TODD BOEHLY’S first job if he gets control of Chelsea will be to head off the threat of a player exodus.
The American spearheads a consortium including Clearlake Capital which is set to buy the club for more than £4.25billion from Roman Abramovich.
And there are growing fears the part-owner of the LA Dodgers must move fast when he takes over amid fears in the dressing room the squad which won the Champions League is breaking up with rumours N'Golo Kante and Jorginho could go.
Several senior players are "gutted" defender Antonio Rudiger is leaving this summer on a free transfer to Real Madrid.
Some Chelsea stars are not buying the explanation that sanctions imposed on Russian Abramovich prevented a deal being struck with the inspirational German centre half.
They instead believe the club should have had one of the cornerstones of the dressing room tied down for the future long before the war in Ukraine kicked off in late February.
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It is the same with Rudiger’s defensive partner Andreas Christensen who is poised to depart for Barcelona.
Chelsea offered Rudiger a substantial deal to stay but it wasn’t enough to persuade him to sign an extension to his contract which expires in just a few weeks’ time.
Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta may also still leave despite Chelsea having a clause in the Spaniard’s contract enabling them to trigger a 12-month extension.
In particular midfield pair Kante and Jorginho are about to enter the final year of their contracts.
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Italy international Jorginho especially has voiced a desire to return to his homeland before retiring and team-mates fear he may go this summer to add to the domino effect in the dressing room.
Next season England midfielder Mason Mount will be entering the final two years of a contract signed in 2019.
There have been no talks over a new one yet and it is going to be a lengthy process coming up with a deal that reflects his growing importance within the camp.
Insiders at Stamford Bridge believe the festering uncertainty among the playing staff is behind the team’s unconvincing displays in recent games.
Chelsea have won just once in the last four Premier League games – a last minute 1-0 victory over a depleted West Ham team.
First-team boss Thomas Tuchel has already voiced concerns that the slow process of selling Chelsea will make for a "dangerous" summer in the transfer market.
But it is now emerging that existing players are just as worried about their futures and that of an entire bunch of players who were crowned club world champions just a few weeks ago.
Boehly will be keen to work in harmony with Chelsea fans should he take over as expected once the Premier League has concluded its director’s test on those hoping to sit on the new look board.
The American said: “There’s nothing like sports to excite passion. And if you have passion, then you have people who care about things.
"And if you have people who care about things, you have great opportunity. And really, it’s about curating that experience, that access, that opportunity.
“In some sports like the NFL, they share all the media money. In baseball, you’re really a derivative of your local market.
“The Premier League’s similar. If you look at the way it works, to be one of the big brands, you have a structural advantage. And for us, we’re always looking for structural advantages.
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“The reality is if you want to buy stock in the Green Bay Packers, you have no rights, you have no control, but you can say you have an ‘interest’ in the Packers.
“So we’re starting to think a lot about what is it that we want to really give our ‘super fans’ and how do we develop fans?”
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