Five different ways Chelsea could line up next season after Hazard sale and transfer ban

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CHELSEA are expected to lose Eden Hazard to Real Madrid this summer while they are also facing an impending transfer ban which could scupper their replacement plans.

Chelsea transfer news line up summer signings
Chelsea transfer news: Maurizio Sarri’s side could look very different at the start of next season (Image: GETTY•buildlineup.com)

Hazard is set to join Real Madrid in the summer transfer window after making clear his desire to leave Stamford Bridge, meaning Chelsea could be left short of personnel in their first-team squad.

The Belgian winger is likely to command a fee of around £112million, despite being out of contract next year, meaning the Blues have funds to spend on reinforcements.

However, an impending transfer ban could spoil any chances of new arrivals bolstering Maurizio Sarri’s squad.

The Chelsea hierarchy may then be forced to turn to some of their returning loanees, unless their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport is successful.

Hazard replacement

Chelsea are set to lodge an appeal and will hope to overturn the ban FIFA have imposed, which would then allow them to splash funds on replacements if Hazard leaves.

Several players have been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, including out-of-favour Barcelona ace Philippe Coutinho.

The former Liverpool star would slot straight in on the left side of a three-man attack, with Sarri likely to stick with his favoured 4-3-3 line-up.

A contract extension for Olivier Giroud also suggests he has a part to play with the Blues next season, while Sarri will hope to keep hold of the rest of his key starting XI.

(4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante, Barkley; Pedro, Coutinho, Giroud

Chelsea transfer news line up summer signings
Chelsea transfer news: Eden Hazard’s sale to Real Madrid could free up funds for a big-money signing (Image: buildlineup.com)

Move to make loans permanent

Chelsea made good use of the loan market this season, signing Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid and Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus.

Both are out of contract next month but Sarri has openly admitted he would like to sign the Croatian midfielder while there is an option to snap up Higuain on a permanent deal in his loan contract.

Meanwhile, Lille winger Nicolas Pepe has been touted as another potential replacement for Hazard and his club have revealed he is available for just £70m.

The winger plays on the right for his Ligue 1 side and is expected to replace Pedro, if a move is completed.

(4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic; Pepe, Willian, Higuain

Chelsea transfer news line up summer signings
Chelsea transfer news: The Blues could also look to make their loan signings permanent (Image: buildlineup.com)

Switch in formation

Sarri has rigidly stuck to his favoured 4-3-3 formation over the past year, even when injuries and suspensions have led to limited availability.

However, Hazard’s departure may cause the Italian to shuffle his pack – depending on who comes through the door.

Mauro Icardi has been a long-time target of the Blues and could be partnered in attack with Giroud if new arrival Christian Pulisic is deployed one one wing and Willian on the opposite flank.

Nice right-back Youcef Atal is also on Chelsea’s radar and would be a bargain long-term replacement for Cesar Azpilicueta at a relatively modest £35m while Andreas Christensen will come into the side if David Luiz moves on.

(4-4-2): Arrizabalaga; Atal, Rudiger, Christensen, Alonso; Pulisic, Jorginho, Kante, Willian; Icardi, Giroud

Chelsea transfer news line up summer signings
Chelsea transfer news: Mauro Icardi and Nicolas Pepe could cause a change of formation (Image: buildlineup.com)

The transfer ban

If Chelsea’s appeal is unsuccessful, the west London club will have to make do with the resources already at their disposal.

Pedro and Willian will be joined by Pulisic in trying to cover for the absence of Hazard, while Callum Hudson-Odoi is not likely to be fit in time for the start of the season.

Moves for loanees Kovacic and Higuain will also be in jeopardy so Giroud will lead the line while Ross Barkley will look to make the central midfield spot his own with Ruben Loftus-Cheek injured.

The implementation of a ban will make it even more imperative that Chelsea keep hold of N’Golo Kante with Paris Saint-Germain hunting for his signature.

(4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante, Barkley; Pedro, Pulisic, Giroud

Chelsea transfer news line up summer signings
Chelsea transfer news: If the transfer ban is upheld, Chelsea’s options will be limited (Image: buildlineup.com)

Loan recalls

While Chelsea already have a settled first-team squad, the Blues could be bolstered by the return of several players from loan spells who are now pushing for first-team places.

Tammy Abraham has been integral in Aston Villa’s run to the play-off final, scoring 26 goals this season, and will almost certainly return to Stamford Bridge if the Villans don’t earn promotion.

Michy Batshuayi is another who has impressed away from his parent club while Kurt Zouma was excellent for Everton and will provide competition for Luiz and Antonio Rudiger.

Mason Mount and Reece James are exciting prospects who Chelsea will be monitoring closely while Sarri may use the new campaign as an opportunity to establish Emerson Palmieri as first-choice left-back ahead of Marcos Alonso.

(4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma, Emerson; Jorginho, Kante, Mount; Pulisic, Willian, Abraham

Chelsea transfer news line up summer signings
Chelsea transfer news: Sarri could recall a number of players who have had successful loan spells (Image: buildlineup.com)

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