new financial backing, this could see Chelsea finally launch a formal move for Juventus star Pogba, who is wanted by several clubs across Europe.
The Frenchman has been superb for the Serie A champions in recent seasons and is expected to be in the middle of a transfer tussle during the Summer.
Manchester United, Arsenal, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are other clubs that have been linked with signing the midfielder, but with their new financial power, Chelsea could be the next destination for Pogba.
When asked about their expected plans this Summer, Cohen added: “There is no doubt Chelsea have the freedom to spend big money this summer.
“Unlike the last two years, Jose Mourinho does not have to rely heavily of significant player sales to fund incoming transfers and meet FFP rules.”